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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 Originally made from a gourd and animal skin, it was brought by slaves to the Caribbean, then to America (by 1688) from W Africa; similar instruments are also found in the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.


See L. Dubois, The Banjo (2016).



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.


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 ?
On Wednesday, in Hall 2 of the Sage again, the American educator and banjoist extraordinaire, Michael J Miles brings his show, From Senegal To Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo.
Without the soul-level relationship Thile found himself in with guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Greg Garrison (followed by Paul Kowert), fiddler Gabe Witcher and banjoist Noam Pikelny, Thile's original idea - a bluegrass string quintet performing a four-movement suite that blends folk and formality - could have fallen flat.
De Marsan's song sheet notes that "The Jersey Fisherman" was popularized by "Dick McGowan, the great Favorite Banjoist.
That's the stuff that could make you question what you'd always accepted") to a Berkeley street singer and banjoist named Nancy Droppa, who sometimes puts it right next to "Big Rock Candy Mountain.
Contributors include Anna Lomax (daughter of folklorist Alan Lomax), the surviving relations of Twenties greats such as Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family and Uncle Dave Macon, plus three actual survivors of the era - guitarist Slim Bryant, now 99, banjoist Wade Mainer, 101, and Delta bluesman David "Honey boy"
A second march/spiritual, Over In The Gloryland featured a nice vocal by banjoist Carl Le Blanc.
Banjoist Bela Fleck and mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush of the groundbreaking group New Grass Revival teamed with Douglas, fiddle phenomenon Mark O'Connor, and bassist Edgar Meyer to form the group, Strength in Numbers.
Jazz classicist Wynton Marsalis will entertain along with r&b singer Etta James, Nigerian band leader Femi Kuti, standards crooner Peter Cincotti, banjoist Bela Fleck, smooth jazz trumpeter Rick Braun, dancer Savion Glover and a promising quartet headed by Herbie Hancock.
I listened to young trumpeter Richard Bennett and his banjoist brother Ressell, alongside the even younger Adrian Cox on clarinet, and realised I had mentally flipped back 40 years to a time when all jazzers were young and jazz was the music of choice for discerning 20-somethings.
Fiddler Robin Williamson, banjoist Clive Palmer, guitarist Mike Heron, honed their skills on the Scottish pub circuit.
ET and airs on Fridays through December with all-new broadcasts of classic and contemporary performances, including WOMEN WHO ROCK, inspired by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibit of the same name; GIVE ME THE BANJO, narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, exploring the roots of American music; and GREAT PERFORMANCES "The Little Mermaid From San Francisco Ballet.
When Clem departed, it was taken over by banjoist John Young, who became 'Mighty' Joe Young (sadly Joe passed away only this year).