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Note: This is part of a history series on popular tourism activities in Transylvania County. A corresponding display is on the second floor of the Transylvania County Library through July.

Austin family playing music at home, 1950s

People make joyful sounds and movements when they want to express themselves. Traditional mountain music and dance have been a draw to the area since the earliest days of Transylvania County.

As people experience life, they feel emotions and wish to express them. Songs are a way to share joys, sorrows, and revelry. The rhythms make people want to move in time.

Many styles of music find a home in Transylvania County. Old-time, bluegrass, country, and folk all have their roots in the hills and hollers of Appalachia. Classical music, jazz, and orchestral music are also alive in well at the Brevard Music Center and Brevard College. Rock and modern music are highlighted at local venues by up-and-coming young musicians.

Transylvania Music Camp postcard

Places like the Transylvania Music Camp developed as a way to learn more about traditional music. This camp eventually grew into the Brevard Music Center, which still highlights opera, jazz, and more through their summer series.

Jam sessions of old-time musicians seem to spring up at every event and often meet regularly in various locations, perhaps accompanied by the clickety-clack of cloggers keeping time. Visitors, friends and family love coming to Brevard, getting together to play and sing together, and bonding as they share their love of music.

Carl Watson on guitar with musical group, 1950s

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. This article was written by Local History Librarian Laura Sperry. Sources available upon request. For more information, comments, or suggestions, contact NC Room staff at [email protected] or 828-884-1820. 

Old-time musicians at the Allison-Deavor House, Pioneer Day 1998

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212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712