- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Univ Pr of Kentucky (Nov. 1 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813193265
- ISBN-13: 978-0813193267
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
Play of a Fiddle: Traditional Music, Dance, and Folklore in West Virginia Paperback – Nov 11 2009
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"An excellent step toward giving West Virginia's musical heritage its rightful place in American musical study." -- American Music
"Has much to offer for the fiddler who would like to develop conceptual understanding of the fiddle's place in history and society." -- American String Teacher
"Goes a long way toward enlightening readers about traditional music in central West Virginia.... A fascinating look at the culture that enjoys, plays, preserves, and protects that music." -- Appalachian Journal
"An enjoyable book filled with anecdotes, local history, and keen observations about musical lives." -- Appalachian Quarterly
"Milnes has combined his passion for the subject and his abiding respect for the people of West Virginia with carefully researched material and his own field notes and recordings." -- Choice
"Milnes counters many of the myths surrounding West Virginian folk culture." -- Ethnomusicology
"Essential reading for anyone interested in mountain music." -- Goldenseal
"A gem of a book.... Worth a great deal more than fiddler's pay for those interested in traditional mountain music." -- Green Man Review
"The information, particularly that on the dulcimer tradition, is exceedingly important to those of us who would try to understand the meaning of the legacy of old-time music making in the upland South." -- Jeff Todd Titon
"Documents a thriving folk culture in West Virginia, one that has changed and evolved over this century. Using numerous interviews he has conducted over the past 20 years, Milnes shows how folk music is an ageless expression of deep feelings and how it reveals the values and identity of a mountain culture." -- McCormick (SC) Messenger
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There's something hypnotic about the sound of a fiddle, and Jerry weaves his own spell. All those countless, nameless, fiddle players were drawn to it and just couldn't ever get away. Way back "up the holler". It seems like the devil got hold of them & wouldn't let go. It's like sitting around a campfire, deep in the woods, listening to the baying of the hounds and just wondering what's really out there. Lot's of mystery up in the mountains and those old fiddle players felt it and made it sing out. Jerry really loves his fiddle music, but I think he really loves the spell of the mountains even more. Seems to come out best in the sound of a fiddle, played on the front porch, all alone, nothing but that fiddle sound, a full moon, and the deep silence of the endless woods. That fiddle music just floats in the silence. The hills don't care, they just sit there, and the fiddler plays on, just hearing that sound, going on and on and on...
Yep, it's a pretty good tale.
This book presents a delightful look at the history of West Virginia fiddling, profiles of the players, and the culture in which this music thrived. It is well researched and presented in a very engaging style. Of particular interest to me were his profiles of some of the musical families of the state. In addition to his look at fiddlers, other folk music traditions are covered as well, including a look at the fretted dulcimer players and builders of the region. There are many helpful and interesting photographs as well.
Also recommended: "Fiddles, Snakes, & Dog Days," Milnes documentary film on the same subject which features the playing of many traditonal West Virginia musicians.
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