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WNCHA History Hour: Musical Instruments in WNC

07/07/2022 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) Thursday, July 7 at 6PM as we kick off our month of music history programming. This event airs live via Zoom and will be recorded.

From early Native Americans to buskers on modern street corners, music and musical instruments have always been part of the cultural landscape of WNC. In previous events, we have learned about many of the region’s musicians, but this time, the instruments themselves will shine. This program will explore the arrival, creation, and development of instruments and playing styles in the mountains and their cultural origins and influences. We will also hear/see a few demonstrations of this musical progression. Join us to learn more about:

  • – Pre-Columbian Instruments
  • – Akonting
  • – Banjo
  • – Fiddles
  • – Mandolins
  • – Guitars
  • – Slide Guitar/Lapsteel
  • – How Three Finger and Flatpicking developed here
  • – Recent Innovations

About the Presenter:

John Martin is a 10th generation Western North Carolina musician who wrote his Master’s Thesis on the development of flatpicking and crosspicking guitar styles at Appalachian State University. He currently lives in Asheville and teaches History at AB Tech Community College.

Tickets: $5 for WNCHA members/ $10 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.


Viewing: Registrants will receive a Zoom link with which to view the program. It will also be recorded and later available on our website.

(Image: Pisgah banjo, courtesy Melissa Arnold Photography)


For questions, email Trevor Freeman at

The Western North Carolina Historical Association received an American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant from North Carolina Humanities, Funding for this grant was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act economic stabilization plan. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of North Carolina Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)