This thesis documents the history of fiddle tunes in Western New York from their introduction to the area in the mid-seventeenth century to the present day. Using a wide array of both primary sources and scholarly articles, I demonstrate the importance of this musical tradition. In addition, the thesis presents new primary and secondary sources created by the author in the spring of 2017, including the recording of interviews and performances and their presentation online. The primary research included interviews with three musicians, whom I ask, “How do these fiddle tunes continue to influence people today?” In these sessions with the musicians, I also recorded performances of songs that were particularly popular here in New York. The interviews and recordings are enhanced by the addition of other related media, all of which is curated and shared via podcast at www.rochesterfiddlers.wordpress.com. The purpose of this thesis and its associated web-based project is to preserve this music for later generations and to educate listeners about the rich history and renewed popularity of fiddle tunes today.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of History (CLA)
Fisher, Christopher M., "Fiddle Me This: A History and Discussion of Old-Time Fiddle Tunes in Western New York" (2017). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus