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Folk music is a
music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in practice these terms are some ...
that includes
traditional folk music Folk music is a music genre that includes #Traditional folk music, traditional folk music and the Contemporary folk music, contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be c ...
and the contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century
folk revival The American folk music revival began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Billie Holiday, Richard Dyer-Benn ...
. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, music that is played on traditional instruments, music about cultural or national identity, music that changes between generations (folk process), music associated with a people's
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
, or music performed by
custom Custom, customary, or consuetudinary may refer to: Traditions, laws, and religion * Convention (norm), a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted rules, norms, standards or criteria, often taking the form of a custom * Norm (social), a r ...
over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and s ...
and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that. Starting in the mid-20th century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called
contemporary folk music Contemporary folk music refers to a wide variety of genres that emerged in the mid 20th century and afterwards which were associated with traditional folk music. Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from tradit ...
or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms. Smaller, similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times, but the term folk music has typically not been applied to the new music created during those revivals. This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as
folk rock Folk rock is a hybrid music genre that combines the elements of folk music, folk and rock music, rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the American fo ...
,
folk metal Folk metal is a fusion genre of heavy metal music and traditional folk music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. It is characterised by the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles (for example ...
, and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, in U.S. English it shares the same name, and it often shares the same performers and venues as traditional folk music.


Traditional folk music


Definition

The terms ''folk music'', ''folk song'', and '' folk dance'' are comparatively recent expressions. They are extensions of the term ''
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
'', which was coined in 1846 by the English antiquarian
William Thoms William John Thoms (16 November 1803 – 15 August 1885) was a British people, British writer credited with coining the term "folklore" in 1846. Thoms's investigation of folklore and myth led to a later career of debunking longevity myths, and ...
to describe "the traditions, customs, and superstitions of the uncultured classes".Percy Scholes, ''The Oxford Companion to Music'', OUP 1977, article "Folk Song". The term further derives from the German expression ''
volk The German noun ''Volk'' () translates to :wikt:people, people, both uncountable in the sense of ''people'' as in a crowd, and countable (plural ''Völker'') in the sense of ''People, a people'' as in an ethnic group or nation (compare the E ...
'', in the sense of "the people as a whole" as applied to popular and national music by
Johann Gottfried Herder Johann Gottfried von Herder ( , ; 25 August 174418 December 1803) was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, ''Sturm und Drang'', and Weimar Classicism. Biogr ...
and the German Romantics over half a century earlier. Though it is understood that folk music is the music of the people, observers find a more precise definition to be elusive.''The Never-Ending Revival'' by Michael F. Scully University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago 2008 Some do not even agree that the term folk music should be used. Folk music may tend to have certain characteristics but it cannot clearly be differentiated in purely musical terms. One meaning often given is that of "old songs, with no known composers,"Ronald D. Cohen ''Folk music: the basics'' (CRC Press, 2006), pp. 1–2. another is that of music that has been submitted to an evolutionary "process of oral transmission.... the fashioning and re-fashioning of the music by the community that give it its folk character."International Folk Music Council definition (1954/5), given in Lloyd (1969) and Scholes (1977). Such definitions depend upon "(cultural) processes rather than abstract musical types...", upon "''continuity'' and ''oral transmission''...seen as characterizing one side of a cultural dichotomy, the other side of which is found not only in the lower layers of feudal, capitalist and some oriental societies but also in 'primitive' societies and in parts of 'popular cultures'". One widely used definition is simply "Folk music is what the people sing."Donaldson, 2011 p. 13 For Scholes, as well as for
Cecil Sharp Cecil James Sharp (22 November 1859 – 23 June 1924) was an English-born collector of folk songs, folk dances and instrumental music, as well as a lecturer, teacher, composer and musician. He was the pre-eminent activist in the development of t ...
and
Béla Bartók Béla Viktor János Bartók (; ; 25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hun ...
,A. L. Lloyd, ''Folk Song in England'', Panther Arts, 1969, pp. 14–15. there was a sense of the music of the country as distinct from that of the town. Folk music was already, "...seen as the authentic expression of a way of life now past or about to disappear (or in some cases, to be preserved or somehow revived)," particularly in "a community uninfluenced by art music" and by commercial and printed song. Lloyd rejected this in favor of a simple distinction of economic class yet for him, true folk music was, in
Charles Seeger Charles Louis Seeger Jr. (December 14, 1886 – February 7, 1979) was an American musicologist, composer, teacher, and folklorist. He was the father of the American folk singers Pete Seeger (1919–2014), Peggy Seeger (b. 1935), and Mike Seeger ( ...
's words, "associated with a lower class" in culturally and socially stratified societies. In these terms, folk music may be seen as part of a "schema comprising four musical types: 'primitive' or 'tribal'; 'elite' or 'art'; 'folk'; and 'popular'."Charles Seeger (1980) quoted in Middleton (1990) p. 127. Music in this genre is also often called ''traditional music.'' Although the term is usually only descriptive, in some cases people use it as the name of a genre. For example, the
Grammy Award The Grammy Awards (stylized as GRAMMY), or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most pr ...
previously used the terms "traditional music" and "traditional folk" for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. Folk music may include most indigenous music.


