Bowing Down Home

For over two hundred years, Prince Edward Island has been home to a strong fiddling tradition: a blend of Scottish, Irish and Acadian French influences. Nearly every “district” had its stock of fiddlers who played their lively, highly expressive music year round at house dances, weddings, “frolics” (work parties), church picnics, community socials, and schoolhouse dances. This traditional PEI fiddling style has not previously been well represented on either commercial or field recordings, but you can access it on Bowing Down Home. This website encompasses the full range of Island fiddling as it survived into the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first.

 Margaret Ross MacKinnon, Claire McDonald, Leonard McDonald, Ward MacDonald, Alan MacDonald, & Attwood O'Connor pose at party in Cable Head, 1995

L-R: Margaret Ross MacKinnon, Claire McDonald, Leonard McDonald, Ward MacDonald, Alan MacDonald, & Attwood O'Connor pose at party in Cable Head, 1995

About 120 Island fiddlers are featured – anglophone and francophone alike – representing all the Island's diverse regional playing styles, along with literally hundreds of different tunes. And through a substantial collection of oral history selections, visitors to the site have the opportunity both to get a sense of the artists’ personalities and to learn how they felt about their music and social milieu.

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