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England's National Musical-Instrument?

Strawman 15 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 11:52 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Feb 09 - 11:24 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 09:58 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 09:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Feb 09 - 09:18 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 22 Dec 08 - 03:55 PM
Gervase 22 Dec 08 - 01:32 PM
Sleepy Rosie 22 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM
Will Fly 22 Dec 08 - 01:13 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Dec 08 - 12:51 PM
Nerd 22 Dec 08 - 12:35 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM
Gervase 21 Dec 08 - 05:24 AM
catspaw49 20 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 20 Dec 08 - 05:03 PM
Don Firth 19 Dec 08 - 07:36 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Dec 08 - 04:42 PM
Don Firth 19 Dec 08 - 01:59 PM
Gervase 19 Dec 08 - 01:15 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 19 Dec 08 - 12:33 PM
catspaw49 16 Dec 08 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Smokey 16 Dec 08 - 03:27 PM
Nerd 16 Dec 08 - 03:15 PM
catspaw49 16 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM
Gervase 16 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM
Don Firth 16 Dec 08 - 12:50 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Dec 08 - 12:28 PM
Nerd 15 Dec 08 - 02:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Dec 08 - 01:07 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Dec 08 - 12:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 03:25 PM
s&r 14 Dec 08 - 02:01 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 14 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Woody 14 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM
Nerd 13 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Dec 08 - 05:22 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Dec 08 - 07:05 PM
s&r 12 Dec 08 - 06:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Dec 08 - 04:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Dec 08 - 03:55 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Dec 08 - 03:47 PM
Jack Campin 12 Dec 08 - 02:04 PM
Will Fly 12 Dec 08 - 01:42 PM
Don Firth 12 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM
Don Firth 12 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM
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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Strawman
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM

Vic's earliest TV appearances were One Hour With Jonathan Ross in the Knock Down Ginger game show segment on C4 in 1989.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 11:52 AM

Can't recall the exact year at school - maybe around the fourth or the fifth year? But I do recall it being a general buzz amongst my little bunch of mates, that *at last* there was something really funny on telly!


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 11:24 AM

I don't think Vic Reeves was ever on TV before the Big Night Out. The BNO started as Jim "Vic Reeves" Moir's stage show, which began in a pub back room (and without Bob "Bob Mortimer" Mortimer).


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:58 AM

Oh no, now I'm sunk deep.

Mulligan and O'Hare In which their fine rendition of "Another day in Paradise" should be of particular interest to ethnomusicologists everywhere.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM

Oops, think I'm getting "Big Night Out" muddled with "Friday Night Live" (later "Saturday Night Live")


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:43 AM

I was debating where they began on telly with my fella the other day.
The first time I remember seeing them, was on "Friday Night Out"


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 09:18 AM

Sorry about this, but on our jaunt over the Pennines yesterday we caught an episode of the new Does the Team Think? with the ever wonderful Vic Reeves. Quite a result for seasoned Vic & Bob fans such as Rapunzel & I (who didn't even know it existed) and all the more so when the subject of England's National Musical Instrument raised its ugly head. Listen again at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hjdnn/Does_The_Team_Think_Episode_5/


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:55 PM

Months ago, I sometimes didn't bother logging in - hence the "Guest Walkaboutsverse" way above - but nowadays I always do; so would the one who rencently posted as "Guest Walkaboutsverse" like to own up - while we are at it/before the new year..?


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Gervase
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:32 PM

Entertaining gibberish, though. As the sainted Kelvin McKenzie was wont to say, "It might be shit, but at least it's shit with a shine!"
And it's nice to have some distraction from WAV's witless witterings.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

Was that Richard Bridge again describing your style as something akin to "concentrated gibberish"?


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:13 PM

I quite like "Troll the Ancient Yuletide Carol" - it has a certain ring to it. Perhaps not "Carol", for short, though...


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:51 PM

I can assure you the name change is temporary; I do it as I don my Father Christmas hat and deck the halls with boughs of holly & suchlike festive jollity.

Will Insane Beard be back? Not sure - I rather fancy Deputy Seraph in the new year. Of course before IB I was (& am) Sedayne, so maybe I'll go back to that...

