Here is a book of tunes from the Elizabethan era—the great period of English song—set in tablature for the clawhammer banjo. At first glance, it is true, the songs of Shakespeare’s day and the mountain banjo seem to be worlds apart. But the musical traditions are, in fact, related, as Elizabethan songs are the old world cousins of mountain tunes. As a result, Elizabethan tunes are a natural way to extend the mountain banjo repertoire for intermediate and advanced players. Their pedigree, their modal feel, the lilting rhythms, and the ease with which they can be adapted to the banjo argue the case. At the same time, they open the possibility for new sounds—in particular new rhythms—for the old instrument, pushing the banjo beyond unnatural limitations and giving it a new voice. Each section of the book is organized around a traditional mountain tuning, with a mountain song serving as a model of that tuning, illuminating the relationship between the two musical worlds. “The Bard’s Banjo” is the first banjo instruction book devoted to the repertoire of Elizabethan song. Free audio downloads are available for use with this title.