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There is a difference[edit]

I'm sorry, but I'm a violinist and I wanted to point this out. Fiddlers are violinists who come from the country and play the style of the country, which usually includes Gigues, dances...etc. They are very different from violinists and some of the friends I know (including me sometimes if I wasn't patiently explaining now) would be pretty offended to hear them classified as fiddlers. Not that there's anything wrong, just that we are very very different things. Regeane Silverwolf 03:42, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't be too tushy, guys. Nobody likes a tushed wikipedian!!! =) But then again, I quite agree with my friend Regeane - there is a difference - or otherwise I would have to call myself a fiddler!silverwolf_athame 22:11, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I don't know where you're from, but that's just not true; even Itzak Perlman (you've heard of him, haven't you?) sometimes refers to himself as a "fiddler". What you believe is actually just a canard, one that certain conservative "classical" practicioners like to perpetuate. +ILike2BeAnonymous 05:47, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a difference between the styles of music designated (roughly) as fiddle tunes and as classical music, and maybe the connotation of 'fiddler' is different from 'violinist' for that reason. But the denotation is quite equivalent, I think. J Lorraine 07:52, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's much better put, and the connotation vs. denotation distinction is worth noting. It's a matter of context: obviously, no symphony orchestra is going to list its fiddle players in the program notes as "fiddlers": they're called violinists. Likewise, a violinist playing on a folk album is most likely going to be identified as a "fiddler". +ILike2BeAnonymous 08:44, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inn-teresting. There is not a sharply defined boundary between the set of violinists and the set of fiddlers. Although there are people who are definitely, without question, one or the other, there are also people who cross between idioms. I'll leave it to someone else to determine which items in the following list put someone in one camp or the other, strongly or weakly, and which are irrrelevant, or are negative stereotypes:

  • seated audience, respecfully hushed during performance, politely demonstrative after each piece or movement
  • dancing audience whooping it up
  • performers attired informally or flamboyantly
  • performers in formal western European dress
  • players typically unshaven and toothless
  • performers in orchestral sections
  • most performances are solo or in a small group
  • players cannot do without sheet music on a stand in front of them
  • variation and free interpretation are valued and commonly practiced
  • pieces composed by a single person
  • traditional pieces of unknown authorship
  • fluid, almost constant vibrato
  • sparing or no use of vibrato
  • shorter pieces with ornaments and articulations stylistically interpreted
  • lengthy pieces with intricately determined structure
  • emphasis on emotional evocation
  • emphasis on rhythmic interest
  • emphasis on complex harmonic sequences
  • top-tier performers play on old instruments made by recognized masters
  • any old cigar box will do
  • performers undergo years of formal academic training
  • performers learn from the culture surrounding them

Some are not so obvious. For example, I recently read that Vassar Clements (a fiddler by most accounts) plays an instrument likely made in the 1500s by Gaspar Duiffoprugcar.

Just plain Bill 09:38, 11 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
oops, left out the following:
  • performers overwhelmingly use standard Italian GDAE tuning
  • performers spend a fair amount of time in scordatura, or nonstandard "cross-tuning."
Just plain Bill 14:44, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are absolutely correct. I am Irish and Scottish and in our culture, a "fiddle" is simply a violin that is used to play music of a certain genre, such as Irish Rebel music or Irish jigs, reels, etc. There is no such thing as an separate instrument from the violin that is called a fiddle. It is all about the style of music that is played. If one plays Classical music, then it is a violin; if you are playing Flogging Molly's "What's Left of the Flag," then it is a fiddle. Slainte! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suki561Fu (talkcontribs) 14:04, 2 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Violin is Sometimes called a Fiddle when in celtic or county music otherwise it is a violin. The same goes with the name of the person playing it.--SJ3000 (talk) 16:29, 18 September 2008 (GMT)

I find the above comments bizarre to say the least. They also reflect a fair amount of musical snobbery. Which of the catargories of music you like to pigeon-hole things into has more emphasis on emotion and which on rhythm? In my experience, those who like exclusively so-called folk snottishly insist on calling it a fiddle. Those who likewise think they like so-called classical snottishly call it a violin, ignoring that period players (predominantly baroque)also call it a fiddle. Those of us who just like music refuse to get involved in this pointless argument and call the thing arthur. I realise the irony that I have got involved in this pointless argument & now need to bathe in a bath of logic. Free the Squid Six! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bring to featured article status[edit]

Wouldn't it be nice to bring this up to featured article status? Apart from the references, what's a wishlist of things to do to make this article better? I'll jump in and help when I can. --HappyCamper 21:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think there are any problems aside from references. Helping with those would be great! —Mets501 (talk) 04:25, 5 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bass is not part of the violin family[edit]

The bass is not part of the violin family. The based is tuned in forths and has several different characteristics. I will make the correction now. Keegan 22:09, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There was some discussion about this on Talk:Violin family. J Lorraine 01:43, 26 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Failed GA[edit]

Reading through the article, I spot several mainly stylistic issues:

  • The lead is too short for an article of this length, and doesn't summarise the article adequately (no mention of the violin's history etc.)
  • "The word "violin" comes to us through the" sounds informal; "originates" suffices.
  • "this word may also be the source of the Germanic "fiddle". OR? I don't see a source cited for this.
  • In the history section, "middle east" should be capitalized (what does rebab have do with things? It's not clear)
  • I'd the move the list of famous luthiers to the luthier article; a bulleted list doesn't flow in a section of prose.
  • Several uncited remarks, such as " But these instruments in their present condition set the standard for perfection in violin craftsmanship and sound, and violin makers all over the world try to come as close to this ideal as possible."
  • I've spotted a number of one or two-line paragraphs; you should expand or merge these, as they don't flow too well. The "Popular music" section is an example of this.
  • "don't" should be "do not"; more formal.
  • The web references should include access dates (take a look at {{cite web}})
  • The further reading section needs trimming; 20 is a little too much.

