Margaret's comment:

When I'm playing duets with Andy's nsp, I always tune down. For me, I've
spent a long time trying to find the right fiddle and strings so it doesn't
sound like a kipper-box (or I hope it doesn't) when tuned lower.

made me think, what about baroque violinists? Specialist baroque orchestras and soloists play at A=415 or a semitone lower than modern standard pitch and very occasionally even lower. This is getting on for low enough to play with standard-pitch Northumbrian pipes. Proper baroque violins have the neck set at a flatter angle than ordinary modern violins/fiddles (neck angle was increased in the 19th cent. among other things to enable higher string tension - louder tone). 18th century classical technique had a lot more in common with the playing styles of traditional music than modern classical technique does e.g. bow-hold, sometimes playing with fiddle held lower, using first position and open strings more etc. - and generally it was less high-tension than modern violin playing. This doesn't mean it lacks life, and good baroque violinists certainly don't sound as if they're playing on a kipper-box strung with knicker elastic. Would using specialist baroque-violin gut strings on a standard fiddle make for better results at the lower pitch?
Just some thoughts from a non-string player, so excuse any ignorance shown!

To get on or off this list see list information at

Reply via email to