The banner for this site is an extract from an engraved version Scottish artist David Wilkie’s well known painting The Blind Fiddler about which a separate post will follow later. The subject of bling fiddlers in the Scottish musical tradition has been introduced by Dr Katherine Campbell in a chapter in her book The Fiddle in Scottish Culture. Aspects of the Tradition (Edinburgh, 2007). I will be making a series of posts complementing Kath’s excellent paper including some new examples of blind fiddlers which have come to light. Meanwhile I stress that the blind fiddler was (and still is?) a Europe-wide phenomenon and that the image of such musicians found extensive expression in art throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as illustrated in the following excellent works by Lichtenstein and Chagall:
An accordion and fiddle /
fit nimbly together their different natures /
with such bouncing wit it makes small /
the darkenss outside that goes straight up /
for ever and ever.
- Norman MacCaig 1978