Before the Fiddle 4c : Poland


The above photograph is a detail from a picture postcard, already quite old I think, that I bought in Zakopane, Poland, in 1977. Note the fiddler plays on a small kit-like instrument and that the bass is lozenge shaped and has three strings. The fiddle and bass combination is common in the music of Eastern Europe including Romania and Hungary and was once known in Scotland also – think of those paintings of Niel Gow band. The benefit of this grouping for dance music is obvious, and once more there may be clues to how traditional music in Scotland once sounded waiting to be discovered in other cultures that employed it.