APPALACHIAN BLACK FIDDLING: HISTORY AND CREATIVITY

  • Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology
Keywords: Fiddle, African Americans, European Americans, Appalachia, United States, Country music, Hillbilly music, Old-time music

Abstract

Discussions on Appalachian music in the United States most often evoke images of instruments such as the fiddle and banjo, and a musical heritage identified primarily with Europe and European Americans, as originators or creators, when in reality, many Europeans were influenced or taught by African-American fiddlers. Not only is Appalachian fiddling a confluence of features that are both African- and European-derived, but black fiddlers have created a distinct performance style using musical aesthetics identified with African and African-American culture. In addition to a history of black fiddling and African Americans in Appalachia, this article includes a discussion of the musicking of select Appalachian black fiddlers.

Author Biography

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology
Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, Professor Emerita and former chair of the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, is author of numerous articles and books, including Fiddling in West Africa (2008), which won both the Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2009, and the Kwabena Nketia Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology African Music Section in 2010. At present, DjeDje is conducting research on fiddling in African-American cultures.
Published
2020-12-01