Impact on Folk Music:

The Fiddle has played a vital role for Folk Music since the 16th century in the African American community. Often Black people don’t get recognition because of the gruesome past while playing on the plantation, so the fiddle was considered a “white instrument.” Leading to there being a small community of black fiddlers because rarely did they ever record their music.

Fiddle vs. Violin

The Fiddle is a bowed instrument, often called the Violin but the Fiddle is most widely used for Folk music while the Violin is used for Western Classical music.

The Fiddler on the Plantation:

Enslaved Blacks were encouraged to play the fiddle on the plantation. If they had this skill they would often be “rented” out through newspaper ads among other plantations owners to play for them. They would also be given more “privileges” than their other counterparts as they would be fed more and relieved of their field labor some days.

“Introduced me to great houses—relieved me of many days’ labor in the field—made me friends … gave me an honored seat at the
yearly feasts.”

-Solomon Northup

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.