Mike Moxcey ©2005

4thGrade Colorado Show

Instruments and Music in Colorado: Then and Now

What folks think of the music on the old west is this: Banjo: Old Chisolm Trail

The Guitar was probably not as popular as it is in the movies because it wasn't as robust. Banjos and fiddles were probably far more common on horseback.

Three categories of Instruments: Wind, Percussion, and String

Native Americans had flutes and drums.
Drums are often thought of as African but they were found throughout the world. (drum yard as sanctuary in Africa where they were holy).
Flutes were holy all over the world. Jug, Nose Flute
The Native Americans had no string instruments but they did have bow and arrow which if you look at a bow makes you realize why bowed strings such as the violin were invented before plucked string instruments.

The first European instrument may have been a violin or fiddle. The song Soldier's Joy came over on the Mayflower.

But 1st European instrument many Natives heard was probably a cavalry bugle.

Or it may have been a harmonica. The harp is not a toy, do harp history.

Banjo may have been first string instrument. It is not European, but an African instrument.

Oh Susannah, the number one song of 1849, is about a slave.
Stephen Foster was the first American to make a living as a songwriter
Minstrel Music was the first first American Pop music: Fiddle, Banjo, Tambourine and Bones
It lasted from the 1840s-1880s
play Buffalo Gals as a group: Steve on Banjo, Tom and Kelly on Guitar, a teacher on Tambourine, while I demonstrate Bones and >Spoons

Other Household utensils and things laying around the barn: Saw, Jawbone, Limberjack.

The minstrel percussion instruments ended up in Jug Bands.

Lots of other musics were created later.

Blues—harmonica and guitar after the Civil War
Ragtime-Piano (1880)
Dixieland-ragtime on brass bands with banjo and drums (1920)
Swing/Jazz/Rhythm and Blues/Bebop (1930-40)
Country/Rock/Folk (1930-40)
Bluegrass by Bill Monroe (1930-40)
The Front Range of Colorado is now one of the hot spots for bluegrass and acoustic jam bands.
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