Because much of the prose and lead will have to be expanded, I've failed this article's GA candidacy. If you wish to disagree with or wish to clarify any of my points, feel free to contact me on my talk page. CloudNine 09:39, 3 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pernambuco vs. brazilwood[edit]

I'm directing this Just plain Bill's way, as this seems to be the kind of thing he enjoys puzzling out. Currently, the article is at odds with another article here (surprise, surprise). This article says

The stick is traditionally made of brazilwood, although a stick made from this type of wood which is of a more select quality (and higher price) is referred to as pernambuco (both types are taken from the same tree species).

while the article on brazilwood begs to differ:

"Pernambuco" and "Brazilwood" as used in the stringed instruments bows come from completely different species, contrary to some popular belief.

(the article goes on to name several species that are called brazilwood when bows are made of them).

So which is correct? I really have no idea myself. +ILike2BeAnonymous 03:49, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Like a lot of folks, it seems, I've "always" thought that pau brasil was the Pernambuco tree, and the heartwood called "pernambuco" while lesser wood from the same tree was called Brazil wood. I do know from personal experience that pernambuco is a hard, bright orange wood, and getting its sanding dust in one's nose will lead to fascinating purple stains on the tissues. I carry a scar on my septum, possibly from this exposure. Oops, TMI, sorry ;-) Give me some time to do a bit of research... __Just plain Bill 13:52, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is a double stop a chord, or only part of one?[edit]

In my unscholarly view it is a chord spelled with only two notes. Someone can probably find a theoretical tome that says different. Not invested either way here, but discussion might be useful. __Just plain Bill (talk) 15:33, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia's own article about chords ( ) specifies they must contain at least 3 notes, so I would suggest a correction too. Posted 14:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

"Specifies" seems like too strong a term here. That chord article says that experts do not all agree that a chord must have at least three notes. Similar disagreements exist about whether a power chord is really a chord or a dyad or an interval. In the context of solo fiddling, a double stop certainly suggests a chord, although which particular chord is often ambiguous. Power chords are neither major nor minor, and a third or a sixth may suggest different chords; for example, E and G together may be part of a C major or an E minor chord. Dominant seventh chords may be suggested by playing the tritone betweent the third and flat seventh, and so on... If they are used as chords, and sound like chords, why not call them chords? __Just plain Bill (talk) 21:51, 29 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


From Tuning: "Another prevalent tuning with these intervals is F-Bb-F-Bb, which corresponds to Sa-Pa-Sa-Pa in the Indian carnatic classical music style. In the North Indian "Hindustani" style, the tuning is usually Pa-Sa-Pa-Sa instead of Sa-Pa-Sa-Pa. This could correspond to Bb-F-Bb-F, for instance." Sa-Pa would be the interval of a fifth, whereas F-Bb is a fourth. Someone correct this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From Tuning: There appears to be no mention of the tuning that was used in the Renaissance/Baroque Era and into the early Classical era. Historically, there was no specific pitch in these eras. The violinist would often tune to a church organ's A, which ranged anywhere from A=380hz to A=480hz. Other times, it would tune to another instrument, such as an oboe or flute, whose tuning is absolute and cannot be changed. Today, based on the recovery of certain instruments of the time, Baroque tuning is generally presumed to be A=415hz and is used by nearly every Baroque orchestra today. Someone include this. Tristan01101 (talk) 17:15, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The tuning section already mentions variable pitch standard as well as tuning to a fixed-pitch instrument. This article is not the place for extended discussion of historical pitch standards. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 18:08, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"This article is not the place for extended discussion of historical music pitch standards." May I ask why? It seems to bear some relevance to the history of the instrument. Tristan01101 (talk) 20:45, 19 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Earlier pitch standards are shown at Concert_pitch#History_of_pitch_standards_in_Western_music; duplicating that text in this article isn't really necessary, and would burden future editors with maintaining two instances of similar content. This article now has a link to that page in the "Tuning" section. Do we need more than that? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see what the big deal is, but I'll leave it at that. Tristan01101 (talk) 16:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No big deal, but the size of this article is about as big as it should get for convenient reading. If you feel like adding information about changing pitch standards, History_of_the_violin#Transition_from_Baroque_to_modern_form seems like a good place for it. That page is still at a size that allows plenty of expansion. The subject of the violin covers a lot of ground, which is why we have this main article, with sections summarizing and pointing to further articles on its subtopics. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 18:15, 21 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Violinist redirect to Violin?[edit]

A request has been made to move Violinist to Violinist (disambiguation), in order to then make Violinist a redirect to Violin. See Talk:Violinist#Requested move. --Una Smith (talk) 05:37, 4 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Wikiproject[edit]

I have started a new wikiproject, WikiProject Stringed Instruments. I am looking for 2 other coordinators to help it get started. Apply on my talk page by answering the following questions.

1. Edit count, how long you have been active on Wikipedia.

2. How often you edit string-related articles. (Scale of 1-10)

3. What you hope to accomplish if made coordinator.

Please post by March 1, 2009.

edMarkViolinistDrop me a line 19:37, 11 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have great doubts about the third paragraph of the "Classical music" section, and this last sentence in particular:

"This ability is at its finest in the string quartet literature where seamless changes from key to key and chord to chord create a kind of perfect harmonic world where even thirds ring with full resonance."

