banjo

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banjo,

stringed musical instrument, with a body resembling a tambourine. The banjo consists of a hoop over which a skin membrane is stretched; it has a long, often fretted neck and four to nine strings, which are plucked with a pick or the fingers. Originally made from a gourd and animal skin, it was brought by slaves to the Caribbean, then to America (by 1688) from W Africa; similar instruments are also found in the Middle East and Far East. Frets, a metal ring, and other additions changed the instrument until it reached its modern appearance and characteristic sound. It was played in minstrel shows in the 19th cent. It is used in Southern folk music, in country and western musiccountry and western music,
American popular music form originating in the Southeast (country music) and the Southwest and West (western music). The two regional styles coalesced in the 1920s when recorded material became available in rural areas, and they were further
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, and, because of its incisive, percussive quality, as a rhythm or a solo instrument in Dixieland bands.

Bibliography

See L. Dubois, The Banjo (2016).

Banjo

 

pizzicato string instrument akin to the guitar. The body is in the shape of a flat tambourine with a skin diaphragm. It has four to nine strings. The sharp, harsh, quickly fading sound is produced with a plectrum. Around the 17th century it was brought from Western Africa to the USA, where it was widely used by Negroes for accompaniment to singing and for solo playing. In the 19th century it was improved: the five-string banjo appeared, and stops on the neck came into use. Varieties of banjos of different sizes and pitches are used in jazz.

banjo

a stringed musical instrument with a long neck (usually fretted) and a circular drumlike body overlaid with parchment, plucked with the fingers or a plectrum
References in periodicals archive ?
He delves into various situations in which the band had to learn on its feet, with examples such as Dave Guard learning to play the banjo by holing up with Pete Seeger's How to Play the 5-String Banjo and practicing the Seeger two-finger style constantly (p.
Later in his life, he became an accomplished 5-string banjo player, and had an old-time band called The Wronglers with whom he performed all over the U.
McClure's life has seen dizzying moves from poverty in North Carolina during the early '80's (where he wrote the first 5-string banjo improvisation guide, "Variations On Theme") to ascension to NASA Space Scientist positions at the Johnson Space Center (late 80's to early '90's) with subsequent relocation to Nashville and his "creative career" and its plunges and bouts of hardship and deprivation that could break a weaker soul.