Alasdair Fraser

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Alasdair Fraser
Alasdair Fraser (32922788006).jpg
Background information
Born (1955-05-14) 14 May 1955 (age 64)
Origin Clackmannan, Scotland
GenresScottish fiddle
Instruments Fiddle
Associated acts Skyedance

Alasdair Fraser (born 14 May 1955, Clackmannan, Scotland) is a Scottish fiddler, composer, performer and recording artist.

Clackmannan town

Clackmannan, is a small town and civil parish set in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated within the Forth Valley, Clackmannan is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) south-east of Alloa and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south of Tillicoultry. The town is within the county of Clackmannanshire, of which it was formerly the county town, until Alloa overtook it in size and importance. According to a 2009 estimate the population of the settlement of Clackmannan is 3,348 residents.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Fiddle musical instrument

A fiddle is a bowed string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres including classical music. Although violins and fiddles are essentially synonymous, the style of the music played may determine specific construction differences between fiddles and classical violins. For example, fiddles may optionally be set up with a bridge with a flatter arch to reduce the range of bow-arm motion needed for techniques such as the double shuffle, a form of bariolage involving rapid alternation between pairs of adjacent strings. To produce a "brighter" tone, compared to the deeper tones of gut or synthetic core strings, fiddlers often use steel strings. The fiddle is part of many traditional (folk) styles, which are typically aural traditions—taught 'by ear' rather than via written music.


Fraser operates Culburnie Records and is a leading artist on the label. He has founded five summer fiddling programs: the Valley of the Moon [1] fiddle camp in California (begun in 1984), Alasdair Fraser Skye Week - a week-long course on the Isle of Skye (begun in 1987), Sierra Fiddle Camp [2] in California (begun in 2006), [3] Crisol de Cuerda, a Trad strings program in Spain begun in 2008 and Stringmania! - a trad strings program in Australia in 2016. Adept in various Scottish idioms, in recent years, with cellist Natalie Haas, he has helped reconstruct and revive the Scottish tradition of playing traditional music on violin and cello ("wee fiddle" and "big fiddle"). [4] [5] Fraser lives in northern California with his wife and two sons. [6]

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Natalie Haas American cellist

Natalie Haas is an American cellist, originally from Menlo Park, California. A graduate of the Juilliard School, she has toured and recorded extensively with Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser. Also, she has toured and recorded with Mark O'Connor and his Appalachia Waltz Trio, and with Natalie MacMaster. She has appeared on more than 30 albums.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G3, D4, A4, E5, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.

In December 2011, Fraser was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. [7]


Jody Stecher is an American singer and musician, who plays bluegrass and old-time music on banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and Dagar-vani dhrupad on the sursringar, a rare Indian instrument that is a baritone relative of the sarod.

Skyedance is a Celtic fusion group, founded by fiddler Alasdair Fraser in 1996.

Tony McManus is a guitarist from Paisley, Scotland who plays finger-style acoustic guitar arrangements of tunes from Celtic music, classical music, and other genres.

Compilation appearances

Narada Productions

Narada is a record label formed in 1983 as an independent New-age music label and distributed by MCA. A fully owned subsidiary of Universal Music Group and distributed by Capitol Music Group's Blue Note Records, the label evolved through an expansion of formats to include world music, jazz, Celtic music, new flamenco, acoustic guitar, and piano genre releases.

<i>Treasure Planet</i> 2002 American animated science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation

Treasure Planet is a 2002 American animated science fiction action adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 27, 2002. It is the 43rd Disney animated feature film. The film is a science fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure novel Treasure Island and was the first film to be released simultaneously in regular and IMAX theaters. It is also an animated remake of the 1987 Italian mini-series Treasure Island in Outer Space. It employs a novel technique of hand-drawn 2D traditional animation set atop 3D computer animation.

Related Research Articles

Natalie MacMaster Canadian musician

Natalie MacMaster is a Canadian fiddler from the rural community of Troy in Inverness County, Nova Scotia, who plays Cape Breton fiddle music.

Cape Breton fiddling regional violin style from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, originating from Gaelic-speaking immigrants from the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides during the Highland Clearances

Cape Breton fiddling is a regional violin style which falls within the Celtic music idiom. Cape Breton Island's fiddle music was brought to North America by Scottish immigrants during the Highland Clearances. These Scottish immigrants were primarily from Gaelic-speaking regions in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides. Although fiddling has changed considerably since this time in Scotland, it is widely held that the tradition of Scottish fiddle music has been better preserved in Cape Breton.

Celtic music is primarily associated with the folk traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales, as well as the popular styles derived from folk culture. In addition, a number of other areas of the world are known for the use of Celtic musical styles and techniques, including Newfoundland, and much of the folk music of Canada's Maritimes, especially on Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island.

Rushad Eggleston cellist

Rushad Robert Eggleston is an American composer, wild jazz vocalist, kazoo player & performer, who has toured extensively in 49 states and 15+ countries. Eggleston is known for inventing words, and for his imaginative world called The Land of Sneth.

Scottish fiddling may be distinguished from other folk fiddling styles by its particular precision of execution and energy in the delivery, for example, the rendering of the dotted-quaver/semi-quaver rhythmic patterns, commonly used in the Strathspey. Christine Martin, in her Traditional Scottish Fiddling players guide, discusses the techniques of "hack bowing", "the Scottish Snap", and "snap bowing". These techniques contrast quite sharply with the most common bowing patterns of Irish fiddling. The style has a very large repertoire consisting of a great variation of rhythms and key signatures. There is also a strong link to the playing of traditional Scottish bagpipes which is better known throughout the world.

William Coulter is an American Celtic guitarist, performer, recording artist, and teacher. Since 1981 he has explored the world of traditional music as a soloist with ensembles including Isle of Skye, Orison, and the Coulter-Phillips Ensemble.

Martin Hayes (musician) fiddler

Martin Hayes is an Irish fiddler from County Clare. He is a member of the Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming.

The Scots Trad Music Awards celebrate Scotland's traditional music in all its forms and create a high profile opportunity to bring the music and music industry into the spotlight of media and public attention.

Colyn C. Fischer is an American violinist that has played the violin since the age of three and has been Scottish fiddling since the age of five. As a teenager, he studied with a number of the great fiddlers of Scotland, such as Ian Powrie and Alasdair Hardy, and of the United States, including John Turner and Bonnie Rideout. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance in Violin from Wheaton College, Illinois, and has recorded with various ensembles in genres including jazz, classical, rock and Scottish.

Laura Risk is a California-born violinist. She specializes in performing and teaching the diverse fiddle repertoire of Scotland and Quebec.

Fiddlers' Bid are a Shetland based instrumental group known for playing contemporary arrangements of traditional Shetland fiddle tunes. The seven piece line-up consists of four fiddles, acoustic guitar, bass guitar and piano/Clàrsach.

Hugh Alexander “Sandy” MacIntyre is one of the most respected artists in the tradition of Cape Breton fiddle music.

American fiddle

American fiddle-playing began with the early settlers who found that the small viol family instruments were portable and rugged. According to Ron Yule, "John Utie, a 1620 immigrant, settled in the North and is credited as being the first known fiddler on American soil". Early influences were Irish fiddle styles as well as Scottish and the more refined traditions of classical violin playing. Popular tunes included "Soldier's Joy", for which Robert Burns had written lyrics, and other such tunes as "Flowers of Edinburgh" and "Tamlin," which were claimed by both Scottish and Irish lineages.

Canadian fiddle

Canadian fiddle is the aggregate body of tunes, styles and musicians engaging the traditional folk music of Canada on the fiddle. It is an integral extension of the Anglo-Celtic and Québécois Frenchfolk music tradition but has distinct features found only in the Western hemisphere.

Métis fiddle is the style which the Métis of Canada and Métis in the northern United States have developed to play the violin, solo and in folk ensembles. It is marked by the percussive use of the bow and percussive accompaniment. The Meti people blend First Nations, French, English, Celtic and other ancestry. Fiddles were "introduced in this area by Scottish and French-Canadian fur traders in the early 1800s".

William Hugh "Bill" Lamey (1914–1991) was a renowned and influential Cape Breton fiddler. He was a pioneer in recorded performances of the music. As an avid collector of rare tunes, he amassed one of the most comprehensive and valuable collections of written Scottish violin music.

Muriel Johnstone Scottish pianist

Muriel Johnstone is a Scottish pianist and composer. She was raised and schooled in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland.


  1. "Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School".
  2. "Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle Camp".
  3. Shrader, Erin (2007). "The philosopher fiddler: as an educator, Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser has built as living legacy of talented, enthusiastic students". Strings. 21 (7): 51–54.
  4. Weir, Rob (2005). "Outside in with Alasdair Fraser". Sing Out! (includes a discography). 49 (1): 24–27.
  5. Maxham, R. E. (2001). "Alasdair Fraser: Ancientvoices, crystal truths". Fanfare. 25: 76–86.
  6. Michael Simmons. "Alasdair Fraser: Scotland's Ambassador of Fiddling", Fiddler Magazine (Fall 2002), online issue
  7. "Alasdair Fraser". Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 22 October 2018.