The fineness of the string quartet is something I've heard plenty of people say. But does "seamless changes from key to key and chord to chord" say anything? I thought all music was supposed to have changes of keys and chords. And "perfect harmonic world"? What are thirds? And why do they ring with less than full resonance in other types of music? I'm almost certainly missing something here, so hopefully someone (preferably a violinist) can enlighten me. Willi Gers07 (talk) 17:17, 21 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm more of a fiddler than a violinist, but here goes: thirds are a musical interval, and can be justly tuned (that's the "perfect harmonic world" bit) in a small group of instruments with infinitely variable pitch. The system of equal temperament does not render thirds very well, mistuning them by an audible amount. __Just plain Bill (talk) 08:28, 23 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bill, you are also a violinist as well as a fiddler. They're just different names for the same thing. Stop being such a snob. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 31 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hogwash. My violinning chops are scant to nonexistent, and I don't mind admitting it. I do like the sound of clear true strong intonation, where performers put their notes exactly where they want them. Violinists and fiddlers, and for that matter, decent pub singers, can all do that, if they are any good. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 23:49, 31 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bill, after reading this page I see that you really do know your stuff, and hence if you want to solely be referred to as fiddler that's up to you. It just annoys me when people ask what I am, whichever I say, people have pre-conceptions, with all the baggage that goes with whatever name I give. Also, anyone who uses the word "hogwash" deserves a pint. Also also, I wondered why fiddle and violin had separate pages, till I read them. Makes sense, I suppose. Does anybody know how to use the signature thing?-- (talk) 15:52, 1 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for coming back! Some violinists can fiddle, and vice versa of course, and after I get you your pint I'll show you how I once heard a violinist play "Old Joe Clark."
To this day I do not know if she was having some fun with us, or whether she actually thought it was meant to be played square and forthright, as shown by the notes in the book. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 21:47, 1 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bill, I've moved to your talk page, seems this was getting a bit irrelevant to the article.--SquidSix (talk) 10:53, 2 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, I read the interval article you mentioned, and I even figured out how to play some thirds on the piano. Still, it seems to me like thirds are an interval that occurs in almost all music today, not just string quartet music, and so that paragraph in the article is just saying a bunch of generic stuff that applies to a lot of instruments. Willi Gers07 (talk) 15:15, 23 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope, thirds on a piano are out of tune, which is the point. See Chamber_music#Intonation. Take C as one example. In an A minor scale it's the third, but sounds flat compared to a justly tuned minor third. In an A flat major scale, it's also the third, but sounds too sharp. Violin family instruments (and lots of others) can make that adjustment on the fly, but piano tuning has to be compromised so it somewhat works in all keys without constant time-consuming retuning. In a small group such as a quartet, the players can each hear the others well enough to stay in tune as a group at any given moment. Whether they do that, or not, depends on their skill as musicians. __Just plain Bill (talk) 22:53, 23 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've taken the {{fact}} tag off the "can play in any pitch" statement, and slightly reworded it. I have a sketchy reference to "expressive intonation" in Simon Fischer's Basics (ISBN 1-901507-00-9) in a sidebar on p. 198, where he mentions the term being associated with Pablo Casals. The language in that third paragraph may be overly flowery, but the gist of it is totally defensible. Stay tuned... __Just plain Bill (talk) 01:18, 24 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe I know what the original author of that passage was trying to say, but it's coming through in a rather un-Wikipedia style, to put it mildly. Bill is right about how intervals are played in a group of strings; in fact, the same is true in any group of non-fretted, non-keyboard instruments. You can hear the same in vocal ensembles, wind quintets, and other groups. When you are playing violin in a quartet -- I'm speaking from experience here -- you are always unconsciously tuning your intervals with the other players so the thirds and fifths are as pure as is consistent with staying generally on pitch. (Add a piano to the mix and it becomes more complicated; I recall a passage in the Brahms piano quintet where the strings, playing unaccompanied, move around the circle of fifths through some enharmonic changes, and if they don't plan in advance, when the piano comes back in, it is off by a Pythagorean comma.) When a good quartet plays a triad, it aims for a perfect 3:4:5 sonority, and when done right it rings -- listen to the Emerson Quartet playing any slow movement from Beethoven. String players just learn to play in tune and that does not always mean "equal temperament" in-tune. Antandrus (talk) 01:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point. I've been fiddling for 12 years, but mainly with a piano, so I can play in tune, but playing in a quartet must be quite tricky. Wunt mind trying, though. What you said about the Brahms sounds particularly intriguing.-- (talk) 16:04, 1 August 2009 (UTC) By the way, I still can't get this signature to work.Reply[reply]


