If you’re wondering which US State quarter features a guitar, a trumpet, and a fiddle, it’s the commemorative Tennessee quarter coin!
Tennessee Quarter Coin
The quarter coin that features a guitar, a trumpet, and a fiddle is from the US state of Tennessee.
Of course, these aren’t your regular quarter coins but rather commemorative ones.
United States Mint, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, did a series of commemorative quarters for each of the 50 states.
So we’re looking at a very music-inspired quarter, which is really no surprise for Tennessee.
After all, Nashville is still one of the most important epicenters of the music industry.
Not to mention that it’s the main destination for some of the greatest session musicians of all time.
A Guitar, a Trumpet, and a Fiddle: How the Quarter Came to Be
For the story of these coins, we’ll need to go back to 1999 and the United States Mint’s new program.
The idea was to have a coin for each of the 50 states, ultimately calling it the 50 State Quarters Program.
The ultimate purpose was to honor every state with a specially designed coin.
This whole thing lasted for a total of 10 years and each year saw special coins for each year.
The approval for all of these coins was given in 1997.
Each of the state coins was manufactured for only 10 weeks and it was agreed that they’ll never be produced again.
They also came out in the order of admittance to the Union.
Now, every coin came with an obverse showing the image of George Washington.
Additionally, the obverse design also includes the same writings, which include “Liberty,” “Quarter Dollar,” “United States of America,” and “In God We Trust”
Meanwhile, the reverse, or tail, of every coin carries a specific state design.
The Tennessee coin’s turn came in 2002, bringing its specific music-oriented design.
It was the 16th coin of the 50 State Quarters Program.
I’ve already mentioned the obverse design, bringing the image of George Washington and the recognizable writings.
The Tennessee coin also has its specific design, bearing the aforementioned guitar, trumpet, and fiddle.
Going from left to right, the instruments appear in this particular order.
However, the coin’s specific reverse design has more than just these three elements.
On the top, we have the state’s name and the year 1796, which is when Tennessee was admitted into the Union.
And on the bottom, we have the year 2002 and the writing “E Pluribus Unum,” which is Latin for “Out of many, one.”
Under the instruments, we have a writing on a banner saying “Musical heritage.”
Behind the instruments, we can see an open book showing sheet music.
Of course, the sheet music doesn’t represent any particular piece of music.
We can also notice three stars, each standing next to one of the instruments.
The designer of this coin’s reverse is Dona Weaver of the Artistic Infusion Program Designer.
If you take a closer look at the reverse side, you can notice “DW” just next to the bottom right of the book.
These are the artist’s initials.
The Meaning Behind It
The coin celebrates both the geographical regions and cultural heritage of Tennessee.
Each of the instruments has its own meaning.
These go hand-in-hand with the three stars on the coin.
The tail design pays tribute to west, central, and East Tennessee.
In particular, we have the stars that represent the state’s three regions.
The instruments focus both on the musical heritage and, to some extent, the geographical regions.
The guitar is a representation of the state’s very rich and influential country music heritage, typical of the central part of Tennessee.
With the trumpet, the coin pays tribute to Tennessee’s jazz and blues.
We’re looking at western Tennessee and the city of Memphis.
Finally, the fiddle is for the western part, the Appalachian region, where the instrument bears important cultural significance.
The instrument played a very significant cultural role in the lives of east Tennessee farmers.
What’s more, fiddle players even held competitions back in the first half of the 20th century.
The sheet music in the back brings these three instruments together and represents the musical impact that Tennessee had on the US and the rest of the world.
I hope this article has answered this question for you and given you some background on the interesting history of this quarter!
And if you want to read more about music history on this blog, then check out:
Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!