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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Bluegrass

Bluegrass, as a distinct musical form, developed from elements of old-time music and traditional music of the Appalachian region of the United States. The Appalachian region was where many English and Ulster-Scots immigrants settled, bringing with them the musical traditions of their homelands. Hence the sounds of jigs and reels, especially as played on the fiddle, were innate to the developing style.

Why the word bluegrass itself was adopted to label this form is not certain, but is believed to be in the late 1950s, and was derived from the name of the seminal Blue Grass Boys band, formed in 1939 with Bill Monroe as its leader. Due to this lineage, Bill Monroe is frequently referred to as the "father of bluegrass."

The Blue Grass Boys were named after Monroe's beloved Kentucky, the Bluegrass State. The Blue Grass Boys joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1939 and subsequently toured with the Opry road show. Monroe's band attracted a variety of performers. Over the years more than 100 different musicians played with his ensemble.

Bluegrass is grown for fodder in the southern states of the United States, especially in Kentucky and Virginia. it is as green as any other grass and gets its name from the colour of its blossoms.

In 1948, what would come to be known as Bluegrass emerged as a genre within the post-war country/western-music industry, a period of time characterized now as the golden era or wellspring of "traditional bluegrass.

Banjo player Earl Scruggs contributed the three-finger five-string banjo technique which became standard.

The Dobro (an acoustic guitar with a metal resonator) became another typical bluegrass instrument from 1955.

"Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe is the Official Bluegrass song of the state of Kentucky. 

Sources Hutchinson Enyclopedia © RM 2012. Helicon Publishing is division of RM, Wikipedia

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