Bluegrass Music: A Form of Appalachian Music

Topics: Bluegrass music, Country music, Bill Monroe Pages: 4 (748 words) Published: May 17, 2002
Appalachian Music
Appalachee - people on the other side

Folk music - What is folk music?
Traditional songs existing in countries.
Handed down through generations.
Passes on by word of mouth, not written in musical notation. Don't know who wrote it.
Melody and lyrics change as they are passed on.

Folk Music is History in song:
Tells about daily lives.
Tells about Special events - often tragedies, themes of romance, battle, adventure, and history.

Purpose of folk music:
Entertainment, recreation, socializing, dancing, games.
Teaching, make work go faster, religious.
Tells a story (ballads).
Origins of Appalachian people:

Music influenced by folk and mountain music:
Modern folk

Musical instruments used (folk instruments):
Dulcimer, fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, autoharp, mouth bow, washtub bass. Body percussion, spoons, washboard, Jew's harp.
Harmonica, jug.

Bluegrass Music - What is bluegrass music?
Direct descendant of old-time string band tradition, which developed out of Southern mountain dance music & songs.
Combines old-time string band music with gospel harmonies & blues rhythms. Played on acoustic instruments (natural sound):
Banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bass fiddle, dobro (resophonic guitar) Instrumental leads used to show off technical ability
Distinctive vocal harmonies

Originations of Bluegrass

Bill Monroe - "The father of Bluegrass"
Grew up in Rosine, Kentucky (Ohio County)
Music takes its name from Bill Monroe's band, The Blue Grass Boys
Influenced by -
Pendleton Vandiver ("Uncle Pen") the uncle who "raised" Bill and taught him how to play the fiddle.
Arnold Schultz, black "blues" singer and guitar player.

1911 - Bill Monroe born on September 13
1940's - development of bluegrass music
1950's - people began referring to his style of music as Bluegrass 1960's - concept of "bluegrass festival" introduced
1996 - Bill...
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