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Paul Gifford

I have attempted to organize and edit tape recordings I made between thirty and forty years ago, when reel-to-reel tape recorders were giving way to cassette recorders, allowing recordings to be made almost anywhere.  At the time, I was young, mobile, and eager to discover and document local musical traditions.  My interest started at home in my teens and grew through the 1970s.  I acted out of personal interest, without any academic pretensions, grant money, or expensive equipment.  The recordings thus are simply documents of personal experience playing with various tradition-bearers whom I sought, with all that implies:  slamming doors, ringing telephones, out-of-tune interlopers, and other surprises that affect recording.  I hope the selection here is comprehensive enough for the listener to get a good idea of the Michigan fiddling tradition, of the Great Lakes Region hammered dulcimer playing tradition, and of lumberjack and other kinds of traditional song from the state.

Concerning copyright: This is a tricky area, but two points are worth noting: First, I derive no financial interest from the publication of these recordings. Second, I made and played on (as an accompanist) most of the recordings.  Since I made most of the recordings and had implicit permission by those I played with to make use of them, I feel that I remain well within the limits of copyright law.  In addition to the recordings I made, this website also includes some recordings made by others, including instantaneous acetate records and tape recordings, which I copied with the permission of owners of the recordings. However, if next of kin of the performers or recordists offer reasonable objections to their inclusion on this website, I will happily remove them.  

Paul Gifford
April 2012




Michigan Fiddlers: A Study of Michigan’s Folk Music Heritage

Golden Griffon Stringtet Les Raber Page

Dr. Dosido’s Collections and Reflections

Paul Goelz Music Site

Wisconsin Folksong Collection, 1937-1946

 “W is for the Woods”: Traditional Adirondack Music & Music Making

Missouri Fiddling Dot Com

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection

Digital Library of Appalachia

Voyager Records – Northwest Fiddle Field Recordings