Fiddle Vs Fiddle

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When European countries colonized North America, the settlers brought their homeland’s culture with them. Every colony became a pocket of European culture, that was passed onto the next generation. Slowly these colonies grew, and as time passed, the culture within the communities deviated from the European cultures that were their source. Music, being an integral part of all cultures, also changed. The music of the isolated pocket of settlers in the Appalachian mountains evolved from African and Irish folk music (Price, 11). Because of the addition of African rhythms and the banjo, Appalachian music became even more distinct from the traditional Irish music that was it’s source. (Price, 10-11) But with the creation of the railroad, then radio,…show more content…
One clarification is that a fiddle is a violin, and any violin can be a fiddle. Violins are only called fiddles if they are used to play traditional music. While similar instruments like the viola and cello can be used to fiddle, they are not considered fiddles. Each cultural region, to an extent, has a different style of playing the fiddle. It can be as small as more slurs than usual, but there is still a difference. In modern times, there is so much crossover between the different styles of fiddling that many of the smaller distinctions have been lost to time. As Hazel Fairbairn describes, the term style “denotes the composite form of the distinctive features that identify an individual's musical performance” (Fairbairn, 570). One of the most popular Irish fiddlers in America was Michael Coleman, who was considered to be a champion of the Sligo style of fiddling. What distinguishes Sligo style fiddling from other Irish styles is that Sligo fiddling “uses more varied and slurred bowing, and employs a greater variety and quantity of gracing devices.” (Fairbairn, 570) A slurred bow is when two or more notes are played without a change in the bows directions. Gracing devices, or grace notes, are a type of embellishment where very short notes are added before or after the note in the melody, without actually affecting the melody. American…show more content…
No longer did people have to search out music sessions to hear new music, they could go to a store and learn from a recording. At first, some might have feared that the creation of audio would herald the end of “true” traditional music, but it has endured. No recording can replicate the emotions experienced in a live music session. “Everyone's individual playing is at once celebrated and transcended…a really good session has an indefinable element of unrestrained energy and sensitivity, something which is only occasionally present, even with the same people” (Fairbairn, 568). What audio recordings has affected is that every culture’s music is now accessible. No longer is an artist restricted to hearing the music of their region; they can learn and play any music from any culture. This is why there are so many modern traditional American composers that have mastered a variety of styles. It is very rare now to find a fiddler in America that has never learned a song or style from other cultures, because it is so interconnected. In Ireland there are artists that play more traditional Irish than anything else, but Irish music as a whole has been affected by America. The stories of immigrated Irish are sung in Ireland, and the banjo, mandolin, and guitar can be heard in ceili bands. Traditional music has changed, but by definition traditional

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