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John and James Kelly


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Geoff mentioned the John and James Kelly album in another thread as a good reference for Irish rhythm. Albums that old can be hard to find, but this one is available on Itunes. It is called "Irish Traditional Fiddle Music"

 

Chris

 

 

I contacted Celtic Grooves in the States (I'm in UK) can I get it anywhere nearer home? Mind you Phillipe ws very nice and helpful but transferring money to him is quite complex. I like PayPal

 

You can try here:

 

http://www.keltiamusique.com/

 

They are in Quimper in Brittany. They've got a medium sized but fairly decent collection as far as I can tell. Unfortunately when I was there nobody who spoke English was available...

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On another -locked- thread we briefly talked about 'the Russian/box fiddle'. I had

in mind when I mentioned it. Michael Dinan is playing one of these, of his own make.

 

I couldn't find the clip at the time, as it turns out now the clip had Michael's name misspelled. Here it is, belated and all.

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On another -locked- thread we briefly talked about 'the Russian/box fiddle'. I had

in mind when I mentioned it. Michael Dinan is playing one of these, of his own make.

 

That's interesting, I'd not heard one like that referred to as a Russian fiddle before. In fact that particular style (based on Savart's design for a "rational" violin) has only been made since 1975, when Ronald Roberts published a book about it called "Making a simple Violin and Viola." (I guess Michael Dinan probably has a copy... )

 

The more usual model of "Russian fiddle" (that I was thinking of) was commercially made, in the shape of a conventional violin but without edging (so rounded on the edges, and with sharp "points").

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They called it the Roossian fiddle because of the balalaika shape I am told anyway. Michael Dinan has been making them for a long time. The first time I saw one was during the eighties when one was displayed as one of the kind Bobby Casey started on. The same display also had 'John Kelly's Hat'. You may remember it.

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The fiddle with the horn is a Stroviol, made in the era when recording was possible but violins did not have enough volume for the microphones. Whole string orchestras played Stroviol versions of their instruments.

 

Because the primary trumpet was so directional players had trouble hearing themselves. Fancier models than the one pictured had a small supplementary trumpet aimed at the players ear to rectify this, an early foldback system.

 

Stroviols are expensive now but excellent reproductions are available for about US500. I played one last Easter, excellent fun.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Ghent
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The fiddle with the horn is a Stroviol, made in the era when recording was possible but violins did not have enough volume for the microphones. Whole string orchestras played Stroviol versions of their instruments.

 

Stroh violin actually.

 

In fact you're both right. The instrument was invented by Johannes Matthias Augustus Stroh (Charles Wheatstone's collaborator, in 1871, on the "gliding-reed" symphonium) in 1899, but it was also known as a Stroviol after the firm that made them, between 1904 and 1942.

 

 

 

A friend of mine had one, they look like a great gizmo but their tone is awful.

 

A matter of personal taste perhaps? There are many (including Julia) who have been happy to play them and who (like Tom Waits) have used them on commercial recordings.

 

Of course, the Stroviol instruments (which included guitars and ukuleles) influenced the Dopyera Brothers in the United States to produce their Dobro and National guitars, that are today such a part of Country music and the Blues respectively...

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