Don't be dismayed, according to one Mudcatter my posts are recognisable no matter what name I go by.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:35 PM

Hmmm, it looks as if the Catter Formerly Known As Insane Beard has changed his handle to Troll the Ancient Yuletide Carol. I didn't know this would result in a retroactive changing of his handle on all his previous posts. Thus, when in the future people read this thread and see me responding to "Insane Beard" or "IB," they might be confused. Hence, this post!


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

and "English horn," or "cor anglais"

As I posted last year on the original Walkaboutsverse thread (10th December 2007, 4.53 am)

A NORTHUMBRIAN MIDDLE-SCHOOL EPIPHANY (To be Sung to a Gelinaeu Psalm-Tone)

When I was nine in 1970,
I played Melchior in the school nativity;
and I banged a big frame-drum from Bethlehem,
brought back from a Holy Land holiday by Miss Morrison,
who showed me some choice cyclic Arabic rhythms,
that have been with me ever since.

Miss Morrison played upon a shawm,
because she played the English Horn;
though that is only what the Yanks, in their funny way,
call the instrument we Brits know as the Cor Anglais.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Gervase
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:24 AM

I can probably give you Pat's address, and can tell you what his house looks like, WAV. There's no mystery about that man (apart, perhaps, from the vagaries of his digestive system). And the same goes for most posters here; over time everyone opens up and shares more about themselves and becomes an integral part of what has become a real community. Apart, that is, from you - who has stuck to the same crap like a stuck record.
And I use my own name here - the one I was given by my parents. When you get an insult from me, you know it's from me. If you're curious (a trait that does seem to be lacking in your make-up) a quick search here and a bit of Googling will tell you all you need to know.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM

First, I have never taken a cheap shot at you. I've infused every one with value!!!

Next up Wavy........I've been here for 10 years and everyone has easy access to my name, address, phone number, e-mail......Hell, there were even CAT-scans of me posted at one point so there is nothing anonymous about me.

Several kind folks on this forum have told me that you're entitled to your say......and they're right! You've been having it ad infinitum and as Gervase correctly points out, nothing is new with you and every link goes to your sites of assorted amounts of weirdness.

Your type of bigot though needs to be countered and many here have tried as well as the many who have tried to help you in your other works. Some, like me, are just tired of your "pusillanimous claptrap" which screams bigot in every way. You live off the public dole and blame others for your state of affairs. Your logic is faulty and your premises are those of the racist and bigot. This is not a put down or an attack but simply the truth as I see it.

Have a nice day.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:03 PM

Gervase: nothing wrong with using an anonymous web-nickname - but hiding behind it and taking cheap-shots is cowardly, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:36 PM

I have been listening to classical music radio stations all of my life, and I have worked several years as an announcer for two such stations. I have never heard any announcers (some of whom had been professional musicians), ever refer to the violin as an "Italian violin," nor have I ever heard any of them refer to a tenor recorder as an "English flute." Nor did I ever do so myself.

Also—I studied classical music for three years at the University of Washington School of Music and two years at the Cornish School of the Arts (basically, a conservatory) and I never heard any national designation used by either professors or students for any musical instrument.

With the exception of "French horn," which is actually a German horn, referred to in the English language, erroneously, as a "French horn;"   and "English horn," or "cor anglais" which is neither English (it, too, originated in Germany) nor a horn. It is a double-reed woodwind.

When I was in school, one or two people did refer to my classical guitar as a "Spanish guitar" (mainly in an effort to distinguish the nylon-string classical guitar from the steel-string guitar or the electric guitar), but the "Spanish" guitar I was using at the time was made by C. F. Martin & Co. of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

I currently own four guitars. Two of them actually came from Spain. One of them is a classic and the other is a flamenco, both made in Madrid. I also have a very fine classic guitar which was made in Japan. And a small nylon-string travel guitar made in San Diego, California.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:42 PM

"And, of course, the announcer called them 'the Italian fiddle' and 'the English flute', didn't she?" (Gervase)...I don't recall the few instruments used for accompaniment being introduced

Lord help us, WAV, are you actually incapable of answering a straight question?

Do you think it's likely that the announcer would refer to them as 'the Italian fiddle' and 'the English flute'?


