Old Time Fiddle Tunes

The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel is giving way to the free entry String Band Appalachian Sessions each week to which fiddle, banjo, mandolin guitar and bass players are all cordially invited to come along and join in.The music played will be traditional and contemporary styles that have been handed down over 150 years and mostly played in the keys of G, C, A and D. Percussion will be provided by stringed instruments!

Old time fiddle music from the USA’s Appalachian Mountains has come to the recent attention of music lovers through such movies as O’ Brother Where Art Thou, Songcatcher and Down From The Mountain. It is based on the tunes from Donegal in Ireland as well as the Scottish and British styles. Banjo tunes will be based on the Afro-style banjo that came from the American Civil War period and pre-dates bluegrass.

An old time session is normally based on a pre-decided list of tunes with each tune played individually for up to 10 minutes with breaks between tunes for fellowship. There will be an introductory slow, half-speed run through of tunes for 30 minutes before session and while instrument tuition will not be available at the session, contacts for various teachers will be.

Flatfoot Dancing will also be greatly encouraged at the Old Time Fiddle Sessions. It’s a style of dance inherited from Irish and northern English clog dancing, a type of folk dance during which the dancer’s footwear is used musically by striking the heel, toe or both against a floor or each other to create audible percussive rhythms, usually to the downbeat with the heel keeping the rhythm.