Here is something that has me puzzled. It has not been more than a few years from the time when I began to look beyond the reenactors standard approach of assumptions and research by video. As someone who is more focused on the late 19th century in my hobby pursuits, guitar style seems more appropriate.
After the living-history event that spurred my interest to pick the banjo back up, I asked the musicians that came to the events how to go about learning "period" music. All that they knew were modern "clawhammer" sources.
A small bit of research put me deep into the thimble playing of Briggs and the Converse "green book." It was not until about a year and a half ago when Bill Evens' book "Banjo for Dummies" came out, that I realized guitar style was not the big scary technical style for starched collars and formal "classical" music as I had been lead to believe.
OK, to make a long story longer, the conundrum. This board has 10 members. The minstrel banjo form, 63. On the Banjo Hangout, lots of members play on re-pop "minstrel banjos," mostly clawhammer, but quite a few in stroke. The popularity of minstrel era banjo playing has spurred many builders of very good replica instruments. Why is it that this style is so popular, while there are just a small portion of us who have taken the "scientific" approach?
Because of "old time," most modern builders have made many changes to banjos to calm the shrillness of wire strings. Making the pots into deep tubs, reducing the scale to place the bridge in the middle of the head, etc.. Where are the close copies of Stewarts, clad rims, non-reenforced necks, violin pegs (and not the geared "friction" looking ones) etc.?
With the popularity of SASS, NCOWS, and "gunfighter groups," one would think that the interest would shift to the PEC style of that era.
For those who have read my other posts, you are familiar with my search for "cowboy songs," something research seems to show is entirely over represented in the reenacting hobby, if there even was any popularity pre 1900.
I know, I am rambling.
Is it due to the fact that late 19th century historians are much more relaxed in their standards compared to ACW folks? Is it the same fear that I had, guitar style is so challenging why bother? Am I the only one that cares (most probable)?
Should I post this question on the other forum?