The fiddle is a medieval European bowed stringed musical
instrument that evolved in tenth century Europe. It could be
considered as the forerunner of the violin. It is often used as a
generic term for any bowed stringed instrument with a neck,
especially the violin.
fiddle is known as Fiedel in German and Vielle in French.
It probably evolved from the lira, an instrument much like
the Arabian rabab. There were fiddles of various sizes and shapes in
the medieval period. Whatever
the size and shape, the fiddle typically had tuning pegs set in a
flat and round shaped or heart shaped peg disk.
The violin was created in Italy. Some of the well-known early
creators of the violin were Gasparo da Salò, Andrea Amati, and
Giovanni Paolo Maggini from Italy. Like the fiddle, it has a
fretless fingerboard. The strings are hitched to tuning pegs and to
a tailpiece passing over a bridge held in place
by the pressure of the strings. The sound produced by a violin is
magnified by its belly or soundboard, which is made of pine, when the
bridge transmits the vibrations of the strings to the belly. The belly
is supported bass bar, a narrow wood bar running lengthwise and
tapering into the belly, from the underside. The belly also
contributes to the resonance of the instrument. The back of the violin
is made of maple.
There is a sound post that is located inside the violin, beneath the
treble foot of the bridge, lying between the violin’s belly and back. Made
of thin stick of pine, the sound post contributes to the typical tone of the
violin. It was this characteristic tone, its singing tone that gave violin a
special place in the musical world.
Fiddle player - Jake Krack
its original appearance, the violin too has undergone structural changes
with the passage of time. Early violins were more deeply arched in the belly
and back; the more recent ones are shallower and produce a more virile tone.
was in the nineteenth century that the violin underwent its last few
changes. The changes were prompted by the fact that auditoriums became
larger in size. Notable among the changes was that the bridge was
heightened. Besides, the sound post and bass bar were made thicker and the
body was made flatter. Giving the neck a backward angle resulted in greater
pressure on the bridge, which in turn resulted in a stronger and more
In its early days, the violin was mostly used for popular music and
dance music. In the seventeenth century, it replaced the viol as the primary
stringed instrument in chamber music. In the eighteenth century, many
celebrated composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Edvard Grieg,
Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, and Alban Berg began to write solo scores
for the violin. Other
celebrities associated with the violin include Francesco Geminiani, Joseph
Joachim, Fritz Kreisler, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern and many others.