Elder Music Project

Elder Music Project

Traditional Arts Indiana periodically publishes recordings featuring the music of an Indiana traditional musician. Released in a limited pressing of 1,000 compact disks that are free to the public, this project raises awareness of Indiana’s diverse musical traditions, celebrates the talent of older musicians in our state, and creates a rich archive of Indiana’s living musical traditions.

Our first recording features the fiddle music of Stephen Dickey, the son of legendary Indiana songwriter and musician Lotus Dickey. Accompanied on the banjo by his wife Nancy Dickey, the couple play a range of traditional, popular, and original tunes that have become staples at music jams in Orange County, where they live.

Suggest a musician

If you would like to suggest a musician for Traditional Arts Indiana to consider for this project, please write to us at tradarts@indiana.edu. We are looking for musicians who learned to play music within their family or community setting, are well-regarded in their musical community, and are at least 70 years old. These musical traditions can include fiddle tunes, gospel music, tamburitza songs, German accordion, or some other music played within the state. Tell us about the keepers of the traditional music in your community!

How it works

The recordings are recorded live as field recordings, often in the musician’s home, place of worship, or other community gathering place. We do not pay for studio recordings. TAI staff edit the recordings, compose liner notes, design the disc jacket, and pay for the pressing of the disks. The musician receives 100 complementary disks for family and friends, and the remainder are given to community organizations and the public. The musician agrees to allow TAI to publish the recordings and make them available for free in physical recordings and/or via Indiana University’s online repository. The primary purpose of this project is to preserve and share Indiana’s diverse musical traditions. We are committed to keeping these recordings as a free, educational resource for future generations.

"Music from the Home of Stephen & Nancy Dickey"

The tunes featured in this recording reflect a vibrant fiddle tradition that connects the Dickey family to Orange County and a network of pickers, players, and listeners throughout the generations across southern Indiana. Many of the tunes were passed down to Stephen from his father Lotus Dickey; others are original compositions or tunes commonly played at community jam sessions.

Listen to the album here>>>