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Re: PEI Sinclair musicians-response
It was a pleasure to see such appreciation of Prince Edward Island and its
music. For the purposes of information to the Sinclair List, the earliest
PEI Sinclairs go back to Argyll roots with a few Sinclairs from Thurso and
more recently from Ireland. If anyone is interested in PEI Genealogical
research I can give a hand and steer you to the right places we hope!
Now in direct response I am not aware of any fiddlers and pipers from the
Island or that any Sinclairs are connected to compositions. That does not
mean there aren't any composers (Sinclairs did start the radio station in
Charlottetown) but I simply am not yet aware of any in the music circuit.
You are correct that because of the population mix, fiddling and piping are
very strong Island traditions. The piping association in Summerside is a
must for tourists. Special fiddling and acadian performances occur in
Charlottowne annually each summer. Sinclairs did sit in the PEI legislature
and represent the Island in Parliament. If any members of the list are PEI
Sinclair descendants I would be pleased to meet you electronically and send
us a quick hello. I will be pleased to assist you and share where we can. I
am pleased to report that I have met 3 great gentlemen which are directly
related from this list, so do take heart.
PS Your reference to the earliest pioneers being fiddlers was indeed
correct. In any group of families one would find quite a few that knew the
instrument well. It was compact, easy to move and learn and in a land where
other instruments were scarce the fiddle was versitile and such that one
could dance to easily.
From: Kay Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 30 July, 1999 11:34 PM
Subject: PEI Sinclair musicians?
>I'm interested to learn that there were Sinclairs on Prince Edward
>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
>recorded. Moreover, there are easily another two or three thousand
>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
>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
>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, email@example.com
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>[ 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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[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html