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Fiddle seconding is a very old method of one fiddle accompanying another using two string chords and rhythmic bowing. This is not the same as "twin fiddling," in which one fiddle plays harmony to the lead. While very common in older days for providing rhythm for dancing, especially when there was a shortage of backup players on other instruments, it is seldom heard today. Dr. Marshall is a master of this art, which we notice in jamming with him years ago. This video was made at Dr. Marshall's home on his farm in Callaway County, Missouri, in October, 2012. Besides the demonstration tunes - Soldiers Joy, Turkey in the Straw, A & E Waltz, Flop Eared Mule Schottische, Whistling Rufus, and Mississippi Sawyer. Dr. Marshall explains and demonstrates the technique for seconding for each tune.
Howard Marshall is a retired professor of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri - Columbia. He lives on a small working farm in nearby Callaway County. He comes from a long line of musicians going back to the 1830s in Missouri. In addition to being an excellent fiddler, he also is a well-known researcher of traditional music and arts. He is a primary researcher into the fiddle traditions in Missouri and is the author of Now That's a Good Tune, published by the University of Missouri in the 1980s and re-released recently by Voyager Recordings, profiling several key Missouri fiddlers.. The University of Missouri recently released Dr. Marshall's 400 page book on Missouri fiddling, Play Me Something Quick and Devilish, containing a Voyager CD of 39 tunes from field recordings of Missouri fiddlers made over the past fifty years. He uses the seconding techniques shown on this DVD in backing up other fiddlers, and to provide more rhythmic drives at dances.
This DVD is $10.00, plus postage.
Following are links to a selection from the DVD on YouTube: Turkey in the Straw
How the Video Was Made