The Bridge: Connecting Violin and Fiddle Worlds
The Bridge: Annemieke Pronker-Coron connects the world of non-classical fiddle music with the classical violin
world. Her findings brought her to the realization that especially baroque violin technique and its musical heritage
bridge the apparent gap between the two worlds. In the early 1990s she left her European classical violin world
behind to research fiddling. She found herself amidst a growing movement in the United States that forges links
made between fiddling and the classical world. She decided to research differences and communalities between
the two different styles and explored the historical aspects.
The Bridge reaches out to fiddling from an academic standpoint, delivered by a baroque specialized violinist from
Europe. It comes at a time where the United States brings forth a new American violin method by Mark O’Connor;
at a time where phenomenal violinists bridge the gap to non-classical music. It comes at a time when Yo Yo Ma
links up with musicians from around the world and has formed the Silk Road Ensemble and Project. And at a time
when the chop and groove technique become a new standard in non-classical fiddling. An ever evolving movement
of music styles on the violin.
From the book:
In music-instrument language a bridge usually refers to the part of the violin that supports the strings and transfers
its vibrations to the instrument’s body. It conducts the sound as well as the music produced by the player. In a
wider sense, however, a bridge is a passage that connects two worlds - in this case the world of the violin and the
world of the fiddle.
Typically fiddlers refer to classical violinists as musicians using a completely different technique than their own, e.g.
the use of long-drawn bows and vibrato are main pillars of the classical approach. At the very beginning of my
journey I was shown some of the main characteristics of old-time fiddling i.e., shorter bow strokes, relaxed bow arm,
circular bow movement, and occasional swing strokes. I was excited to discover that these fiddle techniques in the
United States were directly linked to baroque violin technique with which I was so familiar from my studies in the
I have come to believe that we can learn to play both fiddle and violin in their distinctly different styles. We can
teach a comprehensive approach right from the start. We don’t even need different instruments. Instead, we need
an appreciation for and an understanding of the depth of the styles we want to play.
This book is for violin educators, violin and fiddle students who would like to teach and perform, and fiddlers
who are curious to learn more about the connection of the fiddle heritage with the European baroque and classical
FL-ASTA String Section - Newsletter
Volume 5, Issue 1 August 2017 The Bridge: Connecting Violin and Fiddle Worlds by Annemieke Pronker-Coron
Over the last decade a budding movement has blossomed: ﬁddling and non-classical violin playing is becoming increasingly popular among young
aspiring violinists. It appears that droves of young and talented players want to cross the bridge from classical violin playing to ﬁddling. Have their
teachers crossed the bridge yet? Do violin students across the nation know the road to that bridge? ....
|FL-ASTA Florida American String Teachers Association
published Annemieke's article in their 2017 Fall issue
|If young people are not exposed to the heritage of their culture and country,
that heritage may be in danger of dying out.