“Bluegrass Music”

In the Introduction to Goldsmith, it is asserted that bluegrass was invented with the introduction of public radio.  Contrary to earlier mountain music, this commercialized version of original country is relatively more polished and places greater focus on technique (Goldsmith, p.4). However, Bluegrass is still relatively simple compared to other music genres and Rosenberg says that Bluegrass’s form, content, and style are reminiscent of earlier mountain folksinging. He also says that due to its harmonies and high-pitched singing, some have referred to it as the blues of country music (Rosenberg, p.3). Bluegrass is traditionally acoustic and relies on the use of the fiddle, banjo, dobro, mandolin, guitar, and bass and its lyrical content mostly consists of everyday occurrences and community values.  Therefore, while there exists multiple methods of playing and singing within the Bluegrass community, the fundamental functions and content of mountain old time, country, folk, and Bluegrass have remained fairly constant over time.  These functions include, but are not limited to, the gathering of community with Bluegrass at the center, the expression of everyday strife, and the sharing of religious beliefs, love, community, and the beauty of Appalachia.

One thought on ““Bluegrass Music””

  1. Great start! As I have been encouraging in class, it is helpful to look at the functions of the music. You offer “the gathering of community with Bluegrass at the center, the expression of everyday strife, and the sharing of religious beliefs, love, community, and the beauty of Appalachia.” It will be interesting to see how the commercial aspect of the genre interacts with the functions you have presented.

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