A brief history of banjos The banjo derives from various African instruments that arrived here via the West Indies in slavery days. The original five-string banjo had no frets, the horizontal position markers that tell the player where to place his/her left hand fingers. There are reports of slaves playing banjos on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, […]
Do you know the history of this song, made famous by the movie Deliverance? “Dueling banjos,” (the banjo tune from the movie Deliverance) is probably the most famous and definitely one of the most popular instrumental banjo tunes ever written. It is also the most requested banjo tune by students to learn how to play. […]
Since its introduction to Hawai‘i in 1879, the ‘ukulele has been many things: a symbol of an island paradise; a tool of political protest; an instrument central to a rich musical culture; a musical joke; a highly sought-after collectible; a cheap airport souvenir; a lucrative industry; and the product of a remarkable synthesis of western […]
The banjo has evolved from its African roots, first as a minstrel instrument, and later as a jazz, bluegrass, and folk staple. At the American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you can see more than 300 banjos – the largest public display in the world. The timeline below includes just a few.
Here we look at a brief history of drums, starting back in 1876 with “double drumming,” through the first drum kits of the 1930s to today’s modern drums.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum has been closed to the public for over a month. In an effort to continue reaching bluegrass fans all over the world, the Hall of Fame has produced a virtual tour led by Executive Director Chris Joslin. Within the Hall of […]
A Making Music exclusive An unknown, never-performed, and never-recorded work for string quartet composed by Leonard Bernstein — perhaps the most talented and successful classical musician in American history — later this year will have its world premiere at Tanglewood, the music venue that had a 50-year association/connection to the famed conductor, composer, musician, and […]
This brief history of the guitar dates back to the 14th century, when troubadours would serenade their ladies with guitars and guitar-like instruments.
On January 30, world-renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin led the Steep Canyon Rangers (the Grammy award winning American bluegrass band from Asheville, N.C.) through a rendition of their new single “California” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Many people know that Martin played his banjo while doing standup comedy or on Saturday […]
Trumpeter/hornist Jeff Stockham recently came to the Making Music offices for what turned out to be a rather lengthy interview about his passion for historic brass instruments — both playing them and collecting them. One of the many ensembles in which Stockham plays, in fact, is The Excelsior Cornet Band, New York State’s only authentic […]