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anybody played a bumfiddle?

Jack Campin 31 Aug 10 - 08:43 PM
katlaughing 31 Aug 10 - 08:57 PM
Mo the caller 01 Sep 10 - 03:02 AM
Dead Horse 01 Sep 10 - 07:27 AM
Brian May 01 Sep 10 - 07:38 AM
Mo the caller 01 Sep 10 - 09:07 AM
Jack Campin 01 Sep 10 - 12:53 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Sep 10 - 10:24 PM
open mike 02 Sep 10 - 03:18 AM
Michael 02 Sep 10 - 05:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Sep 10 - 07:09 AM
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Subject: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:43 PM

Anybody here tried a bum fiddle?

The only pictures of them I've seen were from the 18th century, and I can't see one on-line. It seems to have functioned like a washtub or tea-chest bass, but the resonator was an inflated pig's bladder - the instrument comprised a broomhandle-like stick with the string fixed to each end and the bladder sandwiched between string and stick near the bottom.

If the bladder could be replaced with something inflatable, it would be a lot more portable than a washtub bass is.

Jeremy Montagu's description is here (he cals it the "bumbass"):

http://arts.jrank.org/pages/1025/bumbass-bladder-string.html

but that seems to have hybridized with the lagerphone.

Here's a detumescent one:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3167/3064820646_3f3277956c.jpg

Other variants have been elaborated, using a banjo-like head or plastic bottle in place of the bladder.


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:57 PM

THIS GROUP in Australia plays one; perhaps they could send you a photo or more info.

And, THESE FOLKS teach children how to make them.

(I did a google search with it as one word, "bumfiddle.")


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 03:02 AM

On Monday someone turned up at the Shroppie Fly in Audlem with one (how wierd is that). He's part of the Forlorn Hope, who play good music on fiddles, hurdy gurdies etc, and have improved (painfully at times) at getting tunes out of their one string phonofiddles. He also plays something that looks like a typewriter.


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 07:27 AM

That wouldnt be two typewriters back to back with a bellows between 'em, would it?
I think they're called Malodorous or similar :-)


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Brian May
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 07:38 AM

Isn't that what liberal politicians do . . . ?


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 09:07 AM

Picture here


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 12:53 PM

I have just spent about half an hour unsuccessfully searching for a particular picture of one in use. It was from London, maybe in the 1730s, and depicted a band you'd go a long way to avoid. They were in front of a stage, maybe at a pleasure garden. The lineup included jew's harp, xylophone (or hammered dulcimer?) and bumfiddle. None of the instruments was anything as mainstream as a fiddle or flute.


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 10:24 PM

QUOTE
This principle was applied to many stringed instruments in the middle ages. One easy-to-make and [Image]popular instrument was the "bum fiddle", which was an inflated pig's bladder held tightly against a straight stick with a string, which was bowed. There wasn't a fingerboard as such, so the notes were varied by pressing against the string to tighten it. It had a rough, unmusical sound and the notes weren't particularly easy to control.
UNQUOTE

Similar to the Erhu often called the 'Chinese Violin'.


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: open mike
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 03:18 AM

what's detumescent??


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: Michael
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:20 AM

open mike; Hopefully every male posting here at the moment.

Mike


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Subject: RE: anybody played a bumfiddle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 07:09 AM

Repost - since I got in before Michael and it's vanished ...

You aren't married, are you open mike? ... :-P


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