The Library has made available the James W. Kimball Traditional Music and Dance in New York State Collection – a curated selection of Kimball’s significant research recordings between 1976–2008 as well as earlier materials from various sources. It includes unique interviews and community performances of notable fiddlers, square dance callers, dance musicians, and community members whose knowledge bridges 19th-century repertory to contemporary practice of the tradition.
Major thanks to Fraser Hall Library staff! Countless hours of their work made this collection possible.
Kimball’s documentation of traditional musicians reveals regional subtleties, variations and influences in rural New York dance and fiddle music not documented elsewhere. The recordings chronicle a 30-year time span of active square dance bands and musicians, and show how the tradition has retained distinct patterns and practices such as local dance variations; multiple “filler” verses in square dance songs; and local variants of nationally known songs and tunes.
View and listen to the collection at https://knightscholar.geneseo.edu/kimball/