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Very long neck, what is it for?


pjham
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Might be handy for playing "brawls" :lol:

 

I question the "dancing master" part, because this has nothing to do with a "kit' or 'pochette".  The only reference that i have found to these suggests that they had some some vogue in the days of vaudeville as a performance instrument, perhaps with "tricks" thrown in.

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The first time I saw one of these I assumed it was a one off experiment, however as this is the fifth one I have seen I now assume that they were made for a purpose.  Any idea what they were used for?  The seller lists it as a "Dancing Masters" violin but I was under the impression that the old dancing masters violins had a normal neck with a small or thin body, so they would fit in a coat pocket.

 

Perhaps for a cellist who wants to play violin? :)

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Might be handy for playing "brawls" :lol:

 

I question the "dancing master" part, because this has nothing to do with a "kit' or 'pochette".  The only reference that i have found to these suggests that they had some some vogue in the days of vaudeville as a performance instrument, perhaps with "tricks" thrown in.

Dear Violadamore,

Thank you.  I would be interested in a link to the reference, if it is on line.

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Dear Violadamore,

Thank you.  I would be interested in a link to the reference, if it is on line.

For what little it's worth: http://archive.org/details/Clipper65-1917-12  Search on "long necked violin", an act including comedy, card tricks, juggling, and music used it.  The performance descriptions give a fascinating glimpse into what entertainment was before electronics, and a search on "violin" alone will show why so many fiddles sold in the US during the golden age of the Dutzendarbeit.

 

This ad suggests that they were played like a cello http://www.trocadero.com/stores/allinsts/items/934347/item934347.html

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Sorry to be facetious PJHAM but you wonder if it was created to experience the wonderment of playing in the 145th position?

 

can anyone hazard a guess as to what the open string would be tuned to? If it's roughly 4 times the length of a violin neck then perhaps a cello low C?

 

Wouldn't it be tuned to the violin G string?  Then one could play to the 145th position!  Perhaps using a cello A string? (Fractional)

If it were tuned to a G, would it cover the entire range of a normal violin or would it just cover the range of a normal G string but with bigger steps between notes?  (I am referring to a violin G string so no jokes about underwear please.)

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I must confess that I vandalised a couple of these when I was young, at the request of a violin maker who gave me work that helped me pay my way through school.

He supplied very old blank viola heads from Markneukirchen, and I turned them into very useful student violas for him to sell.

Those that I've seen have had just one string, and a very simplified head, with the peg coming through from the back. I've never seen one with a graft before, and I worry that this one may throw us all into a great tizzy of confusion, and cause a row.

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One example with a single peg and an altered body shape  is exhibited in the museum of Markneukirchen as "Japanese viol". Made by Ernst Gläsel ca.1920. It´s also pictured in the Zoebisch book Vol. II on page 380. Measurements: total 970 mm, neck stop 493 mm, body 405 mm. Another one was sold at Christies:

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-one-stringed-japanese-violin-by-ernst-4324881-details.aspx?intObjectID=4324881

Unfortunately no picture on the internet. I have no idea  what is it for but I´m also curious.

 

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I wonder if this isn't a sort of distant relative of a tromba marina, in other words a drone or "ground" instrument which is modulated through the overtone series, kind of like a jew's harp or a mongolian fiddle.

Martin,

 

That's thinking outside of the fiddle-shaped box!  You may well be on to something.  While is is not the shape of any historical "trump marine" that I am aware of, I can think of no reason why it might not be played like one.  

 

Mac

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Both.

 

In theory, any g string will cover the entire range of the violin and beyond, but you tend to run out of fingerboard, and the string isn't designed to do so.

 

Thank you. That explains it to me.  So the highest pitch is limited by the ratio of the fingerboard to string length (unless playing harmonically) and the ability of the string to sound at very short length, correct or not?  If so, then is a cello A string able to handle higher pitches better than a violin G string due to the cello strings longer length, and thus in practise able to handle a larger pitch range, or doesn't this make a difference? (Assuming equal skill of the player.)

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There was a thread on these in The Pegbox last year, 'Unusual one string fiddle'. I don't know how to post a link.

 

They were sold as 'Jap fiddles'.

Here ya go.

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/326455-unusual-one-string-fiddle/

 

Conor,

 

I highlighted the address bar at the top of the screen and copied it to the "clipboard"by pushing  the "control" button (Ctrl) and at the same time pressing the c key.  I then pasted it into this post by pushing the "control" button and pressing  the v key. The address should appear where the curser was.  It will act as a link when posted.

 

Mac

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There was a thread on these in The Pegbox last year, 'Unusual one string fiddle'. I don't know how to post a link.

 

They were sold as 'Jap fiddles'.

 

 

Thank you.  Most interesting.  If the one string version is a variant of the "Psalmodicon", then the two string version referenced

at the beginning of this thread must be a varient of the "Giga" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%A2%C4%ABga

See also from the 46 second mark on http://www.indiana.edu/~bafsa/hedgehogs/ezisi.html   the two string instrument being plucked in the first youtube video.

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