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Images from The Beede Gallery

Tro (Spike Fiddle), Burma (Myanmar), 19th Century

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NMM 2676. Tro, Burma (Myanmar), 19th century. A hybrid spike fiddle that combines a fascinating mix of Eastern and Western elements. The hardwood body, painted black, is shaped like a Western violin; whereas the head terminates in an intricately carved Burmese dancer decorated with bits of mirrored glass, mother-of-pearl, gilt, and paint. Played vertically by a seated musician--the spike resting on the ground--using underhand bowing. The adoption and subsequent adaptation of Western instruments by various other cultures offers unique insight into the values of form and function held by different societies. Ex coll.: Eugene de Briqueville, Paris. Height: 92.5 cm (36.5"). Purchase funds gift of LeRoy G. Hoffman, Eureka, South Dakota, 1980.

NMM 2676.  Tro (spike fiddle), Burma (Myanmar), 19th century

Front, Back, and Sides

Bass side view
Treble side

Front and Back Views of Body

Front of body
Bass side of body
Treble side of body
Back of body

Front and Side Views of Burmese Dancer

Side view

Front, Back, and Side Views of Pegbox

Front of pegbox
Bass side of pegbox
Treble side of pegbox
Back of pegbox

Front, Back, and Side Views of Neck

Front of neck
Bass side of neck
Treble side of neck
Back of neck

Decorative Details on Fingerboard, Back, and Neck Heel

Fingerboard decoration
Decoration on back
Neck heel


Reconstructed bridge

Replacement bridge patterned after bridge on spike fiddle at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (89.4.2108A).

Front and Back Views of Spike

Front view of spike
Back view of spike


"Rare Burmese Instrument Acquired," Shrine to Music Museum, Inc. Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 1 (October 1980), p. 4.

Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, The Shrine to Music Museum Catalog of the Collections, Vol. II, André P. Larson, editor (Vermillion: The Shrine to Music Museum, 1982), p. 2.

Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, M.M. Thesis, University of South Dakota, May 1983, p. 54, plate XXI.

André P. Larson, The National Music Museum: A Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: National Music Museum, 1988), p. 28.

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Most recent update:   December 6, 2013

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