The Music of Democracy

1. In the 2000s, during the Bush era, country music acquired the status of “the sound of democracy”. Country music was proclaimed the music for common people able to inspire them to uphold the universal values of freedom and peace. Political decisions made during the Bush era resulted into massive dissatisfaction on the part of the citizens of the United States. Country music became the means of protesting against unpopular decisions made by the President and shaping the public opinion. In the 2000s, country music was an effective tool for the development of such heated topics as the peace movement, war in Iraq, fate of soldiers in faraway lands, stolen elections, and distrust to the President. Remarkably, many outstanding country music singers who remained silent for years entered the informational space with their new songs in the 2000s because they could not ignore the controversial events that took place during the Bush era.

2. Owing to the use of unique syncopated picking technique, Earl Scruggs is considered the best five-string banjo player ever. The secret of his success is hard-driving picking style. His innovation is up-picking play using three fingers. Scruggs’ style was outstanding because he managed to elevate the five-string banjo into the new level. In earlier periods, musicians used to play this instrument with two fingers and claw-hammer down-picking technique, which resulted into the production of mundane unsightly sounds often compared with comedians’ tomfoolery. Those days, the five-string banjo was the instrument for the rhythm section only. However, the techniques introduced by Earl Scruggs made the five-string banjo a popular instrument well-suited for solo and lead parts. Such change was possible because Scruggs’ use of syncopated picking technique made the five-string banjo sound completely different. Particularly, up-picking resulted into the production of highly distinct and magnetizing sounds peculiar to the bluegrass music.


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