Hello there. My name is Johnny Violin. I have just had an interesting conversation with Monique. She told me that she selected me from all the other instruments because of my elegant looks even if I am rather old. She wanted me to play for her but lately my bow hurts me more than usual so I couldn’t.

My bow is the piece that rubs on my strings to produce music. I told Monique that it is made from a piece of carved wood and horse hair but she didn’t believe me. However, it really is true. I’m actually made from 80 pieces of wood that have been carved and varnished with great care.

Monique and I talked about my ancestors who were born in XVIth century Italy. They were created by violin makers. Today, my cousins are the first stars of symphony orchestras.

I was owned by Andy De Jarlis, a famous Manitoba fiddler. He would pick me up gently and tuck me under his chin. He took my bow and slid it over my strings to make me sing. We often played together on radio and television. I was never happier than when we would go to festivals and dances because everyone would dance and laugh joyously.

My owner was the first Canadian Read More
Hello there. My name is Johnny Violin. I have just had an interesting conversation with Monique. She told me that she selected me from all the other instruments because of my elegant looks even if I am rather old. She wanted me to play for her but lately my bow hurts me more than usual so I couldn’t.

My bow is the piece that rubs on my strings to produce music. I told Monique that it is made from a piece of carved wood and horse hair but she didn’t believe me. However, it really is true. I’m actually made from 80 pieces of wood that have been carved and varnished with great care.

Monique and I talked about my ancestors who were born in XVIth century Italy. They were created by violin makers. Today, my cousins are the first stars of symphony orchestras.

I was owned by Andy De Jarlis, a famous Manitoba fiddler. He would pick me up gently and tuck me under his chin. He took my bow and slid it over my strings to make me sing. We often played together on radio and television. I was never happier than when we would go to festivals and dances because everyone would dance and laugh joyously.

My owner was the first Canadian to win the Broadcast Music Canada Award. He wrote 200 compositions during his lifetime.

Unfortunately, Monique wanted me to play for her because she wanted to dance but no one plays me today because my owner is dead and I am very brittle on account of my age. I now live in the St. Boniface Museum.

I miss the days of my youth when I was called the "heart of the orchestra" but now it is up to my cousins to do the playing.

Signed,

Johnny Violin.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Violin

Violin: top in spruce; sides, back, neck and head in curly maple; keys in rosewood; fingerboard and tailpiece in ebony. Bow: yew, tip in ivory, tail in ebony with mother-of-pearl.

John Kuzek, Prague, Czecoslovakia
St. Boniface Museum, Canada
20th Century
Violin: 20.5x9x60 cm Bow: 2.8x1.2x75cm
© St. Boniface Museum


To begin with, I have to say that I am a lucky and privileged girl. I chose this string instrument, the violin, because I was familiar with it. I could not stay in Tangier with my aunt because I have another aunt who was a piano teacher at the Music Institute in Chefchaoun. She noticed that I liked music. When I was a little girl, whenever I heard my aunt playing the piano, I came downstairs to listen to her. I also liked watching music shows on TV. I also attended musical performances with my aunt for a period of three years. I became more curious about music so my aunt registered me at the Institute in 1997 to learn the rudiments of music and Andalusian music. Outside my course schedule, my aunt used to help me with my practice at home, three hours a day. My aunt tested my skills in Andalusian music at the voice, performance and rhythm levels. It was a very important experience. I could have learned the piano with her since she had one in her home but the violin was my favourite instrument. Since I was a little girl, I could carry the bow for a long period of time while focussing on notes and rhythm. Additionally, the violin is a small and lightweight instrument that I can take Read More
To begin with, I have to say that I am a lucky and privileged girl. I chose this string instrument, the violin, because I was familiar with it. I could not stay in Tangier with my aunt because I have another aunt who was a piano teacher at the Music Institute in Chefchaoun. She noticed that I liked music. When I was a little girl, whenever I heard my aunt playing the piano, I came downstairs to listen to her. I also liked watching music shows on TV. I also attended musical performances with my aunt for a period of three years. I became more curious about music so my aunt registered me at the Institute in 1997 to learn the rudiments of music and Andalusian music. Outside my course schedule, my aunt used to help me with my practice at home, three hours a day. My aunt tested my skills in Andalusian music at the voice, performance and rhythm levels. It was a very important experience. I could have learned the piano with her since she had one in her home but the violin was my favourite instrument. Since I was a little girl, I could carry the bow for a long period of time while focussing on notes and rhythm. Additionally, the violin is a small and lightweight instrument that I can take with me everywhere to have fun with my friends.

