Eric Strother is a musicology doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, with research interests in jazz, popular music, sacred music, and Appalachian ballad and fiddle traditions. His musical roots are in West Virginia where he grew up hearing the fiddle and mandolin playing of his stepfather and other family members.
Eric's work in the Berea Archives (July 2008) centered on transcribing and analyzing tune performances of West Virginia fiddlers Melvin Wine and Ernie Carpenter. His approach was to document not only the tune but the complete performance which will allow future researchers to analyze the constants and variations in each repetition to gain insight into the performer’s characteristic style.
These transcriptions and commentaries are based on audio and video recordings of Ernie Carpenter and Melvin Wine performing at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music at various times 1987 - 1994. Both fiddlers are accompanied on banjo by Gerald Milnes. Because the transcriptions are intended to capture a particular performance, the keys given for the tunes are the sounding keys and may differ from the keys intended by the performers. See the Fellowship Activity Final Report for biography, playing style descriptions, and additional commentary.