The image for the playing range of the violin is incorrect, and I think it should be deleted because the range of the violin is already stated the "Range" section. However, the range stated in the "Range" section is also incorrect, because the violin can play beyond C8. --Number Googol (talk) 02:43, 9 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The image is in the infobox, which provides a handy summary at the top of the article, in a format sort of consistent with other instruments' infoboxen. In light of that, redundancy is no crime.
As far as possible range goes (compared to commonly used range) for all I know, it could reach the inaudible range of a Fledermaus echolocation squeak. Pretty well guaranteed that no one writes for the violin in that range, and no one plays there on purpose. Need someone knowledgeable to chime in about that. __Just plain Bill (talk) 12:29, 9 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When one plays the violin that high, all one hears is the friction of the bow against the string. I don't think it is "pretty well guaranteed" that no one writes in that range. But I am quite sure some composers will write in that range. --Number Googol (talk) 01:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are saying someone may have written, and definitely will write for the violin, notes at a frequency of up to 100 kHz? That's a real stretch, to put it politely. I'm all ears if you have some specifics to share about that, though. __Just plain Bill (talk) 03:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably not that high, but somewhere around 50 kHz, maybe. That is still significantly higher than what is shown in the infobox. --Number Googol (talk) 18:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Particulars, please... 50 kHz would be about G11, and not audible by human ears, not even close. With a normal violin, how is the player supposed to know what note they are playing? __Just plain Bill (talk) 00:11, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I estimated G11 on my violin and it is barely playable without harmonics - just enough for one hair on the bow to fit in. But I don't know whether I am playing G11, D11, E11, or even G10, etc. The player does not need to know what note he/she is playing - there is no use, since human ears can't hear the pitch, and all one hears is friction "noise". --Number Googol (talk) 00:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then it is noise, not a note. There are indeterminate-pitch techniques involving chopping near the frog, that can be really effective when well done, but they are mostly learned and performed without written notes and, well, there is that indeterminate pitch thing going on. Are you seriously proposing to change the infobox? Gonna need to cite reliable sources for that. __Just plain Bill (talk) 00:53, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Look at my comment below (below Antandrus's comment) and see what you think. --Number Googol (talk) 02:02, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I think is not necessarily the best basis for the encyclopedia page, but since you ask, I think the infobox should keep "Playing range" as it now stands. To me, going higher than that is better described as "Fooling-around range," until commonly accepted performance standards say otherwise. I'm all in favor of expanding the universe of violin technique; that "chopping" thing seems to have started up around the turn of our new century, for example. The time to make this change will be when reliable sources start talking about violinists playing above G7, playing there, not just reaching up there once in a while as a trick, and playing there in front of people who want to hear it. Not now, in my opinion... __Just plain Bill (talk) 02:25, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, I personally composed a viola piece that I myself performed that went up to E8. But after all, I guess the range in the infobox should remain unchanged, for now. --Number Googol (talk) 02:33, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A commonly-cited upper practical limit for most purposes is E7, two octaves above the open E string. I've seen G7 in the first violin part in orchestral music -- it appears in Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and also Strauss's Death and Transfiguration. A7 is probably the highest commonly-encountered artificial harmonic, but of course it is possible to play higher than that. At least one orchestration book I have gives G7 as the "top" note. "Upper practical limit" of course is a matter of opinion, but if I polled all the orchestration/instrumentation books I've got it would probably be E7 or G7. Antandrus (talk) 14:04, 9 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, I think the problem is in the title ("Playing range"), which implies that it is the possible range on the violin. I think the section should be called "Commonly used range" instead. --Number Googol (talk) 01:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Naming A Violin (Or any other instrument)[edit]

Hi. Forgive me if this doesn't show up right, as I literally just created my account and have no clue how this works, but i have a question. It's not as important as an argument between the differences of a Violinist and Fiddler, but I would really like to know... I have heard of people naming their instruments, whether it be after a beloved grandmother, or even a Greek God. So i was wondering...Why? Is it some sort of tradition, superstition,? I have looked for anything on the web to give me a clue, but no cigar. Any info out there for me?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michelle21 318 (talkcontribs) 00:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is just something some people do (and some don't), pretty much a personal thing, as far as I can tell. There is a thread about it on fiddleforum, but it's in a section you need to register to see. (Registration is free, and the site won't spam you.) __Just plain Bill (talk) 00:39, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly -- some people do, many don't. When you play for many, many years, you develop a relationship with your instrument; you depend on it, and it seems curiously "alive." Hard to explain to a non-musician perhaps. My violin is over 200 years old, and that sound it makes has a voice full of history, and deserving of a name. (None of this belongs in the article -- it's just a rather personal response to your query, in the spirit of being helpful.) Cheers, Antandrus (talk) 00:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The school of Cremona, beginning in the half of 16 century vith violas and violone[edit]

From context, this should be the first half of the sixteenth century, but could someone who knows please fix this? Thanks. (fotoguzzi) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:59, 8 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conflicting statements about the violin's origins[edit]

An unsourced sentence apparently speculating about a direct central Asian predecessor to the violin, through the Silk Road, is followed by a sourced sentence stating instruments from the Middle East and Byzantium as its direct predecessors. Obviously, this mention of a Silk Road connection to north Italy in light of the sourced statement that follows it is either irrelevant (statement about economic trade links in general?), unsourced (claim of an additional direct influence to the violin?) or untrue (claim of an exclusive central Asian origin to the violin?), depending on how you interpret its meaning.

The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-Century Northern Italy, where the port towns of Venice and Genoa maintained extensive ties to central Asia through the trade routes of the silk road.

