Truman Price

Fiddle and …


of the


. . .

Truman 2014 where?


Canora:  Notes from an Old-Time Fiddler,

Perfect-bound pb, 8.5″, 254 pages
(some nice comments from readers…)


photos on the book covers:
front: granddaughter Nia, 15+ years ago;
rear: the “music room” at our house, when we had monthly jams…

2024 Calendar:

Tuesdays for violin and fiddle students!
1st and 3rd Saturday mornings: At Gilgamesh River in Independence; with Roy Rowland on guitar.
Sunday afternoons, tba. … jams, often at our house
March 31, Sunday – Easter at EcoFarm, various…
April 13, Saturday –  Heritage Museum, Independence; “Music of the Oregon Trail”  3-4:30 pm
May 20, 21, 30, 31 – teaching Old-Time Dance, Territorial School, Junction City SD.
June 15  4 pm; Sheridan Hometown Days, a set with Nathan Junior.
Coming   —->
July 4 — 5 :15 pm Independence Riverview park; set with Roy Rowland, and hopefully some old-time-dancing (squares, reels)!  Taught on the spot!  Join in — it’s fun!
July 6, July 20 (et al): 10 to 12 noon, at Gilgamesh Independence, w Roy Rowland & Roger Barber, mandolin &  guitar.
Sat. Aug 24 – Brownsville Pioneer Days – “Music of the Oregon Trail” 11:30 – 1 pm
Sun Aug 25  – private party, PDX… hula!
August t.b.a. — OId Fort Hoskins … t.b.a.
Champoeg, and Newell House– every summer, dates not set yet..

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MUSINGS:… brags… then a few video links … notes on lessons …

Pre-covid MemoriesThe Elements that made Old Time Fiddle, a program for Santiam Historical Society, Stayton, June 2018.  First, violin: Mark Babson sampled baroque/classical/ romantic violin pieces.  Then I sampled different threads that contributed to old-time fiddle: 1) an ancient tune, Soldier’s Joy, inc. how it can be played many ways but is still the same; 2) a tune played in an open tuning; 3) the Scots/Scots-Irish migrations to Appalachia and the Mixolydian mode of the bagpipe chanter; 4) the influence of African-American fiddlers; 5) synthesis of these in a tune from SW Virginia; 6) for contrast, a regular New England/Eastern Canada tune; 7) a French Canadian tune;  8) the influx of rags; 9) swing; 10) Scandinavian; 11) a Norteño tune; and, 12) for where do all these tunes come from?, how I made “The Swallows”, and played that.  A one-hour romp through old-time fiddle, and a hit.

Summer of 2018…  sunny Saturday Mornings at the Independence Saturday Market.  On the first warm day I fiddled  2 1/2 hours straight, a wide variety, from hoedowns to show tunes: after each straight to the next without a break, always changing key, and genre, and alternating between bare tunes and songs with lyrics.  I loved it; back home I wrote down the tune list, 60+  –> tunelist  here.

The St. Paul Rodeo July 3 was fun: Opened and played breaks for Bronco Billy Band.  Used no set list; old country-western standards alternated with fiddle tunes named for hoofed animals.  Joined Bronco Billy for a few songs at the end and closed with Bill Staines’ rodeo rider’s lament, Sweet Wyoming Home, yo-de-lay-ee oo… which they hadn’t heard of, I think… (all went well!)

The “Steam Punk Jane Austen Ball” near Halloween was a different kick —  dozens of extraordinary costumes wending through the hospitality tables in the formal Grand March around the upper floor of the Mission Mill Building, straight into reels, squares, circles. I love doing this!
Lots of old calendars here. … & a few old photos


Also a few years ago… The eclipse centered over our house, so we had an all-weekend nonstop party, friends in the orchard, strangers in the pasture, potluck!  Moon songs: W. B. Reid, human jukebox, opened an enormous storehouse (in memory) of songs mentioning the moon.   Here’s some of us: Vivian Williams, Adam Price, myself  & Suzi, a stranger peeking through the door, Bruce W. B. Reid, Kevin Hendrickson of Pirate Rock notoriety; but we were all one-upped after a few hours.  When we paused an 11-year old camper-in-the-field slipped through the crowd to the piano and played a clean, simple and elegant Claire de Lune.  


