For young Americans of the 19th century, the banjo was their electric guitar. Everyone was listening to it and learning to play.
From the mid-1880s to the mid-1890s banjo orchestras were a national phenomenon.
The Madison (WI) Banjo and Guitar Club performances were so popular that the city changed the streetcar schedules to accommodate concert goers.
On this site you can hear a banjo orchestra play, learn about the instruments, and find out more about the history of this
now rarely heard American music.