Black and white photo of a man playing the banjo, with his hand blurred from fast movement.

A Brief History of Bluegrass

Events

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 11 am (Mountain time), Dr. Matthew Bumbach will present a Brown Bag on the history of bluegrass. This free presentation will be held via Zoom, and more information is available on the SDSM&T Humanities & Social Sciences Facebook page.

Bluegrass music is all around us. Though the genre sprung from the old-time music of Appalachia, a historically isolated region, bluegrass has found its way deep into popular culture. With this increased visibility we are beginning to see more inclusion of bluegrass instruments in other genres. These include banjos and mandolins appearing in popular music, choral arrangements of popular bluegrass songs, and larger works for choir and bluegrass band. Some of these works preserve as many characteristics of traditional bluegrass as possible, while others simply borrow bluegrass instruments and apply them to folk song arrangements.

Dr. Matthew Bumbach will present a brief history of the bluegrass genre and map out its recent expansion.

Photo credit: Paul VanDerWerf, “Banjo Blur” (Flickr)

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