[Dixielandjazz] Fiddle-Horn

jobriant at sunrisetelecom.com jobriant at sunrisetelecom.com
Mon Jan 8 11:13:47 PST 2007

Roy (Bud) Taylor wrote:

> [At] ... to the Rochester Philharmonic Holiday Concert 
> ... the annual visit by Santa Claus was set up this 
> year because "he always wanted to play with an orchestra".
> ... After some small talk, he pulled his instrument out 
> of the pack on his back and proceeded to play a jazzy 
> Stephan Grappelli version of "Santa Claus is Coming To 
> Town".  [The violin] ... had the expected neck and 
> bridge assembly, but was amplified not by a wooden 
> body, but a brass neck that hooked up from the bottom 
> of the strings aiming up at a 45 degree angle away 
> from the player and bell that looked like it could 
> have been from an old alto horn.  

Sounds like a Stroh-Violin to me.

However, according to pictures on a manufacturer's website and at
Wikipedia, the Stroh-Violin had the bell but not the traditional
sound-box of a wooden violin. See:




> ... Could this have been an instrument from the early 
> days of acoustic recordings when sound level was a 
> premium, ...


> ... or just a construction thrown together by Santa's elves?

Since a true Stroh Violin doesn't have the violin shaped sound box and
Santa's fiddle did, it may have been a "home-made" version, made by
highly skilled elves who live at the North Pole, or course.

Jim O'Briant
Gilroy, CA

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