As a folk/blues player of guitar for many years I got into minstrelsy and banjo because of early Hokum blues/medicine show and jug band music- Gus Cannon, Daddy Stovepipe, Uncle Dave Macon etc. I picked up a minstrel banjo because I used to hear gut strung banjos on old records from the 1920's and before quite frequently- did a google search and found this page and fell in love with the music and the beautiful looking and sounding instruments.
To cut a long story short I guess Im asking whether people here consider it appropriate or "period" correct to be playing older american folk songs, hokum, very early blues roots etc on these instruments or do you prefer the more certain songs from the books and banjo instructors of the period. I have no doubt that some of the songs I play date back much further than the minstrel era, most back to British and European folk songs much older.
I would like to get others opinions on this!
I may build a more correct dulcimer as well, if I find documentation of Mountain dulcimers at least as far back as 1840.