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Missouri State Musical Instrument

FiddleFiddle

Adopted on July 17, 1987.

The fiddle became the state's official musical instrument on July 17, 1987. Brought to Missouri in the late 1700s by fur traders and settlers, the fiddle quickly became popular. The instrument was adaptable to many forms of music, could be played without extensive formal training and was light and easy to carry. For generations, the local fiddle player was the sole source of entertainment in many communities and held a position of great respect in the region. (RSMo 10.080)

Missouri State Musical Instrument: Fiddle

FiddleThe instrument was adaptable to many forms of music, could be played without extensive formal training and was light and easy to carry. For generations, the local fiddle player was the sole source of entertainment in many communities and held a position of great respect in the region. The fiddle (violin) was an important part of life to the early pioneers at community gatherings and square dances.

Primitive bowed instruments of many types exist around the world and some are still widely used, but the modern Violin first appeared in Italy in the early 16th century. Well known early fiddle makers include Guarneri, Amati and Stradivari. The modern classical violin has a longer neck and fingerboard, and a greater neck angle than the original baroque design, in order to provide more volume. Many early violins were modified in the early 1800s to match the requirements of the new design, and can be identified by the grafting on of a new neck.

The violin top and back are carved out from solid wood. The top is spruce and the back, sides and neck are generally from sycamore. The bassbar is an integral and tonally important part of the top. The soundpost is fitted about 1/4" behind the treble foot of the bridge and connects the front and back of the instrument acoustically in a way that shapes the sound considerably. The most popular type of sycamore used in violins has a curl in the grain which shows up as a flame effect. The edges of the body are almost always inlaid with a band of purfling. Copies and originals of the Italian maker Maggini will have two separate purflings.

Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 10
State Emblems
Section 10.080

August 28, 2013
State musical instrument.
10.080. The fiddle is selected for and shall be known as the official musical instrument of the state of Missouri.
(L. 1987 H.B. 630 1)

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