minstrel: Medieval fiddling

Craig Mills cmills at hurricane.net
Tue Nov 7 14:50:06 PST 2000

Hello all, I have been lurking for a while but I do have a question. 
(or three...)

I am interested in the history of the violin (specifically fiddle
music).  I have found that the fiddle changed form many times over the
years, not just in shape but in number of strings, drone strings,
frets/non-fretted, etc.  ?? Is the viol d'gambe a predecessor of the
violin?  It is a fretted instrument, isn't it?

I am especially interested in the "period-ness" of Irish/Scottish jigs
and reels.  Especially in the "jig" or "reel" music format itself, not
specific tunes at this point.  Secondarily I find myself interested in
Scandanavian folk music, and what they were playing there pre-1600.

I don't see anything right off of the SCA minstrel page that seems to
address this specific area, maybe I'm just not seeing it.

Websites I've seen are either selling instrument kits, or talking about
performers who perform "in the style of..." or "performing medieval
pieces..."  I don't seem able to find histories of fiddle music
evolution, or if I do it's starting in 1710 or so.

Additionally, I have been told that the "Cape Breton" style of fiddling
which is growing in popularity is, in fact, not a new style at all but
is instead the ancient Scottish fiddling technique that was nearly lost
forever to Scotland when all of their fiddlers emigrated here to North

Any help would be appreciated!  Either e-mail me privately or on the
list, as in-depth, gruesome detail would appeal to me but might not be
appreciated on the bandwidth of the list proper.  

Thank you for the resource!!!
Vilfred Josefsen
Kingston, WA

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