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Song Harper 012214
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Usually banjo players are the butt of many musician’s jokes, right along side with drummers. But with the opening of the Earl Scruggs Center, who is laughing now? It seems like people want to get closer and closer to the twang and charm of the banjo. Many associate the banjo with a style of music called bluegrass, but this instrument shares ancient kinship that trace all the way to Africa. The Akonting is a lute-like instrument from West-Africa that resembles the banjo’s composition: a gord or wooden body, covered in an animal skin topped with a bamboo neck. This instrument migrated to the Eastern United States and reclaimed a home in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s form evolved into the banjo we recognize today. For a time in the 19th century, the banjo was one of the most popular instruments among the middle class. Imagine that in the 1800’s, people wanted to know how to play the banjo more than the guitar or piano! Earl Scruggs took the banjo to the next level when he joined Bill Monroe in the middle of the 20th century. Earl innovated the 3-finger picking patterns of the banjo with fingerpicks that created a style of music we know today as bluegrass.  If you want to see some amazing musicians pay tribute to Earl Scruggs check out the video online: Suddenly Scruggs on the Earl Scruggs Center YouTube page.


Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers!  We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature:
email me at justin@cfmedia.info for more details.



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