The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island

Celtic & Acadian Tunes in Living Tradition

Winner of the
Prince Edward Island Museum & Heritage Foundation
1997 Award in Publishing for helping to
“preserve, interpret and disseminate our province’s fiddling heritage.”



The Book

Over 425 reels, jigs, “set-tunes,” waltzes, marches, strathspeys, and airs transcribed in standard music notation from the playing of traditional fiddlers. Features many superb tunes and that have never before appeared in print. Includes tune-annotations, historical and explanatory notes, playing directions, and a detailed discussion of the Prince Edward Island playing style. Also includes capsule biographies of nearly sixty fiddle players. Illustrated by over twenty photographs, 216 pp.: $19.95

Companion CD

The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island, companion CD. Contains field recordings of over thirty different Prince Edward Island fiddlers. Includes 45 selections, 65 tunes: $15.95 The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island: book and CD together: $34.90


  • Fiddler Magazine

(Fall ’96) This publication deserves fulsome praise. Undoubtedly, it rates as the most important published contribution yet made to the study of a Canadian Maritime fiddle tradition.

This study is a wonderful contribution because it so carefully and thoroughly analyzes and records the music of a dynamic fiddling tradition. The book is attractive, with a beautiful cover coastal scene of the Island, the text is interspersed with photographs of Island fiddlers… Indeed the entire study is the result of extensive study and careful thought.

With The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island, Perlman achieves his aims to provide a portrait of the Island fiddling style, to offer a guide for those who want to learn this style, and to present a useful fiddle tunebook. I highly recommend this new study to all students of Canadian Maritime fiddling and congratulate Perlman for his excellent achievement.

  • The Fiddle Web Website

(Feb. ’97) Several years of meticulous research, recording, and transcribing have resulted in this exhaustive and wonderful book on the fiddling of Prince Edward Island…Perlman’s book has quality, quantity, integrity and impeccable research behind it. For any fiddler interested in Maritime tunes, I highly recommend it.

  • Acoustic Musician

(Feb. ’97) An extensive and impressive body of work… Upon having my accomplished, fiddlin’ wife play through a handful of tunes and then listening to the corresponding pieces on the accompanying CD it was clear Mr. Perlman cut no corners. All the ornamentation was right on. It took some serious scholarship to put this together. Very interesting and well done.

  • Fiddlers’ Crossing Catalog

Ken Perlman has done a truly remarkable job with this tune book! … Highly recommended!

  • Bluegrass Unlimited

Ken Perlman is a meticulous musician and in this case proves himself equally meticulous in his documentation of the fiddle tradition he found thriving on Prince Edward Island…

This book is important for what it preserves. For as anyone who has heard these tunes and these fiddlers will attest, there is a wealth on P.E.I. greater than gold…

This set of tunes is very nicely presented. It includes a good deal of information about the fiddlers and their world. Highly recommended to all fiddlers and fiddle students and to anyone who wants to do folk music field work. It is a fine example of what can be done to preserve and protect an endangered species — homemade music….