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1. a violin played as a folk instrument
2. Nautical a small railing around the top of a table to prevent objects from falling off it in bad weather
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a stringed instrument, played with a bow. The fiddle was used from the eighth to the mid-14th century in Western Europe by itinerant musicians. In German-speaking countries the term “Fiedel” is analogous to the “vielle” or “viola” of Romance languages. The fiddle was spade-shaped, pear-shaped, or guitar-shaped, the last-mentioned being the classic type. Initially, its body had two flat sounding boards, square upper bouts, two semicircular soundholes, a fingerboard without frets, and a flat pegbox with perpendicularly placed tuning pegs. The fiddle had one to five strings, which were tuned in fourths or fifths (seeSTRINGED INSTRUMENT, BOWED).


Struve, B. A. Protsess formirovaniia viol i skripok. Moscow, 1959. Pages 37–55.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
SIR - With a Westminster general election looming on the horizon isn't it about time we voted for a real change of direction in Wales and stopped fiddling around the edges?
Hugh Laurie as the maverick quack who spends half an episode dismissing the work of his colleagues before fiddling around with his private life and saving a life in the nick of time.
But there it was, in an item about the State Employees Association considering suing over the state's fiddling around with retiree benefits:
READING the excellent stable tour of Paul Nicholls' yard (October 27), I was interested in his comments on Dear Villez in relation to the Grand National: "If he were to win the Becher Chase it wrecks your handicap mark and if you have a serious National horse you are better off fiddling around over hurdles."
When I arrived for a France match, there was a radio expert already there, fiddling around with wiring in the box.
He added: "The answer to fuel poverty, the answer to the crisis today is not fiddling around with one off fuel payments or silly stunts from Gordon Brown - it is raising our rotten basic state pension, the worst in Western Europe, to a level that pensioners can live on."
She never broke stride, even when fiddling around with her only source for backup music: a glitchy laptop churning out freaky, funky homemade beats.
Quirke, a pathologist, finds his brother-in-law Malachy Griffin, an obstetrician-gynecologist in the same hospital, fiddling around with the file for a dead young woman, Christine Falls.
Just as Nero was caught fiddling while Rome was burning, The Home Depot had better stop fiddling around with its apologies to shareholders for its business meltdown and last year's nightmare of an annual meeting.
Though the mad genius persona is perhaps wearing a bit thin, Nouvel's early oeuvre, a stylish, subversive version of High-Tech, had a genuinely iconoclastic streak at a time when his British counterparts were still earnestly fiddling around with yacht details.
"We were fiddling around with some different shapes and came up with the concept of woven glass."
We sometimes see perfectionist buyers determined to "win" on buying an asset, fiddling around with various LIBOR-based, low-rate bank financing alternatives, wondering which will save them more money, while their competition is either paying all cash or has a Bridge loan lined up so they can go to contract without a financing contingency (two metaphors that come to mind are: "winning the battle but losing the war", and "playing the violin while Rome is burning").