Fiddling to fortune : the role of commercial recordings made by Cape Breton fiddlers in the fiddle music tradition of Cape Breton Island

McKinnon, Ian Francis (1989) Fiddling to fortune : the role of commercial recordings made by Cape Breton fiddlers in the fiddle music tradition of Cape Breton Island. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis examines the role of commercial recordings made by Cape Breton fiddlers in the fiddle music tradition of Cape Breton Island. The study begins with an overview of the Cape Breton fiddle tradition including an examination of the origin and development of the tradition in the context of the historical settlement of the Island. Some treatment is also given to the place of the fiddle in the general music and dance traditions of Cape Breton as well as to the significant role that the Roman Catholic church has played in the popular development of the fiddle in Cape Breton. -- Examination of the complex role that commercial recordings have played in the tradition begins with a discussion of the recording industry and the many record companies that have been involved in the production of Cape Breton fiddle recordings. What follows this is an inquiry into the factors which have motivated the fiddlers to record commercially including: promotional vs. financial motivations; how these factors have changed with the introduction of independent record production; the problems which fiddlers have encountered in their dealings with record companies; and the growing “professional” attitude that fiddlers are developing towards their record production and their music in general. -- The study next shifts focus from the producer to the consumer with an examination of the various distinct groups of people who buy Cape Breton fiddle recordings. This leads to a discussion of the ways which the recordings have been used. Emphasis is placed here on the use of the recordings by the fiddlers themselves as tools in the learning of music; particularly style and repertoire. This inquiry shows that commercial recordings, along with home-made tapes, have become an important extension of the tradition aural learning process not only in the Cape Breton fiddle tradition but in most other folk music traditions well. -- At the core of the thesis is a discography and tune listing which were compiled with the use of a microcomputer database management program. These documents comprise the appendices to the thesis and are preceded by a discussion of discographic theory as well as the methodology that was developed for this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5496
Item ID: 5496
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 179-190. -- Author misnumbered pages. Left out page 233.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fiddlers--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island; Fiddle tunes--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island; Fiddle tunes--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island--Discography; Folk music--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island; Sound recording industry--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island

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