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Country: America’s Music Early Influences and Instruments Appalachian Mountains Birthplace of Country Music Appalachia is a thirteen state region that stretches along the Appalachian mountain range, extending from southwestern New York State to northeastern Mississippi.

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country america s music

Country: America’s Music

Early Influences and Instruments

birthplace of country music
Birthplace of Country Music

Appalachia is a thirteen state region that stretches along the Appalachian mountain range, extending from southwestern New York State to northeastern Mississippi.

log cabin symbolized frontier
Log Cabin Symbolized Frontier
  • Appalachian forests provided plenty of logs
  • Cabins were simple and fairly quick to build
  • No sawmill was needed to cut timber into boards
  • Thick walls made log cabins warm in winter
old time entertainment
Old-Time Entertainment
  • But people who lived in log cabins on the frontier were a long way from the city.
  • Television and radio had not been invented.
  • Neither had movies or video games.
  • In the evening, there was only a fireplace or candle for light. So reading was difficult.
  • What could people do to entertain themselves?
people made their own music
People Made Their Own Music
  • Musicians were much in demand on the frontier
  • When a wagon train went west, people liked to take musicians along
  • In the evening, people would listen, sing along, or even dance
  • What instruments were popular in Appalachia?
old time country instruments
Old-Time Country Instruments
  • What instrument is played by the musician on the left?
  • What instrument is played by the musician in the middle?
  • What instrument is played by the musician on the right?
history of drum with strings
History of “Drum with Strings”
  • The banjo originated in Arabia, came to West Africa with Islam
  • African version had drumhead over a body made of hollow gourd
  • Enslaved Africans adapted instrument design to North American materials
the banjo key points
The Banjo: Key Points
  • Banjos have how many strings? [five]
  • How did the banjo come to the U.S.? [Enslaved Africans in the South created instruments that resembled African instrument with a drum-like body]
  • How is the banjo played? [held in lap, plucked or strummed]
  • How does a banjo sound? [tinny, metal sound]
from spain via ireland
From Spain via Ireland
  • The modern guitar has its roots in Spain
  • A smaller-bodied version was created to accompany Irish singers
  • When they immigrated to the United States, musicians from Ireland took the guitar along
the guitar key points
The Guitar: Key Points
  • Guitars have how many strings? [six]
  • How did guitars first come to the U.S.? [The Irish adapted Spanish guitars and brought them when they immigrated to the U.S.]
  • When was the guitar introduced to the U.S.? [in the 1800s, or the 19th century]
  • How is the guitar played? [held in lap, strummed or plucked]
fiddle or violin
Fiddle or Violin?
  • Scots-Irish immigrants brought the fiddle to the United States
  • The fiddle is the same instrument as the violin
  • But fiddlers have a different way of playing
  • They seldom use vibrato
  • Most set the fiddle up so they can play quickly
the fiddle key points
The Fiddle: Key Points
  • Fiddles have how many strings? [four]
  • What is the fiddle made of? [wood]
  • Who first brought the fiddle to the U.S.? [Scots-Irish]
  • How is the fiddle played? [It is rested on the shoulder and bowed or plucked.]
  • When was it introduced to the U.S.? [1700s, or the 18th century]