American Roots

Old-Time at CCM! What is “Old-Time” music?

You will hear a variety of definitions, but at its heart old-time is the pre-bluegrass folk music of the Appalachian Mountains. The core instruments in an old-time string band are fiddle, banjo, and guitar. (Sometimes you’ll see other instruments too, such as mandolin, harmonica, or upright bass.)

The music itself blends traditions brought to America by early European settlers and enslaved Africans. It has been passed down through the generations and enriched with elements of other styles, like the blues, sentimental 19th-century heart songs, and jaunty Tin Pan Alley numbers. Many of the best-known old-time tunes are instrumental favorites often played for dancing. Even if you’ve never been to a square dance, you’ve probably heard “Soldier’s Joy” or “Arkansas Traveler.”

American Roots Group Classes:

Banjo Study Group

Contemporary String Band

The Fiddle Tunes Jam Toolkit

The Guitar Journey – The Vast World of Roots Music

Mandolin 1