Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association

Promoting, Preserving and Perpetuating an American Tradition

What is Old Time Fiddle Music?

“Old time fiddle is a genre of American folk music. “Old time fiddle tunes” derived from European folk dance tunes such as Jig, Reel, Breakdown, Schottische, Waltz, Two Step and Polka. The genre traces from the colonization of North America by immigrants from England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Scotland. It is separate and distinct from traditions which it has influenced or which may in part have evolved from it, such as bluegrass, country blues, variants of western swing and country rock. Newer traditions have grown out of old time fiddle music but it retains a separate and distinct identity from those styles. However, the positive statement of what, exactly, constitutes the true and authentic delineation of old time fiddle music is not necessarily unambiguous. Different sources draw a sharper distinction than others, and there is a good deal of overlap which purists will acknowledge to a varying degree. The areas of overlap are primarily with bluegrass, Western swing (Texas swing), country and even rock.
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The Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association (WOTFA)

a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1965 to preserve and promote old time fiddle music and related arts.

Members of WOTFA range in age from 5 to 95. New members of all ages and skill levels are enthusiastically welcomed in the WOTFA. You don’t have to be a musician to be a member and support WOTFA activities. Membership benefits include the opportunity to attend the summer Fiddle Workshop, monthly WOTFA newsletters, which publicize all statewide activities (including shows and open jam sessions) and the sheet music for a selected song each month. Members also gain access to the Members Only part of this website, which contains all sorts of fun ways to share our enthusiasm with each other about Old Time Fiddling. The cornerstone of our mission is education. WOTFA sponsors workshops, provides scholarships, and offers tuition reimbursements to students of this traditional art form. WOTFA is also focused on public education as it relates to old time fiddle music. Throughout the year WOTFA sponsors public events such as concerts, contests, playouts and open jam sessions to increase public awareness of this truly American Tradition.

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