Fiddlers & Dance Tunes

This section presents an overall look at the history of fiddling and dance music in the Adirondack region from our earliest days.  While other instruments have been played by very accomplished musicians, the fiddle has certainly dominated in local traditional dance music through time.  Fiddling styles reflect some of the diverse ethnic influences in North Country life, from New England Yankee, French Canadian, Irish and Scottish repertoires.  Life in the twentieth century brought many changes—recordings, the radio, contests, and now the internet—and local fiddlers reflect those influences in their music. 

In this section, you can read some background in an essay that describes continuities and changes in fiddling in the Adirondack region for more than two centuries.

You can find profiles of men and women who gained a reputation in their families and communities as “good fiddlers” and have been documented by collectors who realized their special qualities and their amazing repertoires.  For each of them, there is a selection of tunes in audio files and sheet music, transcribed exactly as the fiddler performed it. 

And there is a section of tunes that appear to have been created in our own region, some with titles that refer to local places or events, others that seem to be unique to one musician or one family and are named accordingly.