General History

The Arkansas Fiddler
"The Arkansas Fiddler," from a postcard circa 1910. Photo from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Old-Time music can be traced back through many roots, as is common with most music. Many of the instruments we know today come from Africa, including the fiddle. Though the violin comes from the viol family of instruments popular in renaissance Europe, instruments from hollowed gourds evolved into much the same instrument that we know today as the violin/fiddle.

Musically, many old-time tunes feel the influence of African, Celtic, and even Native American tonalities and melodies. Perhaps one of the best qualities of folk music is its ability to constantly evolve, picking up the most popular bits of influences.

To learn more of the history of old-time music, please pick a category from my site or navigate to one of my sources.

- Old-Time Fiddling: Music
- Old-Time Fiddling: People

- American Folklife Center
- Smithsonian Center for Folklife
- Alan Jabbour's Essays