Jigs, strathspeys, reels, marches and many other tune types can be performed on the fiddle, bagpipes and even by unaccompanied voices. The strong connection between the music and dance is evident in the rhythms of the tunes.
Northeastern Nova Scotia is also home to Mi’kmaq and Acadian French communities. The musical traditions of these various cultural groups have all influenced one another. While many of the well-known players of Cape Breton fiddle music have names like Beaton, Cameron, Campbell, MacDonald, MacIsaac, MacMaster and Chisholm, greats have also been Deveauxs, LeBlancs, Cremos or Prospers, among others. They brought their own flavours to the fiddle tradition.
As this traditional music has grown and evolved, we’ve seen the introduction of various instruments to provide accompaniment to the fiddle or bagpipes. Piano and guitar are the most common instruments to have as accompaniment, but at times percussion, mandolin, bass, banjo, and other instruments can also be found.