Tim, re: the ninstrel show, there's a recording of early minstrel music by the scholar Rober Winans with Percy Danforth on the bones, it might give an idea of what the early minstrel music was like. Thanks for your thoughts. What a great story of learning to play and finding out after that your uncle played, very interesting, STeve
From: hokelore <muzikhaus@...
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2002 1:55 PM
Subject: [rhythm bones] Re: Minstrel Show and your bones story
> I would be interested in how others feel about the Minstrel Show, I
> have mixed feelings about it myself. No doubt it spread bones
> accross this country, but I'm concerned it also spread racial
> sterotypes. But the music just doesn't interest me much either,
> although the bones playing does.
My general reaction is to find the whole thing embarassing. I haven't
heard the music, though, so I can't comment on that. Tamborine was
supposed to have been a big part of th emusic, too, and I'm curious
how they used it.
The Minstrel shows did popularize bones playing, and also banjo. Also,
I think that it may have been one of the roots of later comedic forms,
> I would also be interested in anyones bones playing story. How did
> you learn to play, what kind of bones do you use, what kind of music
> do you play to? I'm especially interested in any old bones players
> your area's?
I originally wanted to learn bodhran, after the frirst time I heard
one. Well, 20 years ago, bodhrans weren't easy to find in the Midwest.
The same album (something by the Chieftains) did have a little bones
playing, too. I was a college student at the time, and the first day
of one class I took (something Ethnomusicology), one guy in th eclass
said that he was active as a musician. He played many things, mostly
dulcimer, but mentioned bones in the list. A few days later, some of
us got together and jammed, and he played some bones. First time I
ever saw bones played. I tracked down a plastic set, and worked for a
few weeks until I got something that sounded musical. Later, I bought
a pair of Danforth's from my classmate. Now I mostly use real bone.
After I'd been playing bones for a couple of years, my grandmother
told me that her brother (who had been dead for a number of years)
used to play bones, and also drums (swing, I guess). I was never aware
of any of that while he'd been alive, so I guess I can't claim to
carryy on any family tradition.
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