Fidel or fiddle is a medieval bowed instrument. The
design and shape of the instrument comes from surviving illustrations.
The soundboard is occasionally arched, most essentially flat.
Usually are instruments without frets and the bridge on the belly
is low. Some of them have all strings placed on the fingerboard
(like a violin ) other have drone strings side of the pegholder
and off to the side of the neck. Fiddles on ancient paintings
have between 3 and 5 strings. In his Tractatus de Musica Jerome
of Moravie (13th century) mentions instruments and tuning
for fiddles with 4 and 5 strings.
Medieval types of fiddles persisted on paintings for
some time still in the 16th century.
Fresco from Giotto's school
dated 1320 - Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis, Sesto al Reghena,
reconstructed instrument based on the original with
four strings on the fingerboard and one drone side of the pegholder
Fresco with fidel by Master
Armirigus 1381 - crkva sv. Antuna opata, Æminj,
a five-stringed fidel with an arched soundboard and a string
length of 38 cm
a reconstruction of a larger fidel with 4 or
5 strings on the fingerboard and one drone based on two diffrent
(one front and the other behind of the instrument)13th century
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