Musical Genres

A Florida Fiddler: The Life and Times of Richard Seaman by Gregory Hansen

By Gregory Hansen

A musical lifestyles as wonderful metaphor for Florida's cultural landscape.

This biography of 97-year-old Richard Seaman, who grew up in Kissimmee Park, Florida, depends upon oral background and folklore examine to outline where of musicianship and storytelling within the state's background from one artist's point of view. Gregory Hansen provides Seaman's evaluation of Florida's altering cultural panorama via his tall stories, own event narratives, legends, mess around track repertory, and outlines of day-by-day life.

Seaman's early life thoughts of fiddling performances and rural dances clarify the position such gatherings performed in development and holding social order in the neighborhood. As an grownup, Seaman moved to Jacksonville, Florida, the place he labored as a machinist and played together with his kinfolk band. The evolution of his musical repertory from the early Nineteen Twenties in the course of the Nineteen Fifties offers a source for reconstructing social existence within the rural south and for realizing how adjustments in musical sort replicate the state's more and more city social constitution. Hansen contains a set of Seaman's mess around tunes, transcribed for the advantage of performer and researcher alike. The thirty tall stories integrated within the quantity represent a consultant pattern of Florida’s oral culture within the early years of the 20 th century.

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Extra resources for A Florida Fiddler: The Life and Times of Richard Seaman

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Copyright law is illegal and injures the author and publisher. For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press. Dancers who greeted and mingled with neighbors at the Saturday night dance would stop their horses and their horse-drawn carts to greet and mingle with neighbors while completing their daily work throughout the week. Although the system of neighborly survival and communal cooperation was in place within each working community, there were business owners, experienced workers, bossmen, and constables whose word was law.

Richard raises his eyebrows and laughs. ” He pauses long enough to invite my next question. Knowing that he wants to develop a topic that he cares about, I ask him if he thinks that the communities were tighter eighty years ago. ” Well, I’ve seen people help one another. If a person had—say for instance he was getting his hay in—you’d cut and mow your own hay, and you had to carry your own hay in. You’d get somebody to help. If 28 chapter 2 You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press.

The dance was communal, but the authority invested in the caller was supreme. Even though the ¤ddler was subservient to the needs of the group, the dancers and musicians had to obey the caller’s voice. The dance could still work with wild actions on the dance ®oor, but individual expression was possible only within the parameters of the socially proscribed constraints chanted by the caller. Dancers found and selected partners as they milled through the ¤gures. They changed partners. They looked to their original partner to anticipate the end of a dance.

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