Black Influences

The African musical influence in the world of bluegrass music

African music has always influenced other musical genres.  When slaves came to the Appalachian Mountain region from Africa, they brought over a lot of their traditions.  Most of these traditions are shown frequently in the music world, especially in bluegrass music.  It is already known that the 4-string banjo originated from Africa, along with oral tradition.  The first banjos were made with a gourd sound chamber.  Five elements that compose a banjo include the sound chamber, head (vibrating membrane), neck, bridge, and the strings.  The most important part is the bridge as it transmits sound from the strings to the head.  However, early banjos from Africa did not have bridges.