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PEI Sinclair musicians?
I'm interested to learn that there were Sinclairs on Prince Edward Island --
by any chance were any of them fiddlers or other musicians? (How about
Sinclairs in general -- does this family have a musical tradition?)
I didn't know until recently that PEI is a treasure trove of celtic music
(along with Cape Breton). Here are excerpts from Ken Perlman's tune book
"The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island: Celtic and Acadian Tunes in
Living Tradition" (Mel Bay, 1996):
-- PEI is home to about 130,000 people -- almost all of whom are of
Scottish, Irish or Acadian French origin...Kings County is most Scottish in
terms of ethnicity and culture...
-- PEI is also home to one of the oldest, strongest, and most vibrant
traditional fiddling cultures in North America...this small island (roughly
150 miles long by 40 miles at its widest) still hosts at least two to three
hundred fiddle players of a quality sufficient to warrant being commercially
recorded. Moreover, there are easily another two or three thousand Islanders
who can play the instrument well enough to accompany a dance. This is fully
two percent of the population! Despite this wealth of talent, the fiddling
scene on PEI is virtually unknown to outsiders.
-- Island fiddling is a lively blend of Scottish, Irish and Acadian-French
elements. Local tradition has it that the first boat-loads of Scottish
immigrants landing at Tracadie Bay on the northeast shore of Queens Co. in
the late eighteenth century had fiddlers among them, and some families can
trace their musical pedigrees back to that time.
-- The Island fiddle repertoire these days is a hodge-podge of tunes from a
variety of national and regional traditions. Its core is Scottish and--to a
lesser extent -- Irish...
-- The playing of a "good fiddler" is said to convey a rhythm so infectious
that anyone within listening range will want to get up and dance. Island
fiddlers tend to have a full, strong yet sweet tone.
Well, there's more, but I think you get the idea that this music is very
special. I had the opportunity this summer to participate in a band lab
working on PEI tunes. We learned 3 jigs and 3 reels, and they are truly
If you read music, Perlman's tune book is a must-have. If you'd like to hear
this music, Perlman recorded a number of the PEI fiddlers for Rounder
Records. There are two CDs in "The Prince Edward Island Style of Fiddling"
-- Fiddlers of Eastern Prince Edward Island (Rounder CD 7015, 1997)
-- Fiddlers of Western Prince Edward Island (Rounder CD # unknown)
Rounder has a website: www.rounder.com I think.
BTW, my only interest in this music is in sharing it -- I have no commercial
interest in it. I'd love to find out that our Sinclair family was part of
this musical tradition.
----- Original Message -----
From: T Sinclair <TSinclair@webtv.net>
Sent: Monday, July 26, 1999 7:18 PM
Subject: Re: Sinclairs of Michigan
> Where is Prince Edward Island located?
> [ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, firstname.lastname@example.org
> [ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html
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