To paint a banjo well, you need to know its history. And so a little history 🙂
The culture of a certain country is very clearly characterized by national music and folk instruments inherent in it. In the United States, the most popular national music is country, reflecting the multiculturalism and fusion of European and African American cultures. The main musical instruments for country performance are the fiddle violin, guitar and banjo. The banjo has an original unique sound that is difficult to confuse with the sound of another instrument.
The banjo is a stringed plucked musical instrument with a tambourine-shaped body and a long neck, on which from four to ten strings can be installed. If you can play the guitar, it will be very easy to master the banjo.
By the way, in some African countries, the banjo is considered a sacred instrument, which can only be touched by the high priests or rulers.
The banjo was brought to America by seafarers from West Africa around 1600. A relative of the banjo can be considered the mandolin, although the researchers will name you about 60 different instruments that are similar to the banjo and may be its predecessors.
The first mention of the banjo comes from the English physician Hans Sloan in 1687. He saw the instrument in Jamaica from African slaves. Their tools were made from dried gourd, covered with leather.
In the early 19th century in the United States, the banjo seriously competed in popularity with the violin in African American music, then it attracted the attention of white professional musicians, including Joel Walker Sweeney, who popularized the banjo and brought it to the stage in the 1830s. The outward transformation of the banjo is also due to D. Sweeney: he replaced the pumpkin body with a drum one, delimited the neck of the neck with frets and left five strings: four long and one short.
The peak of the banjo’s popularity occurs in the second half-late 19th century, when the banjo can be found at concert venues and among music lovers. At the same time, the first self-instruction manual for playing the banjo was published, competitions of performing skills were held, the first instrument-making workshops were opened, vein strings were replaced with metal ones, manufacturers were experimenting with shapes and sizes.
Professional musicians began to perform on stage works of classics such as Beethoven and Rossini, transcribed on a banjo. Also, the banjo has proven itself well in musical styles such as ragtime, jazz and blues. And although in the 1930s banjos supplanted electric guitars with a brighter sound, in the 40s the banjo took revenge again and returned to the stage.
Currently, the banjo is popular with musicians all over the world, it sounds in various styles of music. The cheerful and sonorous voice of the instrument sets you up for positive and cheers up.