Fiddle and Tradition in America: A History and Demonstration
Date(s) - 06/13/2017
Bergenfield Free Public Library
Until the early twentieth century, the fiddle was the centerpiece of American folk music and folk culture. Since then it has been the focus of a musical preservation impulse and a search for authentic folk expression, often referred to as traditional music. This presentation explores the dynamic role of fiddle music in American life from the eighteenth century to the present. Historian and working musician Matthew Backes discusses the origins, styles, and interrelated histories of a range of fiddle traditions while providing demonstration of technique and repertoire. The presentation begins as an interactive introduction to the fiddle and ends by raising big questions about the meaning of tradition itself and the place of music in the making, recording, and understanding of cultural change.