Skip to main content

banjo

banjo. Instr. of the same general type as the guitar, but the resonating body is of parchment strained over a metal hoop and it has an open back. There are from 4 to 9 str. (usually 5 or 6), passing over a low bridge and ‘stopped’ against a fingerboard, which is often without frets; one is a melody string (thumb string, or chanterelle), the others providing a simple chordal acc. Some examples have gut str. (played with the finger-tips) and others wire str. (played with a plectrum). Used by Gershwin in Porgy and Bess and by Delius in Koanga. The origin of this instr. is supposed to be Africa, and it was in use among the slaves of S. USA; then, in the 19th cent., it became the accepted instr. of ‘Negro Minstrels’ and in the 20th found a place in jazz bands. These last sometimes used a Tenor Banjo, with a different scheme of tuning (resembling that of the vn. family). The Zither Banjo is of small size and has wire str.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo

banjo

ban·jo / ˈbanjō/ • n. (pl. -jos or -joes) a stringed musical instrument with a long neck and a round open-backed body consisting of parchment stretched over a metal hoop like a tambourine, played by plucking or with a plectrum. It is used esp. in American folk music. ∎  an object resembling this in shape: [as adj.] a banjo clock. DERIVATIVES: ban·jo·ist / -ist/ n. ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: originally a black American alteration of earlier bandore; probably based on Greek pandoura ‘three-stringed lute.’ Compare with bandora.

banjo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo-0

"banjo." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo-0

banjo

banjo, stringed musical instrument, with a body resembling a tambourine. The banjo consists of a hoop over which a skin membrane is stretched; it has a long, often fretted neck and four to nine strings, which are plucked with a pick or the fingers. Slaves brought it to America (by 1688) from W Africa, to which it may have come from Europe or Asia. It was played in minstrel shows in the 19th cent. It is used frequently in hillbilly and Southern folk music. Because of an incisive, percussive quality, it is often used as a rhythm or a solo instrument in Dixieland bands.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/banjo

"banjo." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/banjo

banjo

banjo Musical instrument with four to nine strings, a body of stretched parchment on a metal hoop, and a long, fretted neck. It is played with a plectrum or the fingers. Probably of African origin, it was taken to the USA by slaves. It is most often used in Dixieland jazz and folk-music.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/banjo

"banjo." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/banjo

banjo

banjo XVIII (†banjer, †-jore). of uncert. Orig.; perh. Negro slave pronunc. banj⊙, banj⊙re of bandore lute-like instrument.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo-1

"banjo." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo-1

banjo

banjo •banjo • Gorgio •dojo, mojo, Tojo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"banjo." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"banjo." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo

"banjo." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved May 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/banjo