Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $5.00 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by apex_media
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $25. Overnight and 2 day shipping available!
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $3.44
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

African Banjo Echoes In Appalachia: Study Folk Traditions (Publications of the American Folklore Society) Paperback – December 20, 1995


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$24.95
$24.95 $20.95

Frequently Bought Together

African Banjo Echoes In Appalachia: Study Folk Traditions (Publications of the American Folklore Society) + Black Banjo Songsters of N Carolina & Virginia + Altamont -- Black Stringband Music from the Library of Congress
Price for all three: $57.56

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: Publications of the American Folklore Society
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1st edition (December 20, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870498932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870498930
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Throughout the Upland South, the  banjo has become an emblem of white mountain folk, who are generally credited with creating the short-thumb-string banjo, developing its downstroking playing styles and repertory, and spreading its influence to the national consciousness. In this groundbreaking study, however, Cecelia Conway demonstrates that these European Americans borrowed the banjo from African Americans and adapted it to their own musical culture. Like many aspects of the African-American tradition, the influence of black banjo music has been largely unrecorded and nearly forgotten—until now.

Drawing in part on interviews with elderly African-American banjo players from the Piedmont—among the last American representatives of an African banjo-playing tradition that spans several centuries—Conway reaches beyond the written records to reveal the similarity of pre-blues black banjo lyric patterns, improvisational playing styles, and the accompanying singing and dance movements to traditional West African music performances. The author then shows how Africans had, by the mid-eighteenth century, transformed the lyrical music of the gourd banjo as they dealt with the experience of slavery in America.

By the mid-nineteenth century, white southern musicians were learning the banjo playing styles of their African-American mentors and had soon created or popularized a five-string, wooden-rim banjo. Some of these white banjo players remained in the mountain hollows, but others dispersed banjo music to distant musicians and the American public through popular minstrel shows.

By the turn of the century, traditional black and white musicians still shared banjo playing, and Conway shows that this exchange gave rise to a distinct and complex new genre—the banjo song. Soon, however, black banjo players put down their banjos, set their songs with increasingly assertive commentary to the guitar, and left the banjo and its story to white musicians. But the banjo still echoed at the crossroads between the West African griots, the traveling country guitar bluesmen, the banjo players of the old-time southern string bands, and eventually the bluegrass bands.

The Author: Cecelia Conway is associate professor of English at Appalachian State University. She is a folklorist who teaches twentieth-century literature, including cultural perspectives, southern literature, and film.

About the Author

Cecelia Conway is associate professor of English at Appalachian State University. She is a folklorist who teaches twentieth-century literature, including cultural perspectives, southern literature, and film.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 10 customer reviews
I have found it to be very interesting in the historical aspect.
Albert LaSalle
I realized library priviledges I had had for 12 years would be gone in a couple weeks, I went to the music section of the FIU library and bumped into this book.
Tony Thomas
From there, Ms. Conway launches into a fascinating, scholarly exploration of the history and evolution of the banjo.
Shlomo Pestcoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shlomo Pestcoe on June 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Today, there is a greater awareness of the fact that the banjo, so often identified as an American original, is in fact of African descent. Yet, with the exception of Dena Epstein's and Paul Oliver's pioneering research, there's has been little in the way of literature devoted specifically to the subject of the banjo's African and African-American heritage.
Cecelia Conway's AFRICAN BANJO ECHOES IN APPALACHIA fills this frankly embarassing void in banjo literature. Ms. Conway is a folklorist who, back in the 1970s, had done field work in the North Carolina Piedmont documenting some of the last bearers of the centuries-old African-American folk banjo tradition. In the beginning of the book, she introduces us to venerable African-American traditional musicians, whose music predates the blues and jazz, such as Dink Roberts, John Snipes and Joe and Odell Thompson (of all the aforementioned, fiddler Joe Thompson is the only one left to carry on the tradition, which he still does with great vigor and determination). From there, Ms. Conway launches into a fascinating, scholarly exploration of the history and evolution of the banjo.
This leads to the thorny issue of just how the banjo-- now considered, along with the fiddle and mountain dulcimer, to be the quintessential musical manifestation of white Appalachia-- was introduced and absorbed into the folk culture of the European-American communities of the Southern Mountains. Ms.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on April 6, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i HAD JUST handed in my MFA thesis to be published. I realized library priviledges I had had for 12 years would be gone in a couple weeks, I went to the music section of the FIU library and bumped into this book. I loved it, it loved me. I read it straight through--didnt go to work the next day. I have been studying and playing traditional American music for 40 years, and this is one of the best books on any level I have ever read. Ater talking about picking up the banjo for 40 years, I bought one right after I read this book and have bought another since.

So much of history and opinion about popular music is just congealed prejudice and wishful thinking. This is science and real life. The banjo is an African instrument, the traditional way of playing it is the African way of playing it. Not to speak of the non traditional post WWII guitar influenced Bluegrass way which simply adds as many blue and blues notes into the music as can be found.

What romanced me in this book is her interviews with African American banjo players from North Carolina and Virgina--some of whom have passed on since the book came out. The Photographs in there are great too.

Cece Also made a movie of these guys that was shown back when the book first came out. While it has been out of circulation for years, she will be showing it at the April 7-10 2005 Black Banjo Then and Now Gathering at Appalachian State College in Boone North Carolina.

You see that scene in the library was 6 years and three banjos ago. The book and the recordings and other development have brought many African American artists back to the banjo and back to the roots players that inspired Cece's book.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. BEATTY on February 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Cecelia Conway and Scott Odell should be awarded an enormous fellowship from the MacArthur or Guggenheim folks for additional research. This book merits a readership among anyone who so much as owns a "banjer." The accompanying CD (called "Black Banjo Songsters" and available on the Smithsonian/Folkways label) is a bit academic in its notes and its repetition of songs, but hearing the likes of John Snipes and Dink Roberts go to town is thrilling.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Smith on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
An educational and informative discourse on a key aspect of african-american folk music brought to life by the first person reminiscences of the children of black slaves. This book ensures that their lives and stories do not disappear into the sands of time. Although the banjo is the central topic of this book, it is really the framework to tell the stories of the black banjo songsters. All in all a good read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Peterson on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have only recently began playing the banjo and feel this book has taken me 100% closer to being the well rounded musician I aspire to be. If you are interested in history, music, and the banjo this is where to start!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search