New England Fiddler’s Repertoire

The New England Fiddler’s Repertoire, by Randy Miller et al.

This book of contra dance tunes as played in New England was one of the first two books of fiddle tunes I bought. I wish I still had my first edition, which was charmingly hand-notated; the third edition has the sheet music typeset by machine, which is admittedly easier to read. It also has suggested chords for accompanists.

There are 168 tunes here, which you can find listed at the author’s site (where you can also buy it for $2 less than Amazon’s price, at the time I’m writing this).

This is a straightforward tune book, without much in the way of notes or extra material. It does have some nice woodblock illustrations, and is spiral bound so you can open it flat. And it comes highly recommended:

This book is the contra dance music gold standard, the benchmark against which all other collections are measured.
— Warren Argo, Program Manager, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes

Like the Fiddler’s Fakebook, this is probably not the best book for beginners (although there are plenty of relatively simple tunes if you can read standard notation), but it is a great book to have around to grow into if you’re interested in playing contra dance music.