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Fiddle & Banjo

This workshop leads participants through an exploration of two instruments at the core of American string band tradition. After we trace the history of fiddle and banjo through American dance music of the 1800s, participants listen to live interpretations and recorded examples of African American duos such as Nathan Frazier & Frank Patterson. The evolution of this instrumental pairing is then discussed in terms of interpreting fiddle and banjo music for audiences today. Intermediate and advanced students are welcome to bring their instruments to learn a song or three to play as the workshop concludes.  

Outcomes: Students learn terms such as “downbeat,” “offbeat” and “fills” through observing the role of both the fiddle and banjo in jazz, old time, and bluegrass music. Students gain an appreciation for the diverse sounds that are possible on each instrument through bowing techniques for the fiddle and right hand styles of playing the banjo. 

Ages: 10+

Duration: 45 - 90 minutes

Instructors: Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons


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