Thursday, May 19

The Banjo & Black people

'But it is truly an African-American instrument.'

I wrote a comment on Negrophile about this but I thought I'd continue the thought here...

When I got out of college I thought I'd be a musicologist. I didn't really know what I would do with but I had sights set on writing books and liner notes. I started a couple of my own studies and one was a study of how Bluegrass and Country should be considered as "Black" as Rock is.

Everybody accepts that Rock came from Blues and Blues is about as African-American as it gets. I wanted to explore that the banjo (already accepted as a direct descendent of West Africa instruments), the pivot point of Bluegrass composition made Bluegrass as syncopated and as African as jazz & blues. The difference was the Scots-Irish flipped the syncopation to a point where it was no longer the African influenced syncopation but something new.

Anyway, it's nice to see my ideas went out into the ether...
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