Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

OK-4
  • Male
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States
  • Since early 1980s.
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Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for piano"

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wes Merchant May 23, 2014. 6 Replies

This piece from the early 1850s contains versions of Brigg's Power of Music and Brigg's Favorite Jig. These two sections are scored as though written (without transposing) for a banjo tuned…Continue

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Latest Activity

OK-4 commented on Paul Draper's video
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Far South Reel

"Nice. Maybe my favorite banjo tune. I can't seem to get tired of playing it."
Aug 3, 2015
OK-4 replied to John Cohen's discussion Shedding light on the beginnings of fingerstyle banjo and other topics
"That is over my head, CW. More on playing styles: I mentioned Pete Seeger saying that most folks musicians that he encountered only knew maybe three songs using simple accompaniment. But he also stressed that many of these same people played with…"
Jun 12, 2015
OK-4 replied to John Cohen's discussion Shedding light on the beginnings of fingerstyle banjo and other topics
"James Pentecost, I know of a couple of quite prominent people in the classic banjo world who are disdainful for "old time" banjo music. That is just two, but I don't get out much: I expect there are others. But on the other hand, lots…"
Jun 11, 2015
OK-4 replied to John Cohen's discussion Shedding light on the beginnings of fingerstyle banjo and other topics
"Paul Ely Smith, I am curious: other than Converse, is there another source describing the technique of ante-bellum black banjo players? Pending that, I can't imagine any reason to doubt that Converse saw what he claimed he saw: the black…"
Jun 11, 2015
OK-4 replied to John Cohen's discussion Shedding light on the beginnings of fingerstyle banjo and other topics
"I read Converse as saying that two finger up-picking was the most common method among the black players that he encountered. Is it possible that downstroke was not particularly popular, but happened to be the method that Joel Walker Sweeney picked…"
Jun 8, 2015
Greg Adams liked OK-4's profile
Jun 8, 2015
OK-4 commented on Greg Adams's video
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L. M. Gottschalk's "The Banjo" on a banjo

""Nice" was an unnecessary qualification... I should have said: nothing wrong with playing ANY tune on a banjo, and serious rebukes should only come from paying customers or a captive audience.  Clawhammer in the 1850s? Why not? The…"
Jun 7, 2015
OK-4 commented on Greg Adams's video
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L. M. Gottschalk's "The Banjo" on a banjo

"So what is wrong with playing ANY nice tune on the banjo? I don't get the criticism here. Changing the topic slightly: Check out Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for Piano" (1854). Aside from the introduction, it is a…"
Jun 4, 2015
Wes Merchant replied to OK-4's discussion Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for piano"
"Very nicely played! Thanks for the transcription as well."
May 23, 2014
OK-4 replied to OK-4's discussion Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for piano"
"Here are two versions of TAB for the Batchelder score: 1) TAB only, and 2) Standard C notation with TAB. The TAB-only version omits most of the notation for dynamics.   (I tried to get the original score note for note - please…"
May 23, 2014
OK-4 updated their profile
May 23, 2014
Wes Merchant replied to OK-4's discussion Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for piano"
"Please do, that would be very interesting to see."
May 7, 2014
OK-4 replied to OK-4's discussion Batchelder's "Imitation of the Banjo for piano"
"Thank you, Mr. Merchant. Yes, that 1863 version looks to be the same with a couple of changes in title: The whole piece is now called "The Banjo", and the next-to-last section is now called "The Power of Music" instead of…"
May 6, 2014
OK-4 replied to CURTIS PAYNE's discussion what year were steal strings introduced on the banjo?
"Hello John Salicco, I found that Farris ad through an internet search. It is in the 1895 Trinity Ivy, the yearbook of Trinity College (Hartford CT). It is available online in Trinity College's digital repository. I am having trouble…"
Apr 8, 2014
OK-4 replied to CURTIS PAYNE's discussion what year were steal strings introduced on the banjo?
"I think we can agree there is no evidence that steel strings were considered normal or desirable for banjos in the 19th century. But inelegant practice can still exist, and the wire banjo strings sold in bulk were landing somewhere. So, that is…"
Mar 26, 2014
OK-4 replied to CURTIS PAYNE's discussion what year were steal strings introduced on the banjo?
"Joel Hooks comments: "The exceptions don't make it common.  Let's see some endorsements of wire strings by top players pre WW1.  The same players that people took up the banjo because of." But best practice does not…"
Mar 24, 2014

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Word of mouth
How long have you played banjo?
Since early 1980s.
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Bell minstrel Boucher-style

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