The modern European violin evolved from various bowed stringed instruments from the Middle East[4] and the Byzantine Empire.[5][6]

Abvgd (talk) 12:59, 27 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not see a conflict here. The silk road reached Europe through the Middle East and Byzantium. Casual looking around in Wikipedia shows Central Asian fiddles dating at least as far back as the seventh through tenth centuries. The routes of cultural diffusion are relevant, and of course sourcing will be appropriate. Please point out the "claim of an exclusive central Asian origin to the violin" since I do not see that here. Reading the article and following the links, it looks more like a continuous process of geographical diffusion and technical development, reaching the stage we call "violin" around "early 16th-Century Northern Italy." __ Just plain Bill (talk) 16:21, 27 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to make the discussion more interesting: Polish Wikipedia entry for violin pl:skrzypce claims that the instrument possibly descends from a gusle (pl:gęśle) used in Polish lands in the 11th century. Tsf (talk) 18:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:VMute.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Further Reading[edit]

What are those two articles under "Further Reading" for? Either they are references or they aren't! Looks suspiciously like someone is trying to publicise their papers on the sly. Epeeist smudge (talk) 14:15, 3 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Painting from San Zaccaria Altarpiece[edit]

Gaudenzio Ferrari: La Madonna degli aranci 1529/30 (S. Cristoforo in Vercelli)

The painting from San Zaccaria Altarpiece is a painting of a vielle (or Renaissance fiddle, as it's called in the article). It's nice, and relevant in that it's a forerunner to the violin. But wouldn't a picture of an early violin be more appropriate? The painting of La Madonna degli aranci by Gaudenzio Ferrari (from 1529/30) shows an early violin. I would suggest using this one. Any objections? Mloafness (talk) 12:32, 9 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Violin and chin[edit]

This makes me wonder, really. What was the historical reason to play a violin right under your chin? Komitsuki (talk) 16:06, 19 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fingering chart[edit]

The first-position fingering chart in the Left hand and pitch production section does not say what finger to use in first position for notes six semitones above the open strings. Is it the third or fourth finger? I suppose there is a reason for this omission, but I don't know what it is, and I guess it would be best to dispel the confusion right away by putting a remark in the description of the chart image. I would do that myself, but, as I am new to the violin, I don't know the answer myself. Can somebody clear this up? Thanks.CountMacula (talk) 23:17, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It depends on musical context, convenience, and personal choice. While your question is an interesting one, I am not sure that an image caption has the room for an appropriate exposition of all the factors a violinist considers when determining the fingering of any given passage.
In broadest general terms, for flat keys my own tendency is to use the fourth finger there; in sharp keys I tend to extend the third finger. Naturally, other players may use different fingerings. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 00:52, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not looking for an exposition of all the factors. As it is, anybody who needs the chart and expects to use it is going to be distracted when they see the blank line.CountMacula (talk) 03:17, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like to give people more credit than that; the possibilities are pretty simple. The chart does not show which finger to use for B on the A string either, but it's easy to guess correctly. Maybe this will help, particularly patterns 3 and 5. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 04:18, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"I like to give people more credit than that;" So you are saying that as generous as you are and against all odds, you've found someone who deserves no credit. The chart and caption together are unnecessarily ambiguous and need improvement.CountMacula (talk) 23:24, 12 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about this instead: "I like to think that most people are capable of making their own decisions on matters as simple as this." Sometimes one has to take things in hand and do whatever it takes to get the desired sound. The reason for the ambiguity has to do with the lack of a concise definitive answer. What specific improvement do you suggest? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 23:35, 12 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tone production[edit]

I dove in and added a bit to tone production, and moved the quote relating to Pythagorean tuning since it doesn't have much to do with ringing octaves. I think a bit more could be said about equal temperament vs 'just' tuning etc (talk) 05:45, 7 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I adjusted the bit about discord with respect to a piano. When there is a piano or other instrument with fixed tuning in the mix, a capable violinist will adjust. As far as more being said here about ET/JI/Pythagorean etc., in my opinion the hyperlinks to Pythagorean tuning and equal temperament are enough. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:39, 7 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've added a section "Posture". While this duplicates information from the article Playing the violin I figured since information on the left and right hands also duplicates information from that article, at least the section on playing in this article should be complete and not leave out an important element such as posture. Contact Basemetal here 13:37, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Appears to be a good start. Thanks! __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:18, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

one violin - lots of violins[edit]

Whats the difference in the sound produced by one violin compared

to that produced by lots of violins playing together?

john f (talk) 17:15, 25 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Undue weight in #Musical styles[edit]

Is it just me, or is it ludicrous that the "Popular Music" subsection is twice as long as all the others combined? It's certainly lopsided to list every pop group with a violin but not a single classical composer. FourViolas (talk) 03:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Odd-shaped violins[edit]

Odd shaped violins. I think this is also a good piece of info. Komitsuki (talk) 07:19, 1 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


diff Discuss... Just plain Bill (talk) 19:00, 18 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not see the Klotz violin mentioned in the wiki Violin article. I posted a historic reference that the Klotz violin is AMONG the greatest of violin makers and it was deleted. After review and discussion, I agree that my edit was probably in the wrong area, But I believe that the Wiki article lacks credibility by omission of the Klotz family of violin makers. I do not know if this is done out of prejudice or incompetence but someone needs to update the article to reflect reality. Naturally, people believe that I have a conflict of interest having the same last name, but I am not related to the Klotzs of Mittenwald. I only learned about the Mittenwald Klotzs through research of my genealogy where their name appeared as violin makers.Vklotz (talk) 20:14, 18 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It appears to me that the "history" section could be expanded. As it is, it only includes the major Italian makers up through about the middle of the 18th century. Needs mention of the German schools, Mittenwald etc. with a mention of Klotz carefully given the appropriate weight, along the the French makers such as Vuillaume, with some information on the characteristics of each. That can of course be extended to modern times, with American makers, Chinese makers, style copies, non-traditional materials and forms, etc. There's probably some easily available references for this. Note that some of this appears in history of the violin but even that could be expanded. Antandrus (talk) 14:10, 19 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge tag[edit]

