Few musical instruments can claim to have impacted so many musical cultures in the world as the fiddle. The fiddle, with its origins in the Middle East, spread throughout the entire European continent on the backs of 17th century soldiers and peasants. After establishing itself in British and Dutch musical traditions, the fiddle traveled to North America with early European immigrants. Today living fiddle traditions flourish throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The Smithsonian Folkways collections contain a wealth of some of the most exciting fiddle playing from around the world.