American fiddle music, “folk music” is the music of the common folk, farmers, miners, laborers, and even slaves. The people that immigrated to America from many lands brought with them their musical traditions. The meeting of these different cultures, Irish, Scottish, Native American, African, English and German flavored the music into a truly “American” sound. Fiddle tunes are always learned by ear and rarely written down. Like a good family story it needs the folk to carry it on through the generations.
“It has been my experience that a fiddle tune has its beginning unnamed, and is first played accidentally as the fiddler “noodles around” on his instrument. Something emerges from under his fingers, and he listens and likes it. Or perhaps someone in the room asks him what he is playing. As he remembers and develops the tune and begins to play it around the community it takes its name from a chance remark, or from something that reminds them of a favorite dance spot, or a person, a happening in the community, or an historical event.”
Marion Thede- The Fiddle Book