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Banjo Roots and Branches

Robert B Winans



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University of Illinois Press
15 August 2018
Theory of music & musicology; Folk & traditional music; String instruments
The story of the banjo's journey from Africa to the western hemisphere blends music, history, and a union of cultures. In Banjo Roots and Branches, Robert B. Winans presents cutting-edge scholarship that covers the instrument's West African origins and its adaptations and circulation in the Caribbean and United States. The contributors provide detailed ethnographic and technical research on gourd lutes and ekonting in Africa and the banza in Haiti while also investigating tuning practices and regional playing styles. Other essays place the instrument within the context of slavery, tell the stories of black banjoists, and shed light on the banjo's introduction into the African- and Anglo-American folk milieus. Wide-ranging and illustrated with twenty color images, Banjo Roots and Branches offers a wealth of new information to scholars of African American and folk musics as well as the worldwide community of banjo aficionados. Contributors: Greg C. Adams, Nick Bamber, Jim Dalton, George R. Gibson, Chuck Levy, Shlomo Pestcoe, Pete Ross, Tony Thomas, Saskia Willaert, and Robert B. Winans.
Edited by:   Robert B Winans
Imprint:   University of Illinois Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780252083600
ISBN 10:   0252083601
Series:   Music in American Life
Pages:   360
Publication Date:   15 August 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert B. Winans is a professor emeritus of American literature and folklore at Gettysburg College.

Reviews for Banjo Roots and Branches

As far as I know this book has no real equivalents. Several of the essays are pioneering contributions to the esoteric but intriguing field of banjo research and folklore and ethnomusicology generally. --Robert S. Cantwell, author of Bluegrass Breakdown: The Making of the Old Southern Sound An excellent book with plenty of material for both specialist and casual readers. --Galpin Society Journal Inspired by Dena Epstein, this is the first book to use a holistic approach in exploring the history of the banjo; it is an excellent compilation of articles for those interested in the music of Africa and the Americas. --Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, author of Fiddling in West Africa: Touching the Spirit in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba Cultures Winans makes a rich addition to the literature. Recommended. --Choice

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