Comment by thereallyniceman on May 1, 2016 at 16:27

Very Very Good ! I really like live playing and it is a pleasure to see that Classic Banjo is alive and well in Japan.

Thank you for posting the video and please thank all the players for their excellent performance.


Comment by Steve Harrison on May 1, 2016 at 22:31

It's great to see that classic banjo has now reached Japan, I wonder how long it will be before they figure out how to make replica Weaver banjos?..Steve.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on May 2, 2016 at 13:37

No need for Weavers, that looks like an "all Stewart" ensemble. Excellent work, well played...I enjoyed that a lot!

Comment by Samurai Banjo on May 2, 2016 at 17:10
Thank you for comment and listening.
Classic banjo band by our Japanese This is the only Earlies Angels.
We are using Banjeaurine and Orchestra Banjo and
two regular Banjo.
All stuff is S.S.Stewart.
Phrase of Banjeaurine and Orchestra Banjo has arranged the original music to the reference.

Comment by Joel Hooks on May 2, 2016 at 23:58

Classic banjo is alive! (just not in the US).

Comment by thereallyniceman on May 3, 2016 at 15:42

The problem I for see for the future of Classic Banjo is the lack of young people (Remi Dalmasso and yourself excluded, Joel!) playing the style.

Maybe it is too difficult, maybe all the stuff played is too old and way behind the times...who knows?

One thing I notice is that few young children seem to have the "dogged determination" needed to learn to any instrument let alone the Classic Style Banjo. Society seems to have made things all too easy.

If you want something?...easy! buy it on credit. Exams to pass?... easy! everyone passes and goes to university and gets a degree.

Perhaps I am being pessimistic, and it is brilliant to see Classic Style being played around the world... but for how much longer? 

Comment by Trapdoor2 on May 3, 2016 at 16:14

Well, we have experienced a recent resurgence of the Stroke Style, perhaps a flood of CB players are just around the corner!

It is difficult music, both to play and to listen really have to want to do it.

What it needs is a very serious boost. Create a video game where all the background music is CB...or score a hit movie with nothing but Joe Morley compositions. Both methods have given various musical genre a boost (Joshua Rifkin & Marvin Hamlisch almost single-handedly rescued Ragtime piano. Mendelssohn, I believe, resurrected Bach from obscurity). 

Comment by marc dalmasso on May 3, 2016 at 19:06

What do you think of the official piano tune  Rémi has to play for the contest  ( review ? ) in June for the National music conservatory in Nice  ?

not a joke , not a lie , ................. i have nothing against anton Webern , i just think the guy who decide this in the classical conservatory is an idiot .  and Rémi will leave the conservatory next year .   HOw can we imagine  a kid playing this " thing " ;  specially Rémi  who plays CB , this magic & wonderful music  ;     about Webern , he had the bad idea to smoke a cigarette in front of his home during the " couvre feu " in 1945 when an US soldier shooted him . no more " kinderstuck "               

Comment by Joel Hooks on May 3, 2016 at 19:08

That is a worry as I am not exactly "young" at pushing 40.

Well, much of the post 1895 A notation and most of the British stuff after they started writing their own is difficult.

But a good chunk of the American A notation stuff is pretty easy and some of it is even good.

The banjo now is either for bluegrass or "old time" jamming.  Alive and well in both forms.  I've done all I can to "spread the word" and I have come to realize that few really care.

Comment by Jody Stecher on May 3, 2016 at 20:28

Marc, about Kinderstück: the music itself makes sense to me but it's madness to give this to a child. And the title? Is the intention to break a child into pieces?  I suppose the conservatory intends this to be a test of reading skills, especially of reading/understanding time values of notes and rests. It's a test of how well the student interprets symbols. But what does that have to with musicality? So yes, I agree with you.

Ian and Joel. I will tell you how I came to classic banjo. Maybe that will shine a light on a way forward. Some time ago, I think it was just at the turn of the new century, maybe late 1990s or just after, I was in England teaching clawhammer banjo at the "Sore Fingers Week"  school in the Cotswolds. One of my students (Dave Horsfield, a member of this forum) asked me if and how clawhammer technique could be applied to ragtime. I replied that I didn't think it was a marriage made in heaven. The rhythms of ragtime were not well-aligned with the rhythms of clawhammer. But I was intrigued with the idea of playing ragtime on the banjo. *That* seemed like a great idea. So I asked him what lay behind his question. He told me that he had grown up in the BMG, that his dad was a banjo player, he told me about Joe Morley and Emil Grimshaw etc. And at my request he played me a ragtime piece. I thought it was so beautiful and so natural on the banjo. This was before I knew any history of ragtime or history of early recording.  That's what got me started. My point is that I came to it through the context of banjo music that was more familiar to me. No evangelism was involved, no political campaign. I had heard live classic banjo before, both solo and in ensembles, and I had heard some old records too,  but it didn't register as something I might want to play myself. And then one day it did. I think that is the way forward. Right now good classic banjo playing can be found on youtube. People will find it by and by.  Or not.

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