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  • Writer's pictureKatie Jane

Cajun Fiddle!

It's time to start the next quarter of fiddle tunes from around the world! Next up the students will learn all about Cajun fiddling! Cajun fiddling has such a joyful energetic sound full of double stops and spice!

Cajun fiddle music has a rich history. This music is heavily influenced by the French settlers that migrated to Nova Scotia in the 1700's. Around 1750 the British in this area forced the French settlers to assimilate to their culture and rule- or leave. Many French settlers were forced to leave and migrate south in what was called the Grand Derangement.

One place that welcomed these people was Louisiana where many of these French people settled and were able to create lives for themselves as farmers. With such a concentration of French people in this area, the unique Cajun culture immerged which was influenced by a mix of the traditions of these French people and the African Americans living in the area.

Fiddles were a huge part of the characteristic Cajun sound. The music was created to be played in dance halls which is in part why the Cajun music has such a driving rhythmic beat. Around 1870 the accordion emerged in southern US and became a huge part of Cajun dance music. Due to its loud volume, it was the perfect instrument to be played in noisy, lively dance halls.

As the accordion became more common, the Cajun fiddle music shifted to accommodate the limited keys of the accordions. It also shifted to be more simple in nature, since any fancy note passages were mostly drowned out by the accordion. It wasn't until the invention of amplification that Cajun music made it's final great shift to include many of the sounds from Texas such as rock and roll, country, and Texas swing that we hear in Cajun music today.

We have selected a unique tune for each student to learn over the next two months which will be performed on November 14, 2021 for the next student concert! More details to come soon!

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