As things progressed the higher pitch of the tenor would lend itself to the traditional "Jass" musical style.
As the big bands began to become more popular and were now dance bands the banjo rhythm was considered too harsh. The band leaders wanted a guitar for that spot instead...enter the tenor guitar. The tenor guitar actually was a guitar body with a neck similar to a tenor banjo, for the obvious reason the banjo player could quickly substitute the two. HOWEVER..the tenor guitar just could not be heard...enter the 6 string arch top guitar to claim that spot. At that point the tenor guitar became a red headed step child.
The tenor guitars of the day were cheap for that reason, a lot of the black vocal groups (Mills Bros. and many others) originally adapted the tenor guitar as it could provide rhythm for a vocal group and not get in the way.
Many years later...enter Nick Reynolds...we all know the story...tuning the tenor guitar as it were a larger bodied baritone Uke and the rest as they say....is history :>)
If you'll go to You tube and check out some of the Johnny Baier videos from the American banjo museum, you can see this type of description in action...worth your time....
: Is there a difference in the way you play a tenor and a plectrum banjo? I know the
: neck is longer by a couple of frets on a plectrum. Other than that, what actually is
: the difference between the two? I didn't bother to Google this, but is the tuning
: the same or different? I know, or believe Bob played his plectrum tuned like the
: first four strings of a guitar, like Nick played the tenor guitar. So is it the way
: you strum it? Or is a tenor a higher pitched instrument, as the word tenor seems to
: suggest? Curious minds want to know!