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TITLE
Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (2 of 17)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DONALDRIDDLE_02
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Donald Riddell
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1915
KEYWORDS
fiddles
violins
violin
craft
crafts
audio

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The late, great, Donald Riddell BEM, from Kirkhill near Inverness, was a fiddler, composer, and fiddle maker. He was also a Pipe Major in the Lovat Scouts. His pupils include Duncan Chisholm, Bruce MacGregor and Iain MacFarlane.

In this audio extract, Donald recalls time spent in the house of Alexander Battan Grant, a fellow fiddle maker and composer. The image shows Donald working on a fiddle.

'In his house, a room upstair - nobody was allowed into it. Even I was never in there. He took everything down to his room and I'd spend the whole day with him assessing the relative qualities of fiddles. We'd have nine or ten fiddles down - including these Rondellos - and we'd compare the - he would play or I would play and we'd discuss the relative merits. He just brought down the - sometimes the pieces, but you didn't get up to see him working at a bench. Och, I think he made, in his lifetime, perhaps sixty or seventy, which is quite a good output, because it takes about a hundred and fifty hours to make a fiddle. You'll not make it much quicker than that, if you're turning out decent, decently finished work'

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Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (2 of 17)

1980s; 1990s

fiddles; violins; violin; craft; crafts; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Donald Riddell

The late, great, Donald Riddell BEM, from Kirkhill near Inverness, was a fiddler, composer, and fiddle maker. He was also a Pipe Major in the Lovat Scouts. His pupils include Duncan Chisholm, Bruce MacGregor and Iain MacFarlane.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract, Donald recalls time spent in the house of Alexander Battan Grant, a fellow fiddle maker and composer. The image shows Donald working on a fiddle.<br /> <br /> 'In his house, a room upstair - nobody was allowed into it. Even I was never in there. He took everything down to his room and I'd spend the whole day with him assessing the relative qualities of fiddles. We'd have nine or ten fiddles down - including these Rondellos - and we'd compare the - he would play or I would play and we'd discuss the relative merits. He just brought down the - sometimes the pieces, but you didn't get up to see him working at a bench. Och, I think he made, in his lifetime, perhaps sixty or seventy, which is quite a good output, because it takes about a hundred and fifty hours to make a fiddle. You'll not make it much quicker than that, if you're turning out decent, decently finished work'