For Sale: medieval fiddle

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whirligyg
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:42 pm

For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby whirligyg » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:15 pm

I am looking to sell a medieval fiddle, or vielle. The fiddle is ideal for a violinist as it is the same size as a violin, whilst still allowing a violinist to explore the fascinating sound world of medieval music. It is by Christoph Waidler and pictures of identical instruments can be found here: http://www.rebec.com/english/html/munich_fidel.html

This medieval fiddle is a replica of a depiction of a fiddle in a 15th century painting called "The Coronation of the Virgin" (see attached picture).

It has been enjoyed and used as part of reenactments/historical music playing.

It is in excellent condition and has been kept in this good order through visits to a local luthier.

Whilst it could be tuned to GDAE like an ordinary violin, you could also tune the strings rather more like they used to in the medieval period:
GCGD is the tuning I have tended to use (and what the current strings were bought to suit) but GDGD works well.
Players would have droned adjacent strings whilst playing melodies often - to give an effect rather like a hurdy gurdy.

The fiddle is fitted with gut strings - normal gut strings used on baroque violins would do if you wanted to string them GDAE.
The ones on the fiddle at the moment are easily obtained from the Early Music Shop or from Bridgwood and Nietzert in London, who are very kind and knowledgeable in their advice.
It also comes with a bow (a proper "bowed" shaped bow!) and a viola case has been specially modified to suit it.

Only selling because I personally play rebecs much more than the fiddle.

For more details and pictures, please do contact me.



MissLaura
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby MissLaura » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:32 pm

What makes a medieval fiddle different than a modern basic violin?



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Jack Campin
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Location: Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland
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Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby Jack Campin » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:54 pm

GDGD tuning is used for the modern violin in Arabic music.

If anybody wants a tutor on Arabic violin, I can pass it on; about 180 pages PDF in Arabic, but most of the content is in scores and diagrams so you don't need to understand the language to get most of it. I've been using it for an appropriately tuned mandolin, with pluck direction substituted for bowing - it's surprising how tricky even rather simple-looking exercises are.

(If anybody out there knows Arabic and would like to translate the headings, that would be nice).



MissLaura
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby MissLaura » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:17 pm

Is it just a downloadable copy? How can I get ahold of this? I am very interested as I only played western style violin. :)



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Jack Campin
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:26 pm
Location: Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland
Contact:

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby Jack Campin » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:31 am

I got it from a download site that no longer exists, and I've no idea where they got it. I can email it to you, three files totalling about 15Mb.

Send me a PM or email with your email address.



ThosGreen
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:39 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby ThosGreen » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:20 pm

Dear Whirlygig, is your medieval fiddle still for sale?



whirligyg
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby whirligyg » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:26 pm

In answer to your query regarding what makes a medieval fiddle different from a modern violin:

This particular medieval fiddle has a flat belly (top) and back and no soundpost which should have significant changes to the timbre of the instrument (and certainly the way in which the body of it vibrates) compared to a modern violin. In addition it doesn't have the C-bouts on either side which help with angled bowing on the top and bottom strings of a modern instrument. With some medieval (and 16th c) fiddles the body and sides would have been made out of one piece of wood, even. The shape of medieval fiddles can vary an awful lot (certainly much variation in depictions in art) - with some being rectangular, others oval, others "waisted" like this one. Some even had no fingerboard (you could "stop" the strings with your nail, like on some modern rebec-like folk instruments) or very short ones - definitely most are shorter than modern violins.

The bridge of a medieval fiddle tends to be a lot fatter, enabling you to bow three or more strings at the same time (lovely for droned accompaniments whilst you play - imagine a sound rather along the lines of a hurdy-gurdy and its close :) ) The neck certainly is a lot thicker than a modern violin (in some, 5-string fiddles, really much more so - which makes it harder for someone with small hands to get round the instrument - this may be why some people play the larger medieval fiddles (and sometimes all medieval fiddles or rebecs) vertically (like a cello or viol, but smaller!) and the angle of the fingerboard certainly less steep. What else? Well, the pegs usually fix into a flat peg box or peg board. There are numerous other small differences!



whirligyg
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby whirligyg » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:28 pm

Thank you for your interest - this instrument has now been sold, using the help of the Early Music Shop.

Best wishes!

Happy to answer any other queries about this type of instrument, though, as I have studied it for an acoustics course and was specifically interested how it differed from a modern instrument :)



ThosGreen
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:39 pm

Re: For Sale: medieval fiddle

Postby ThosGreen » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:43 pm

Thanks for replying. Pity it's been sold but never mind - I didn't really expect it to be still available after a year. However, I'd be interested to know your conclusions about the acoustics. I know they're quieter and more nasal than the modern instrument but I don't know any more than that. Is your work written up somewhere? I have some science background so I'd expect to be able to follow the outline of your discussion. Don't go to any special trouble though.

Cheers
Thomas Green




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