Banjo

This passage is about the musical instrument, the banjo.

Lexile Level: 700L

Categories: Art & Music


The banjo is a stringed musical instrument. The most common banjos have five strings. There are also four- and six-string banjos. The body of a banjo is similar to a tambourine. There is a plastic or leather top stretched over a metal hoop, or rim. This is different from the wooden top and body that a guitar would have. It gives the banjo its distinctive sound. On five-string banjos, one string is shorter than the others. This string is used to get a high droning sound. There are different styles for playing the banjo. The banjo can be plucked with a pick or with the fingers. Some of the different playing styles are called "clawhammer" and "frailing." The banjo evolved from African musical instruments. These were made from gourds with bamboo sticks used for the instrument's neck. The word "banjo" might be derived from an African word. Today, the banjo is used in many styles of music including country and bluegrass.


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