Solo fiddling and calling, an 1800’s Reel at Newell House,
for an authentic 1859 dinner and dance.

Suzi on the left. You should have seen how that gray skirt skirt touched everyone’s ankes when she twirled in the center of “Bird in the Cage”

Appalachian fiddle tunes: Intense Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the second Sunday of each month not summer.  a few tunelists. About half of the core group of 15 or so musicians show up at any particular jam. Inquire…

Second Wednesday each month, Monmouth Senior Center, 6:30 – 8pm; (a few friends practice/perform) musicians and listeners… Low key.

Guthrie: I’ve given up on the big jam at  Guthrie Park,  south of Dallas at 4320 Kings Valley Hwy, every Friday night, 6:30-10 pm for 28 years, until Covid (I never missed a Friday from the first session for ten years or so), and also miss the monthly square dances I called there for years!

Ancient History:


Appalachian Christmas Ad


An Appalachian Christmas – “Presenting three of the valley’s most respected folk musicians Truman Price, Jane Keefer, Tim Crosby.”   


The “Appalachian Christmas” with Jane Keefer and Tim Crosby was fun to research!  Asked for an hour program; we studied, laid it out, practiced once and nailed it: great: widely varied, perfect; many groups around the valley would love to have it  —  if only they knew about it!  details

    In the 1980’s, back to Oregon after many years of random fiddling, including some in Appalachia, I was asked to put together a set of “authentic music of the Oregon Trail” as introductions for 16 performances of the Oregon Trail Pageant at Champoeg.   Jane Keefer and I recorded a cassette collection (later a CD, Songs of the Oregon Trail);  then came 16 performances each year at the Pageant (Jane was working back East).  In the next few years the Oregon Historical Society sponsored 50+ one-hour presentations, schools, libraries, conventions; usually solo, sometimes duo or trio with True West.  Another 24 times solo for Oregon Trial Interpretive Center near Baker. And many more, from a few songs to two hours +… (– which seemed short!).  Also: Oldtime Dance: have called a couple of hundred evenings of dance for various adultish groups; through Artists in Schools taught a variety of old dances to about 15,000 kids grades 1-6, in 60+ schools.
  • Along the way, in the 80’s I home-recorded about 40 of the songs once performed by Pa Ingalls with fiddle…
  •  —> This was a trip! — For 25 years+ I was violinista for the annual danzas por la Señora de Guadelupe on/around Dec. 12 with the local Mexican community (and extras in several other towns).  A wonderful experience.   Anyone could attend and the food is superb.
  • Here’s a page  About the Dances for Guadelupe Celebrations
  • and a brief sample of one tune: Pico Perico
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  • Some Youtube Video: 4 solos filmed by Josh Meredith & Bob Zybach near Corvallis in 2005, part of a presentation on the old California-Oregon Trail which ran through that meadow.
    We had just spent two hours finding camas roots and grubbing blackberry vines out of the watershed, and were all kinda muddy!  (“Out standing in the field!”)

    A few nice verses of June Apple filmed by Ray Leach at Centralia Campout August 2005, trio with Adam Price and Tom Peloso (of Modest Mouse):

    These are with son Adam on banjo, at Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle, Memorial Day Weekend 2007:

    Most of these videos, and a few others, are on YouTube, some with nice comments – poke here, or just enter the words “old time fiddle” and see what comes up!—

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    Two CD’s:

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  • I’ve taught beginning violin to advanced fiddle for many years.  Former students have become players and bandleaders.  I enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists” seven times for NW Folklife in Seattle and also for the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers’ annual convention.   (also taught some guitar, but not my forte)\
  • BOOKS:   We make sort of a living selling antiquarian books, especially children’s literature, and Suzanne’s site, with 8000 titles at is nice.  Also I offer 1000 music titles (not my personal collection of a few hundred more)
     truprice at gmail dot com

Preview YouTube video danza2013 Perico fragment

Preview YouTube video Old Time Fiddle – St. Anne’s Reel – Truman Price

Preview YouTube video Uncle Sam’s Farm – oldtime fiddle – Truman Price

Preview YouTube video Fly Around, Pretty Miss: old time fiddle, Adam & Truman Price, Tom Peloso

Preview YouTube video Mississippi Sawyer