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Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles

Flyer 01 Apr 09 - 11:30 AM
John P 01 Apr 09 - 11:41 AM
SteveMansfield 01 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 01 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 01 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 09 - 02:12 PM
Flyer 02 Apr 09 - 09:13 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 09 - 10:08 AM
Flyer 02 Apr 09 - 10:37 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 09 - 11:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Apr 09 - 11:47 AM
Flyer 02 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 09 - 01:29 PM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 09 - 01:39 PM
Flyer 02 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM
Jack Blandiver 02 Apr 09 - 02:38 PM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 09 - 12:05 AM
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Subject: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Flyer
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:30 AM

I am looking for informatin on tuning, playing etc Rebec Fiddle. May be known as another name. Other than build plans copied from an old issue of Mechanix Illustrated I cannot find any information on this instrument.

I would be welcome any sources.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: John P
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:41 AM

Did you type the word into an internet search engine?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebec

http://crab.rutgers.edu/~pbutler/rebec.html

http://www.music.iastate.edu/antiqua/rebec.htm


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM

http://crab.rutgers.edu/~pbutler/rebec.html has a whole bunch of stuff about rebecs, and a neat-looking bibliography at the bottom.

That's just the first interesting-looking hit I turned up very quickly via Google searches on 'rebec tuning', 'rebec playing' etc.

I think the problem may be that you're calling them by the wrong name, or rather concatenating the names of two historically related but disparate instruments - a 'rebec fiddle' is akin to saying a 'shawm oboe', or a 'nakers tymphani', or maybe even a 'uillean gaita'.

[I'm no rebec/violin player, so please don't give me a MudKicking if the rebec *isn't* an ancestor of the fiddle BTW]

HTH


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM

I don't know if it's any help, but there is a traditional instrument in Bulgaria called the gadulka which I believe is a relative/descendent of the rebec.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM

and here's some info on the gadulka:

http://larkinthemorning.com/article.asp?AI=26&bhcd2=1238600983


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 02:12 PM

The gadulka is really a souped- up Turkish classic kemence or Cretan lyra, which may have been descended from the rebec but aren't much help in getting you back to the Middle Ages. All three use the fingernails to stop the strings, which mediaeval Western European fiddles didn;t.

Somewhere I have an early music journal article about the history of the "rebec". The problem is that the word was applied to so many different designs of small-to-middling bowed string instrument that it doesn't really have a specific meaning. Number of strings, soundbox shape, length of fingerboard all varied all over the place. If a maker sells you something and calls it a rebec, it just is.

You have to ask exactly what surviving instrument or illustration the maker is using as a model.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Flyer
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:13 AM

Thank you for the replies. The Google search worked better after I dropped the word "Fiddle".

I did find some good information, still looking for more. Anyone ever see any printed music for one?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 10:08 AM

There is no printed music for rebec. Or even manuscripts. Mediaeval music never specified an instrument. With one possible exception - a piece called "In saeculum viellatoris", i.e. a set of variations on the plainchant "In saeculum" "for the vielle player".

Timothy McGee's book of mediaeval dance music has every secular mediaeval instrumental tune known to exist.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Flyer
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 10:37 AM

So it is likley that unless one is already a fiddle player there is little hope of learning this instrument? I am just into basic folk tunes on a Mountain Dulcimer. Stumbled accross a Rebec on the net and it piqued my interest. With only three strings and a few fingerings it looked like a possibility....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:28 AM

It won't be any harder than a modern violin, and has the advantage that with mediaeval music there are less people who can tell when you're doing it wrong.

I have a Black Sea fiddle, which in the same family. I'm not very good on it but it can still be effective for the few things I do on it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:47 AM

Black Sea fiddle, which in the same family.

Just about anyway. Some years ago The Black Sea Fiddle - or Karadeniz Kemence or even Pontic Lyra - serendipitously become my instrument of choice for Traditional English (Speaking) Song & Balladry. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3FRvTDWqnM

As you can see it's a lot of fun & quite unlike any other bowed instrument in terms or ergonomics. The traditional music played on this instrument is something else of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z327lP4HGo

One thing - I haven't come across any rebec that sounds even half as good as the worst Black Sea Fiddle. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Flyer
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

It does have a nice sound, but there is even less information on the net about Black Sea Fiddles than the Rebec! Sorta' leaves me where I started. :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 01:29 PM

Hello, Flyer. If you go the Iowa State site that somebody kindly linked above, you will hear how the rebec sounds. In a word, awful.
It bears the same relationship to a mountain dulcimer that a pedal car bears to a Cadillac - a pedal car that's rusty and all out of adjustment.

I play mountain dulcimer too, and there's lots of early music that you can play on it. Look for the music of Arbeau, Praetorius, Susato, Claude Gervais and Playford. Among these, the earlier you go, the more likely the music will have been played on a rebec.

By the way, I only put three strings on my dulcimer, so that makes it halfway to a rebec right there. I believe that the double melody string is silly. I pluck my single melody string with a thumbpick so the instrument is louder and brighter.

You mentioned that the rebec is a 'possibility.' Meanwhile, your dulcimer has possibilties undreamed of in any rebec. With different strums, tunings, paces and types of music, you can play a world of music on that dulcimer.

What do I mean by 'types'? Well, I play classical, early, old time hymns, blues and vocal pieces on mine. Both major (DAA) and minor (DAG).

Thus endeth the lesson for today.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 01:39 PM

The best source of info on the Black Sea fiddle (a.k.a. Pontic lyra) in English is in Laurence Picken's book "Folk Music Instruments of Turkey". There is also a fair bit in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music.

I've got a Turkish tutor for the thing (rather minimal). I'll add a page about it to the collection of pages about little-documented-in-English instruments on my website.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Flyer
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM

Leeneia,
Thanks for the reply! I sure wish you lived next door. I could use your inspiration! Hmmm, maybe a Bowed Dulcimer! The best of both worlds!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:38 PM

My Kemence is tuned in 4ths (E, A, D) - as is traditional - it's all first position, so very easy fingering. I'm working on restoring another one right now which will be in a lower tuning, not sure what as yet as I'm planning on a bit of experimentation, but still in 4ths. Obviously what I'm doing is very basic, but effective. Despite their size, these things are bloody loud; I use a Victorian brass violin mute on mine as a matter of course. A good site is: http://www.kemence.com, although it's all in Turkish. I have various Kemence / Pontic Lyra friends on myspace too & there's any amount of footage on myspace.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM

Black Sea fiddle tuning varies all over the place. My little tutor lists Ade, Adg, DAe and EAd as possibilities. There are others. I use DGc since my singing voice is a bit lower than Sean's. For dancing, the music mainly stays within a seventh on the upper two strings.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking for information on Rebec Fiddles
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 12:05 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Jack. I wish you lived next door too.

I've seen the video of the bowed dulcimer, and I admit I'm intrigued.


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