Folk Instruments

Louisiana has produced a wide variety of traditional music styles reflective of its cultural diversity. Original to the state are Cajun music, black Creole zydeco, and of course, traditional jazz. In addition, Louisiana is recognized for its gospel, blues, old-time country, and rockabilly music. Louisiana folk instruments show a range as broad as the styles played. They go from the most basic mouth box, cigar box fiddle, and vest washboard to fiddle, mandolin, and diatonic accordion. The latter was developed by Cajun craftsmen during World War II when German models were no longer available. The vest frottoir, used for zydeco, shows how modern sheet metal technology can serve to carry on the Afro-Caribbean rhythm of Creole French music. These instruments, from basic to elaborate, are the "tools" of traditional music in Louisiana. In the hands of Louisiana folk musicians these and other instruments as well as peoples' voices provide the waltzes and two-steps of a Saturday night Cajun fais-do-do, the breakdowns and reels of North Louisiana fiddle contests, and the second-line beat of the New Orleans street parade.

View or Search Folk Instrument Artifacts of the Creole State Exhibit

Search Artifacts for
within advanced search