Characteristics

From a historical perspective, traditional folk music had these characteristics: * It was transmitted through an
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and Culture, cultural material is received, preserved, and transmitted orally from one generation to another.Jan Vansina, Vansina, Jan: ''Oral Traditio ...
. Before the 20th century, ordinary people were usually illiterate; they acquired songs by memorizing them. Primarily, this was not mediated by books or recorded or transmitted media. Singers may extend their repertoire using broadsheets or
song book A song book is a book A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many page (paper), pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bookbinding, bound together and protected by ...
s, but these secondary enhancements are of the same character as the primary songs experienced in the flesh. * The music was often related to national culture. It was culturally particular; from a particular region or culture. In the context of an immigrant group, folk music acquires an extra dimension for social cohesion. It is particularly conspicuous in immigrant societies, where Greek Australians, Somali Americans, Punjabi Canadians, and others strive to emphasize their differences from the mainstream. They learn songs and dances that originate in the countries their grandparents came from. * They commemorate historical and personal events. On certain days of the year, including such holidays as Christmas, Easter, and May Day, particular songs celebrate the yearly cycle. Birthdays, weddings, and funerals may also be noted with songs, dances and special costumes. Religious festivals often have a folk music component. Choral music at these events brings children and non-professional singers to participate in a public arena, giving an emotional bonding that is unrelated to the aesthetic qualities of the music. * The songs have been performed, by
custom Custom, customary, or consuetudinary may refer to: Traditions, laws, and religion * Convention (norm), a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted rules, norms, standards or criteria, often taking the form of a custom * Norm (social), a r ...
, over a long period of time, usually several
generation A generation refers to all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about 20–⁠30 years, during which children are born and ...
s. As a side-effect, the following characteristics are sometimes present: * There is no
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
on the songs. Hundreds of folk songs from the 19th century have known authors but have continued in oral tradition to the point where they are considered traditional for purposes of music publishing. This has become much less frequent since the 1940s. Today, almost every folk song that is recorded is credited with an arranger. * Fusion of cultures: Because cultures interact and change over time, traditional songs evolving over time may incorporate and reflect influences from disparate cultures. The relevant factors may include instrumentation, tunings, voicings, phrasing, subject matter, and even production methods.


Tune

In folk music, a ''tune'' is a short
instrumental An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a big band setting. Through Semantic change, semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may ...
piece, a
melody A melody (from Greek language, Greek μελῳδία, ''melōidía'', "singing, chanting"), also tune, voice or line, is a Linearity#Music, linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most liter ...
, often with repeating sections, and usually played a number of times. A collection of tunes with structural similarities is known as a tune-family. ''America's Musical Landscape'' says "the most common form for tunes in folk music is AABB, also known as
binary form Binary form is a musical form in 2 related sections, both of which are usually repeated. Binary is also a structure used to choreograph dance. In music this is usually performed as A-A-B-B. Binary form was popular during the Baroque music, Baroq ...
." In some traditions, tunes may be strung together in medleys or " sets."