As an amateur and apprentice, I was not familiar with the history and evolution of the violin.

As I said, I was brought up in an environment that loves music. One of my aunts was a fan of Andalusian music; the second aunt was a student at the Institute and the third was my teacher both at home and at the Institute. So why can't I be a violin player? We used to throw family parties at home. My grandmother liked listening to musical instruments and hymns so she encouraged my aunt to organize religious gatherings where Andalusian music was played and Sufi hymns were sung. We should not forget that my aunt used to buy me, from time to time, gold jewellery (earrings) or clothes. On the cultural level, as an intellectual encouragement, my aunt bought me a violin when I graduated from the Institute. I also wanted to stand out among my classmates and be better than them. I also felt that I wanted to break into the music world.

I knew that the violin was used in Andalusian music and I played it in my practice and at musical performances. It is also used in classical music. Apart from this instrument, I haven't had the opportunity to learn about other instruments.

I do not think that the violin comes in any shape other than the one we know. However, I can say that it is widely used in Morocco because it is an instrument admired by the intelligentsia, musicians as well as the élite.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Violin2

Violin

Middle East

Andalusian Study and Research Centre

Pine
Length: 58.5 cm, Bow: 70cm
© Andalusian Study and Research Centre


The violin is a stringed instrument whose sound is produced by rubbing four strings with a bow. It is built very precisely from some 80 pieces of wood.
In XVIth century Italy, violin makers modified the viol making it into the instrument we know as the violin. It quickly found its way into the first rank of instruments in symphony orchestras. Its shape has not changed very much over the past four centuries.

This violin was made in Czechoslovakia in the XXth century after a model by Guarneri and belonged to Andy De Jarlis (born André Desjarlais), a violinist of national renown. "Fiddler" means someone who plays folk music on the violin in the popular rather than the classical tradition. This tradition borrows from the Scots, the French and the Métis and traces its origins to the time of the fur trade in the Canadian West.

Andy De Jarlis was born in Woodridge, Manitoba, in 1914. He comes from a family of Métis fiddlers. One of his ancestors, Pierre Falcon, was called the "Red River Bard". Andy De Jarlis was introduced to the violin at the age of 15. In 1934, he moved to Winnipeg and as of 1937, he was playing on Read More
The violin is a stringed instrument whose sound is produced by rubbing four strings with a bow. It is built very precisely from some 80 pieces of wood.
In XVIth century Italy, violin makers modified the viol making it into the instrument we know as the violin. It quickly found its way into the first rank of instruments in symphony orchestras. Its shape has not changed very much over the past four centuries.

This violin was made in Czechoslovakia in the XXth century after a model by Guarneri and belonged to Andy De Jarlis (born André Desjarlais), a violinist of national renown. "Fiddler" means someone who plays folk music on the violin in the popular rather than the classical tradition. This tradition borrows from the Scots, the French and the Métis and traces its origins to the time of the fur trade in the Canadian West.

Andy De Jarlis was born in Woodridge, Manitoba, in 1914. He comes from a family of Métis fiddlers. One of his ancestors, Pierre Falcon, was called the "Red River Bard". Andy De Jarlis was introduced to the violin at the age of 15. In 1934, he moved to Winnipeg and as of 1937, he was playing on Winnipeg radio accompanied by the Red River Mates. His career led him to Vancouver and then to Montreal where he appeared on television programs with his band, The Early Settlers. He returned to Winnipeg where he entertained at dances and festivals.

In 1969, he was the first Canadian to win the annual Broadcast Music Canada Inc. prize. When he died in 1975, Andy De Jarlis had more than 200 musical compositions to his credit (jigs, reels, polkas and waltzes) as well as 38 records.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

The violin is the same everywhere, faithfully constructed in the same way, made out of the same woods, in an identical shape with four strings and bowed playing technique with one exception, the ultra-modern wood and steel electronic violin that has made its presence felt even in Arab and classical music. There are many music conservatory students who are interested in the violin because of its great range and difficulty. Piano, guitar or percussion players, mainly tar and darbuka players, cannot play the violin because it is extremely difficult. Players need to start to learn how to play it when they are very young. It is worth noting as well that playing the violin requires considerable levels of energy because it must be carried on the shoulder and the hand and arm must be raised to play it. It also requires intense concentration and very sensitive ears to hear the tone of the instrument.

