Music from the Heart

Compositions of a Folk Fiddler

Title Details

Pages: 288

Illustrations: 16 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/01/2010

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3550-6

List Price: $32.95

Music from the Heart

Compositions of a Folk Fiddler

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  • Description
  • Reviews
Music from the Heart follows Emile Benoit, a fiddler from French Newfoundland, through a rapidly changing musical milieu as he moves from a small rural community to international musical and folk festivals. Seeing himself as a representative of French Newfoundland, Benoit viewed his music as an expression of that identity. In Benoit’s tunes one finds reference to the people, places, communities, roads, and natural landmarks that have framed his life. The compositions included represent a range of work that evokes his youthful experiences and follow his career as he leaves home, plays with other musicians, and presents his stories to audiences around the world. Quigley has based his study on years of observation of Benoit’s compositional practices, his own experiences performing with Benoit, interviews, and analysis of the thoughts and conceptions of the artist himself.

Quigley has given us a compelling portrait of a master of the bow from French Newfoundland and an innovative study of musical creativity. . . . Through direct observation, detailed documentation, personal participation, and careful analysis, Quigley uses the methods of folklore, anthropology, and ethnomusicology to enhance and enliven our understanding of this fiddler and his significance.

Journal of Folklore Research

Compulsive and absorbing . . . an outstanding achievement, marrying the often mutually exclusive worlds of intellectual analysis and musical creativity. . . . [Quigley] does not just ‘write about,’ but rather evokes, a man’s musical spirit. . . . Throughout, Quigley is the perfect researcher, always aware of the impact of his own involvement but never obsessed with his own interpretations and insights. He provides a clear and undistorted medium for Benoit’s wisdom.

Folk Music Journal

A very solid piece of scholarship . . . perhaps its greatest goodness (and this is a book with many virtues) is how closely the author listened to a very talented man.

Western Folklore

An enormously ingratiating volume . . . Quigley’s narrative is warm, lucid, and meticulously documented, and Benoit comes across as a charming and fascinating friend we would each like to have visited. . . . An important addition to the growing literature on American fiddling, to the biography of nonfamous people, and to the broad sweep of American musical culture.

American Music

An informed and engaging study of one of Newfoundland’s most revered musicians. . . . In much of Music from the Heart, Quigley integrates his own commentary with that of Benoit through the inclusion of excerpts from his and others’ field tapes. . . . With this innovative perspective and its combination of musical and contextual analyses, Quigley’s book is a welcome addition to folklore and ethnomusicological studies centered around individual musical experience, as well as to the burgeoning literature on Newfoundland identity.

Canadian Journal for Traditional Music

About the Author/Editor

COLIN QUIGLEY is an associate professor of dance ethnology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Close to the Floor: Folk Dance in Newfoundland.