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Bill Rogers, Contemporary Traditional Mississippi Fiddler

Bill Rogers, Contemporary Traditional Mississippi Fiddler ChriS GoertZeN Fiddling--vernacular violin playing, largely in oral tradition--has been an important part of American musical life for centuries. Fiddlers are traditional culture bearers who, during most of our history, learned their craft through face-to-face relationships, largely within the family and neighborhood. their fiddling was a "tradition" in the sense of a widely disseminated definition of that word from 1949: "that information, those skills, concepts, products, etc., which one acquires almost inevitably by virtue of the circumstances to which he is born."1 but in recent times, that mid-twentieth-century approach to defining tradition has lost its power, since place of birth and directly inherited factors determine our fates progressively less. Also, at the same time that our physical (and mental and cultural) mobility increased, the mass media grew in strength and then were supplemented by smaller, specialized media. it is no surprise that the paths through which tradition-oriented individuals learn (and then teach) keep changing. even while cultural processes are transformed--sometimes transmogrified--materials widely regarded as being traditional continue to be cultivated. today, academics define tradition more broadly as a quality favoring continuity over innovation in both process and content but still relying heavily on face-to-face transmission. Nevertheless, folklorist Chris http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Bill Rogers, Contemporary Traditional Mississippi Fiddler

American Music , Volume 33 (4) – Apr 29, 2016

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
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Abstract

ChriS GoertZeN Fiddling--vernacular violin playing, largely in oral tradition--has been an important part of American musical life for centuries. Fiddlers are traditional culture bearers who, during most of our history, learned their craft through face-to-face relationships, largely within the family and neighborhood. their fiddling was a "tradition" in the sense of a widely disseminated definition of that word from 1949: "that information, those skills, concepts, products, etc., which one acquires almost inevitably by virtue of the circumstances to which he is born."1 but in recent times, that mid-twentieth-century approach to defining tradition has lost its power, since place of birth and directly inherited factors determine our fates progressively less. Also, at the same time that our physical (and mental and cultural) mobility increased, the mass media grew in strength and then were supplemented by smaller, specialized media. it is no surprise that the paths through which tradition-oriented individuals learn (and then teach) keep changing. even while cultural processes are transformed--sometimes transmogrified--materials widely regarded as being traditional continue to be cultivated. today, academics define tradition more broadly as a quality favoring continuity over innovation in both process and content but still relying heavily on face-to-face transmission. Nevertheless, folklorist Chris

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Apr 29, 2016

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