Old Time Fiddlers Week

No, this isn’t about aged violin players! Let me quote from Wikipedia. “Old time fiddle is a genre of American folk music. ‘Old time fiddle tunes’ derived from European folk dance tunes such as Jig, Reel, Breakdown, Schottische, Waltz, Two Step and Polka. The fiddle may be accompanied by banjo or other instruments but are nevertheless called ‘fiddle tunes.’ The genre traces from the colonization of North America by immigrants from England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Scotland.”

In my neighborhood, one of the couples were part of a group called Old Time Fiddlers. They had been married 75 years before the husband died, and still their group practiced every week in a building near me. I had another friend, too, who was part of the group.

In the Pacific Northwest where I live, both Washington and Oregon have official Old Time Fiddlers Associations. Despite the name implying they are entirely older folks, all ages can participate. Oregon contests divide the contestants into Small Fry (8 and younger), Junior-Junior (9-12), Junior Division (13-17), Young Adult (18-36), Adult (37-59), Senior (60-69), and Senior-Senior (70 and older). There seemed to be plenty of contestants in all the age groups.

A tiny sample of the tunes played are:
Grey Eagle
Hot Springs
Mark’s Waltz
Wednesday Night Waltz
Cotton Patch
Rag Clarinet Polka
Yellow Rose Waltz
Billy in the Lowground (a particularly popular tune)
Crafton’s Blues
Rose of Avonmore
Flap Jack Rag

If you enter “old time fiddle tunes youtube” into a search engine, it will lead you to a large list of music to choose from. If you want just a sample, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRj9Y_XciJM which leads you to the Old Time Fiddle Waltz. It will make you tap your feet. Or if you prefer to just listen, there is a huge list at Old Town School of Folk Music (https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/adults/fiddle/tunes/). If you are a fiddler and want to try your hand at some of these, there is music online from Penn State. (http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/tunes.html)

The graphic is the official decal of the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers.


Enjoy these fiddle quotes.

I wanna hear an old time fiddle
Play an old time fiddle song
I might even drink just a little
If you play Little Jolie Blon
–Vince Gill (Old Time Fiddle)

You know, if you really want to fiddle the old-time way, you’ve got to learn the dance. The contra-dances, hoedowns. It’s all in the rhythm of the bow. The great North Carolina fiddle player Tommy Jarrell said, ‘If a feller can’t bow, he’ll never make a fiddler. He might make a violin player, but he’ll never make no fiddler.–Alison Krauss

I don’t want talking, I want fiddling!–Luther Davis

Fiddlers just want to have fun!–Stacy Phillips

The music comes from the fiddler’s heart, through his strings and straight into your heart.–Father John Angus Rankin

We consider the man who can fiddle all through one of those Virginia reels without losing his grip, may be depended upon in any kind of emergency.–Mark Twain

Music is a great gift, one of the greatest anybody can have, because it’s something nobody can take away from you. Money can’t buy it. It’s a very precious thing, I think, very precious.–Ernie Carpenter, Appalachian fiddler.

I prefer to make common cause with those whose weapons are guitars, banjos, fiddles and words.–Theodore Bikel

FIDDLE, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse’s tail on the entrails of a cat.–Ambrose Bierce

As one old gentleman put it, “Son, I don’t care if you’re stark nekkid and wear a bone in your nose. If you kin fiddle, you’re all right with me. It’s the music we make that counts.”–Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)

Then she took up the bow and began to play. The tone was warm and deep, storied with layers of age.–A. S. Peterson (Fiddler’s Green)

The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.– Irish Sayings quotes

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

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