Appalachian Music: The Best Instrumental Songs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

The best instrumental songs of Appalachian Music.

What is Appalachian Music?

Appalachian music is a genre of American folk music that developed in the Appalachians Mountains region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Appalachian music is often characterized by its use of the fiddle and banjo, as well as its distinctive musical traits such as call-and-response singing, gospel elements, and use of pentatonic scales.

Appalachian music has been influenced by a number of other American folk genres, including blues, bluegrass, gospel, old-time music, and country music. In turn, Appalachian music has had a significant impact on a number of other American musical genres, including bluegrass and country music.

The Best Instrumental Songs

Music is an important part of Appalachian culture. The best instrumental songs are the ones that can be played on any type of instrument. These songs are the ones that are instantly recognizable and are known by heart.

“Foggy Mountain Breakdown”

“Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is a fiddle tune written by Earl Scruggs. It was used as the theme song for the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, and has been recorded by many artists, including Flatt & Scruggs, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Charlie Daniels.

“The Orange Blossom Special”

The Orange Blossom Special is an American fiddle tune written in 1899 by Ervin T. Rouse (1898–1981). In 2002, the Library of Congress honored “The Orange Blossom Special” by adding it to the National Recording Registry. The song is played on fiddle(s) and other string instruments. It has been associated with several performers, including Chubby Wise, Benny Martin, Mark O’Connor and Earl Scruggs.

“Rocky Top”

“Rocky Top” is a song co-written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and first recorded in 1967 by the Osborne Brothers, who took it to number 33 on the US country music chart in 1968. The song became a standard and was recorded by more than 200 artists. The song is about the state of Tennessee.

In 2002, “Rocky Top” was named one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America and is ranked number 434 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

The Best Vocal Songs

Appalachian music is a genres of music that is native to the Appalachian Mountains. This type of music is usually characterized by its use of fiddles, banjos, and guitars. It often has a distinctive, high-pitched sound that is different from other types of music. Appalachian music is often used in folk music, bluegrass, and country music.

“I’ll Fly Away”

“I’ll Fly Away” is a song co-written by Albert E. Brumley and published in 1929. It has been recorded by many artists and is a gospel standard. The song was ranked No. 130 on the RIAA’s list of “Songs of the Century” in 2001.

The songs tell of the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ. The chorus features the lyrics:

“I’ll fly away, oh glory
I’ll fly away (in the morning)”

In 2002, the Library of Congress honored “I’ll Fly Away” by adding it to the National Recording Registry.

“Keep on the Sunny Side”

“Keep on the Sunny Side” is a popular American song written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn (1858–1927) with music by J. Howard Entwisle (1860–1929). The song has been recorded by many artists, including The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Willie Nelson, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Emmylou Harris, Kevin Costner and Modern West, Blind Boys of Alabama, Whitney Houston, andBlue Highway.

The song was used in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and its soundtrack won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

“You Are My Sunshine”

“You Are My Sunshine” is a popular song written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell and first recorded in 1939. It has been recorded by many artists, but the best-known version was recorded by country music singer Johnny Cash in 1964. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and is also included in the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

The song is about a person’s love for another person who brings happiness into their life, even when times are tough. The lyrics are simple and easy to remember, which has likely contributed to its popularity. The melody is catchy and memorable as well.

Although “You Are My Sunshine” has been associated with country music, it is actually categorized as a folk song. It has been covered by many different artists from a variety of genres, including folk, rock, pop, and blues.

The Best Bluegrass Songs

The history of Appalachian music is a long and storied one, dating back to the 18th century. Famous for its high-spirited fiddle tunes and lonesome ballads, Appalachian music is the perfect way to experience the true culture of the region. In this article, we’ll be discussing the best Appalachian bluegrass songs.

“Bill Cheatham”

“Bill Cheatham” is a traditional American fiddle tune. The tune is named after fiddler William Cheatham (1780-1840), who was reportedly born in Montgomery County, Virginia. “Bill Cheatham” was first published in 1881, in musician and musicologist Joel Scott Winslow’s book The Complete Preceptor for the Guitar and Banjo.

The tune is sometimes known by other names, including “Cheatham’s breakdown”, “Cheatham’s Reel”, and “Old Joe Clark”. It has been recorded by many artists, including folk singer John Prine, country music singer Dolly Parton, bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, and jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.


“Rawhide” is a 1959 instrumental composed by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington. The piece is often played by bluegrass bands and is considered one of the most popular songs in the genre. The song was originally written for the TV series ” Rawhide,” which starred Clint Eastwood.

“Beaumont Rag”

“Beaumont Rag” is a tune written by Scott Joplin in 1902. It is one of the first ragtime pieces to achieve widespread popularity. The tune was inspired by the Beaumont area of Texas, where Joplin lived for a time. The rag has two parts, each of which can be repeated. The first part is in the key of C major, while the second part is in the key of D major.

The rag was originally published as a piano solo, but it has since been arranged for a number of other instruments, including guitar, banjo, and mandolin. It has also been recorded by a number of artists, both in its original form and in arrangement

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