About the Series

Originally part of the Elphinstone Occasional Publication Series, the Fiddle and Dance Studies from Around the North Atlantic Series quickly came into its own, proving to be an invaluable contribution to traditional music and dance scholarship. Each volume is associated with a particular North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) conference.

The North Atlantic, a unifying frame for these studies, is not conceived in terms of boundaries that separate and divide peoples, but rather as corridors through which cultures have flowed and continue to flow in a process of exchange, enrichment and communication. Current titles include:


Routes and Roots (Series Book 4)

£12.00, available from the Online Store

Routes and Roots book coverEdited by Ian Russell and Chris Goertzen, this volume is a result of the 2010 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, held in Aberdeen, its theme being 'Roots and Routes'.

‘Roots’ has traditionally suggested beginnings, attachment to place, and stasis in general, whereas ‘routes’ has encompassed travel, migration, and displacement — in short, movement. But the research contained in this volume strongly supports a more modern, nuanced understanding of ‘roots’: earlier times have already featured plenty of the operation of the dynamics of change. Since ‘roots’ were packed with ‘routes’ from the start, the journey from conference to published volume entailed inverting these terms’ customary to order: hence the current ‘Routes & Roots’. Contributors also addressed many other topics in this volume, approaches that were generally aspects of or interacting with the main thrust. These included: the interrelatedness of fiddle and dance traditions and how they have long been transformed by processes of globalisation as well as complementary processes of self-conscious localization; historical influences and voices of change; the importance of place and how this relates to identity; the nature of performance and the role of the individual; innovation and virtuosity; socialisation and competition; the interplay of dance and music in performance, and the essential natures of performance styles and of transmission.


Crossing Over (Series Book 3) 

£15.00, available from the Online Store

Crossing Over book coverEdited by Ian Russell and Anna Kearney Guigné, this volume is the result of the 2008 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in St John's, Newfoundland, where the theme was 'Crossing Over'. Of course, there have been many 'crossings' from the Old World to the New, but there is also the converse. Other 'crossings' considered here include those between communities and cultures, across generations, between tradition and modernity, between innovation and revival, between music and dance, and between artistic performance and academia.

The twenty-one selected essays cover a range of themes, from cultural politics to the aesthetics of fiddle music and dance, from the performer's creativity to the contesting forces of continuity and change.


Driving the Bow (Series Book 2)

£12.00, available from the Online Store 

Driving the Bow book coverEdited by Ian Russell and Mary Anne Alburger, Driving the Bow is the direct result of the 2006 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, 'Connecting Cultures', held in Aberdeen. The cultures connected were not simply those of nationality, ethnicity, or community, but also those of academia and fiddle and dance performance. The book provides an important contribution to the study of the role of fiddle and associated dance traditions at the beginning of the twenty-first century and celebrates the contribution of performer-scholars to our understanding of the subject's complexities.

The selected essays cover a range of themes, from cultural politics and authenticity to the aesthetics of fiddle music and dance, from the performer's creativity to the contesting forces of continuity and change.

Rhythm is acknowledged as the defining feature of different fiddle styles, such that bowing is not merely about sounding the notes correctly, but rather it articulates the essential meaning of the music.


Play It Like It Is (Series Book 1)

£11.00, available from the Online Store

Play It Like It Is book coverEdited by Ian Russell and Mary Anne Alburger, this collection, based on the inaugural NAFCo in 2001, provides an important contribution to our understanding of the role of fiddle traditions at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It explores the legacy of the British Isles, the richness of the Scandinavian scene, and the vitality of North American fiddling - from Cape Breton, Newfoundland, and Ontario.

The 14 selected essays cover a range of themes, including revival, marginalization, diaspora, gender, institutionalization, cultural tourism, acculturation, and the interrelationships of music and dance. Social context and identity form a particular focus, together with repertoire, instrumentation, and virtuosity.

This is a fascinating and timely collection of new insights in the field of international folk music and ethnomusicological studies, representing the diversity of current research, and deserves to be read widely by scholars and enthusiasts alike.