Alan Ng asks:
> But then I was told by another musician that the contra dance music
> Old-time music. It ain't Irish, it ain't old-time or bluegrass, so
> it? English? Any contra-dancers out there to help?
Well, in New England they contra-dance to New England style music,
which is based on Irish, Scots, French Canadian, Cape Breton, and
American Old time music. It tends to be fast, for dancing, and not as
highly oranamented as Irish. Perhaps a New Englander will elaborate for
We often dance to Old-time music here in the western US. It is really
sort of a continuum. Some fiddlers play strictly old-time, some play
in a very Irish style, some go back and forth, some have blended
several different influences. I think of old-time as more Appalachian
flavored, more slides, more double stops, great watzes. Old-time music
often has clawhammer banjo - New England often has piano.
That's my shot at it. I think there comes a point when we have to stop
classifying and start dancing!