Lissa Schneckenburger: New England fiddler and folk singer


"What is the Difference Between a Fiddle and a Violin?"

Performing fiddlers accross the country are REALLY BORED of this question, and they're all hoping you read this definition and are satisfied enough that you'll think up some fun new things to ask.

Physically speaking, there is no difference between a fiddle and a violin. The difference is often what kind of music you play on it. There is nothing stopping you from playing the Bach D Minor Partita and then turning around and playing Arkansas Traveler on the same instrument; it's just the musical styles that change.

In English "Violin" is used as a proper term for the instrument, "Fiddle" is more of an affectionate slang term. In some languages there is no difference: in French a fiddle is still "le violon"; in Yiddish a violin is a "fidl", which explains why some Jewish violinists refer to their instruments as fiddles.

Some musicians who play all one style of music (classical, or a fiddle genre) will set up their instrument to reflect that style. A fiddler might have a flatter bridge to facilitate double stops, or a violinist might want an instrument with greater dynamic range. However, these are details that have more to do with the practical side of playing the instrument, not what its called.


by Dudley Laufman

Which came first,
the fern or the fiddle
Must have been the fiddle
poking up out of the ground
in a woodsy place No
The fern came first and they
called it a fiddlehead No
If they made the scroll on the fiddle
why didn't they call it
a fern head fiddle
No The fern came first
growing out there all alone
no name all those years
then someone scrolled
the head of a fiddle
fern gets a name
Ever eat them
the fern not the fiddle
although it must look like the fiddler
is going to eat the thing butt first
Not I, I hold fiddle on my chest
play from my heart

2008 :: Lissa Schneckenburger | website :: irislines, LLC