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Old 07-09-2010, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 4,083,430 times
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Last night we went to a lecture by Ralph Stanley, in Southwest harbor, not on Boat Making, but on fiddle making.

Apparently Ralph has been dabbling in fiddle making for more than 60 years. he's one of the most famous American wooden boat makers.

He also played some fiddle tunes aith a small pick up group of a guitar and a mandolin.

He's not be be confused with a Violin Maker.

Zarathu
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:51 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,638 posts, read 5,789,556 times
Reputation: 2676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Last night we went to a lecture by Ralph Stanley, in Southwest harbor, not on Boat Making, but on fiddle making.

Apparently Ralph has been dabbling in fiddle making for more than 60 years. he's one of the most famous American wooden boat makers.

He also played some fiddle tunes aith a small pick up group of a guitar and a mandolin.

He's not be be confused with a Violin Maker.

Zarathu
Ohhhh...the fiddle vs. violin wars...I was told by a friend of mine who played both : "The difference between a fiddle and a violin is that nobody cares if you spill beer on a fiddle."

There are lots of craftsman like him who have a niche hobby. It makes me wonder if Antonio Stradivari might have dabbled in making boats.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:39 PM
 
1,064 posts, read 1,902,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Last night we went to a lecture by Ralph Stanley, in Southwest harbor, not on Boat Making, but on fiddle making.

Apparently Ralph has been dabbling in fiddle making for more than 60 years. he's one of the most famous American wooden boat makers.

He also played some fiddle tunes aith a small pick up group of a guitar and a mandolin.

He's not be be confused with a Violin Maker.

Zarathu
From the beginning of Chapter 24, "Fiddling for Fun," of the book, "Ralph Stanley" by Craig S. Milner and Ralph W. Stanley ( https://secure.downeast.com/store/pr...?productid=890 ):

"Besides boatbuilding, one of my main interests is music. I've learned how to play the fiddle, I can play the banjo a little bit, and I can play chords on the piano in certain keys.

"I never had any lessons, but my grandmother was musical. Way back when I was a kid, she had a fiddle, and she could play a few little tunes. I was fascinated by it. I used to get her to dig it out now and then and play something.

"Then when I was going to school in Houlton, there was a fella there who could play. So, when I came home I dug out that old fiddle to see if I could do anything with it. I kept fooling around, and I got so I could pick out a few tunes. Then my mother got me a fiddle of my own . . . . "
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 4,083,430 times
Reputation: 1297
Some of us winced when we heard that Ralph was putting polyurethane on the violins instead of varnish.

And Ralph said he never has a lesson in his life as a player. Having been classically trained by my Julliard trained father, I would have to say that his posture and position was horrible. But then he is a world class boat builder, not world class violin maker. When I was a kid we went to a local violin maker who over the past 50 years has turned into a world class violin maker: Ed Campbell at the Chimney's Violin Shop in Boiling Springs, PA. But Ed couldn't have made a boat to save his soul.

Fiddles are usually made with whatever wood that comes available and the same with all the parts. Violins are made in very specific ways with specific woods over a long developed time tested tradition dating back to the 1600's. They are two traditions equally OK in their own environments: one in with banjo's and guitars playing country, and the other in orchestras playing Stravinsky and Bach, and playing violin concertos of famous people like Beethoven and Pagininni.

Last edited by Zarathu; 07-10-2010 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:32 PM
 
1,064 posts, read 1,902,281 times
Reputation: 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Some of us winced when we heard that Ralph was putting polyurethane on the violins instead of varnish.

And Ralph said he never has a lesson in his life as a player. Having been classically trained by my Julliard trained father, I would have to say that his posture and position was horrible. But then he is a world class boat builder, not world class violin maker. When I was a kid we went to a local violin maker who over the past 50 years has turned into a world class violin maker: Ed Campbell at the Chimney's Violin Shop in Boiling Springs, PA. But Ed couldn't have made a boat to save his soul.

Fiddles are usually made with whatever wood that comes available and the same with all the parts. Violins are made in very specific ways with specific woods over a long developed time tested tradition dating back to the 1600's. They are two traditions equally OK in their own environments: one in with banjo's and guitars playing country, and the other in orchestras playing Stravinsky and Bach, and playing violin concertos of famous people like Beethoven and Pagininni.
If I remember correctly, Ralph Stanley is a self-taught boatbuilder as well.
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