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Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World$
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Richard Jones-Bamman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041303

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041303.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

The Banjo’s Evolving Story

The Banjo’s Evolving Story

(p.208) 6 The Banjo’s Evolving Story
Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World

Richard Jones-Bamman

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter begins with the premise that instruments represent more than simple artifacts or tools for the creation of musical sounds. They are additionally imbued with stories that may be highly individuated or broadly understood to represent moments of great social and historical significance. Within this context the banjo’s story has expanded significantly largely through the efforts of a handful of instrument makers who have been concerned with revealing the banjo’s entire narrative rather than continuing to ignore or disregard its more troubling details. Until quite recently, such instruments and concerns lay outside the purview of old-time music, even though quite a few tunes played within this community have their origins on the minstrel stage. Now that some of these older versions of the banjo have become commonplace, however, the racialized nature of much of this music and its practice can no longer be avoided and the old-time musical community is gradually rising to the challenge. Were it not for the banjo builders involved in this same community it is doubtful this would have occurred.

Keywords:   old-time music, racialized music, musical community, banjo builders

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