Origins

Throughout most of human prehistory and history, listening to
recorded music Sound recording and reproduction is the electrical, Mechanical system, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of ...
was not possible. Music was made by common people during both their work and leisure, as well as during religious activities. The work of economic production was often manual and communal.
Manual labor Manual labour (in Commonwealth English, manual labor in American English) or manual work is physical Work (human activity), work done by humans, in contrast to labour by machines and working animals. It is most literally work done with the hand ...
often included singing by the workers, which served several practical purposes. It reduced the
boredom In conventional usage, boredom, ennui, or tedium is an emotional and occasionally psychology, psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, is listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a l ...
of repetitive tasks, it kept the
rhythm Rhythm (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''rhythmos'', "any regular repetition (music), recurring motion, symmetry#Symmetry in music, symmetry") generally means a "motion, movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of o ...
during synchronized pushes and pulls, and it set the pace of many activities such as
planting Sowing is the process of planting seeds. An area or object that has had seeds planted in it will be described as a sowed or sown area. Plants which are usually sown Among the major field crops, oats, wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass wid ...
, weeding,
reaping Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence agriculture, subsistence. When the plants of the same kind are cultivated at one place on a large ...
,
threshing Threshing, or thrashing, is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after harvest, reaping. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain. ...
,
weaving Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarn, yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a textile, fabric or cloth. Other methods are knitting, crocheting, felting, and braid, braiding or plaiting. ...
, and milling. In
leisure time Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible suc ...
, singing and playing
musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. A person ...
s were common forms of entertainment and history-telling—even more common than today when electrically enabled technologies and widespread literacy make other forms of entertainment and information-sharing competitive. Some believe that folk music originated as
art music Art music (alternatively called classical music, cultivated music, serious music, and canonic music) is music considered to be of high culture, high phonoaesthetic value. It typically implies advanced structural and theoretical considerationsJa ...
that was changed and probably debased by oral transmission while reflecting the character of the society that produced it. In many societies, especially preliterate ones, the cultural transmission of folk music requires learning by ear, although
notation In linguistics and semiotics, a notation is a system of graphics or symbols, Character_(symbol), characters and abbreviated Expression (language), expressions, used (for example) in Artistic disciplines, artistic and scientific disciplines to rep ...
has evolved in some cultures. Different cultures may have different notions concerning a division between "folk" music on the one hand and of "art" and "court" music on the other. In the proliferation of popular music genres, some traditional folk music became also referred to as " World music" or "Roots music". The English term "
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
", to describe traditional folk music and dance, entered the vocabulary of many continental European nations, each of which had its folk-song collectors and revivalists. The distinction between "authentic" folk and national and
popular song Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.Popular Music. (2015). ''Funk ...
in general has always been loose, particularly in America and Germany – for example, popular songwriters such as
Stephen Foster Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826January 13, 1864), known also as "the father of American music", was an American composer known primarily for his parlour music, parlour and Minstrel show, minstrel music during the Romantic music, Romantic ...
could be termed "folk" in America. The International Folk Music Council definition allows that the term can also apply to music that, "...has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten, living tradition of a community. But the term does not cover a song, dance, or tune that has been taken over ready-made and remains unchanged." The post–
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
folk revival in America and in Britain started a new genre,
Contemporary Folk Music Contemporary folk music refers to a wide variety of genres that emerged in the mid 20th century and afterwards which were associated with traditional folk music. Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from tradit ...
, and brought an additional meaning to the term "folk music": newly composed songs, fixed in form and by known authors, which imitated some form of traditional music. The popularity of "contemporary folk" recordings caused the appearance of the category "Folk" in the
Grammy Award The Grammy Awards (stylized as GRAMMY), or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most pr ...
s of 1959; in 1970 the term was dropped in favor of "Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording (including Traditional Blues)", while 1987 brought a distinction between "Best Traditional Folk Recording" and "Best Contemporary Folk Recording". After that, they had a "Traditional music" category that subsequently evolved into others. The term "folk", by the start of the 21st century, could cover singer-songwriters, such as
Donovan Donovan Phillips Leitch (born 10 May 1946), known mononymously as Donovan, is a Scotland, Scottish musician, songwriter, and record producer. He developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended Folk music, folk, jazz, Pop music, pop, p ...
from Scotland and American
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career sp ...
, who emerged in the 1960s and much more. This completed a process to where "folk music" no longer meant only traditional folk music.


