Definition: Country music is a genre of American popular music that originated in the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the southeastern genre of American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, dobros and fiddles as well as harmonicas. The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are the folk music of mostly white, working-class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional ballads, and cowboy songs, and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States.
List of music subgenres of country music:
- Ameripolitan music
- Cowboy/Western music
- Dansband music
- Gulf and western
- Hokum (this is also considered a subgenre of Blues)
- Honky tonk music
- Instrumental country
- Nashville sound
Instruments of the country music: Country music is a special genre that includes a variety of instruments. Modern day country music often utilizes the same band instruments as any other music genre�drums, guitar, bass and piano. The more traditional genre of country music includes instruments such as the banjo, fiddle, string bass, and even the accordion. These instruments were used in the early days of bluegrass and folk music.
Banjos are plucked or strummed stringed instruments whose distinctive tones stem from the strings being supported by a bridge that rests on a tightly stretched skin membrane. Historically, American banjos are descendants of a broadly related family of lutes developed in West Africa from earlier Middle Eastern models. The slave trade brought banjo prototypes to the New World, where such powerful transforming forces as nineteenth-century minstrelsy and mass manufacture changed the banjo and its associated playing styles many times over.
A precursor to the steel guitar, the Dobro was invented by the Dopyera Brothers in the 1920s and modeled after the Hawaiian “slack” or resonator guitar. A twangy cousin to the slide guitar, the Dobro is played face up with a series of finger picks and a metal bar which is used to fret strings.
Grand Ole Opry member “Bashful Brother Oswald” first popularized the Dobro as one of Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys before Flatt and Scruggs sideman Josh Graves made it a mainstay in bluegrass music. Jerry Douglas and Mike Auldridge (Seldom Scene, Chesapeake) are today’s acknowledged masters of the Dobro, both using pyrotechnics and an enlarged musical palette to introduce the instrument to a wider audience.
A member of the zither family, the autoharp is played by strumming its strings with one hand while the other hand controls a bar which damps those strings not in the chord.
First brought to prominence in country music by Ernest “Pop” Stoneman in the 1920s, it was later made famous by Sara Carter of the Carter Family. Folk musician Bryan Bowers is one of today’s leading practitioners of the autoharp.
Here are some links of country music:
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