Soon it will be a week since the tag was applied suggesting a merge with the fiddle article... so far nobody has commented. I do not favor a merge, for the same reason a lot of content was split out into child articles sometime around 2005 or 2006: the parent "Violin" article had grown larger than the recommended limit for Wikipedia articles. Today it is 88KB, big enough that adding large blocks of content is probably not a good idea. Just plain Bill (talk) 14:43, 7 August 2017 (UTC)¥Reply[reply]

I think it's a good idea to keep them separate -- the other article is well developed and makes the distinctions clear. Agree that merge would make the violin article too large. Antandrus (talk) 17:55, 7 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, there are other bowed instruments that may be considered "fiddles" (such as a nyckelharpa or crwth - I'm not an expert, just saying) - so any mention of these instruments could be expanded on in the Fiddle article. LovelyLillith (talk) 22:02, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have removed the tag. Two weeks have passed without a supporting comment. Just plain Bill (talk) 13:32, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Art music before folk?[edit]

The article now says:

Following a stage of intensive development in the late Renaissance, largely in Italy, the violin had improved (in volume, tone, and agility), to the point that it not only became a very important instrument in art music, but proved highly appealing to folk musicians as well..

This has a cart-before-horse feel to it, running counter to the notion that the violin started out with a name for being a vulgar street instrument, as opposed to the genteel refined viol. As that story goes, only later did the violin gain entry to the world of art music. I don't know how accurate that is, and welcome comment. Just plain Bill (talk) 16:38, 10 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Double stops and posture.[edit]

I've edited two sections: Double stops and posture.

Double stops: I've never seen the "non divisi" indication, but I've seen "divisi". This means that when you see a double stop in an orchestal part, and there's no indication, you are supposed to play the double stop. Also, triple-stopping in Baroque music sounds good when done well.

Posture: I've added hunching and pain in the left hand, always a bad sign. (talk) 20:23, 2 May 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]

Various edits[edit]

These are the edits I made:

Pitch range: I've never seen music that demanded the G string to be a D string. If evidence is presented, then this entry may stay. Notes up to C8 can be played stopping the string.

Vibrato: the real reason why vibrato is interesting, it's because it plays a microtone. Think about it. Rocking back and forth allows a distance shorter than a semitone to sound. That's the refreshing effect of vibrato. Now, all that explanation about overtones and sound projection, well, I'm not sure about it, but at least both arguments could cohabitate in the article. Besides, the source for the projection argument has vanished. (I mean, this URL no longer discusses vibrato).

Open strings: Bach wrote for the open E string, easy enought to check. And drones aren't the exclusive heritage of folk music, so the comparison with bagpipes is off. (talk) 18:52, 25 May 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]

