A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 01, 2014
“What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?” (joke)

A popular fiddle/violin joke among musicians is:

Q: What’s the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
A: No one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 2005 and is of unknown authorship.


Google Groups: rec.music.makers.bowed-strings
violin, cello, bass, other jokes
Charlie Way
6/8/95
(...)
What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
No-one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Google Groups: rec.music.folk.tablature
dumb question..
kevin john wilhite
4/1/98
(...)
What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
No-one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Google Books
Alternative Strings:
The New Curriculum

By Julie Lyonn Lieberman
Pompton Plains, NJ: Amadeus Press
2004
Pg. 51:
What’s the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
No one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Google Books
The Best Musicians’ Jokes
By Bruno Kassel and Carlo May
Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
2005
Pg. 28:
What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
No one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book
By Jim Green
London: Omnibus Press
2010
Pg. ?:
Q: ...And another difference between a violin and a fiddle?
A: No one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Daily Press (Newport News, VA)
Mark O’Connor on fiddles, violins and what Christmas means to him
By Mike Holtzclaw
DECEMBER 1, 2014, 9:17 AM
There’s an old joke among musicians that goes something like this: What is the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Answer: You don’t spill beer on a violin.

Twitter
Jordan keigher
‏@Jordan_keigher
The difference between a violin and a fiddle is that you don’t spill beer on the violin.
6:46 PM - 1 Dec 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Monday, December 01, 2014 • Permalink