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History of the Cajuns: Encyclopedia of Cajun Life


When they arrived in Louisiana, Acadians probably came without any instruments. Sometimes that sang and danced to music sung acapella. It was only a few years before they began to make and buy violins (fiddles). The common type of music was the playing of two fiddles at once. Other simple instruments like the triangle were added. In the later 1800s, the use of the accordian came from German influences.  It was refined into today's Cajun accordion.  

In the 20th century, a genre of music known as Cajun evolved. The first recordings of Cajun music began in the late 1920s. These first few decades of Cajun music reaching the masses were dominated by strings, as the accordian had fallen out of favor. It later returned in the 1950s and was common in Cajun bands by the 1970s.

In the 1950s, a blending of Cajun, country, swing, R&B, and rock produced a brand of Cajun music called swamp pop.

Cajuns in the 18th Century   •  Cajuns in the 19th Century  • Cajuns in the 20th Century  •••  Encyclopedia of Cajun Life
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