A banjo is a stringed instrument with a thin membrane stretched over a frame or cavity to form a resonator. The membrane is usually round and is usually made of plastic or sometimes animal skin. Early forms of the instrument were created by African Americans in the United States. The banjo is often associated with folk and country music, and is also used in some rock, pop, and hip hop.  Several rock bands such as the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers have used the five-string banjo in some of their songs. Historically, the banjo was central to traditional black American music and rural white folk culture before entering the mainstream through 19th century minstrel shows. Along with the fiddle, the banjo is a staple of American musical styles such as bluegrass and early music. It is also very commonly used in traditional (“traditional”) jazz.
The banjo is also a common instrument for Caribbean genres such as the Biguine, Calypso, and Mento. In American folk music, the most commonly used bluegrass banjo (sometimes called western banjo, country banjo) has 5 strings, a longer scale, and a specific setting. The shortened fifth string is stretched not on the peg head, but on a separate peg on the fingerboard itself (on the fifth fret). The chord playing of the plectrum, which was originally, was subsequently supplanted by arpeggiated playing with “claws” worn on the fingers. The game is also used without the use of “claws” and various percussion techniques. The 5-string banjo appears in traditional American music groups along with the violin, flat mandolin, folk or dobro guitar. The banjo is also widely used in country and bluegrass music. Prominent banjo players were Wade Meiner and Earl Scruggs, who are known for their innovative playing techniques. In Europe, the Czech Banjo Band of Ivan Mladek gained fame.