The Origin and Early History of Banjo

The Origin and Early History of Banjo

There are greater than 60 tweezed string instruments looking like the banjo in West Africa, most of which most likely influenced its development. Very early resources explain the banjo as being played generally by servants, yet also the “lowers ranks,” which means it was probably grabbed by white indentured servants that worked in close quarters with slaves in the 18th century.

The banjo kazooie rom rose to popularity in the 1830’s, mostly due to its link to minstrel shows. Minstrel shows served as a kind of comedy, playing out usual and brand-new stories that illustrated extremely racist stereotypes of servants. Minstrel personalities were often happy, carefree servants, that liked yoke and did not have grown-up mental capabilities, an unlike the ruthless life that slaves actually experienced and the perseverance required to survive it.

The early banjo-playing style.

Joel Sweeney, a minstrel artist that had discovered how to play the banjo from African Americans in his hometown of Appomattox, Virginia, started incorporating the banjo in his minstrel shows around 1839. He is the earliest documented white banjo player and the earliest recognized person to have played the banjo on the stage. As a member of the very successful band “The Virginia Minstrels,” Sweeney made popular the banjo, making it into a tool of the middle class and an essential item of the minstrel program. He also made popular replacing the banjo kazooie rom gourd body with the drum-like body frequently used in country music.

The Origin and Early History of  Banjo

After the civil battle, banjoists Frank Converse and James Buckley each launched their own finger-picking banjo guidebook, which spread out European finger-picking styles like those utilized on the guitar. The board was also added in around this moment. The isolated Appalachian mountains and far West kept the older hammer styles, which led to two unique banjo traditions in the UNITED STATE, among which was much more influenced by classical finger-picking.

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