This volume, the second in the series, is the direct result of the 2006 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, its theme being “Connecting Cultures”. The cultures connected were not simply those of nationality, ethnicity or community, but also those of academia and fiddle and dance performance. The book provides an important contribution to the study of the role of fiddle and associated dance traditions at the beginning of the twenty-first century and celebrates the contribution of performer-scholars to our understanding of the subject’s complexities.
The selected essays cover a range of themes, from cultural politics and authenticity to the aesthetics of fiddle music and dance, from the performer’s creativity to the contesting forces of continuity and change. Rhythm is acknowledged as the defining feature of different fiddle styles, such that bowing is not merely about sounding the notes correctly, but rather it articulates the essential meaning of the music.
The North Atlantic, in providing a unifying frame for these studies, is not conceived in terms of boundaries that separate and divide peoples, but rather as a corridor through which cultures have flowed and continue to flow in a process of exchange and communication.
This fascinating and timely collection of new insights in the field of international folk music and ethnomusicological studies represents the diversity of current research, and deserves to be read widely by scholars and enthusiasts alike.
Authors include: Mary Anne Alburger, Pat Ballantyne, Elaine Bradtke, Katherine Campbell, Matt Cranitch, Gregory J. Dorchak, Karin Eriksson, Alan Jabbour, Sherry Johnson, Gaila Kirdienë, Eoghan Neff, Mats Nilsson, George Ruckert, Ian Russell, Elisa Sereno-Janz, Catherine A. Shoupe.