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Jan 22, 2022 - 12:56:45 PM
9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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Watch this..What do you think of it...
The Origins of Bluegrass Music..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLnxjrAAKks

Don't get me wrong.. It is a nice little video, I just wasn't fond of some things..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 01/22/2022 15:45:55

Jan 22, 2022 - 2:03:38 PM
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13160 posts since 9/23/2009

Well I watched this when I shoulda been puttin' on a pot of brown rice to get it done...lol...I can do that in a minute. So what do you think, Lee?

I guess my only thought would be where the line is drawn...some of the newer stuff I would never imagine to be considered bluegrass style. Who is defining...who decides what kind of music...what fits into what category...would be my thought. Although i don't and have rarely to never actually listened to much music...don't play CDs or any of that...I can't say I've kept up with any professionals much, outside of maybe Doc Watson...I never had a thing to play his records on, but friends did and so I heard him quite a bit during certain years of my life. Other than that...well I heard some local family musicians and Jean Ritchie because they were around a lot...but never listened to records or anything. Heard a lot of snake handler musicians on the local radio station on Sundays...and I did listen to them driving into town, because if you wanna hear some really great local unknowns, listen to snake handlers...they are mainly guitar players and boy are they good. Other than that...I've never kept up with any professional musicians...still, from just hearing things happening on a local live basis around me...I would never guess some of that stuff would be classified as Bluegrass.

I guess that's my only thought. I would agree with the history the guy was talking about...seems that's pretty much accepted knowledge at this time: old European folk music came over with the white guys, and banjos and rhythmic drum-likie elements came over with the black guys...it all sorta got blended into a uniquely American style of music that gradually evolved from back porch or extremely local stuff into professional music sold as Bluegrass, and then I guess whatever else happened to change it even further.

I gotta put my rice on now or we're gonna stay hungry and cold. Can't seem to get warmed up, but we can at least stop being hungry...lol. Thanks for the link...it was interesting and thought provoking.

Jan 22, 2022 - 2:19:30 PM

9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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What I heard was a lot of reference to the origins of Bluegrass... Old TIme music also has the Same origins and still continues.. SO! . Bluegrass IMO is an offshoot of that mentioned 'hillbilly' music which continues under the name of Old Time music.... Old time music is alive and well...The documentary fails to mention that.. "Let the debate begin!"

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 01/22/2022 14:20:06

Jan 22, 2022 - 3:26:21 PM

2133 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

What I heard was a lot of reference to the origins of Bluegrass... Old TIme music also has the Same origins and still continues.. SO! . Bluegrass IMO is an offshoot of that mentioned 'hillbilly' music which continues under the name of Old Time music.... Old time music is alive and well...The documentary fails to mention that.. "Let the debate begin!"


It didn't mention that? Probably just a superficial bluegrass fan video not worth watching, then. I suppose I might watch it but in case I don't, what origins of bluegrass were referenced?

Jan 22, 2022 - 3:31:35 PM

9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

What I heard was a lot of reference to the origins of Bluegrass... Old TIme music also has the Same origins and still continues.. SO! . Bluegrass IMO is an offshoot of that mentioned 'hillbilly' music which continues under the name of Old Time music.... Old time music is alive and well...The documentary fails to mention that.. "Let the debate begin!"


It didn't mention that? Probably just a superficial bluegrass fan video not worth watching, then. I suppose I might watch it but in case I don't, what origins of bluegrass were referenced?


To me the video is very interesting but debatable..Lets see what others say!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 01/22/2022 15:33:59

Jan 22, 2022 - 3:46:32 PM
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256 posts since 9/6/2011

Oh! Boy! I will get the pop corn.

I watched it and I guess what you think of it , depends on where you are coming from.

I played bluegrass banjo for 30 years and in the last 10 years have switched to clawhammer banjo and fiddle because I have always loved fiddle tunes and because of the direction that bluegrass has taken.

(In my opinion)....Monroe first played music as a pro with his brothers and even had String Bean playing banjo  It was not Bluegrass.. He was looking for something different and found it when he first heard Earl Scruggs. Monroe made the music and Scruggs put it in another gear. The change was Bluegrass.

The young man said that bluegrass started in the Applachs., but Monroe was from the other side of Kentucky, a long way from the mountains.

