Fiddle & Bluegrass

Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rythm, texture and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways showcasing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

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In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

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Here is a good sample of traditional fiddle playing, The video also clearly shows how embellishments (such as sliding from "C" to "C#" (in the key of A minor) adds a special flavor to the music.

OnlineLessonVideos August 14, 2009 Ian Walsh teaches the classic Bluegrass/Old time tune Cluck Old Hen. This is a great sample! Check out for the full lesson plus the Sheet Music!

Music and tradition flows from one continent to another. What is known as the "fiddle" style of playing, adopted early on by Blugrass bands in Appalachian USA, was actually imported from Ireland along with the immigrants.

eboyinc June 15, 2008 Sound sample of a nice 20th c handmade violin. The piece is the Millionaire's Hoedown arranged by Clebanoff and is based on traditional Irish or Bluegrass fiddle music.

Merle Hall and Jason Huntley old time fiddle music playing the clawhammer banjo and old time fiddle

Of course, the violin is a European instrument, The "fiddle" style of playing hails from Ireland, while the original banjo was of African descent. Thus, the delightful mix of banjo and violin heard in "Bluegrass" music is a direct result of the US melting pot at work.

Here is the fiddle as one cooperative member of a traditional Blugrass ensemble. Notice how each performer is highlighted as a soloist in his turn. This performance is lead by the violin, then the theme is taken up by the guitar fllowed by the mandolin and banjo. The music closes with a final statement by the violin ending with a fun little coda by the mandolin.

Erique666cz June 22, 2009 Clay Jones - guitar ; Jim VanCleve - fiddle ; Ron Stewart - banjo ; Adam Steffey - mandolin; Jason Moore - double bass


For more on the violin and how it is played around the world click on the appropriate link button

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