What is the difference between a violin and fiddle?



okay well the big question of the hour

it's on everybody's lips what's the

difference between a fiddle and a violin

I'm here at the artists works school of

Allmusic here we're at the world

headquarters I'm recording some more

lessons for my fiddle school and just

flying out here on the plane I was

traveling with my pillowcase and I'm the

guy behind me said hey I got a question

for you what's the difference between a

fiddle and a violin well I think that

most people know the joke the best joke

about the difference between a fiddle

and violin is that nobody cares if you

spill beer on a fiddle but technically

there is no actual difference there you

know there's no law that says that you

can only play country music no matter

what country on a fiddle and you can

only play Western European art music on

a violin a violin as a fiddle you can

play any kind of music on any instrument

that's that's the truth any boat

instrument you know so that's really

it's just about the style and I know

many very wonderful professional

classical musicians violinists that do

occasionally refer to their instrument

as a fiddle

it's just a term of endearment really

it's just this that's all fiddle and

there are it comes of course from a

German word meaning fiddle violin same

thing and so it's really they're

interchangeable now that said there are

some loose definitions if you are

playing music

from sheets if you playing dots if

you're reading oh oh that's the wrong

note there I do there was a smudge on

the paper so much better that would be

considered I suppose violin playing

generally these are very loose

definitions but if you're just playing

by ear if you're playing dance music if

you're playing any kind of music that's

meant to be

danced to or just enjoyed what style by

the Celtic country you know Brazilian

you know any kind of you know Swedish

fiddle music that's fiddling where are

you playing you might be playing

something this worked out

set in stone but you're playing it by

ear you're playing it from memory or you

might be making it up jazz violin you're

still making up your solo right but jazz

fiddle you're still making up your solo

so it's just you know it's it's very

loose definition but I would say the

fiddle is anything that's sort of

vernacular it's not you know that you

can tap your foot to you can you know

move your shoulders up and down to you

not get funny looks from people so yeah

some fiddles might have a little flatter

bridge you can see that the bridge is

curved so that you can get to each

string without getting in the way of the

other strings many fiddles have a

flatter bridge a lot of fiddles are

pretty beat up but I know a lot of

beautiful violins that are also pretty

beat up for hundred-year-old violence

they've been around they've got

you've scratches and they sound fine so

again you know the definitions are loose

but any fiddle can be a violin and any

violin can be a fiddle depending on the

player and what they're doing and what

the gig is so that's my answer

so if you want to know about this issue

and a lot more come hang out at the

artists works school of fiddle that's my

online fiddle school artist works calm

and I've got interviews and all kinds of

lessons and all kinds of information

about the fiddle the violin and

everything in between including the bow