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Kit fiddle

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Kit fiddle

A dancing master's kit, made c 1780.

Dancing was an important social skill for all those intending to enter polite society, and dancing masters were employed to show young ladies and gentlemen the steps. A kit was a small fiddle used by the masters when teaching the dancers. It was small enough to be played while demonstrating dance steps and was quiet, so the music would not disturb the neighbours. Another name for a kit is pochette (from the French for "pocket") as the fiddle was so small it could easily be slipped into a pocket when not being used.

This kit was either made or sold in 1780 by James Aird, who had a music shop at the corner of Gibson's Wynd and New Street. As well as selling musical instruments, Aird was one of several Glasgow men who published and sold sheet music.

Reference: 1945.47.f

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
dance classes, dancing, dancing masters' kits, dancing teachers, fiddlers, fiddles, kit fiddles, music, music publishers, music shop owners, music shops, pochettes, sheet music



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