Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."
In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes a turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others revert to backing; this is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Bluegrass is distinctively acoustic in instrumentation, not using electrical instruments of any kind. bluegrass progressive bluegrass bluegrass gospel traditional bluegrass contemporary bluegrass alt-bluegrass bluegrass jam bluegrass country modern bluegrass bluegrass rock gospel bluegrass bluegrass fusion country-bluegrass country bluegrass industrial bluegrass country and bluegrass instrumental bluegrass bluegrass banjo blue-grass alternative bluegrass bluegrass-gospel bluegrass folk bluegrass cover bluegrass guitar indie bluegrass bluegrass music bluegrass punk punk bluegrass fast bluegrass bluegrass roots