Traditional English ballads and Irish/Scottish folk songs were prevalent. Another group that found their way to this area were slaves and freed blacks. They also didn’t have much in the way of material belongings but they had their own African-influenced musical styles. The musical styles meshed well, and marked the origins of modern country music. African Americans brought harmonicas and banjos to Appalachia, while the Irish and Scots had their version of the violin, which became known as the American fiddle. Guitars could be constructed frommaterials that were easily found. Every so often, bagpipes made an appearance but that was never a large part of the country music tradition. Most of those who lived in Appalachia were poor. During the nineteenth century, many men earned a hard living by working on railroads or deep in coal mines. Life was hard and the easiest

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