The oldest violin in the world was found in India along with its bow and dates Back to some 5,000 years BC. The "Ravaston" is a well-known model with two or three strings. In the first century AD, the Arabs invented the four-stringed rabab which developed in the Maghreb a Read More

The violin is the same everywhere, faithfully constructed in the same way, made out of the same woods, in an identical shape with four strings and bowed playing technique with one exception, the ultra-modern wood and steel electronic violin that has made its presence felt even in Arab and classical music. There are many music conservatory students who are interested in the violin because of its great range and difficulty. Piano, guitar or percussion players, mainly tar and darbuka players, cannot play the violin because it is extremely difficult. Players need to start to learn how to play it when they are very young. It is worth noting as well that playing the violin requires considerable levels of energy because it must be carried on the shoulder and the hand and arm must be raised to play it. It also requires intense concentration and very sensitive ears to hear the tone of the instrument.

The oldest violin in the world was found in India along with its bow and dates Back to some 5,000 years BC. The "Ravaston" is a well-known model with two or three strings. In the first century AD, the Arabs invented the four-stringed rabab which developed in the Maghreb and travelled through the Indian peninsula to Europe where it was called the viola. The current violin is quite different from classical viols or the viola de gamba. The first representatives of the violin family appeared at the beginning of the 16th century and were called viola da braccio. A new development arrived in the 17th century in the form of a smaller instrument with four strings called violino in Italian, violon in French and violin in English.

The violin is held with the left hand and supported on the left shoulder. The right hand is used to hold the bow. This is in contrast with popular Moroccan tradition in which the instrument is held on the thigh in an upright position. The violin has four strings tuned in fifths. A higher and more rounded bridge can take higher string tension. It has a smooth fingerboard terminating in a pegbox. The sides of the sound box are highly curved forming the letter "C" with pronounced corners and the Back and top are slightly arched.

The quality of the instrument reflects the quality of the wood used to make the sound box, the mastery of the maker over his craft and respect for the very precise relationship between shapes and materials. From the beginning, the Tyrol area of northern Italy was renowned for making violins. The Amati was the most famous family of violin makers in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century, the Cremona School that included the Guarneri and Stradivari families brought violin-making to a level that is still unequalled. Until the present day, they remain the benchmarks for quality and perfection. The violin still holds a special place in music. Its power over the emotions makes the violin the king of all instruments for translating feelings and sentiments. The German 19th century poet Heinrich Heine said it best when commenting on the musical season of 1843, "The violin is an instrument which has almost human caprices, and which is, so to speak, in sympathetic relation to the artist. The least discomfort, the slightest mental trouble, a breath of feeling, manifests itself in a prompt and direct echo, which may well come from this, that the violin is pressed so closely to the breast, and catches the beatings of our hearts".

The violin is used so often today as a solo instrument or in an orchestra that it is difficult to believe how much scorn was heaped on it for three quarters of a century. In the 16th century, the violin was considered to be noisy, shrill and good only for making tavern customers dance. The first examples of music written especially for the violin come from Italy and include concerti for six to 16 voices by Giovanni Gabrieli (1587) and Orfeo de Monteverdi (1607).

The violin plays an important role in symphony orchestras in a variety of musical compositions including concerti with orchestra, sonatas, overtures, suites, classical dances and chamber music. In Morocco, the violin is used to play al-Ala or Andalusian music and malhoun or popular poetry, Andalusian music and the malhoun are taught according to strictly defined principles as part of Morocco’s cultural and musical heritage, along with their various scales, modes, noubas and beats.

Moreover we know that the violin is very often used to play traditional popular music, Arab and Berber folk dances as well as a variety of contemporary Moroccan music.


© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Violin: Audio

Violin: Audio

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Centre des recherches et études andalouses, Centre des musiques arabes et méditerranéennes Ennejma Ezzahra, Musée de la musique, Laboratoire de recherche des musiques du monde, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Musée d'art et d'archéologie de l'Université d'Antananarivo, Musée ethnographique Alexandre Sènou Adande, Musée national du Mali, St. Boniface Museum, Lycée de langues étrangères Alexandre Dumas, Museum of the Romanian Peasant

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Understand that music is an expression in all cultures
  • Understand that the relationship between personal feelings and music transcends borders and cultures
  • Develop respect for music from a variety of cultural contexts
  • Examine traditional music practices in selected Francophone countries
  • Demonstrate geographical awareness by identifying Francophone countries
  • Be aware of the musical contributions of various cultural groups in their own community
  • Understand that all world music can be organized within a standard classification system

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