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:59 PM

Considering their variegated origins, not to mention all the cultures and circumstances in which these instruments are played, a person who persists in referring to a violin as an "Italian fiddle" and a tenor recorder as an "English flute" is either grossly ill-informed or downright dim-witted. It also indicates a mind that can't handle multiple concepts without a whole wall of arbitrary pigeon holes in which to keep old ideas and to place any new ideas that come along, whether they fit in any of them or not. If you have misfiled a lot of things, which you most certainly have, David, the whole system breaks down.

Time to clear the slate, dump the rubbish out of the pigeon holes, and do a serious re-think.

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, do you ever read anything other than your own writings? I think you have what computer engineers refer to as a "feedback loop" there, in which the same data keeps recycling. It's also one of those things that they refer to generally as a "glitch." And then, of course, there is the acronym "GIGO:    "Garbage In, Garbage Out."


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Gervase
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:15 PM

Yawn - WAV makes a link. And guess where it goes - straight to his inane website.
Mr Franks, the purpose of putting a link is for elucidation. Yours always go to your own websites, where one finds the same drivel, only in much larger quantities.

I would have though, as a workshy, benefit scrounging immigrant, you might be able to find the time to educate yourself better. The Open University is a good start - you could take a foundation course in the humanities (as clearly your claimed 'degree in the humanities' taught you nothing) and then work up to a proper degree.

Then one of two things might happen - you may stop believing in and spouting crap, or you may be able to find an intelligent way to try to justify your belief in crap. Either would be preferable to the current scenario, whereby you come out with a fatuously incorrect statement, and then simply post a link to your witterings which just makes you look more of a fool.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:33 PM

The infantile attacks from Catspaw, who has also used the term "white boy", should be deleted.
"And, of course, the announcer called them 'the Italian fiddle' and 'the English flute', didn't she?" (Gervase)...I don't recall the few instruments used for accompaniment being introduced; I do recall how a lot of that performed was American culture, rather than our own hymns and, SEASONAL, carols. And, again, I must stress the difference here between being anti-American and anti-Americanistion - we should all love our world being multicultural.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:28 PM

Okay....Wait up here......Don't want to do that Nerd so I take it back...........Wavy isn't a limpdick jadrool.....He still posts limpdick jadrool bullshit but I will henceforth take my place behind my main Man Gervase and refer to it as pusillanimous claptrap.

Best As Always (;<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:27 PM

Some of us may develop a slightly glazed look upon entering a music shop..


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:15 PM

See, I try to calm everybody down, and then Spaw comes in and whips 'em up again. Gotta love the 'cat!


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM

......pusillanimous claptrap......

Damn.....Ain't that beautiful? I love a true and professional wordsmith. Pusillanimous Claptrap. I'm always in awe of the great ones and Gervase has many times been my hero...........Just beautiful!

I mean, shitfire......I'd have said something like "limpdick jadrool bullshit" but it has nowhere near the character to it. You ARE the MAN Gervase..................and Wavy is a limpdick jadrool.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Gervase
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM

And, of course, the announcer called them 'the Italian fiddle' and 'the English flute', didn't she?
WAV, you really are a stubborn arse at times. If you put half as much effort into your music as you do into the pusillanimous claptrap you post here you'd be half decent.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:50 PM

". . . the Italian fiddle/violin was used - as was the English flute/recorder."

You could tell by their accents, of course?

Don Firth

P. S. Why the hell does it matter!??


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:28 PM

On the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year, the other night, the Italian fiddle/violin was used - as was the English flute/recorder.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Nerd
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:11 PM

I see what IB is saying, and he is right: nowadays, in common English usage, especially in UK standard English, "the fiddle" means the violin. That is what the dictionary should, and indeed does, list as the primary definition.   

Some of the caveats, which IB acknowledges, and which WAB thinks are quite important, are

(1) this has not always been the case (the word "fiddle" being older than the violin)

(2) music specialists use "fiddle" in a broader sense to mean "bowed lute," so from this perspective there are many "fiddles" in many different cultures.

So, does anyone still disagree? If so, how does it affect our wider discussion of musical Englishness and English musicality ?


