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TITLE
Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (17 of 17)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DONALDRIDDLE_17
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Donald Riddell
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1933
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 states his preference for plain, simple fiddles. The image shows one of Donald's fiddles being constructed.

'Strad use to greatly ornament the ribs, sometimes painting on designs but mostly tedious inlay to satisfy the whim of some wealthy customer, you see. And I think that was an awful waste of time of a genius like him. During the time he did that he could have built maybe another fiddle or couple of fiddles. And I don't like over-ornamentation on a fiddle. I don't like too fancy ornamented tail pieces - as they used to have at one time - or fancy pegs with gold or silver trimmings. It's like painting the lily. I think this thing should just stand, stand or fall, on its merits'

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Donald Riddell, fiddle craftsman (17 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 states his preference for plain, simple fiddles. The image shows one of Donald's fiddles being constructed.<br /> <br /> 'Strad use to greatly ornament the ribs, sometimes painting on designs but mostly tedious inlay to satisfy the whim of some wealthy customer, you see. And I think that was an awful waste of time of a genius like him. During the time he did that he could have built maybe another fiddle or couple of fiddles. And I don't like over-ornamentation on a fiddle. I don't like too fancy ornamented tail pieces - as they used to have at one time - or fancy pegs with gold or silver trimmings. It's like painting the lily. I think this thing should just stand, stand or fall, on its merits'