Subject matter

Traditional folk music often includes sung words, although folk
instrumental music An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a big band setting. Through Semantic change, semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may ...
occurs commonly in
dance music Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dance, dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are Concert, live dance music an ...
traditions. Narrative verse looms large in the traditional folk music of many cultures. This encompasses such forms as traditional
epic poetry An epic poem, or simply an epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants. ...
, much of which was meant originally for oral performance, sometimes accompanied by instruments. Many epic poems of various cultures were pieced together from shorter pieces of traditional narrative verse, which explains their episodic structure, repetitive elements, and their frequent ''
in medias res A narrative work beginning ''in medias res'' (, "into the middle of things") opens in the midst of the plot (cf. ''ab ovo'', ''ab initio''). Often, Exposition (narrative), exposition is bypassed and filled in gradually, through dialogue, Flashbac ...
'' plot developments. Other forms of traditional narrative verse relate the outcomes of
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
s or lament
tragedies Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, balle ...
or
natural disaster A natural disaster is "the negative impact following an actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community". A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property, and typically leaves some econo ...
s. Sometimes, as in the triumphant '' Song of Deborah'' found in the
Biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...
''
Book of Judges The Book of Judges (, ') is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. In the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, it covers the time between the conquest described in the Book of Joshua and the establishment of a kingdom i ...
'', these songs celebrate victory. Laments for lost battles and wars, and the lives lost in them, are equally prominent in many traditions; these laments keep alive the cause for which the battle was fought. The narratives of traditional songs often also remember
folk hero A folk hero or national hero is a type of hero – real, fictional or mythological – with their name, personality and deeds embedded in the popular consciousness of a people A person (plural, : people) is a being that has certain capacitie ...
es such as John Henry or
Robin Hood Robin Hood is a legendary heroic outlaw originally depicted in English folklore and subsequently featured in literature and film. According to legend, he was a highly skilled archery, archer and swordsman. In some versions of the legend, he ...
. Some traditional song narratives recall
supernatural Supernatural refers to phenomena or entities that are beyond the laws of nature. The term is derived from Medieval Latin , from Latin (above, beyond, or outside of) + (nature) Though the corollary term "nature", has had multiple meanings si ...
events or mysterious deaths.
Hymn A hymn is a type of song, and partially synonymous with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word ''hymn'' ...
s and other forms of
religious music Religious music (also sacred music) is a type of music that is performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence. It may overlap with ritual music, which is music, sacred or not, performed or composed for or as ritual. Relig ...
are often of traditional and unknown origin. Western
musical notation Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent wikt:aurally, aurally perceived music played with instrument (music), instruments or singing, sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise ...
was originally created to preserve the lines of
Gregorian chant Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainsong, plainchant, a form of monophony, monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin (and occasionally Greek (language), Greek) of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed ma ...
, which before its invention was taught as an oral tradition in
monastic Monasticism (from Ancient Greek , , from , , 'alone'), also referred to as monachism, or monkhood, is a religion, religious way of life in which one renounces world (theology), worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work. Monastic ...
communities. Traditional songs such as '' Green grow the rushes, O'' present religious lore in a
mnemonic A mnemonic ( ) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory for better understanding. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery ...
form, as do Western
Christmas carol A Christmas carol is a Carol (music), carol (a song or hymn) on the theme of Christmas, traditionally sung at Christmas itself or during the surrounding Christmas and holiday season, Christmas holiday season. The term noel has sometimes bee ...
s and similar traditional songs.
Work song A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a form of work, either sung while conducting a task (usually to coordinate timing) or a song linked to a task which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song. Definitions and ...
s frequently feature
call and response Call and response is a form of interaction between a speaker and an audience in which the speaker's statements ("calls") are punctuated by responses from the listeners. This form is also used in music, where it falls under the general category of ...
structures and are designed to enable the laborers who sing them to coordinate their efforts in accordance with the rhythms of the songs. They are frequently, but not invariably, composed. In the American
armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
s, a lively oral tradition preserves jody calls ("Duckworth chants") which are sung while soldiers are on the march. Professional sailors made similar use of a large body of
sea shanties A sea shanty, chantey, or chanty () is a genre of traditional Folk music, folk song that was once commonly sung as a work song to accompany rhythmical labor aboard large Merchant vessel, merchant Sailing ship, sailing vessels. The term ''shanty ...
.
Love poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be a ...
, often of a tragic or regretful nature, prominently figures in many folk traditions.
Nursery rhyme A nursery rhyme is a traditional poem or song for children in Britain and many other countries, but usage of the term dates only from the late 18th/early 19th century. The term Mother Goose rhymes is interchangeable with nursery rhymes. From t ...
s and
nonsense verse Nonsense verse is a form of Literary nonsense, nonsense literature usually employing strong Prosody (linguistics), prosodic elements like rhythm and rhyme. It is often whimsical and humorous in tone and employs some of the techniques of nonsense ...
used to amuse or quiet children also are frequent subjects of traditional songs.