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 01:07 PM

In common English usage a fiddle is always a violin. If someone says I play the fiddle they mean they play the violin - it is the only instrument to have this name in this sense. Confusingly fiddle is also a category of ethnomusicological reference for bowed chordophones, so such instruments from other cultures are both classified as fiddles and are referred to as such informally (and ethnocentrically - i.e. Chinese Fiddle, Black Sea Fiddle, Cactus Fiddle, Spike Fiddle, Horse Head Fiddle etc.) but never simply as the fiddle, and certainly not by the musicians who play them in their mother cultures.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 12:26 PM

So when you said, "but a fiddle is always a violin" (IB, above), you didn't mean it.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM

PS - I also play the monochordal Gusle, one of two instruments that get called Horse-Head Fiddles, the other being the Mongolian Morin Khuur. Both traditionally have strings made of twisted horse-hair, both have carved horse heads as an integral part of the design, neither would be called the fiddle by an English speaker.

This looks like an interesting read, but at $95 for a mere 188 pages I'll put it on my car-boot wish list.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:25 PM

To twisting IB - it was you, not I, who failed to recognize all the many fiddles, through time and place, other than the violin...

Classic stuff, WAV! I recognise all manner of fiddles - I play a lot of them myself: Erhu, Karadeniz Kemence, Crwth, Crowd, Rabab, Rebec, Violin, Kemane, Jouhikko, Talharp... all of which might be described as fiddles by way of ethnomusicological taxonomical shorthand but are not called fiddles in their mother cultures. The Karadeniz Kemence, for example, is often referred to as a Black Sea Fiddle, but only by Engish speakers - it's proper & correct name is Karadeniz Kemence.

Is this beginning to sink in yet? Fiddle in this context is a taxonomical category, not the proper name of an instrument. However, when English speaking people say they play the fiddle, they mean they play the violin.

Now, go back and actually read my many posts on this subject, all of them in response to the warped ethnocentric misconception that is your Playing THE fiddle? rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: s&r
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:01 PM

Gene Krupa with drumsticks on the bass viol

Is it folk?

Stu


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM

To twisting IB - it was you, not I, who failed to recognize all the many fiddles, through time and place, other than the violin...

"but a fiddle is always a violin" (IB, above)..."that's ethnocentric - if not fiddlesticks! And, if you check an encyclopedia of music rather than a general dictionary, you'll soon find instruments much earlier than the violin described as a fiddle" (me, above).


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

For another ethnocentric definition of Fiddle see Here. Easy to see why such misconceptions abound with this sort of bullshit being offered out in the guise of information. I came across this in a Google search for a Native American (Apache?) instrument I only know as Cactus Fiddle in the hope of finding out what it's actually called. A picture Here says it's known as the wood that sings and probably was inspired by the violins the settlers brought with them...

More, anyone???


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM

Ethnomusicologists use the term fiddle as informal taxonomical shorthand for bowed chordophone, at least those of a spike or lute based variety; as far as I know, no bowed-lyre (crwth, jouhikko, talharp etc.) has ever been called a fiddle, though there is a bowed Icelandic zither called a fidla. Whatever the case, an Erhu is an Erhu, not an Erhu Fiddle.

As well as bass fiddle for double bass (more of a viol than a violin?) I've heard bull fiddle. I've also heard hog fiddle for Appalachian Dulcimer, which has occasionally (traditionally?) been played with a bow, as is the Icelandic langspil from which it (partly) derives.

So back to WAV's Playing THE fiddle rhetoric (which he regurgitates whenever the word fiddle is mentioned) for a man who loves a multi-cultural WORLD, his patronising ethnocentricity in this respect would appear as misplaced as his professed faith in one of the worlds more culturally oppressive religions. All part of God's plan no doubt...


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM

Certainly "experts" in different parts of the world may use the word "fiddle" in different ways. However I'd suggest it likely that if you walk up to somebody in an English street and ask them what a fiddle is, they'll probably think of a violin.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Nerd
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM

Great stuff, IB. I once did a long interview with Daniel Hamar of Muszikas, who plays the Gardon as well as cello, bass and other instruments.

I also once interviewed the guys in Lo Jai. Guy Bertrand used to play a big string tabor in that group, essentially like the tambourin de Bearn mentioned by Jack.

My own feeling is that fiddle is a word much older than the violin proper, and with wider meaning than "violin." Because the violin is by far the most common bowed stringed instrument, "fiddle" almost always means "violin" in ordinary usage. But not always--I have mentioned "bass fiddle" as a common American expression for the double bass.

