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TITLE
Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (12 of 17)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DONALDRIDDLE_12
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Donald Riddell
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1926
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 describes how he achieves the correct pitch for his fiddles. The image shows some of Donald's workshop tools.

'Now the one thing about a fiddle - a good instrument - it's been discovered that all the fine old Italian violins that are, the capacity of air inside the body of the fiddle - which of course has a vibration ratio - it vibrates at 256 cps (cycles per second). That is 'C' on the piano, providing the piano's the right pitch. And the way I calculate if I've got the right pitch is I put my lips close to one of the 'F' holes, or sound holes, and make a chromatic slide, up the way. Whenever it hits the frequency of the vibrating air there's a rebound, a resonance comes into it, and then you can just hold that and refer to it with the piano and it's got to be exactly that. For example, you see, this is, this is how it's done - mmmooooo' - and that is 'C'

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Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (12 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 describes how he achieves the correct pitch for his fiddles. The image shows some of Donald's workshop tools.<br /> <br /> 'Now the one thing about a fiddle - a good instrument - it's been discovered that all the fine old Italian violins that are, the capacity of air inside the body of the fiddle - which of course has a vibration ratio - it vibrates at 256 cps (cycles per second). That is 'C' on the piano, providing the piano's the right pitch. And the way I calculate if I've got the right pitch is I put my lips close to one of the 'F' holes, or sound holes, and make a chromatic slide, up the way. Whenever it hits the frequency of the vibrating air there's a rebound, a resonance comes into it, and then you can just hold that and refer to it with the piano and it's got to be exactly that. For example, you see, this is, this is how it's done - mmmooooo' - and that is 'C'