Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Concerning the EBG, what are the ground rules?

Is early banjo defined as ACW and before?  Do we go to 1870?  When does "classic" banjo begin for that matter?

Is there a transition banjo, and what are those years? 

Stroke style only?  As has been discussed before lots of pieces from the Buckley book seem intended for guitar style (there is that option on page 31 of Briggs').


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There was a thread about this on the old Tom Briggs group, and that's still archived and available online.

http://groups.google.com/group/tom-briggs/browse_frm/thread/4076a36...
Thanks, but I'll rephrase.

At the upcoming Early Banjo Gathering Event what are the rules as to appropriate techniques and repertoire as observed by the event organizers?

The only reason I ask is that in my other hobby, that crosses over with this one, first person "living history" (late 19th century) after a mountain of documentation is produced there are still folks who look skeptically at new research. As I am not in the educated or respected research field (I've got no fancy letters after my name) I have run into lots of resistance after bringing new found documentation to the table.

I have decided when meeting new folks or entering new circles it is best to know the "standards" first. What has been decided as common place and what is excluded for whatever reason.

Also, what will be accepted "period" dress. Is that ACW?

As a side note, and due the the common age group that participates in ACW reenactments, I have always wanted to go to a ACW event, dressed 1890s, never breaking character, and address the soldiers as GAR reunion participants. (insert smiley face here)
Well Joel,

The previous EBGs have been almost exclusively stroke style (dGDF#A seemed to be the concensus tuning)...with small forays into the guitar style section of Converse's Greenback book. I think 1870 has the majority vote regarding a cutoff. Still...the previous meetings have been quite laid back. I don't believe anyone is planning on judging costumes.

I'm no reenactor. The closest I come is a hat and maybe a period style shirt. It was pointed out at the last meeting that my sandals were probably not period. I don't believe New Balance was around in the 1870's. If the temps are up in August, I'll likely revert to my favorite period footwear...none.
Let me jump in here. I have been away from my computer all weekend so I am just now cathcing up.

1870 is a great cut-off but not hard and fast. The name implies banjos more than playing style. When I envisioned "early" it was to denote that period of banjo history before manufactured banjos took over the market from individual makers in craft style shops or home.

I think that all styles written or suggested in the peiod up to 1870-1875 are fair game and might help us widen our horizons and our understanding of the banjo world of the time.

Thanks for asking, this is an important question.

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