Folk song transformations and variations

Music transmitted by word of mouth through a community, in time, develops many variants, since this transmission cannot produce word-for-word and note-for-note accuracy. In addition, folk singers may choose to modify the songs they hear. For example, the words of " I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day" (Roud 975) were written down in a broadside in the 18th century, and seem to have an Irish origin. In 1958 the song was recorded in Canada (My Name is Pat and I'm Proud of That). Scottish traveler
Jeannie Robertson Jeannie Robertson (1908 – 13 March 1975) was a Scotland, Scottish folk music, folk singer. Her most celebrated song is "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day", otherwise known as "Jock Stewart", which was covered by Archie Fisher, The Dublin ...
from Aberdeen, made the next recorded version in 1961. She has changed it to make reference to "Jock Stewart", one of her relatives, and there are no Irish references. In 1976 Scottish artist Archie Fisher deliberately altered the song to remove the reference to a dog being shot. In 1985
The Pogues The Pogues were an English or Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan and others, founded in Kings Cross, London in 1982, as "Pogue Mahone" – the anglicisation of the Irish language, Irish Gaelic ''póg mo thóin'', meaning "k ...
took it full circle by restoring the Irish references. Because variants proliferate naturally, there is genereally no "authoritative" version of song. Researchers in traditional songs have encountered countless versions of the Barbara Allen ballad throughout the English-speaking world, and these versions often differ greatly from each other. The original is not known; many versions can lay an equal claim to authenticity. Influential folklorist
Cecil Sharp Cecil James Sharp (22 November 1859 – 23 June 1924) was an English-born collector of folk songs, folk dances and instrumental music, as well as a lecturer, teacher, composer and musician. He was the pre-eminent activist in the development of t ...
felt that these competing variants of a traditional song would undergo a process of improvement akin to biological
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, traits characteristic of a populati ...
: only those new variants that were the most appealing to ordinary singers would be picked up by others and transmitted onward in time. Thus, over time we would expect each traditional song to become more aesthetically appealing, due to incremental community improvement. Literary interest in the popular ballad form dates back at least to Thomas Percy and
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth (7 April 177023 April 1850) was an English Romantic poetry, Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romanticism, Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication ''Lyrical Balla ...
. English Elizabethan and Stuart composers had often evolved their music from folk themes, the classical suite was based upon stylised folk-dances, and
Joseph Haydn Franz Joseph Haydn ( , ; 31 March 173231 May 1809) was an Austrian composer of the Classical period (music), Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the string quartet and piano trio. His contributions ...
's use of folk melodies is noted. But the emergence of the term "folk" coincided with an "outburst of national feeling all over Europe" that was particularly strong at the edges of Europe, where
national identity National identity is a person's identity or sense of belonging to one or more states or to one or more nation, nations. It is the sense of "a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language". National i ...
was most asserted. Nationalist composers emerged in Central Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and Britain: the music of Dvořák, Smetana, Grieg, Rimsky-Korsakov,
Brahms Johannes Brahms (; 7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the mid- Romantic period. Born in Hamburg (male), (female) en, Hamburger(s), Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central ...
,
Liszt Franz Liszt, in modern usage ''Liszt Ferenc'' . Liszt's Hungarian passport spelled his given name as "Ferencz". An orthographic reform of the Hungarian language in 1922 (which was 36 years after Liszt's death) changed the letter "cz" to simpl ...
,
de Falla Manuel de Falla y Matheu (, 23 November 187614 November 1946) was an Andalusian Spanish composer and pianist. Along with Isaac Albéniz, Francisco Tárrega, and Enrique Granados, he was one of Spain's most important musicians of the first hal ...
,
Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner ( ; ; 22 May 181313 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most op ...
, Sibelius,
Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, (; 12 October 1872– 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over ...
, Bartók, and many others drew upon folk melodies.


