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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 Originally made from a gourd and animal skin, it was brought by slaves to the Caribbean, then to America (by 1688) from W Africa; similar instruments are also found in the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 ?
And if your enthusiasm for free local concerts of niche genres goes beyond banjos, there's the ukelele-playing Sun-coast Sand Fleas of Nokomis to enjoy.
MORE than 200 banjo enthusiasts from all over the world turned Armitage Bridge into a sea of music at the weekend.
Fleck, who is considered to be one of the best banjo players in the world and has fearlessly taken on different genres of music typically not associated with banjo, has his share of musical collaborations in his time.
He then looks to modern West Africa where scholars have identified over 60 plucked lutes, 11 of which (including the ngoni and the akonting or ekonting) share many of the attributes of the early gourd banjos described or found in the New World.
The band - armed with just an acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin - put in a fantastic set, turning to fan requests once they had played the whole of their first album.
Even though a year later the Beatles conquered our shore, Trischka said he never thought to abandon the banjo and pick up a six-string guitar instead.
fiddle, a guitar, and maybe a half-dozen banjos huddled around a
The film opens with a scene of Fleck playing banjo in an African village.
His instruments can be found throughout Mississippi, across the United States, and even around the world with a banjo in Germany and a mandolin in Holland.
162) Banjos in our time have been played by white men on television shows (The Beverly Hillbillies, Hee Haw) and in films such as Deliverance and Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
The banjos are being sold by collector Bob Norton, one of which used to belong to the ex-Beatle who died in 2001.
Music lovers from all over Southern California assembled at Paramount Ranch in the hills around Agoura for the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival.