by Kim Kuhn
Let's talk violins, shall we. During the early part of the Baroque era, the 1600's viol instruments were being made which had six or more strings and also included frets. However, by the late 1600's instrument makers were producing violins, violas and cellos. These instruments all had only four strings and no frets. On a violin, you can pluck the strings with your fingers or play a bow across them. It's sound is familiar to most people and much of the music that is played on it is also familiar.
By the way, if you're wondering what the difference between a fiddle and a violin is. The answer is none. The style of playing may be different, but the actual instrument is the same.
Instead of composers, here is a list of contemporary violinists/fiddlers.
You can listen to them on youtube or get their cds at the library.
Vanessa Mae - Her Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Ludwig van Beethoven is electrifying. Maybe it's because she is on her electric violin. Most of her electric violin music is very upbeat, sometimes jazzy. This music is great for cleaning around the house.
Joshua Bell - His music is very much like the pure classical style, and hey, this violinist is young and good looking.
Regina Carter - Regina is a jazz violinist. Most people don't associate the violin with jazz so in a lot of ways she's a pioneer with her music.
Charlie Daniels - OK, he's not really thought of as a virtuoso on the violin, but he's a great fiddle player. Listen to his fiddle playing and see what you think.