• Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World

    Building New Banjos for an Old-Time WorldSpringfield, Ill. — University of Illinois Press has announced a September 15, publication date for Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World, by Richard Jones-Bamman.

    Jones-Bamman ventures into workshops and old-time music communities to explore how banjo builders practice their art. His interviews and long-time personal immersion in the musical culture shed light on long-overlooked aspects of banjo making.

    What is the banjo builder’s role in the creation of a specific musical community? What techniques go into the styles of instruments they create?

    Jones-Bamman explores these questions and many others while sharing the ways an inescapable sense of the past undergirds the performance and enjoyment of old-time music.

    Along the way he reveals how antimodernism remains integral to the music’s appeal and its making. He also delves into the omission of African Americans — the originators of the banjo — from both the instrument's popular history and the nostalgia engendered by the music, and the role contemporary banjo builders are playing to rectify this situation.

    "The issues raised by Jones-Bamman and the information he provides to aid in their discussion have never been brought together in one volume. A significant addition to the literature."

    — Bob Carlin, author of Banjo: An Illustrated History

    About the Author

    Richard Jones-Bamman is emeritus professor of music at Eastern Connecticut State University.

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