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Playing Since: 1969

Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Magazine editor

Gender: Male

Age: 54

My Instruments:
French violin, late 18th Century, likely the work of the Parisian luthier Benoit Fleury. Back and neck are more recent replacements, although the scroll is original. Also have a mediocre instrument, a third one that's a bit of a beater, and a viola and quarter-size violin that came with my wife when we got married.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Vassar Clements, Byron Berline, Chubby Wise, Scotty Stoneman, Michael Cleveland, Mark O'Conner, Kenny Baker, Richard Greene, J.S. Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Joshua Bell, Rachel Barton Pine, the original Bluegrass Boys, the Stanley Bros., Jesse McReynolds, The Baroque Band--jeez, I could go on and on.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 6/14/2009
Last Visit 11/28/2014


Responding to the eternal question

Monday, September 7, 2009 @1:59:59 PM

I was at a string jam at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago last Friday night when a banjo player asked me the eternal question:

"Do you call that a violin or a fiddle?"

After deliberating for a moment, I responded, "I call it both, at different times, just as I sometimes call my wife Elizabeth and sometimes call her sweetheart."

8 comments on “Responding to the eternal question”

OTJunky Says:
Monday, September 7, 2009 @2:55:28 PM

As good an answer as I've heard - and better than most...

Rene Says:
Monday, September 7, 2009 @4:19:26 PM

Good clever answer.
mudbug Says:
Monday, September 7, 2009 @4:38:37 PM

Maybe this is how they determine if they're going to allow someone to stay and jam. If you had answered "violin", they probably would have shown you the door. As it was, you confused him so much he let you stay.
fiddlepogo Says:
Monday, September 7, 2009 @6:47:26 PM

I called it a violin when I was in the shop buying it.
Now it's a fiddle.
If I ever sell it, it'll turn back into a violin!!!
bj Says:
Monday, September 7, 2009 @7:52:43 PM

Mine are all fiddles . . . up until I ever want to sell any of them, as Michael has said.
Cyndy Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @5:06:30 AM

I went to the fiddle workshop at Old Town on Sunday and someone asked if Finnish has a word similar to "fiddle." I think the answer was yes, although I don't quite remember what it was. And then someone else observed that we rarely, if ever, hear guitars or banjos or the like called anything but "guitar" or "banjo." I think it's because of the unique and wonderful relationships we develop with our violins. I often call mine "beloved fiddle" and it's every bit as heart-felt as it sounds.
frogeyes Says:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 @7:26:22 PM

I use both fiddle and Violin depending on the stule of music that is being played classical , Jazz etc for violin bluegrass Irish i call it a fiddle i believe its the style of music you are playing as to what it should be called
worldfiddler Says:
Sunday, February 7, 2010 @2:27:41 PM

Well, people like Itzak Perlman usually refer to their instruments as "fiddles", possibly because they are ashamed of how much they paid for them :)

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