Fiddle Tunes Illuminated
FIDDLE TUNES ILLUMINATED is a 120-page spiral-bound volume of musical transcriptions for each of the 45 tunes contained on the two
CDs SOUTHERN SUMMITS and A HENRY REED REUNION. The transcriptions provide musical notation for both the tune and the
performance style. Many tune books provide only the skeleton of the tune, revealing its basic melodic form but leaving untranscribed the
“Appalachian style.” These transcriptions are an effort to convey the texture of that style. They include typical bowings for each tune, double-
stops, unisons, some drone notes, syncopated phrase endings, and other details that move the student of fiddling from learning a tune to
learning the style in which a tune is played. In addition, many of the parts, or strains, are transcribed twice rather than using repeat signs,
and the repetitions provide an opportunity to display the sorts of micro-variations that characterize fiddling in this style. Some other typical
variations are noted at the end of some tunes. Overall, the transcriptions go about as far as is practical to go in conveying stylistic detail
while still making the tunes readily accessible to a reader of standard musical notation. This is a volume made for a music stand.
It is also a volume made for the easy chair. Complementing and augmenting the transcriptions, the volume contains the following important
• A substantial Introduction providing both an overall description of the book’s concept and approach, and a “Using This Book” section
that prepares the reader for taking advantage effectively of what the book offers;
• A Table of Contents;
• A page of Commentary accompanying each transcription, including the fiddler who was my own source for it, a history of the tune, its
key, its range, its scale, its phrase structure, some tune features worth noting, and some stylistic features that the transcription reveals;
• Detailed analysis of certain stylistic features and a section of cross-references citing the same stylistic feature in various tunes
throughout the volume;
• An extensive section called Terms and Features defining terms used in the Commentary, explaining key stylistic features in more
detail, and citing all the tunes in the book where these stylistic features appear;
• An Index;
• And four photographs.
Retail cost: $20 (plus $3 shipping and handling if by mail). Also available as a package deal with SOUTHERN SUMMITS and A HENRY
REED REUNION for $45.