I don't like completely replacing the formerly sourced material with unsourced material. You sound like you know what you're talking about, though. You should sign in or make an account, so that others could approach you to talk about changes like these. Could you find a source to go with your new material?Jacqke (talk) 20:25, 25 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
¡Hola, Ezequiel! A traditional piece, "Bonaparte's Retreat", Old-time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes, by Jeff Todd Titon, University Press of Kentucky, 2001 uses the DDAD tuning, where the E string is tuned down one step, and the G string is tuned down a fourth.
I have played this piece in this tuning; as may be seen in this transcription, the lowest string is used only as an open drone.
A reference for how violin vibrato affects timbre, dynamics, and the way the sound "points" at different parts of the room may be found in this PDF: "Directional tone color" by Gabriel Weinreich, Randall Laboratory of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"The effect can be visualized in terms of a number of highly directional sound beacons, all of which the vibrato causes to undulate back and forth in a coherent and highly organized fashion. It is obvious that such a phenomenon will help immensely in fusing sounds of the differently directed partials into a single auditory stream; one may even speculate that it is a reason why vibrato is used so universally by violinists—as compared to wind players, from the sound of whose instruments directional tone color is generally absent."
See various entries for "musette" in List of bagpipes. For example, Haydn's String Quartet in A Major, Op. 20 No 6 "evokes musette drones".
I hope this is enough sourcing for the removed material. Just plain Bill (talk) 21:03, 25 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm OK with the 4th string D.
The bit about Bach writing for the open E string goes back in, but I'm not deleting the bagpipes.
Notes up to C8 can be played by stopping the string. The way it's worded now makes it look as if harmonics were the only way to play them, but that's wrong. Hence my edit.
I've also written about half-semitones being sounded in vibrato. (talk) 21:48, 26 May 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]
It all looks good to me, with the exception of the bit about microtones in vibrato. It would be splendid to see a source for that. I suspect that unless a player has listened extensively to microtonal music, or better still, had formal training in a tradition making use of such intervals, if vibrato is microtonal, it is only by accident.
Is there a scholarly analysis to be found, of vibrato in Western diatonic art music using explicit microtonal intervals for melodic effect? I would not be surprised to find that microtonal traditions from India or the Middle East rely more on aural transmission than on written texts, but that is not something to which I have reliable access. I have heard violin players render what I thought was convincing microtonal ornamentation consistent with some raga or maqam, but anecdotes like that cannot support excyclopedic content. Regards, Just plain Bill (talk) 03:35, 27 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's self-evident. Vibrato makes the pitch vary, which this very same article claims. Now, the variation is not wide enough to reach a semitone. Ergo, the variation in pitch produced by vibrato is a microtone. Maybe the "micro" prefix makes us think in infinitesimal fractions. That's why I used the alternate name "half semitone".
Your questions seems to ask if there is evidence that some music teacher has ever asked their students to play microtones. And no, nobody does that. But teachers do ask to play vibrato, and vibrato is effectively a techinque that allows half semitones to sound. (talk) 16:19, 27 May 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]
There is a difference between playing particular microtones by intent, and artistic choice regarding vibrato width. Without evidence that vibrato is used deliberately to introduce specific microtones, the statement "Vibrato allows microtones, or half-semitones, to be played, in a context in which only semitones are written, which produces a renewing effect." is not supported. For one thing, microtonal schemes as practised around the world do not rely exclusively on half-semitones or quarter tones.
Calling something "self-evident" amounts to original research, and is not a criterion for inclusion in this encyclopedia. See Wikipedia's policy on verifiability. Credible experts have written about the ways vibrato makes for an interesting sound, but I have not (yet) seen anything saying that microtones play a significant role in that. Just plain Bill (talk) 18:13, 27 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A few thoughts on this:
Bach and the E string. I don't think saying that the Partita in E evokes an organ is helpful - I agree there is a passing similarity but who is to say that Bach didn't write his organ music to evoke string bariolage not vice versa? Further it's far too specific an example for this article. We have the later sentence about how you use open E in rapid scale and arpeggio figures, in my view that covers this situation just fine.
High C. I've changed it back once more because while it might strictly be possible it's hardly ever done (though I don't feel strongly about this one)
Vibrato.... I have managed to read a great deal about violin performance and not encountered anything about microtones. I mean, obviously, doing vibrato does create microtonal variations in pitch, by definition. But the note is heard as its central value and the vibrato is an inflection or effect. "Renewing effect" or "differentially directed partials" strikes me as a fringe view at best, given that I have seen number of sources on the subject that don't mention anything of the sort. I would need to see a fair weight of sources to be convinced otherwise.
Thanks, The Land (talk) 19:13, 27 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding directivity of partials, The Strad published an article by Joseph Curtin about Weinteich's "directional tone color" and the Acoustical Society of America accepted a paper by Weinreich on the subject. Those may hardly be called fringe sources.
It is pretty well accepted that vibrato adds something interesting to a violin's sound. Many listeners may experience that enhancement without being aware of the acoustical details. Others, especially those in the business of acoustic treatment of performance spaces, may have a hard time ignoring those same details when there is a solo violinist playing in the room.
I first became aware of Martin Schleske's writing from favorable mention on Maestronet by well-regarded Chicago violin maker Michael Darnton, if memory serves. Schleske's piece, linked as one of the references in this article, describes how an instrument's resonance peaks, specifically the number of them clustering around any given pitch, make the kind of difference to how vibrato affects the sound which allows a soloist's violin to be heard in the back of the hall over an orchestra.
I believe this is encyclopedic content, interesting to many readers, and not occupying so much space on the page that it gets in the way of those not interested in it. Regards, Just plain Bill (talk) 14:48, 28 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bach and the E string "who is to say that Bach didn't write his organ music to evoke string bariolage?": I am. And the proof is that drones on the organ can be played as such because organs have pedals that sustain the drone note. In a violin you can't sustain three note chords as long as that, so Bach used the sound of the open string like a drone. "Further it's far too specific an example for this article": As are the examples about violins imitating bagpipes, or the example about tuning the violin in DDAD.
High C Well.. those notes are hardly ever played, either stopping the string or with harmonics. I propose that both ways go into the article.
Vibrato: please, don't tell me that it's "original research", I'm just being logical. Nowhere did I claim that violin teachers ask their students to play quarter tones. I'm asserting that vibrato allows quarter tones to sound, and it's fact. "For one thing, microtonal schemes as practised around the world do not rely exclusively on half-semitones or quarter tones.": it doesn't matter. Even if microtones aren't part of pedagogy, even if they aren't specifically mentioned, they are there when we use vibrato. (talk) 15:21, 28 May 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]
In the context of editing a Wikipedia article, "original research" is a term of art, whose meaning includes "just being logical" without a reliable source to support your assertion. Also see Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth.
Vibrato in Western music is a decoration applied around notes which belong to a diatonic or chromatic scheme. It does not make those notes microtonal. If you wish to claim otherwise, the burden of showing a source is yours. Just plain Bill (talk) 16:27, 28 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm tired. I'll just add this: a soloist can be heard over the orchestra because the soloist's part has higher and faster notes. I can assure you that when the soloist plays the same as the orchestra (tutti), he is indistinguishable. EzequielBelaus (talk) 15:01, 1 June 2018 (UTC) EzequielReply[reply]

@Just plain Bill: I'm wondering.. when I wrote about hunching and pain in the left hand, you didn't say anything. You didn't contest those. And I'm sure you read them. Why didn't you ask for sources then? EzequielBelaus (talk) 15:21, 27 June 2018 (UTC) HIV/AIDS is a fake diseaseReply[reply]

