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No Fiddling Around

May 10, 1987

Judith Morgan wrote out of ignorance about Scotland ("Her World: Scotland and Its Bagpipe Overtures," April 19) when she praised bagpipes, then pronounced that "That proud land is not violin country . . . ."

The fiddle tunes of Scotland have been a major component in Scottish music. Whereas the pipers play for battle and Highland dancers, the fiddlers play for Scottish country dancing and as entertainment with other instruments that the loud pipes would drawn out. Yet pipers and fiddlers have always borrowed tunes from each other. Pipers play strathspeys and reels and fiddlers play pipe marches.

Scottish fiddling is undergoing a revival, both in Scotland and here in the United States. Los Angeles has its own fiddle group, the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles (a branch of the Scottish Fiddlers of California), which recently held its spring concert.

The average tourist may not notice the fiddlers in Scotland or California since they don't march on the streets and make a lot of noise like bagpipes, but their music is worth listening to at Scottish country dance halls or at concerts performed by fiddle groups and strathspey and reel societies, which are numerous in Scotland.

SUSAN SELF

San Diego

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