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What's the diff between a fiddler and a violinst?


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Sure it’s possible to cross train. If you are a great athlete you might be able to be a great soccer player and a great tennis player. In music it is often termed “crossover” . Crossover artists are often put down by people who don’t like any form other than their favorite. Sometimes criticism is justified because the attempt is unsuccessful. It just means that someone who is a great artist in one form is only mediocre in another form. It is like the star soccer player who plays tennis at a level far above most amateurs but only mediocre by professional standards.

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quote:

Originally posted by crystal:

I am sure that Natalie MacMaster is not playing on a $50 fiddle. But also, a good fiddler can make a $50 fiddle sound great.

I read an interesting story that Natalie MacMaster has never bought her own fiddle. The one she's using now was given to her by a fan and she's never had it appraised.

I think a good player of either classical or folk music can make even cheap instruments sound good.

Len

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quote:

Originally posted by crystal:

The term "violinist", at least here on the maestronet, is generally thought of as one who is playing classical music. A "fiddler" is one who plays "folk" music. And, folk music has many, many types of music, celtic, bluegrass, old time, klezmer, basically anything that's not classical, is folk.

Hey! Classical has baroque, viennese, roccoco, early romantic, late romantic, atonal, etc.

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quote:

Originally posted by Fiddle Girl:

Len:

Where did you read that about Natalie? Just curious, because I wrote an article on her for Strings and mentioned that.

As a matter of fact, I think I read it on an online clip from Strings! smile.gif

Since you wrote it, is that really true? I just saw her a few months ago and she's just plain incredible. And, to think, all of that spectacular sound coming from a non-descript fiddle, too....

Len

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Fiddling, to me, is culturally based music on a violin, Fidlling styles are very regional, almost down to the county where one lives. I mean to say, that a fiddler in one area of the country might play a tune one way, while the guy down the road a mile or two might play that same tune slighly different. This can be said of most types of fiddling. Fiddle music in almost every case is dance music. Fiddlers tend to learn tunes from other fiddlers, almost a passing of the music from one generation to the next.

As far as technical differences, I have heard it said, many times on this very board, that fiddling is primarilly in the bowing, where as violin technique is more in the fingering.

For the more humorous answers go here:

http://www.maestronet.com/discussion/discuss_frame.cfm

I hope this is somewhat helpful.

Pole

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quote:

Originally posted by crystal:

MuOn:

Yes, you are right about the different period styles of music. I still kind of lump them under the heading of classical, because they all seem to be closely related. No offense meant!!
smile.gif

Right back at ya! All this "folk music" is a totally homogeneous block.

laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif (hands over the royalties to paganiniboy)

You really find a lot of similarities between a Bach violin sonata and Prokofiev's sonata #2?

[This message has been edited by Mu0n (edited 08-13-2001).]

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I don't think it is a negative image. I think it is just a fiddler's ability to laugh at himself, the music lends itself very well to fun, and I think a good sense of humor is essential to being a good fiddler! Almost every fiddler I have ever had the priveledge of meeting has had this attribute. I myself am a fiddler and I started the post, I can laugh at myself, and the way others perceive me. Just have fun with the music, and don't worry about the rest of it!! If it ever stops being fun, I'll probabally quit!!

Pole

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quote:

Originally posted by Polecat:

I don't think it is a negative image. I think it is just a fiddler's ability to laugh at himself, the music lends itself very well to fun, and I think a good sense of humor is essential to being a good fiddler! Almost every fiddler I have ever had the priveledge of meeting has had this attribute. I myself am a fiddler and I started the post, I can laugh at myself, and the way others perceive me. Just have fun with the music, and don't worry about the rest of it!! If it ever stops being fun, I'll probabally quit!!

Pole

I agree with the sentiment of "being light enough to relax and enjoy life with a smile", but I believe you are misguided to equate dilligent applied practice with not being "fun". I beg your pardon if I am misconstruing your meaning.

Even the simplest folk tune will sound horrid if you do not apply your creative energy and learned skill toward playing it well.

I aim for exhiliration when I play, not just fun. I really feel accomplished when I play a piece well enough that I forget that I am playing and I begin singing through the violin.

Remember that music is the art of ordered sound and silence and the language of the soul. If you are really making music then it is incomprehensible that this could ever be so boring as to make you hang your fiddle over the fireplace.

Regards,

Don Crandall

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Mr Woof, Practice of course is what makes one sound good, and some people practice religiously, both classically trained and folk players. I practice when I get the chance, what with a full time job, a full time 9 month old daughter, trying to remodel my house on the weekends, and a hundred other things that pop up in the midst of the two hundred other things I'm trying to accomplish, practice time is scarce. I find that just playing around is sometimes the best cure for the stress of everyday doldrum.

At this point and time when I play, it is practice, as I don't think my playing is good enough for public display, outside of friends and family, but to me it is still fun, every time I have a breakthrough, no matter how small, it is like a little victory to me. I am under no delusions, I will never be a professional fiddler violinist, or any other instrument for that matter, but for me just playing, hacking, practicing, whatever you wish to call it is fun for me, when it is no longer fun I'll probabally find something else to do. If I ever get to the point where I am "singing through the violin" I will be thrilled beyond belief! but for now I am satisfied just playing the notes in the right order!

Pole

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Seems to me that the word "fiddle" refers to any kind of folk music (jazz, country, irish, klezmer, gypsy, tango, arabic, indian, african, etc.), a wide range of instruments and styles, but north americans tend to associate fiddle to country, celtic music, north american folk music, etc. Is that correct?

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I don't have any problem at all with the term "classical music" as an umbrella term for that music usually associated with formal chamber groups, orchestras, etc., in which the body of literature comes from composers associated with that type format.

Classical musicians refer to their instruments, however, as fiddles regularly. I imagine they do so because their fiddles are like old buddies--best old buddies--and these musicians like humanizing their instruments.

But fiddles--real in the earth fiddles--are played by folk musicians, all types, again using the term "folk music" as a huge umbrella term covering a wide range of easily distinguishable music.

What I find of fascinating interest when comparing classical and folk music are those instances when classical composers use folk music in their compositions--exploring the nuances of folk influence, tampering with it, transforming it, and certainly paying homage to the folk music that inhabited their brains.

I still wait for the great composer of today to do something very, very cool orchestrally with funk/hiphop/etc. that the most highbrow of audiences will say, "Heh! That's very cool classical music!"

The time for Classical Cool is nigh!

Best regards,

Theresa

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quote:

Originally posted by Polecat:

I am under no delusions, I will never be a professional fiddler violinist, or any other instrument for that matter, but for me just playing, hacking, practicing, whatever you wish to call it is fun for me, when it is no longer fun I'll probabally find something else to do. If I ever get to the point where I am "singing through the violin" I will be thrilled beyond belief! but for now I am satisfied just playing the notes in the right order!

Pole

Dear Polecat,

You do not hold a monopoly on overcommitment. We all have busy schedules, it is a matter of prioritizing the items on your agenda in order to budget the time to practice and play. Cleaning out the proverbial closet is less important to me than playing for several hours. In short if you wish to budget time for playing you can. You are already doing this by your own admission.

Secondly your goals will determine your outcome. When I began studying with my current teacher she asked what my goal was. I told her that I wanted to play music beautifully on the violin and eventually to play professionally. You must have an objective or it is like sailing a boat with no chart or navigational aid. You may luck out and land in the safe harbor, but chances are more likely than not that you will end up on the rocks, floundering.

Set yourself a long term goal, then establish smaller goals you wish to achieve on the way to the prior.

My 49 year old brother, has just begun studying blues guitar. He is like a kid in a candy shop, it is something he has always wanted to do and he is enjoying every minute of it. It is only too late to do something when you are dead, so set a goal and go for it.

Good luck,

Don Crandall

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Mr Woof, Right now my goals are to learn tunes, and I have been acheiving that goal. My goal is also to spend time with my baby girl, that is the most important to me right now, and I am definately acheiving that goal!! I would gladly give up any of my many hobbies if it interfered with that, thankfully though fiddling does not, in fact I play for my daughter all the time, and she smiles and kicks her feet, kind of as if she's dancing, If I never learn another tune, as long as I can make my daughter smile, and maybe even harbor a love of music in her, then that is all the satisfaction I need from my fiddling. Who knows maybe someday I will be good enough to make a living at it, but if not it won't break my heart.

I think I have budgeted my time to reflect my prorities, first comes my daughter, because I don't want to miss a single moment. second my job, because lets face it we all have to eat. third is getting my house remodeled, I wish to have it ready to sell in about five years. fourth is fiddling, for the time being anyway, once winter rolls around it will move up on the list, maybe even as far as second!!

It all comes down to my basic premise I have repeated several times, I play because I like to play, it makes me happy to play, If the opposite were ever true, I would quit, the fiddle is not my life, simply a part of my life I enjoy.

Pole

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Crystal, It is funny you should mention fiddlers hardly ever using gut strings, I was thinking about putting gut strings on my fiddle, mostly to acheive the older sound of Civil War era music. Iam not sure such an investment is wise on my pawn shop special, but it was just a thought.

Pole

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