Appalachia and Bluegrass

Most people automatically associate fiddles and banjos with the Appalachian region, but others question whether bluegrass music and Appalachia actually have a strong relationship.  I think there’s no doubt that bluegrass music is tied to Appalachia.  Many, many songs are written about the mountainous terrain of Appalachia and jobs, such as coal mining and farming that are largely found in Appalachia.  The people that live in Appalachia are often found playing bluegrass music but bluegrass music can also be found anywhere in the United States from New England to California and it’s also enjoyed globally in Europe and Asian countries.   While many Bluegrass songs sing about the hard times of a coal miner in the mountains, a Japanese farmer who spends his days in the rice fields could relate to these songs.  So without Appalachia would bluegrass even exist? The instruments would still exist, the banjo has an African background and the people who play bluegrass would still exist.  Bill Monroe, not even from Appalachia, is considered the father of bluegrass and I’m sure he would have still been playing music without the existence of Appalachia.  The lyrics and hardships that are written about would certainly change but the music itself would remain.  The Appalachian region has definitely helped shape Bluegrass into what it is today but without it bluegrass still would have found its way into the world.

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