Watch Calvin Vollrath as he plays "Comment ├ža va?" His feet move to provide the percussion accompanyment, traditionally used by the Metis voyageurs when they played as a solo instrument for entertainment and dancing. The Metis fiddle is tune differently than the EADG traditional violin tuning. Sometimes you will hear Calvin Vollrath play the five string fiddle. As the music changes from the theme to the variation a new dance step is introduced. You can clearly hear the fiddle music change in "Big John McNeil" on Calvin Vollrath's CD " Metic Style Fiddle" available at

In his CD "Fiddle Nation" released March 2011, Calvin Vollrath plays the music he composed and arranged in a medley of fiddle tunes for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This CD showcases the various Metis fiddle styles in Canada. The Olymic medly includes these six tunes: Le Reel Ooh La La/ West Coat Reel/ Teepee Creeping/ The Great Eastern Jig? Prairie Hoedown/ and Maple Sugar doubled over the track of the original 1957 version first produced by Ward.

Gilbert Anderson, Richard Calihoo and John Arcand are amazing Metis fiddlers.

Characteristics of tradition Metis fiddle music:
-sometimes the fiddler would add or drop beats or bars in the fiddle music. This is not incorrect. This is part of the style. The music did not always need 8 bars to a vers or even 4 beats to a measure.
-traditional tunes are passed on in the oral tradition. A younger fiddler would hear the song played by an older player. The younger fiddler would keep the integrity of the original and add his or her own embellishments or variations. Traditional tunes have been passed along for many generations. Those the tempo and instrumentation maybe different, the basic melody and spirit of the dance remained because fiddling is dancing music.
The Metis fiddler as mentioned above would tune down one of the strings to provide a bass drone-style accompaniment. The feet would provide the percussion and the dancing would begin.