In his preface, the author reminds the reader that this is not a book for the absolute beginner. Even the experienced player may not ""get it"" on first reading a given tune, but ""You can expect to enjoy the process of learning...[and experience] the joy of recreating a traditional tune, of making it your own."" This is the teacher/student pact in effect throughout this marvelous book, written for the literary as much as the musical connoisseur. Although no classical violin experience is needed, you will need to know how to hold the fiddle and bow, and be able to play at least simple tunes in the first position. Having the ability to read music will enable you to follow the bowing patterns and left-hand techniques which the author feels are crucial in grasping the playing style. Comes with access to online audio featuring solo fiddle. The teaching recording plays the first tunes slowly, but by the end, the correct speed is played. This stereo recording contains 77 of the 80 songs from the book.