Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Craig Butterfield


Because of the pioneering work of Edgar Meyer in expanding the role of the double bass in American folk music, many bassists are inspired to engage with fiddle music in the way fiddlers do. Thus, bassists who perform in fiddle and string band traditions may seek greater artistic freedom and expression by shifting between a variety of accompanying textures to playing melody and improvised bowed solos.

In seeking to discover how bassists successfully adapt fiddle bowing techniques to the double bass, I have interviewed two bassists who are deeply involved in Americana music traditions, Paul Kowert and Ethan Jodziewicz. From these interviews, I gained first hand accounts of how these bassists approach bowing in fiddle styles and how they relate their technique to that of the fiddle. I have also analyzed video recordings of Paul Kowert and Ethan Jodziewicz—as well as two highly respected fiddlers they perform with—to further understand how these bassists approach bowing in fiddle styles in comparison to fiddlers.

For bassists who seek to incorporate fiddle techniques, or otherwise utilize the bow when performing in fiddle and string band traditions, this document may provide a resource for adapting traditional fiddle bow techniques to the double bass. This document may also become a historical resource on how fiddle traditions have influenced double bass performance practice, particularly for bassists who perform in multiple genres.


© 2022, Spencer Jensen