New Fiddle Books

Scottish Fiddling Certification Available: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Syllabus

Aird, James: Aird's Airs (6 vols., multiple editions)

Anderson, J.: Anderson's Budget of Scotch, English, and Irish Slow Airs

Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels, and Country Dances

Anonymous (Glen 82): A Directory for Ball Music, 1800 (first two bars of tunes named)

Barsanti, Francesco: A Collection of Old Scots Tunes

Bremner, Robert: A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances

30 Scots Songs for Voice and Harpsichord & A Second Set of Scots Songs

Dow, Daniel: A Collection of Ancient Scots Music

Fraser, Simon:
The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles, The Airs and melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles

Geminiani, Francesco: A Treatise of Good Taste in the Art of Music (2 vols.)

Gow, Niel: A Collection of Strathspey Reels, Neil Gow 1784 (book, pdf)

A Second Collection of Strathspey Reels (Caledonian Hunt)

The Complete Repository of Original Scots Volumes 1-4

Gunn, John: Forty Favorite Scotch Airs

MacKintosh, Abraham: A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, &c.

MacDonald, Keith Norman: The Skye Collection

McDonald, Malcolm: A second Collection of Strathspey Reels &c.

McDonald, Patrick: A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs (composite volume)

McGibbon, William: A Collection of Scots Tunes

MacLeod, -: MacLeod's Collection of Airs, Marches, Waltzes & Rondos (vols. 1-3)

Mitchell, Mr.: The Highland Fair, or, Union of the Clans (with scores)(composite volume)

Oswald, James: The Caledonian Pocket Companion (at internet archive: issues vary),,,,, Colin's Kisses

Riddell, Robert: A Collection of Scotch, Galwegian and Border Tunes

Ross, Elizabeth: Original Highland Airs Collected at Raasay in 1812 (MS)

Stewart, Neil: A Collection of Scots Songs (composite volume)

Stuart, Alexander: Musick for Allan Ramsay's collection of 71 Scots songs (6 vols.)

Musick for Alan Ramsay's Collection (transcription)

Thompson, William: Orpheus Caledonius,

Transcription of Orpheus Caledonius

Urbani, Peter: A Collection of Scots Songs Vol. 1

A Collection of Scots Songs Vol. 2

The Violinist's Guide to Fiddling

Fiddling for Classical Stiffs - Viola [Latham]

Fiddling for Classical Stiffs - Violin [Latham]

Celtic Classics for String Trio [Latham]

The American Fiddle Method:
Book and CD: Vol. 1, Vol. 2.
Book, CD and DVD: Vol. 1, Vol. 2.

The Fiddler's Fakebook: Edited by David Brody. Fake book for fiddle. With lead melody, chord names, instructional text and performance notes. 302 pages. Published by Oak Publications.

R.P. Christenson: The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory 245 Traditional Tunes, Vol. 2

R.P. Christenson: The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory Historic Field Recordings of Forty-one Traditional Tunes

Ken Kolodner: The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory Old-Time Fiddle Style Book/CD Set - A Collection of 35 Traditional Appalachian Tunes

Old-Time Fiddling Across America

Dan Levenson: Old-Time Festival Tunes for Fiddle and Mandolin

Craig Duncan:
  • Deluxe Fiddling Method
  • Advanced Fiddling
  • Christmas Melodies for Violin Solo
  • You Can Teach Yourself Fiddling

    Championship Contest Fiddling Book/CD - Transcriptions from 15 Championship Rounds

    The Irish Fiddle Book: The Art of Traditional Fiddle-Playing (Book & CD)

    The Phillips Collection of American Fiddle Tunes, Vol. 1

    Paul McNevin: The Irish Fiddle (Complete Guide to Learning) Book/CD Set

    Paul McNevin: Absolute Beginners Irish Fiddle DVD

    Kevin Burke: Irish Fiddle, Mastering The Art DVD

    Peter Cooper: Complete Irish Fiddle Player

  • Listening/Viewing

    Also see: Fiddle Tunes with MP3s

    Fiddling for Viola

    Anonymous, Fiddling Fingers. (Beginning Fiddling Lessons for String Classes or Individual Learners (Viola Book - Audio CD Included))

    Edward M. Caner, Fiddling for Classical Kids - Viola Part. (Providing stylistic fundamentals For Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Texas, and Jazz Fiddling)

    Edward M. Caner, Fiddling for Classical Stiffs - Viola

    Craig Duncan:
    Christmas Solos for Beginning Viola
    Easy Solos for Beginning Viola
    Rhythmic Studies for Beginning Viola
    Sacred Melodies for Solo Viola
    The Student Violist: Bach - Viola and Piano
    The Student Violist: Beethoven - Viola and Piano
    The Student Violist: Mozart - Viola and Piano
    Technical Studies for Beginning Viola

    Michael Hoffheimer, Fiddling for Viola. Traditional Irish and American Fiddle Tunes Arranged for Viola

    Bob Phillips and Andrew H. Dabczynski, Basic Fiddlers Philharmonic Celtic Fiddle Tunes (Viola)

    Bob Phillips and Andrew H. Dabczynski, Basic Fiddlers Philharmonic Old-Time Fiddle Tunes (Viola)

    Brian Wicklund and Faith Farr, The American Fiddle Method, Volume 1 - Viola Book/CD Set

    Anne C. Witt, Scottish Fiddling for Viola

    RE: Fiddle and Alternative Styles

    Teaching Fiddle:
    I frequently have students contact me who are studying law or working on a Ph.D. in a science subject, who are clearly not planning on becoming professional musicians (though some approach that level), but who "want to know everything" while mainly their focus is fiddle. In these cases, I still use Suzuki book 1, but add the Fiddle Time Runners, and Fiddle Time Joggers, along with a lot of handouts and a lot of listening but using more an aural tradition [See "Easy Fiddle" link, below].

    By observing the posts on Fiddle Hangout (very friendly list) and Fiddle-L, a forum based at Brown University, I have come to understand the real distinction between classical music orientation and folk/fiddle orientation. Learning fiddle is not done by the book, but by listening and teaching improvisation techniques. This is the way folk and popular music is frequently learned, and I highly recommend it.

    Like studying the viola, studying fiddle takes the classically trained violinist out of their comfort zone, and is wonderful for the development of their musicianship. There are also sociological and cultural issues, and it's incredibly interesting. [See also, below: How many difference fiddle styles are there?]

    From the Violin/Viola FAQ:

    How many different fiddle styles are there?
    The "art music" versus popular or folk music discussion: The distinction is between so-called "art music" and popular or folk music. This distinction is no longer very meaningful, however, as the social classes that participate in these art forms are pretty much completely across-the-board. In other words, highly educated individuals enjoy playing "fiddle," and discovering what that art form is about, and students from all social classes (not just the privileged), study classical music.

    There is still some resentment. Sometimes people are taken aback by the term "art music," assuming that this phrase suggests that other musics are not art (understandable, actually). But nothing could be further from the truth. The phrase "art music" is found in every musicology textbook, and simply means a distinction between academically oriented music versus popular or folk musics. It is not pejorative.

    If you trace the history of music from the Renaissance to the present, it is evident how events in music mirror the socioeconomic events in human history. In the early development of Western "art music," this music was mostly created for the European wealthy class. There was no middle class - until the Industrial Revolution.

    At that time, entrepreneurs began designing larger concert halls to accommodate the middle class, who could afford concert tickets, and the modern stringed, keyboard, brass and woodwind instruments came into being, in response to the acoustic needs of these big halls.

    This is an important fact that students should understand. The "piano-forte" (our modern piano) was so called because it could play both loudly and softly; an ability unknown in the previous keyboard instruments (like the harpsichord), which were designed for the small "chamber" ensembles, which were an entertainment of the wealthy.

    In Arnold Steinhardt's Violin Dreams he wrote about his visit to Mark O'Connor's summer fiddle camp:

    where violinists of all types -- jazz, bluegrass, country and western, blues, rock, Texas style, old-time, classical, and Cape Breton -- gathered to teach and play. (p. 240, 2006 ed.)

    So he mentions eight styles, other than classical. I have a couple of questions about this: (a) Should there be other styles on this list?; and (b) What are the definitions of each?


    "In addition to those already mentioned, I'm aware of the following fiddle styles: Irish, Scottish, French, Swedish, New England, Midwestern, Quebecois, Southwestern, Alaskan, and Northwestern. These are just the ones I can pull out of my head at the moment, and I'm sure there are many more. . .they vary widely in the type of music played, the bowing styles, and ornamentation. Within Irish fiddle music alone there are as many different styles as there are counties in Ireland."

    The list is definitely incomplete. There are other musical cultures in which the violin or fiddle is used extensively, and the style or styles in which the instrument is played would not fit any of the categories already listed. For instance, the violin is a very important instrument in Indian classical music. It is also played quite a bit in Greek traditional music. The category "Gypsy" would not be adequate to represent Hungarian traditional playing as well as Romanian fiddling. We also have all the Native American traditions of fiddle playing, Metis (ND and Canada), Tarahumara and other Northern Mexico tribes, Bolivia, etc...

    I can think of five very different fiddle styles in Michoacan. Around Lake Patzcuaro (Morelia, Uruapan); Tierra Caliente part of Michoacan; the southern coast; Tarascan (native fiddle); and modern Mariachi, which is found everywhere but seems strongest to its roots in the western part of the state.

    Let me suggest a few styles that have thus far not been mentioned: Son Huasteca, from Veracruz on the Gulf Coast side of Mexico and the son and gusto styles from La Tierra Caliente, over on the Pacific side. Is it proper to call that Son Calientano. And the fiddle is used in Michoacan, in a configuration that differs from its neighbors (Son Michoacano?), Also there's some wonderful fiddle music from the Andes that is unlike any other I've heard. Have you tried to list the various Indian styles in North America? Waila, Athabascan, Metis from the Red River Country, North Woods styles (Anishanabe, Menominee, etc.) And don't forget the Poles (several varieties right here in Chicago), and the Danes, and the Finns, and the South Slavs.

    I'm not sure if you can even list all the styles, even in one specific geographic region. West Virginia probably has a half dozen different styles, to the discerning ear, as does North Carolina. Eastern Kentucky is different from Western Kentucky, East Texas/ West Texas, Southern Missouri/Northern Missouri. It goes on and on.

    Thus far, we have:

  • American fiddling (e.g., New England, Northwestern,
    Midwestern, Southwestern, Appalachian,
    Missouri, Tennessee)
  • Balkan
  • bluegrass
  • blues
  • Cajun
  • Canadian (e.g., Ottawa Valley, Western/Midwest,
    North Dakota Norwegian, Ottawa Valley,
    East Coast, West Coast (Métis), Red River,
    Prince Edward Island)
  • Cape Breton
  • country and western
  • English
  • French
  • Greek
  • Gypsy (e.g., Serbian, Armenian)
  • Hungarian
  • Indian raga (e.g., Hindustani, Carnatic)
  • Irish (e.g., Donegal, Kerry,
    Clare, Galway)
  • jazz
  • Klezmer
  • Mariachi
  • Maritime
  • metal
  • Mexican
  • Northumbrian
  • Norwegian
  • old-time (e.g., ragtime)
  • Quebecois
  • rock
  • Romanian
  • Scottish
  • Shetland
  • Southwestern
  • Square Dance
  • Swedish
  • Swing
  • Tarahumara
  • Texas style
  • Western Swing

  • Beau Solo: 12 Cajun Fiddle Tunes Transcribed from Michael Doucet's CD, Drew Beisswenger

  • Canadian Fiddle Music, Edward A. Whitcomb

  • Celtic Music: A Complete Guide, June Skinner Sawyers

  • Danse ce soir: Fiddle and Accordion Music of Quebec, Laurie Hart

  • The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island: Celtic and Acadian Tunes in Living Tradition, Ken Perlman

  • The Fiddler's Fakebook, David Brody

  • Fiddle Traditions Musical Sampler from the pages of String Magazine, Hal Leonard Corp.

  • Hill Country Tunes, Sam Bayard

  • Howe's 1,000 Jigs and Reels: Clog Dances, Contra Dances, Patrick Sky. Better known as 1000 Fiddle Tunes, this influential book first appeared in Boston (1884). (Coles, Chicago, 1940). Always influential, this new 1996 Mel Bay edition contains 1050 tunes plus history.

  • Irish Fiddle Solos: 64 Pieces for Violin, Pete Cooper

  • The Jewish Music Companion (Book with CD): Historical Overview, Personalities, Annotated Folksongs, Velvel Pasternak

  • Old Time Fiddling Across America, David Reiner. 66 carefully transcribed tunes from excellent fiddlers across various regional and ethnic traditions, as well as history, bowing and cross-tuning discussions, and stylistic analyses.

  • Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes, Jeff Todd Titon

  • O'Neill's Music of Ireland, James O'Neill

  • Traditional Scottish Fiddling, Christine Martin

  • Under the Moon , Martin Hayes

  • Apple Hill, Nelson, NH: Great camp, but more for intermediate to advanced and the focus of the camp is for teens and young adult professional track musicians, not many adult amateurs. Lots of coaching time, but no classes on theory and such. Also very rustic, be prepared to camp!

    Austin Chamber Music Festival

    Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, CO

    Banff, Banff, Alberta, CAN

    Bear Valley, Bear Valley, CA

    Blue Lake, Twin Lake, MI

    Brevard, Brevard, NC

    Early Music Workshop, San Francisco, CA

    ELLSO String Summer School, Doncaster, UK

    Grand Teton Orchestral Festival, Grand Tetons, WY

    Indiana University Ratreat for Professional Violinists and Violists, Bloomington, IN

    Interlochen, Interlochen, MI

    Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill, ME

    Meadowmount, Westport, NY

    Navarro River, Mendocino, CA: Excellent camp! Adults only, novice to experienced, well rounded classes on theory and rhythmic dictation in addition to chamber group playing/coaching, would like more coaching time for groups.

    Orangeville Fiddle & Step Dance Camp, North & West of Toronto, Canada

    Princeton Chamber Music Play Week: workshops for adult musicians

    Round Top, Round Top, TX

    SCOR, Rochester NY

    Sewanee, Sewanee, TN

    Spoleto USA, Charleston, SC

    Tanglewood, Boston, MA

    Taos, Taos, NM

    Texas Toot Summer

    Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe, NM

    SummerTrios, Chambersburg, PA

    Variations, Ullapool, Scotland

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