Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo


"Other instruments used were the triangle, a jawbone, and early ancestors to the banjo. Many types of dances were performed in Congo Square, including the “Flat-Footed-Shuffle” and the”Bamboula.”"

I'm interested in what is really African about minstrel-era tunes, and what is faux-African--or can we even tell? Has this been discussed here? Sorry, I'm a newbie :)

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thanks Dan'l... I will troll the forums and try to catch up. So often, the 800-lb gorilla in the room seems to be the bitter legacy of degrading humor at the expense the black man. This fact makes it problematic for a white man to talk about minstrelsy and its roots, whereas black folk such as the Chocolate Drops can release an album called Genuine Negro Jig and win a Grammy. This is how it should be. But regarding the music--David Holt has published this essay on how minstrelsy represents the first example of how African and European influences combined to spawn uniquely American music (without venturing an option on how much of it came from the African side).


"One of the first and most important outside influences in mountain music was the minstrel shows. This influential musical phenomenon has largely been ignored because of its racial themes but the minstrel shows helped create American popular music. The minstrel songs were the first real blend of black and white musical ideas. It is this blending of Afro and Anglo-American music which has been the dominant factor in popular music ever since that time. Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll have all grown out of this unique combination."

And of course, bluegrass :)

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