We’re revisiting music in Appalachia and taking a look back at banjo making in Appalachia, from its origins in West Africa to mountain musicians in the 1970s. In this region, banjos typically had a skin drumhead and were unfretted. It wasn’t until later in the 20th century that luthiers started adding frets, fifth strings, and metal components. Scroll down for recommended reading and pictures from some of the interviews conducted in the 1970s!
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Listen to our original episode on folk music and instruments in Appalachia here.
Clawhammer vs Scruggs style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5LeYKLhk6Q
We also recommend reading African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia by Cecelia Conway, 1995.