"Itís got a hard drive to it. Itís Scotch bagpipes and old-time fiddliní. Itís Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. Itís blues and jazz and it has a high lonesome sound. Itís plain music that tells a story. Itís played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you.
Bluegrass is a form of American music related to Folk Music
and Country Music
. It has it origins in Appalachian music
, folk music from the British Isles, and 19th-century African-American music. It began to be recognized as a musical genre in the 1930s, with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass is traditionally played on some combination of banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, fiddle, dobro, and upright bass. Bluegrass songs typically have the instruments take turns playing the melody or improvising on it. In songs with vocals, the lead singer is often accompanied by one or more harmony voices.
There are two main sub-genres of bluegrass: traditional and progressive. In traditional bluegrass, only acoustic instruments are used, and the music and chord progressions are usually simpler. In progressive bluegrass, elements from rock music and jazz are borrowed, electric instruments are frequently used, and songs from other pop genres are covered. Bluegrass gospel songs are sometimes considered to be another category of bluegrass music.
Bluegrass tends to have a reputation of being an unsophisticated, provincial style of music, but in recent years, it has been growing in popularity (partly due to its use in films like O Brother, Where Art Thou?
). Many mainstream country artists have released bluegrass albums, and celebrities as diverse as Jerry Garcia
, Steve Martin
, and Yo-Yo Ma have dabbled in it. It is also becoming more well-known world-wide.
Notable bluegrass musicians: