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Fiddle-Related Books

Posted by Scoville on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm not a big fan of notation.  The thing about old-time musicians learning aurally doesn't bother me so much; I don't have a regular group of fiddlers to play with so I think I can't afford to be picky.  However, I don't read music all that well, anyway, and I wholeheartedly agree that it's a very weak way to transmit tunes.

Which is why I have so few books.

I have no qualms about translating non-fiddle formats onto fiddle, either.  I regularly use my own collection of dulcimer tab (arranged and tabbed by myself) to pick out tunes.  I sort of like the dulcimer tab method.  Dulcimer tab is usually pretty stripped-down (at least, it is when I write it) so there is less temptation to adhere to the arrangement as it is written.

Music books:

Hornbostel, Lois.  Cajun Favorites for Mountain Dulcimer.  Mel Bay, 2005.  I wish this had more lyrics.

Krassen, Miles.  Appalachian Fiddle.  Oak Publications, 1995.  Nice little book.  I got "Rowe's Division" and "Creek Nation" out of here.

Phillips, Stacy.  Mel Bay's Favorite American Rags & Blues for Fiddle, Mel Bay Publications, 2005.

Thompson, Linda Lowe.  Tunes for Hammered Dulcimer. 1989.  So it's for hammered dulcimer.  Tunes are tunes, right?

Thompson, Linda Lowe.  Hammered Dulcimer Notebook.  1993.

Reading books:

Ancelet, Barry Jean and Elemore Morgan, Jr.  Cajun and Creole Music Makers [Musiciens cadiens et creoles], University of Missouri Press, 1999.  Upress is the source of so many good things . . .

4 comments on “Fiddle-Related Books”

OTJunky Says:
Friday, June 27, 2008 @7:00:36 PM

I'm surprised.   I thought everybody had a copy of the Fiddler's Fakebook...


Scoville Says:
Saturday, June 28, 2008 @8:47:16 PM

Nope.  Never got around to it.  You're at least the third person who has commented on my fakebook deficiency.

fiddlepogo Says:
Friday, January 22, 2010 @12:37:40 AM

I don't have one either.

carlb Says:
Friday, January 22, 2010 @7:42:53 AM

While the tunes in "Fiddler's Fakebook" and Stacy Phillip's "Traditional American Fiddle Tunes" all have recorded sources that one can find, there are a few books for which there are no, or unavailable recorded sources. These still have some good tunes, but one has to create a setting that works.
Samuel Bayard's two books - "Hill Country Tunes" and "Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife"
Marion Thede's "The Fiddle Book"
Ira Ford's "Traditional Music of America"
Many of the tunes in Jeff Titon's "Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes"
RP Christeson's "The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory" Vols. 1 & 2
and another couple of newer ones for which one can find some recorded versions:
Harrison & Burgess' "Dear Old Illinois" (there 3 CDs that can be purchased separately; I don't know if they have all the tunes that are in the book)
"Kenny Hall's Music Book"

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