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PA State General Fiddle Contest Rules


     Contestants must sign in 15 minutes prior to the contest. Emergency situations will be considered by the contest superintendent.
All contestants will draw for their order of appearance. The number one fiddler in the junior division only will be permitted to replay at the end of the division if they choose.  Their best score will be considered as their final score. Appearance numbers are to be kept confidential.  Fiddlers are not permitted near the judging area before, during or following their performance.
     Contestants may play without accompanist or with not more than one.
If a string breaks, the FIDDLER will have the option to continue or stop at that point. If the tune is completed it will be judged as played.  If the fiddler stops play he will be allowed to begin with that tune and complete the program.
     Contestants must first play a hoedown; second, a waltz; and third, a tune of their choice other than a hoedown or waltz. A five minute time limit will be in effect. Ten points will be deducted from the total score for each 30 minute interval or portion thereof.

  • A Hoedown will be considered as a reel, hornpipe or any tine in 4/4 time that is not a March, two step or rag.

  • A Waltz will be considered as any tune that is in 3/4 time. Waltz time is considered as a danceable speed that is appropriate in the waltz time style.

  • A Tune of Choice can not be another Waltz or Hoedown.

  • Any danceable folk tunes played in old-time fiddle fashion are acceptable.



  • Show tunes such as Listen to the Mockingbird, Black Mountain Rag and the Orange Blossom Special will not be permitted.

  • Contact microphones and amplified instruments will not be permitted

  • No trick or fancy fiddling allowed during the contesting appearances. No cross tuning on stage.

  • Fiddles shall not be cross tuned for the performance.

  • No sheet music shall be displayed in the contesting area.


    Judging will be scored for intonation, rhythmic accuracy, creativity and tone quality. Audience applause will not influence the judge’s score.

    Any contestant winning three consecutive years in the PA State Championship contest division must either judge next year’s contest or sit out the next years contest.
Any contestant winning three consecutive years in the PA State Teen or senior division automatically moves up to the Championship division.
Any junior winning three consecutive years may move up to the Teen division.
(Local contests will follow these rules except the Championship winners do not need to sit out of the local contests.)
All fiddlers will be judged blindly and must play in the order of the drawing.  Contestants must appear on stage to accept their trophy and or prize money.



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