Sliding Scale Music is the certainly-not-for-profit project of Michael Mendelson - Santa Barbara, California-based composer, fiddler, guitarist and fiddle scholar.


"The Muddy Pig" - Another G-major jig

"Tailspin Reel" - A "trance-like" G-minor tune

"Maxwell's Rag" - Fun to play and a great 2nd-position exercise!

"Well You Shouldn't" is an arrangement of the Thelonious Monk tune "Well You Needn't" as a jig

"One-Legged Chicken" is a moderate-tempo western swing / Dixieland tune

"Rattlesnake Jig" is the "Rattlesnake Rag" morphed into a Canadian jig

"Against the Grain" is a moderate-tempo bluegrass tune

"Fire Creek" is a straight-ahead, up-tempo bluegrass tune

"Edge of Remembrance" is a waltz

"The Stumbling Monk" is a minor-to-major key jig



I have put together a single PDF file containing all my lead sheets. Jigs, reels, hornpipes, rags, lots of waltzes, a polka, a hambo, a tango and more!!!

Download it here: All the Tunes



Chopped Liver

Sunday, January 26, 2020 - Chopped Liver - 20th Anniversary Dance - Carrillo Ballroom, Santa Barbara

The Fiddle Tunas

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - Fiddle Tunas - contradance - Odd Fellows Hall, San Luis Obispo - schedule

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Fiddle Tunas - contradance, Carrillo Ballroom, Santa Barbara - schedule

Sunday, May 17, 2020 - Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest, Agoura Hills, CA - Information

Sunday, October 11, 2020 - Santa Barbara Old-Time Fiddlers' Festival, Goleta, CA - Information


I recently donated recordings of some of my early fieldwork to the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University. I don't know when these will be available for viewing/listening, but here are descriptions of the materials donated.

A video oral history with legendary Texas fiddler Benny Thomasson from 1976.

An audio recording of the first-ever(?) academic course in bluegrass music, taught by Mayne Smith in 1969.


My tune "Dance of the Lemmings" was a winner in the 2011 Strings Without Boundaries composition competition. A video of the orchestral arrangement of the tune can be found at: https://youtu.be/3TTFTh72l6Q

A clip of my recording and the lead sheet can be found on the Compositions page.


"Fiddle Pieces"

15 original tunes for the fiddle:
bluegrass, contradance, celtic, rags, waltzes and a tango

This is an Enhanced CD with the added features:

- The complete 1998 CD "A Fiddler's Notebook" in MP3 format
- Lead sheets (printable music) for all the tunes

Now available from CDBaby or by emailing me directly at cdsales@SlidingScaleMusic.com.