Darol Anger – Fiddles in North American Music

Divided in 4 parts, we’re goint to talk about:

  1. “there are no bad tunes, only bad players”… a skilled player can make a so-so tune sound great, but even a beginner can put across a really great fiddle tune. What makes these warhorses great? We will discuss structure, texture, and story in the context of fiddle tunes, and learn a couple.
  2. The Blues, as a musical idiom and common language, pervades EVERY style of American music and is an essential communication tool for every musician who lives here. Like the fugue, waltz, and sarabande, it’s a musical form. It’s also a harmonic and melodic system with a very specific set of moves and skills. We will analyze and PLAY the Blues, focusing on the form, and the three crucial Blues Notes in the Blues scale and how to use them.
  3. What would get played, and why, in the Fiddle department: the many musical roles of Bluegrass Fiddle
  4. A noisy revolution has been under way the last 15 years in vernacular string playing: Invented by Richard Greene and developed and popularized by Darol, Natalie Haas, Andy Reiner and Casey Driessen, the Chopping technique has spread like Ebola throughout the string world. We will analyze the technique, get it under control, and talk about when to and when NOT to do it. If there is time, we will look at some different grooves to try.



One of the most influential fiddlers alive, Darol Anger is an innovative and popular clinician who works with teachers and students of all ages in school, university, camp and festival settings across the United States, evangelizing interest in contemporary improvising and vernacular strings. He helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, the Duo and other ensembles. Today Darol can be heard on the Sim City soundtracks and on NPR’s “Car Talk” theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice.  In addition to performing all over the world since 1977, he has recorded and produced scores of important recordings, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants.

He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. As an Associate Professor at Berklee College Of Music, through his online Fiddle School at ArtistWorks.com, the Turtle Island String Quartet, in the American String Teachers Association, and his performing groups The Republic of Strings and The Furies, he brings over 30 years of experience to teaching and residencies in jazz, blues, fiddle, chamber and orchestra settings.

Darol Anger has a passion for intergenerational education and performance as a way to bridge imaginary borders of age and culture. He envisions a great nation of string players, embodied by The Republic of Strings: a floating intergenerational orchestra that plays music scooped from backyards, garages and kitchens in every continent.

Through Berklee College, his online Fiddle School at www.ArtistWorks.com, music camps and clinics, and concerts and residencies, Darol is committed to promoting appreciation of musical diversity and the evolution of personal musical styles based on strong cultural roots, throughout the world.

His website is www.darolanger.com