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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



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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Q"Eos plays second fiddle in girl group Bond which, in classical music, isn't a bad thing.
Unfortunately, he overshadows Cassidy's bland performance to such an extent that Felicia plays second fiddle on her own journey.
Fly-half Connor, who plays second fiddle to Wales A star Jason Strange at Vale, won the Gwent derby on his own.