From a small mountain town in West Virginia, elder fiddler Melvin Wine has influenced musicians and music enthusiasts far beyond his homeplace. Music, community, and tradition permeate all aspects of life in this rural region. Fiddling Way Out Yonder: The Life and Music of Melvin Wine shows how in Wine's playing and teaching all three have created a vital and enduring legacy. As a musician, Wine has been honored nationally for his musical skills and his leadership role in an American musical tradition. A farmer, a coal miner, a father of ten children, and a deeply religious man, he has played music influenced by the hard lessons of his own experience and shaped a musical tradition even while passing it on to others. Fiddling Way Out Yonder examines the fiddler, his music, and its context from a variety of perspectives. Many rousing fiddlers came from isolated mountain regions like Wine's home stomp. The book makes a point to address the broad historical issues related both to North American fiddling and to Wine's personal history. Wine (b. 1909) has spent almost all of his life in rural Braxton County, an area where the fiddle and dance traditions that were strong during his childhood and early adult life continue to be active today. Utilizing models from folklore studies and ethnomusicology, Fiddling Way Out Yonder discusses how community life and educational environment have affected Wine's music and his approaches to performance. Such a unique fiddler deserves close stylistic scrutiny. The book reveals Wine's particular tunings, his ways of holding the instrument, his licks, his bowing techniques and patterns, his tune categories, and his favorite keys. The book includes transcriptions and analyses of ten of Wine's tunes, some of which are linked to minstrelsy, ballad singing traditions, and gospel music. Narratives discuss the background of each tune and how it has fit into Wine's life. This biography heralds a musician who wants both to communicate the spirit of his mountains and to sway an audience into having an old-fashioned good time. Drew Beisswenger is a music librarian at Southwest Missouri State University.
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 381 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm