Mountain Music Traditions

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“You know, for most of its life bluegrass has had this stigma of being all straw hats and hay bales and not necessarily the most sophisticated form of music. Yet, you can't help responding to its honesty. It's music that finds its way deep into your soul because it's strings vibrating against wood and nothing else.”

- Alison Krauss

Traditional mountain music has been called many things over the years - “mountain” music, “Appalachian” music, “hillbilly” music, “traditional” music and “string band” music. Though all of the labels roughly refer to the same genre, the term used here is “old-time” music. Bluegrass is the child of old-time music. Bluegrass and old-time music labels are often used interchangeably, however, one should understand that these are two distinct walks of life. Both stir the same qualities of toe-tapping melodies but they are born in two different time periods. Both commonly use the same five piece instrumentation - the fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass - but those instruments are blended and highlighted in different ways. The hidden rules of each music style are carved into the Appalachian mountains and passed down through tradition. Every player starts as an old-time musician, while some decide they are ready to dazzle their talent in a harmonizing bluegrass band.

Mountain Music Tradtitions