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Bluegrass Music

Kentucky State Music

Young bluegrass musician; photo by Scott Butner on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Bluegrass Music

Kentucky designated Bluegrass music as the official state music in 2007.

Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that originated in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1940s. It is characterized by its fast tempos, tight harmonies, and virtuosic instrumental solos. Bluegrass is typically played on acoustic instruments, such as the banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and bass.

Some of the most famous bluegrass musicians of all time came from Kentucky, including Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and Earl Scruggs. Monroe is often credited with being the "Father of Bluegrass," and his band, the Blue Grass Boys, featured many of the genre's most influential musicians.

Bluegrass music is still popular in Kentucky today, and there are many bluegrass festivals and events held throughout the state each year.

Here are some of the things that make bluegrass music so special:

  • The fast tempos and tight harmonies: Bluegrass music is known for its fast tempos and tight harmonies. This makes it a very upbeat and energetic genre of music.
  • The virtuosic instrumental solos: Bluegrass musicians are some of the most skilled instrumentalists in the world. Their solos are often complex and challenging, and they are always a highlight of any bluegrass performance.
  • The connection to the Appalachian Mountains: Bluegrass music originated in the Appalachian Mountains, and it still has a strong connection to the region today. The music is often about the people and places of the Appalachians, and it reflects the unique culture of the region.

If you're ever in Kentucky, be sure to check out some bluegrass music. You won't be disappointed!