University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Spring 2020

Ole Hendricks and His Tunebook
Folk Music and Community on the Frontier
Foreword by Chris Goertzen

Languages and Folklore of the Upper Midwest
Joseph Salmons and James P. Leary, Series Editors

“The story of Ole Hendricks provides a valuable and grounded glimpse of music and social life in rural America in the nineteenth century, bringing into focus the long-overlooked importance of commonplace books—that is, handwritten music notebooks—in the performance and preservation of traditional music.”
—Paul Tyler, Old Town School of Folk Music

Ole Hendricks was an immigrant both representative and exceptional—a true artistic talent who nevertheless lived a familiar immigrant experience. By day, he was a farmer. But at night, his fiddle lit up dance halls, bringing together all manner of neighbors in rural Minnesota. Each tune in his repertoire of waltzes, reels, polkas, quadrilles, and more were copied neatly into his commonplace book.

Such tunebooks, popular during the nineteenth century, rarely survive and are often overlooked by folk scholars in favor of commercially produced recordings, published sheet music, or oral tradition. Based on extensive historical and genealogical research, Amy Shaw presents a grounded picture of a musician, his family, and his community in the Upper Midwest, revealing much about music and dance in the area. This notable contribution to regional music and folklore includes more than one hundred of Ole's dance tunes, transcribed into modern musical notation for the first time. Ole Hendricks and His Tunebook will be valuable to readers and scholars interested in ethnomusicology and the Norwegian American immigrant experience.


Author photo of Amy M. Shaw. Amy M. Shaw is a musician, archivist, and the head of archives and special collections at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.



“A thorough personal history that brings to light a previously little-known musician, Norwegian American fiddler Ole Hendricks. This excellent, well-rounded introduction makes both this history, as well as his tunebook, available for readers and musicians.”
—Laura Ellestad, University of South-Eastern Norway



Download Cover: color | b/w

Download Author Photo: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy


Of Related Interest


Pinery Boys
Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era
Edited by Franz Rickaby with Gretchen Dykstra and James P. Leary


Folksongs of Another America
Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946
James P. Leary

Ole Hendricks and His Tunebook: Close-up of a figure wearing a black vest and bow tie and holding a brown-red violin to their chest with both hands. We only see the figure from collarbone to hip in front of a blue-gray background.

Larger images

August 2020
LC: 2019052245 M
264 pp. 6 x 9
29 b/w illus., 129 musical examples

Book icon
Cloth $28.95 A
ISBN 9780299328702
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart