What is Bluegrass Music?



Here are "two" definitions which exrpess Bluegrass at it's best. There is no German version here, as these are originals.

This serious one is by Elisabeth Burkett



Bluegrass is a style of acoustic music that originated in the 1940s when Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs combined elements of country/western, gospel and blues music with the British, Irish, and Scottish music of their Appalachian mountain heritage. It is played most commonly on the mandolin, fiddle, five-string banjo, six-string guitar, and upright bass, but the resonator guitar ("Dobro"), harmonica, and electric bass are also found in bluegrass. Percussion is not generally used, with the insistant rhythm being a result of the interplay of the stringed instruments. Bluegrass music is often called "that high lonesome sound" but it includes a wide range of lively instrumentals, sweet ballads in three-part harmony, soulful a cappella gospel quartets and up-tempo love songs.

The unique, driving sound of the original Blue Grass Boys was built upon by many musicians, including the Stanley Brothers, Reno & Smiley, Jim & Jesse, and Jimmy Martin. Bluegrass blossomed with artists like the Osborne Brothers, the Dillards, the Seldom Scene, the New Grass Revival, and Hot Rize. Today bluegrass is popular worldwide, and its stars include Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss & Union Station, the Del McCoury Band, Laurie Lewis, the Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band.

Bluegrass is a very inclusive music, with friendly and informal jam sessions springing up around almost every event. It's a great way to learn to play an instrument and sing, for kids and adults alike. Almost all bluegrass events have a family atmosphere, and performers and listeners are equally welcome. We hope to see you soon at a bluegrass event!


Here is another definition from Michael L. McDonald



Bluegrass Music is a shivering, blustery Friday night on the Ohio, at a town called Owensboro waiting to hear more...
As they begin, the cold and wind vanish, and all you hear, all you feel, is the music - true and sweet. It is the campfire where we gather, listening and playing. Ordinary people go from camp to camp, carrying their instruments, bringing their music, sharing their friendship.

It is the Mother with her ancient guitar and her Son with his beat-up bass, playing together, singing together, stirring everyone who hears. It is the first rays of light as you hear the far-away strains of gospel music on a Sunday morning.

Bluegrass Music is actually meeting Doc Watson. It is leaving your chairs in the same place for three days, knowing they'll be there when you come back. It is a mandolin player making giant sounds with a tiny instrument. It is hearing a group of young people play sweet music from their hearts, just for fun. Laughing, joking, enjoying life. Bluegrass Music is Jerry Douglas on stage, alone, mesmerizing an entire crowd with his artistry. It is a fiddler making tears come to my eyes. It is looking at my wife, my mouth hanging open, saying, "Did you hear that?" It is Tony Rice playing, playing, playing...magically. It is smiling so much your face hurts.

This is Bluegrass Music, this and more. It is almost a way of life, a respite from everyday rushing and hurrying. A chance to get back to yourself, a chance to meet old friends and make new ones. A chance to celebrate life. A chance to thank God.


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