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A FIVE-STRING BANJO SOURCEBOOK

A selected documentation Second edition

Gérard De Smaele


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Historically, as bearer and mixer of ancient African and European musical traditions, the banjo is an important musical instrument. A Five-String Banjo Sourcebook will stand beside Banjo Attitudes (Paris, L’Harmattan, 2015), its companion book. Since its importation to the US by African Slaves and the inception of an “American version” by Euro-American musicians during the 19th century, the five-string banjo became « America’s instrument » ; and if its controvesial history covers all the aspects of the American musical life, it also reflects its social and political context. Anyone interested in playing the banjo, or involved in doing historical or musical research on the instrument, will be confronted by the huge amount of documentation publised on the subject. The numerous references listed in A Five-String Banjo Sourcebook, try to cover all facets of the instrument, from the banjo manufacturers and workshops to the stage... We hope that these pages will help the users of this compilation to understand all the subtelties of a fascinating musical instrument. 

  • Date de publication : 11 juillet 2024
  • Broché - format : 15,5 x 24 cm • 224 pages
  • Langue : français
  • ISBN : 978-2-336-45714-7
  • EAN13 : 9782336457147
  • EAN PDF : 9782336457154

In 1966, at the tender age of 15, Gérard De Smaele discovered the five-string banjo. This was to be the start of a long story, which would take him from Belgium to the United States to meet his masters: Pete Seeger, the New Lost City Ramblers, Roger Sprung, Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, Reed Martin… Now a professional musician, he was regularly invited to share his passion on the RTBF radio. Author of several books, he was – in 2003-2004 – the promoter of a memorable exhibition at the Brussels Musical Instruments Museum.

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