Fiddle vs Violin – Difference and Comparison

What is Fiddle?

A violin-like instrument with strings played with a bow used to play traditional folk tunes instead of classical music is called a fiddle. It is an informal term for the violin.

It is played in all genres, including classics. According to a new grove dictionary of musicians, the fiddle is a term for a corded phone played with a bow. The fiddle in most countries is used in pop music.

Doug Droste, director of orchestral studies for the music department at Ohio State University, said the term is interchangeable; the fiddle is more slang than the violin, which is the real name of an instrument.

The fiddle plays bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, cajun and electric fiddle. A fiddle is a device with quadruple-perfect fifth-tuned strings structurally similar to the violin. The smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family is the fiddle.

A violin is called a fiddle when played in folk music. The only distinguishing thing between the fiddle and violin is the music style.

A predecessor of the modern “violin” was referred to historically by the term “fiddle.” It had four strings, like the violin, but it also came in various sizes and shapes.

What is Violin?

A violin is a wooden cord phone of the violin family. Most of the violins have hollow wooden bodies. It is a small but high-pitched instrument in regular use. It has four strings named G3, D4, A4, and E5.

It is commonly played by drawing a bow across the strings. It is also played by plucking and striking strings with fingers. It was developed in the 16th century. Violins are most prominent in western classical traditions.

Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion. The violins are associated with folk music, orchestras, symphonies, and chamber music.

Violins are used in many cultures, especially in western folk cultures, and it is increasing with time in Indian and Irani cultures. There are many kinds of violins, and it is also present in many different shapes and sizes.

Difference Between Fiddle and Violin

There is no specific difference between fiddle and violins. Perhaps the fiddle is the descendant of the violin, and the difference is how the instrument is played.

The fiddle plays the classics like bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, cajun and electric fiddle. At the same time, the violins are used to play some form of jazz or rock music.

Besides this, there are a few structural differences; one difference comes after the invention of the five-string fiddle, which is a lower fifth “C” string.

Many electric fiddles also have five-string models. Another difference is the type of strings. The classical violinist has catgut or synthetic core, and the fiddle has steel strings.

Comparison Between Fiddle and Violin

Parameter of Comparison FiddleViolin  
DefinitionA violin-like instrument with strings played with a bow used to play traditional folk tunes instead of classical music is called a fiddle.A violin is a wooden chordophone of the violin family. Most of the violins have hollow wooden bodies.
Type of Music PlayedBluegrass, folk, jazz, country, cajun, etcBluegrass, folk, jazz, or rock form of music.
Strings TypesCatgut strings are made up of sheep gut nylon or steel.Catgut strings are made up of steel.
No. of Strings5 Strings (E, A D, G, and C)4 strings (E, A D, and G)

References

  1.  Gyles, Mary Francis (January 1947). “Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned.” The Classical Journal. 42 (4): 211–17. JSTOR 3291751.
  2. ^ Reiner, David; Anick, Peter (1989). Mel Bay’s Old-Time Fiddling Across America. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7866-5381-2. Double shuffle: syncopated string crossing on a chord, with the top note changing.