The Mad Fiddler, Travis Wetzel, will be coming from his home near Nashville to present a fascinating, one-man musical history show called The History and Importance of Fiddle Tunes During the American Civil War Era.
During the American Civil War era, music of all kinds played an important role to calm nerves, motivate, embolden and rally troops and entertain civilians who were coping with the reality of the terrible conflict. Each side had its favorite songs and music, and folk traditions and culture spread rapidly due to the many interactions that the railroads of the era facilitated.
On the battlefield, in the camps and on the home front, music was ever present. Brass bands, pipes and drums played a major role but the portability of guitars, banjos and fiddles allowed those instruments to be played solo or in combination with other instruments and musicians. Of all the “portable” instruments from the American Civil War era, the fiddle reigned supreme. A single fiddler could entertain a roomful of soldiers, dancers or patrons. Folks often came from miles around to attend a session performed by a well-known fiddler and many in the leadership of troops had favorite fiddle tunes.
Part of Berks History Center’s Take It Back Tuesdays, June evening program series and the Berks County Fest!