Ethnomusicologists don't have any problem using "fiddle" to mean, generically, "bowed lute," as in this passage from the University of Michigan's Instrument Encyclopedia here:

As part of the generic "lute" family, there are two basic types of rebab: wooden fiddles with pear-shaped or elongated bodies, and spiked fiddles, named for the extension or spike on the bottom of the instrument on which it stands when played. Generally, both styles have 2 or 3 gut or other strings. Spike-fiddle rebabs used in the Javanese gamelan are made from wood, or sometimes from a hollowed, half coconut shell covered with hide. This body is attached to a long, narrow wooden neck which has no frets; instead, the fingers of your left hand become moveable bridges. These instruments ornament the melodic line, creating a dialogue with the singers.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:22 AM

I'm counting 6 on both of them, hitting the emphasis on 1 & 3. The second part of the second one seems to resort to 4, counting 1,2,3, like the Breton Andro.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:05 PM

What time was that second one in? I reckon the first one (that people were dancing to!) was 11/8, but I could be wrong. I couldn't even count the second one - it wouldn't stay still long enough.

These peasants know more than they're letting on...


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: s&r
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:11 PM

1901

Bugger

Stu


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:26 PM

Here they are again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEUbIBn1CH8

Beautiful, beautiful music!


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:55 PM

Going back a bit:

Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Insane Beard - PM
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:37 PM

Fiddle is and anciently ubiquitous word with many derivations as can be proven, but to call an Erhu a Chinese Fiddle is to miss the point rather, though ethnomusicolists would no doubt call it a category of spike-fiddle, this is by way of taxonomy rather than naming per-se.

But then again, I've seen the Sanxian described as a Chinese Banjo, and, more absurdly, the Sheng as a Chinese Mouthorgan.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:47 PM

"but a fiddle is always a violin" (IB)...that's ethnocentric - if not fiddlesticks!

Not in the slightest, WAV. Fiddle is an informal English word (however so derived) meaning violin. It is ethnocentric to apply the word fiddle to the bowed stringed instruments of other cultures, as you have done, for whatever reason.

Thanks, Nerd for the expansions. I was going to mention the gardon of Gyimes - see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXuRrG4wmUo


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 02:04 PM

Beating stringed instruments with sticks is done in several regions of Europe. The tambourin de Bearn (from the Basque Country) is a sort of minimal dulcimer used to beat out a single chord. The gardon (from Transylvania) is a kind of agricultural cello tuned in unison - three of the strings are hit with a heavy stick, the fourth is lighter and plucked. These both play lower than a violin, though.

I've never heard the erhu called a violin. It's generically known as a "spike fiddle", and it's useful to keep the terms separate since it is sometimes used along with the Western violin, both in China and in the Middle East (which adopted both instruments).

Turkish music has a particular problem keeping fiddle/violin terms straight since there are no less than four different kinds of them in common use.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:42 PM

OK - let's dance on the pinhead...

And, if you check an encyclopedia of music rather than a general dictionary, you'll soon find instruments much earlier than the violin described as a fiddle. (WAV)

You're missing a vital semantic distinction, here, David. Many instruments have been labelled with the general term "fiddle", but they are not themelves actual fiddles or part of what we know as the fiddle family. The term has been used loosely to describe a general category of stringed instruments played with a horsehair bow. The fact that they have been labelled "fiddles" as a general semantic term doesn't make them phyically part of the actual fiddle family.

It's similar to a sax player referring to his instrument as a "horn". It's a general term, but the instrument is not an actual horn. The Memphis Horns are a famous soul backing section, but there isn't a real orchestral horn in sight - the group is made up of saxes, trumpets, etc.


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM

". . . ethnocentric."

What's ethnocentric about it?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: England's National Musical-Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM

Why do I get the distinct impression that this argument over "fiddle" and "violin" is about as significant as the old theological argument about how many angels can dance on the point of a pin? Even less, in fact.

With the angels/pin argument, at least the bone of contention was whether or not angels have substance. If they do, then only one angel can dance on the point of a pin. If angels have no substance, then it could be an infinite number.

Theologians way back when used to spend a lot of time and energy on that argument. Did all their efforts accomplish anything?

How many flamenco dancers can dance on a violin? On a fiddle?

Inquiring minds want to know. . . .

Don Firth


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