Edited by - imapicker2 on 01/22/2022 15:48:02

Jan 22, 2022 - 3:56:33 PM
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13160 posts since 9/23/2009

I think of Bluegrass as Old-Time-Gone-Wall Street...lol...so to speak...gone from plain and simple enjoyment in the community to running out on the road to make big bucks. A road show-come to town, so to speak, you might say.  That might be strong language...I do admire all the great, great BG fiddlers, who can play in any key at lightning speed, and do some sweet double stop slides and all that.  But I think of it as flashy and showy...for dazzling audiences with money to spend...I think of OT as more of a free service to one's community.  I kind of went through and edited out the stronger opinions and worded that in a friendlier way...lol...I don't mean anything bad, but I do tend to be very opinionated at times.  Can't help it...came from a long line of preachers on both sides and it comes natural to jump up on my soap box sometimes.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 01/22/2022 16:01:00

Jan 22, 2022 - 4:01:06 PM
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9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I think of Bluegrass as Old-Time-Gone-Wall Street...lol...so to speak...gone from plain and simple enjoyment in the community to running out on the road to make big bucks. A road show-come to town, so to speak, you might say.  That might be strong language...I do admire all the great, great BG fiddlers, who can play in any key at lightning speed, and do some sweet double stop slides and all that.  But I think of it as flashy and showy...for dazzling audiences with money to spend...I think of OT as more of a free service to one's community.


I tell people that Bluegrass is Performance based Old Time....The two will always be intertwined IMO...laugh

Jan 22, 2022 - 4:03:04 PM

13160 posts since 9/23/2009

My above posts is in reference to the development of BG from OT or traditional...not accusing the individual musicians of being greedy or money-oriented...where would we be without icons like Bill Monroe or Earl Scruggs?

Jan 22, 2022 - 4:06:18 PM
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9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

My above posts is in reference to the development of BG from OT or traditional...not accusing the individual musicians of being greedy or money-oriented...where would we be without icons like Bill Monroe or Earl Scruggs?


and.... Nobody can say that bluegrass musicians are  not talented... As for Origins/roots.. one could say that it all goes back to a caveman pounding on a rock.. It all has the same origins..  It is just the general approach of the video I wasn't fond of..(of course I couldn't begin to put together a video half as good...just sayin')

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 01/22/2022 16:07:07

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Jan 22, 2022 - 4:48:52 PM
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2133 posts since 8/27/2008

It sounds like someone writing an essay for a class who doesn't really know about the music from a personal perspective, possible using the Encyclopedia Brittanica and trying to make it sound like his own words.

Jan 22, 2022 - 5:18:44 PM

5804 posts since 9/26/2008

What about it didn't you like?

Jan 22, 2022 - 5:41:58 PM
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97 posts since 1/28/2018

 

 

Brian Wood hit the nail on the head I believe.

Edited by - fiddlewood on 01/22/2022 17:50:12

Jan 22, 2022 - 6:36:45 PM
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256 posts since 9/6/2011

Bingo! Mr Wood

Jan 22, 2022 - 6:39:31 PM

2601 posts since 10/22/2007

I went to the originators YT channel. It's interesting the other videos this person has uploaded. Maybe one or two additional videos on a musical subject. I sort of didn't understand where this person was coming from.

It did seem like a college production project.

Most Bluegrass folks have more than one video on the subject.

Edited by - farmerjones on 01/22/2022 18:41:11

Jan 23, 2022 - 12:53:46 AM

722 posts since 3/1/2020

I think the video covers some good points, although it does not adequately explain that old time was already an established genre when bluegrass was developed. If I had to come up with the simplest answer to the question of origin, I think the Ralph Stanley quote in the video explains it better than the narrator. I sympathize with the argument that it’s more accurate to look at bluegrass as a departure from older traditional mountain music than as a direct link to Scots-Irish, English, and West African folk styles. However, in the narrator’s defense, most of the introductions to bluegrass aimed at those unfamiliar with the genre do the same thing. It’s a bit like saying Strauss waltzes come from Medieval plainchant. Yes, the connection does exist, but to get to that means to ignore most of the crucial information.

Although I don’t claim any expertise in instruments outside the bowed string family, I at least know enough to recognize some errors in the video. For instance, resonator guitars are not all lapsteel guitars as the video suggests. Resonator guitars were originally developed simply as a way to increase the projection of the guitar. Also, it’s a little silly to suggest that we have no idea what gourd banjos sounded like; they are still made today and instruments of that kind remained in use in Africa long after they were introduced in North America through the slave trade. The cello is mentioned as a foundational bluegrass bass instrument, but that doesn't really add up, as the instrument had already been phased out of mountain music when bluegrass first appeared.

I think the narrator has made too many divisions as far as the number of eras in the genre. To me, it’s less about eras than about styles. I’d say there’s an early bluegrass style, like what you hear from the original players, where the connection to old time is perhaps a little stronger. Then I’d say there is a modern style, more of a standard and still widely used. Then there’s “newgrass,” which is more exploratory stylistically and incorporates more elements of jazz and classical music. Although I think some indie and folk groups make use of bluegrass styles, I would not classify the music as bluegrass itself, rather as bluegrass-inspired.

