Before the days of television, radio, and computers, people turned to music for entertainment. The United States South was home to many genres and styles of music at the end of the 19th century, and the Piedmont region of central North Carolina produced some of the best. Popular styles of music in the Piedmont included string music, gospel and spirituals, early ragtime music, and more.
There aren’t many recordings from the time period of 1865-1885, because the technology was not widely available. But the power of music is its ability to be passed on from one generation to the next. Thankfully, many musicians taught their favorite songs to their children and grandchildren. Today, we can find old and new renditions of many of the songs that may have been popular among the early residents of Durham.