Editing wikipedia is a collaborative volunteer effort, for the most part without deadlines to meet. There are plenty of eyes on this article; I do not own it, nor does any other editor. Uncontroversial content does not, in many cases, need a source. I saw no need to demand one for those assertions. Even though I know them to be true from personal experience, it might be nice to have a link to some further reading on the subject, but that is not high on my list of priorities at the moment. Just plain Bill (talk) 22:32, 27 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, is it controversial to say that vibrato plays microtones? It only seems that you don't want it to be in the article. EzequielBelaus (talk) 18:20, 28 June 2018 (UTC) HIV/AIDS is a lie.Reply[reply]
It is more inane than controversial. It would also be silly to claim that just intonation is microtonal when compared to equal temperament, although a tenuous case could be made for that based on a superficial reading of Wikipedia's article on microtonal music. If you want to continue this discussion, it will not be fruitful to speculate about my motives. Bring a reliable source saying that vibrato is used with the aim of producing traditional microtones, and we can talk. Just plain Bill (talk) 19:54, 28 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From the source you gave: "However, many editors misunderstand the citation policy, seeing it as a tool to enforce, reinforce, or cast doubt upon a particular point of view in a content dispute, rather than as a means to verify Wikipedia's information. This can lead to several mild forms of disruptive editing which are better avoided. Ideally, common sense would always be applied but Wiki-history shows this is unrealistic." "Sometimes editors will insist on citations for material simply because they dislike it or prefer some other material, not because the material in any way needs verification. (...) While there are cases where this kind of pedantic insistence is useful and necessary, often it is simply disruptive, and can be countered simply by pointing out that there is no need to verify statements that are patently obvious." EzequielBelaus (talk) 18:24, 28 June 2018 (UTC) HIV doesn't exist. It's a hoax.Reply[reply]
Oh, but I never said that vibrato is used with that aim. I stated that vibrato makes microtones. You are twisting my words. Obviously you have a problem with the fact that vibrato sounds microtones and don't want to see it written in the article. Perhaps, in your mind, Western and Easter music are two worlds apart. Microtones are a tenet of the East, so they have no business in the West. The fact that you are invoking the "sources" guideline and that you ask for a source that says that vibrato is taught in order to sound microtones, when I never said that, shows the bias that this "encyclopedia" has. Well, good luck to you, I hope you enjoy being a gatekeeper in a website. EzequielBelaus (talk) 20:56, 28 June 2018 (UTC) HIV/AIDS is a lie and a fraud and anybody who believes in it is guillible.Reply[reply]
OK, then, find any reliable source connecting vibrato and microtones, and we can discuss it reasonably. Personal attacks do not advance your case. Blue notes are used in some genres of Western music, so microtonality is not just a tenet of the East. Just plain Bill (talk) 21:16, 28 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Blue notes are used in some genres of Western music" Do you have a source for that? EzequielBelaus (talk) 17:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC) HIV is a fraud.Reply[reply]
Since you have presented no source for that claim, I deleted it. Just like you did to mine. EzequielBelaus (talk) 14:04, 30 June 2018 (UTC) HIV is a science-fiction tale that has no meaning in real life.Reply[reply]

Request for Semi Protection[edit]

AdrianWikiEditor (talk) 23:24, 1 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@AdrianWikiEditor:  Not done: requests for increases to the page protection level should be made at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. RudolfRed (talk) 23:52, 1 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 21 October 2021[edit]

I am a violinist and i would love to add important things that were forgoten.

thanks, Luke Effuheufh (talk) 16:39, 21 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Cannolis (talk) 17:09, 21 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Effuheufh:  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate.  Not done: this is not the right page to request additional user rights. You may reopen this request with the specific changes to be made and someone will add them for you, or if you have an account, you can wait until you are autoconfirmed and edit the page yourself. Signed, I Am Chaos (talk) 17:09, 21 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 21 October 2021 (2)[edit]

can i help edit Luke the III (talk) 16:47, 21 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: this is not the right page to request additional user rights. You may reopen this request with the specific changes to be made and someone will add them for you, or if you have an account, you can wait until you are autoconfirmed and edit the page yourself. Cannolis (talk) 17:08, 21 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Fiddle" and "violin"[edit]

Presently the article suggests the terms violin and fiddle are used as synonyms. I would hazard to say that in the term fiddle is used only amusingly, jocosely, or very very casually. They are not the same word and aren't used in the same way. They refer to completely different situations. Pbhressays (talk) 22:14, 7 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"FiddleandViolin" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

Information.svg An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect FiddleandViolin and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 May 8#FiddleandViolin until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. Steel1943 (talk) 07:49, 8 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Vienna symphonic library and Violin Inspriation both said the highest note possible is A7, could someone explain to me why this article says it's B7? 2601:647:4C00:D260:A925:EF1:15B3:6515 (talk) 21:42, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Yet higher notes (up to C8) can be sounded by stopping the string, reaching the limit of the fingerboard, and/or by using artificial harmonics." Ok, it's seems like not a big deal now. 2601:647:4C00:D260:A925:EF1:15B3:6515 (talk) 21:48, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Up bow and down bow[edit]

The section on Playing never mentions up bow versus down bow, which seems a basic aspect. I've noted a similar omission in the article on the cello and presumably in articles about other bowed instruments. The natural place to insert this information is the beginning of the section on Bowing techniques, but as a non-violinist I'm hesitant to write anything. Ishboyfay (talk) 04:01, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 19 December 2022[edit]

The reference to the violin ( as "the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola" is incorrect. The following passage (from is correct: "Instrument names in the violin family are all derived from the root viola, which is a derivative of the Medieval Latin word vitula (meaning "stringed instrument")." 2A06:4944:18EA:FE00:0:0:0:4EA3 (talk) 11:58, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We don't use other Wikipedia articles as sources; the development of the instrument is not identical with the etymology of its name. That said, we should really not be using etymonline as a source in either article. It's based (to what extent I don't know) on the OED and other dictionaries but it's also Douglas R. Harper's website - he's a historian, not an acknowleged linguistics expert. His site is highly commended by many but some of his sources seem rather old.Haploidavey (talk) 12:04, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{Edit semi-protected}} template. casualdejekyll 17:39, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]