As others have pointed out already, one of the most important distinctions of bluegrass is its shifted focus on performance, wherein dancing is no longer integral and players make much more conspicuous use of riffs or breaks in turn.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 01/23/2022 01:03:34

Jan 23, 2022 - 4:34:48 AM
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13160 posts since 9/23/2009

I agree the mention of the cello...well that was a surprise to me. And yes, there are still gourd banjos being made brand new today...gourd banjos never went away. Good points.

This is sounding like a familiar argument...lol...should I say, "Well, I'll be a Monkey's Uncle," right about now? Lol...if we get lucky we can find missing links.

Jan 23, 2022 - 8:21:14 AM
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2133 posts since 8/27/2008

Leaving out the strong connection between old time and bluegrass in the video more reflects the state of the music today. Gatherings of either are often exclusive these days, in my experience.

Jan 23, 2022 - 8:35:55 AM

9951 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

Leaving out the strong connection between old time and bluegrass in the video more reflects the state of the music today. Gatherings of either are often exclusive these days, in my experience.


Exactly.. When I'm busking I virtually Never hear anyone say, "Wow, I really love Old Time Music."..They OFTEN say, "Wow I really love BLuegrass Music.".... Most people don't even know that there is a difference..!

Jan 23, 2022 - 8:45:48 AM

13160 posts since 9/23/2009

I used to sing ballads with my guitar in a restaurant back in the mid 70s for a couple of years...old traditional murder ballads...I can't tell you how many people commented on it, calling it "Bluegrass," lol. Furthest thing from BG, what I was doing.

Jan 23, 2022 - 9:14:39 AM
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42 posts since 6/12/2015

I think most bluegrass performers would be surprised to find out that there are big bucks to be had playing bluegrass haha.

Bluegrass performances are, of course, performances, but the jams are as informal as a typical OT jam.

Bluegrass jams and OT jams as we know them today are probably both creations of the folk revival. Both can be a lot of fun.

Jan 23, 2022 - 10:14:01 AM
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Mobob

USA

195 posts since 10/1/2009

As Mr. Monroe was fond of saying, "aint no part a nuthin".

Jan 23, 2022 - 11:15:10 AM
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2133 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

Leaving out the strong connection between old time and bluegrass in the video more reflects the state of the music today. Gatherings of either are often exclusive these days, in my experience.


Exactly.. When I'm busking I virtually Never hear anyone say, "Wow, I really love Old Time Music."..They OFTEN say, "Wow I really love BLuegrass Music.".... Most people don't even know that there is a difference..!


I've experienced versions of that, too. Films like "Oh Brother...", while bringing "bluegrass" to the masses confused the terminology somehow labeling it all bluegrass. when most if it was more old time or folk. And I remember in the early 70s a couple times when I mentioned to someone I played a little bluegrass they said "oh. like John Denver?".  Good grief! But part of me celebrates that old time (and bluegrass) are still fringe music that's not well understood, because that means the music's a little purer still. The distinction between bluegrass and old time seems to be pretty set these days. Lots of players only do one or the other. Bluegrass jams and old time jams have different protocols. I prefer the old time way of playing all together to the sequential soloing in bluegrass jams.

Jan 23, 2022 - 12:50:30 PM
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2001 posts since 12/11/2008

Genres in any artistic/musical endeavor both develop and mutate. There's no reason we can't both appreciate/hang onto the past and embrace the future. Let the world turn. The only important consideration when it comes to any artistic endeavor is "Is it good?" Does it give you pleasure? Does it access your emotions? Does it penetrate your soul?

Jan 23, 2022 - 1:40:26 PM
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79 posts since 5/1/2010

Anybody remember "Dawg" and "Newgrass" from the 1970's? Good God! What an abomination! Of course, when you reach the level of technical proficiency like Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall, and all the rest, traditional stuff becomes extremely boring. We must, however, remember that Bluegrass is the "Last Redoubt" as far as anything "traditional" is concerned. Everything else, including the "Nashville Product" which used to be called Country Music, has pretty much turned into a corporate balance sheet.
I have a driving job, and I listen to SiriusXm radio for hours every day. I listen to nothing but Bluegrass Junction, Willie's Roadhouse, and Outlaw Country. Bluegrass, while the lyrics and instrumetation have become very sophisticated and "slicker than snot on a glass doorknob" nowadays, is still basically Bluegrass. Once this is gone, it's over.

Jan 24, 2022 - 4:48:26 AM

13160 posts since 9/23/2009

I guess actually the combo of extremely developed playing technique and boredom is something like the combo of ammonia and bleach...lol.

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