I posted these two polkas as a contrast of instruments reaching for the same style. I think the guitar with its extended range is a better fit. But.....there was NO banjo repertoire at one point. No wonder it reached everyplace for an identity. Many of the earliest players were fiddle payers as well as guitarists...so it is no wonder we see all this experimentation.
This is the genre I sometimes refer to as "social orchestra". I'd really like to play this stuff but it often requires more refinement on the fiddle/violin than my capabilities will take me. I'm working on it but......
If we exclude the slave instruments from being considered "banjos" (something I myself don't agree with but whatever), and only count 'banjos' as being the hooped 5 string flat-fingerboard instruments like Sweeney played later in his career (it's thought he started out on a gourd banjo)... then how can we say there was NO banjo repertoire at one point? Sweeney was touring all over the world playing shows on his banjo... was that not 'repertoire'? Or are you (Tim) defining 'repertoire' strictly as tunes specifically composed for the banjo and/or published in tune instruction books? I tend to define 'repertoire' simply as the selection of tunes typically played in a genre or played by a particular musician.
Also, not sure what you guys are meaning by "old music".. there seems to be mention in posts of both early and late banjo periods...?
Also, Rob are you meaning "classic" as in classic banjo? And what's 'the Big House'... jail? or the White House? (these days could be some confusion there too...) lol
Sorry for the questions, but this thread is confusing to me!
Well. at one point was no banjo repertoire....because there was no banjos.
No need for a repertoire or identity to reach for when there were no banjos. lol
But the earliest (or one of the earliest) white professional musicians to play the hoop 5string "banjo" as the instrument we know today, was Sweeney... did Sweeney not already arrange or create a repertoire of tunes/songs that he played in his shows and tours? Do we not consider Sweeney's 1830s-40s stage material to be part of early banjo repertoire? Or is banjo repertoire only legit if it was published in a book?