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Cambridge Students Build Instruments
Cambridge Students Build Instruments
Stanley G. Falk School
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mrs.  Widger has utilized her passion and love of music to engage students in constructing their own instrument, a diddley bow, as part of her summer curriculum. The diddley bow is a single-stringed American instrument which influenced the development of the blues sound. It consists of a single string of baling wire tensioned between two nails on a board over a glass bottle, which is used both as a bridge and as a means to magnify the instrument's sound. It was traditionally considered a starter or children's instrument in the South, especially in the African American community, and is rarely heard outside the rural South. 

Students worked in pairs after learning about the blues to construct their own diddley bow. With the assistance of a "pick up," students were able to electrify and amplify their bows to hear how similar they sound to modern guitars. Students learned traditional blues rhythm, AAB pattern and could keep up with songs such as I am a Man by Muddy Waters and Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood.