Definition and background:
During the nineteenth century, minstrelsy was one of the most popular forms of public entertainment in America. It is characterized by the impersonation of blacks by white actors between acts of plays or during circuses, and the performance of black musicians who sang, with banjo accompaniment, in city streets. This form of entertainment continued into the early twentieth century on the vaudeville stage.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary