The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58629   Message #928776
Posted By: GUEST,Les B.
08-Apr-03 - 01:28 PM
Thread Name: creative output of folk fiddlers
Subject: RE: creative output of folk fiddlers
Greg - good question. One way to start might be to figure out how many tunes a fiddler had/has in their repertoire. Some fiddlers I know play several hundred. On the other hand, friends tell me about an old street fiddler they met in Ireland who seemed to know only two tunes - but played them really well! I'd guess you could figure a seasoned fiddler would average a hundred tunes.

The one fiddler I know who plays several hundrend tunes, has, to my knowledge, originated only two or three of his own. And he doesn't play those very often. As fiddle tunes go, they're just OK, even though he's an excellent old-time fiddler. I think making a tune that has a quick appeal to the ear and will last into tradtion is harder to do than one might expect.

Anyway, I'm thinking it's probably less than one percent of a repertoire that is original material ???