The History of Banjo Music: A Timeline

The banjo is one of the most recognizable stringed instruments in the world. There are several different kinds of banjo, all of which originated in Africa. The three most commonly used types of banjo are the 5-string, 6-string, and 7-string banjos. The 5-string banjo is the most common, as it is the most versatile type of banjo and is the most popular.

The Origin of the Banjo

The 6-string banjo is one of the older banjos. The shape of the instrument has changed over the years. The number of strings and the tuning of the banjo can be changed through the action of a slide and lever that you hold down to change the string pitch. To change the pitch, simply adjust one of the levers. The 5-string banjo has 5 strings and is tuned like a piano or guitar, but on the lower strings. On the upper string, a small cord is suspended from the peg on the string. The cord allows the player to change the pitch by plucking a string. A 6-string banjo is what people refer to as a slide. The 7-string banjo has 7 strings in total and is the most complex type of banjo. It is very difficult to play and is typically played by professional musicians.

The Banjo Comes to America

The five-string banjo did not come to America until the mid-18th century. The banjo is associated with the southern part of the United States. The north, including Canada and northern states of the US, did not receive the 5-string banjo until the late 1800s. African Banjos The most common banjo used today is called the African banjo. The name comes from Africa, where it was originally made from water buffalo skin. The banjo was originally used as a mandolin, but it quickly became a popular string instrument. Early Banjo History: Africa Although the banjo is similar to other string instruments, it is especially related to other African instruments.

Banjo Innovations & Styles

Between 1820 and the late 1840’s, banjo playing exploded in popularity. In 1821, Cephas Cooper, a New England banjo maker, designed and made a design that was highly popular. His design was five strings, four of which were tuned higher than the lowest string. It was a very advanced banjo design, and was immediately copied by the other banjo makers of the day. In 1842, banjoist Daniel Mason added a “tuning knob” to the back of the banjo to enable the player to make one single note on the banjo. The beginning of “string jazz” was born. In the 1870’s, a new style of banjo making emerged, where the banjo became more hollow and now has five strings. The banjo is also one of the most historically significant instruments in world music and music education.


In this article, we have covered a wide range of topics relating to the banjo. This article started out discussing the history of the banjo, which provided us with the context of where the banjo came from and how it came to be. It ended with a brief explanation of the different banjo types and an overview of the different styles of music that can be performed on each type of banjo. In my opinion, learning about the history of a musical instrument is an extremely important topic to know about. For example, an artist may choose to write a song in a style that has been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. It is a great responsibility to write a song that is timeless and that will still be enjoyed years from now.

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