The accompanying CD includes recordings of these fiddlers whenever possible. When good recordings were not available either Vivian Williams or I played the tune. The recordings range from studio and concert quality to field recordings made on small hand held recorders. As such, the fidelity varies from track to track. The most important thing is the quality of the music and the opportunity for us to listen closely to fiddling that reaches back to an era of North American dance music that is no longer readily available, an opportunity to study the subtle details, as well as repertoire, of our Northwestern old time fiddling.
The tunes as they were printed in the original newsletter were representative of my own take on them after having played them for many years. For this edition, I revised the transcriptions to correlate more closely with the particular recordings presented here. In general I kept the notation simple with just the occasional bowing suggestion or ornament notation for the purpose of indicating a general style. Little angled lines ahead of a note indicate a slide into that note. A note with tails both up and down suggests playing the note with the fourth finger as well as the open string. Some double-stops have one note with a standard head (melody) and one with a smaller slash for the note head (harmony). The chords indicated are mostly as they were played on the recording. Chords in italics are among some of the interesting substitutions. A close listening will bring out details of styling, as well as make the tunes easier to learn.
We made a few changes here and there to improve clarity and accuracy and to bring the tune comments up to date. As these were originally intended for the association membership via their newsletter, a certain familiarity with our regional fiddlers and with fiddling terminology was assumed. For those of you new to Northwestern traditional old time fiddling, welcome aboard; you may also want to look at some of the materials listed in the back.
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