Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo and Bagpipe?

@Archie, I found this little gem on YouTube and thought you might enjoy it. I like that bluegrass has its origins in the musical traditions brought to America by Scots-Irish immigrants that settled in Appalachia.


Hi Bob, Thank you for sharing this, the reason this works is because these are also fiddle tines. There was a time when the bagpipes were banned in Scotland on the orders of an English King suffice to say it had no impact whatsoever if anything it strengthened the resolve of the Scots as they kept the music alive by chanting the tunes. Check out this video demonstration of mouth music. These guys are Irish but the same principle applies. See if you can find the key and play along with some back up rolls. I had tried my hand at playing Clawhammer but I just can’t seem to master it. That guy is really good.

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How funny is it that few styles of music are more associated with Americana than bluegrass, and it’s roots are Scottish/Irish and the banjo’s roots are African? :slight_smile:


It’s all to do with Cumberland trail. The migration of displaced people coming together - living together - breaking bread together - making music together - drinking, laughing and dancing together - I leave it to your own imagination what else they did together. There is a lot of Scots Irish blood flowing through the veins of many a southern gentleman and the way you can tell is to watch how their toes start a tapping when a fiddler plays a jig.


Hi Archie! Irish Lilting! “Paddy Rafferty & Michael Rafferty, Galway 1982” I’ve heard lilting as a child and remember fondly when my grandfather (who was German and married to my (Scots-?)Irish grandmother Mary Gordon) used to try it after a few drinks of Scotch! LOL! What memories…

I knew about the pipes being banned by the English as they were considered weapons of war and only just discovered that they were considered weapons until 1996!

“In 1996, after some disputes with authorities, a man known as Mr Brooks was taken to court for playing the pipes on Hamstead Heath, an act forbidden under a Victorian by-law stating the playing of any musical instrument is banned. Mr Brooks plead not guilty by, claiming the pipes are not a musical instrument, but instead a weapon of war , citing the case of James Reid as a precedent. The unanimous verdict was that the pipes are first and foremost musical instruments returning them from a weapon of war to their rightful place as a musical instrument.”

The way I play banjo, it’s definitely a weapon and a crime! :rofl::rofl:

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