This volume, the fourth in the series, is the result of the 2010 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, held in Aberdeen, Scotland, its theme being ‘Roots and Routes’. ‘Roots’ has traditionally suggested beginnings, attachment to place, and stasis in general, whereas ‘routes’ has encompassed travel, migration, and displacement – in short, movement. But the research contained in this volume strongly supports a more modern, nuanced understanding of ‘roots’: earlier times have already featured plenty of the operation of the dynamics of change. Since ‘roots’ were packed with ‘routes’ from the start, the journey from conference to published volume entailed inverting these terms’ customary to order: hence the current ‘Routes & Roots’. Contributors also addressed many other topics in this volume, approaches that were generally aspects of or interacting with the main thrust. These included: the interrelatedness of fiddle and dance traditions and how they have long been transformed by processes of globalisation as well as complementary processes of self-conscious localization; historical influences and voices of change; the importance of place and how this relates to identity; the nature of performance and the role of the individual; innovation and virtuosity; socialisation and competition; the interplay of dance and music in performance, and the essential natures of performance styles and of transmission.
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 corridors through which cultures have flowed and continue to flow in a process of exchange and communication.
This collection of papers, both fascinating and timely, brings new insights into the field of international folk music studies, and represents the diversity of current research. It deserves to be read widely by scholars and enthusiasts alike.
Authors include: James Alexander; Cameron Baggins; Pat Ballantyne; Elaine Bradtke; Samantha Breslin; Catherine Foley; Chris Goertzen; Lesley Ham; Gregory Hansen; Gaila Kirdiene; Anne Lederman; Mats Melin; Colette Moloney; Lisa Morrissey; Emma Nixon; Ian Russell; Chris Stone and Claire White.