Violin…fiddle…what’s the diff?
“Fiddle” is actually the informal name for a violin. Where are we going with this? We’ll tell you.
Fiddles and violins are pretty much identical in construction. They both have hollow, wooden bodies, they both have four strings and they both are played the same way. Where the difference comes in is the kind of music played on them.
The violin is associated with classical music, orchestras, ensembles and the Western classical tradition in general. The violin originated in 16th century Italy. Modifications during the 18th and 19th centuries gave it a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, the violin was kind of like a prototype for other stringed instruments used in Western classical music like the viola.
Fiddles are more folksy—literally. A fiddle isn’t as formal. Instead of a tux, a fiddle might wear some comfy old jeans, cowboy boots and its favorite t-shirt if it were a person. Fiddles are…instrumental in country music, Cajun music, folk music, and bluegrass.
One modern advance has kind of established a few differences between a violin in a fiddle. Fiddlers have the option of using a five-string version of the instrument. This variation was created so musicians who liked to improvise could combine the pitch ranges of violins and violas.
The components that make up a five-string violin are very similar to those found on a traditional violin. The strings are typically tuned to the pitches of C3, G3, D4, A4 and E5. The shape of the body and neck of a five string violin is very similar to a regular violin, but there are some slight differences. A five-string violin’s body can be a little wider and deeper to boost the reverberation of the C string. It also has a larger pegbox so it can hold all five strings. And a five-string violin is slightly larger than a regular violin.
The violin’s ultra-modern cousin has an electrifying presence. The electric violin first appeared in the jazz scene back in the 1920s. Electric violins were sold in the 30s and 40s, but Fender started producing them in 1958 in small amounts. It wasn’t until the 80s and 90s that electric violin manufacturers started seeing commercial success.
Electric violins are pretty much amplified like an electric guitar, but they have to be played differently to get dynamic effects. You have to use a volume pedal to produce volume swells and effects are needed to achieve unique tones. Electric violins are popular in jazz or jazz fusion, country, hip hop, metal, pop, electronic and experimental music.
Stradivarius violins are the most expensive violins in the world. Built by the Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari during the 17th and 18th centuries, these instruments are highly regarded in the world of classical music. They’re beautifully crafted and produce sounds like no other. They’ve sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars to up to $15.9 million dollars.
Whether you need a violinist or fiddler, Gig Monster can help you find the right talent. Use it to connect with gifted musicians in your area. Or, if you’re a musician who’s looking to take control of your career, create a listing so you can be discovered. Get started today at www.gigmonster.com.