Fiddle music has long been a part of the American folk tradition, yet
before the publication in 1973 of "The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory" by
R.P. Christeson, little had been available in formal notation. Now, in
a sequel to that book, Christeson provides scores for more than two hundred
additional tunes along with background information on the fiddlers from
whom he has transcribed the music.
As in the first book, Christeson has arranged the scores by musical type:
breakdowns, organized by key; quadrilles, which
some folks call jigs; miscellaneous pieces; and waltzes. Most of these tunes
are form Missouri, fitting because the states is a leader in old-time fiddling, with
numerous contests and active local associations promoting the music. Both volumes
of The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory, as well as the two-record set
that accompanies the original book, are outstanding collections in an attractive
and useful form.
R.P. Christeson first played the fiddle as a boy
in Dixon, Missouri, and began making live field recordings of fiddlers in
1947, using a wire recorder, while working for the U.S. Department of
Agriculture in New Mexico. He continued to search for the rarest tunes,
and after retiring from government service in 1969, compiled the first
"Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory".