|Banjo OrnamentOld World Glass "Banjo Music" Christmas Ornament|
Handcrafted in Germany by Inge Glass.
-Click picture to enlarge-
|Includes the Legend:African Americans brought the banjo to our shores before the middle of the eighteenth century, according to a 1740 history of Jamaica that says Africans who were brought there had "other Musical Instruments, as a Banjil, not much unlike our Lute in any thing but the Musick," The banjo was well established in the North American colonies when a Virginian noted it as entertainment at a party in 1774: "A great number of young people met together with a Fiddle and Banjo played by two Negroes, with plenty of Toddy." Thomas Jefferson declared in his Notes on the State of Virginia that "the instrument proper to Negroes is the Banjor, which they brought hither from Africa." The ultimate origin of the banjo is unknown. It may be an adaptation of a Portuguese guitar, the banza, brought to West Africa in the 1600s. But whatever its beginnings, in the hands of Africans who brought it to North America, it became the basis for distinctively energetic and distinctively American music, instrumental in the later development of forms as diverse as Jazz (1913) and Bluegrass (1750).|
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