The Modern Oldtime Music Revival: A Participant-Observer’s Memoir and Reflections

The Modern Oldtime Music Revival: A Participant-Observer’s Memoir and Reflections

Alan Jabbour (Library of Congress, American Folklife Center)
Friday, May 18 / 3:00 PM
Music Room 1145

Alan Jabbour was a key early figure in the instrumental folk music revival in North America. As a Duke University graduate student in the 1960s, he became fascinated with the history of collecting folk music in Great Britain and America, and as a trained violinist he decided to explore and document the oldtime fiddling tradition of the Southern Piedmont and Appalachians. Documentation turned quickly to apprenticeship, and he began learning the repertory and style of the elderly musicians he was recording. His band, the Hollow Rock String Band, disseminated dozens of tunes that quickly became part of the core repertory of an instrumental folk music revival that swept the country in the 1960s and 1970s. Joined with a concomitant dance revival, the instrumental revival took hold and continues to evolve today.

In this talk, Dr. Jabbour describes many of his first-person experiences as he helped launch this revival. They include experiences with the people from whom he was learning, and also observations of what happened as the revival itself began to shape what it was conserving. The lecture will be illustrated by a number of fiddle tunes performed by Jabbour, joined by his banjo-playing colleague and musical partner, Ken Perlman.

This talk is paired with a public concert the previous evening by Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman at the MultiCultural Center on May 17 at 8:00 PM.  Admission is $5 for UCSB students and $15 for general admission. Tickets available at the Associated Students box office, 805-893-2064.

Sponsored by Department of Music, Department of Anthropology, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, MultiCultural Center