Special Note to Islanders | Bowing Down Home

A Special Note to Prince Edward Islanders

Having heard from so many fiddlers and other Islanders about the psychological hardships brought about in the old days by fiddle contests, I feel that I must make the following disclaimer. The purpose of this site is to reveal the rich variety of PEI's individual and regional fiddling styles. We are looking to present each individual at his or her best – not to establish who is or might have been the best players. To paraphrase a number of Island fiddlers on the subject: everyone has their own playing sound and their own twist on each tune in their repertoire; it is therefore impossible to determine on any given occasion who the best player is.

Please understand that the number of selections offered for any given artist is not meant as a comment on playing skill or stature. There were numerous factors involved in such choices, not the least of which was how successful the recording engineer was in effectively capturing a given musical moment. Other factors that had a significant bearing included the effectiveness of accompaniment, audio distortion caused by vigorous foot-stomping, the relative rarity of the tunes being played, and the intrusion of such unforseen circumstances as power fluctuations, ringing telephones, or interruptions by pets, small children, and spontaneous visits by family members or neighbors.

Similarly, our aim in making oral history selections available was twofold: to offer a sense of fiddlers' personalities, and to illustrate the varied tapestry of Island life that gave rise to their music. We sincerely hope that in our enthusiasm for the subject matter, we have not revealed any private information that might cause embarrassment to the speakers, their families, or any other parties.

Ken Perlman,