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[Dec 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Technology Can Help You Fiddle

By Carolyn Osborne In the good ol’ days, when people put their furniture outside on a Saturday night and had house dances (Appalachia) or bals de mason (Cajun), youngsters learned fiddle tunes by listening and watching older fiddle players.  After a few years of being around a fiddle player, a kid might openly borrow or [...]

Featured, Fiddle History »

[Dec 2010 | One Comment | ]
Musings on the Evolution of Jazz Violin: Part Five Capturing the Imagination

by Anthony Barnett It must be pretty obvious where my original, and some of my later, allegiances lie so I shall not dwell too much on them except to say that in searching for players who truly capture the imagination I do not seek a new Stuff Smith— or Eddie South—or Venuti or Grappelli or [...]

Featured, Tunes »

[Oct 2010 | Comments Off | ]
Fidel Cruz

by Paul Anastasio Fidel Cruz was a good friend of Juan Reynoso and a fine musician. Juan wrote this beautiful waltz in his memory. Juan generally played this with a quarter note at M.M. 106. Feel free to play it at whatever speed you like. A few big slides would not be too schmaltzy for [...]

Featured, Lessons »

[Oct 2010 | 14 Comments | ]
Never Too Late: Part One

By Lois Siegel Photo by Victor Turco Squeak, Squeak…. Squeak, Squeak…. Screech That was me at age 50 when I finally had time to engage in the formidable challenge of learning to play the violin. I had started “playing” the piano at eight in Omaha, Nebraska.  My teacher, Mr. Johnson, tall and lanky, looked a [...]

Featured, Lessons »

[Oct 2010 | 6 Comments | ]
Weaning Yourself Off of Printed Music

by Carolyn Osborne The problem with relying on printed music for fiddle tunes is that the music doesn’t really represent how the tune is actually played.  Most fiddle tunes were/are played at dances, and if you play Bill Cheatham the exact same way for the ten minutes it takes to get through a set, then [...]

Featured, Fiddle History »

[Oct 2010 | Comments Off | ]
“Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?” The Split Personality of Cotton-Eyed Joe” (Part III)

by Howard Marshall Continued from the previous issue of Fiddle Sessions    The printed music {of Cotton Eyed Joe} appears in numerous fiddle tune books. Christeson has an unusual version in his Old-Time Fiddler’s Repertory, with several phrases reminiscent to the 1940s western swing song.[vi]  Ira Ford included a version in his classic 1940 book substantially [...]

Featured, Fiddle History, Tunes »

[Aug 2010 | Comments Off | ]
“Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?” The Split Personality of Cotton-Eyed Joe” (Part II)

by Howard Marshall              The version of Cotton Eyed Joe considered the older fiddle tune is sometimes associated with Appalachian and Southern fiddling due to its appearance in 1926 on a recording by Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. The celebrated north Georgia string band recorded a series of seven 78 rpm records (fourteen sides) [...]

Featured, Fiddle History, Interview »

[Aug 2010 | 7 Comments | ]
Musings on the Evolution of Jazz Violin Part Four: Bop to Hop

  by Anthony Barnett  SP What do you think of the effect of pickups on jazz violin’s acceptance and whether it is a positive, negative or neutral trend? Any opinions on the     1. current crop of pickups?     2. acoustic vs. solid body instruments?     3. appearance of 5 string models? AB I am [...]

Featured, Fiddle History »

[Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Scandinavian Fiddling and Related Instruments

by Carl Rahkonen The first time someone hears Scandinavian fiddling they may be struck by its unique sound, which can be as beautiful and austere as the Scandinavian landscape.  Together with incredible rhythmic complexity, this music can sound as exotic as any music on the earth.  It is a sound that can be particularly addicting! [...]

Featured, Fiddle History »

[Aug 2010 | Comments Off | ]

By Tim Woodbridge 1939 found Don Messer in something of a quandary.  Despite the successes chronicled in Part 2 and continuing, it must have seemed that he was constantly required to justify himself to distant CBC executives. In 1936 the network had reduced the proportion of musical programming from 70% to 50%.  In 1938, following [...]