Scottish Fiddling

Fiddling in Scotland was primarily a social activity. Most towns and villages had a fiddler who performed for dances and other social occasions. Frequently, clan chiefs took fiddlers under their patronage. William Marshal, who composed a great many fiddle tunes, thrived under the patronage of the Duke of Gordon, and Neil Gow enjoyed the support of the Dukes of Atholl.

Following the 1745 Rising, the same proscriptions that banned the wearing of the kilt, also forbade the playing of bagpipes. During this time, it was the fiddle that saved much of Scotland’s musical heritage from extinction. It was also the fiddle that came with the Scottish immigrants to the mountains of the Eastern United States, and one can readily hear the Scottish jigs and reels in much of the mountain bluegrass and old-time music of today.

Saturday Events

  • Scottish Fiddling Competition
  • Scottish F.I.R.E. Sanctioned Competition

 The Scottish Fiddle competition starts at 2 PM on Saturday at the Marathon Tent.   

Online registration is required and closes on July 2, 2023.  Please register by going to GMHG Scottish Fiddling Registration Form button above.
The order of play will be sent by email to registered competitors at least 1 day before the competition with competitors playing in the order in which their registrations are received.
Rules governing the competition are available from the sanctioning organization, Scottish F.I.R.E
There is no fee to enter the competition. Prizes consist of plaques for first, second, and third place finishers in each competitive class. 

Winners may also be recommended for the National Scottish F.I.R.E. Competition at the Judge's discretion.

Sunday Events

An All Instrument Jam, led by Dr. John Turner, will be held at the Harp and Fiddle Tent on Sunday starting at 1 PM. 
Please bring your favorite instrument and/or your voice and be prepared to have a wonderful time sharing music and song!

About the Judge

Dr. John Turner 

A prodigious and enduring performer, Master Fiddler John Turner is the only ten-time winner on record of a National Scottish Fiddling Championship. He has
played a major role in the revival of interest in traditional Scottish fiddle music over the last four decades.
As a recording artist, he is featured on eighteen recordings and has contributed tracks to more than one hundred additional recordings. On stage, radio, and television, Turner has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan and the Middle East. He has performed for six U.S. presidents, members of Britain’s royal family and many other heads of state from around the world.
He has been featured on the popular radio programs, “Thistle and Shamrock”, “BBC Highland”, “Pebble Mill at One” and a host of other programs.
As a composer, he has produced more than twelve hundred tunes, many of which have been recorded by other artists. His recordings and tunes have been used for numerous traditional, modern, and interpretive dance programs both on stage and on video.
Turner has published sixteen books of music and written numerous articles concerning traditional Scottish music. As a teacher, he has influenced thousands of students of all ages interested in this style of music.
He is the founder and director of the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, now in its thirty-sixth season, bringing instrumentalists of all ages to the mountains of North Carolina each summer. He performs regularly in Williamsburg, Virginia, and across the U.S., teaches privately, conducts workshops, and serves as an adjudicator for fiddling competitions. In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Performance degree by Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina for his contributions to Scottish culture and the performing arts. Turner also has two earned doctoral degrees.
music, instrument, classic
GMHG_2021_RBR_Fiddle and Harp_0030


Dr. Cathy Melvin


Phone: 919-619-2665

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