Regional forms

While the loss of traditional folk music in the face of the rise of
popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.Popular Music. (2015). ''Funk ...
is a worldwide phenomenon, it is not one occurring at a uniform rate throughout the world. The process is most advanced "where industrialization and commercialisation of culture are most advanced" but also occurs more gradually even in settings of lower technological advancement. However, the loss of traditional music is slowed in nations or regions where traditional folk music is a badge of cultural or national identity.


Early folk music, fieldwork and scholarship

Much of what is known about folk music prior to the development of audio recording technology in the 19th century comes from
fieldwork Field research, field studies, or fieldwork is the empirical research, collection of raw data outside a laboratory, library, or workplace setting. The approaches and methods used in field research vary across branches of science, disciplines. ...
and writings of scholars, collectors and proponents.


19th-century Europe

Starting in the 19th century, academics and amateur scholars, taking note of the musical traditions being lost, initiated various efforts to preserve the music of the people. One such effort was the collection by
Francis James Child Francis James Child (February 1, 1825 – September 11, 1896) was an American scholar, educator, and folkloristics, folklorist, best known today for his collection of English people, English and Scottish people, Scottish ballads now known as the C ...
in the late 19th century of the texts of over three hundred
ballad A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French ''chanson balladée'' or ''Ballade (forme fixe), ballade'', which were originally "dance songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of t ...
s in the English and Scots traditions (called the
Child Ballads The Child Ballads are List of the Child Ballads, 305 traditional ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants, anthologized by Francis James Child during the second half of the 19th century. Their lyrics and Child's studies of ...
), some of which predated the 16th century. Contemporaneously with Child, the Reverend
Sabine Baring-Gould Sabine Baring-Gould ( ; 28 January 1834 – 2 January 1924) of Lew Trenchard in Devon, England, was an Anglican priest, hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist, folk song collector and eclectic scholar. His bibliography consists of more than 1,240 ...
and later
Cecil Sharp Cecil James Sharp (22 November 1859 – 23 June 1924) was an English-born collector of folk songs, folk dances and instrumental music, as well as a lecturer, teacher, composer and musician. He was the pre-eminent activist in the development of t ...
worked to preserve a great body of English rural traditional song, music and dance, under the aegis of what became and remains the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Sharp campaigned with some success to have English traditional songs (in his own heavily edited and expurgated versions) to be taught to school children in hopes of reviving and prolonging the popularity of those songs. Throughout the 1960s and early to mid-1970s, American scholar Bertrand Harris Bronson published an exhaustive four-volume collection of the then-known variations of both the texts and tunes associated with what came to be known as the Child Canon. He also advanced some significant theories concerning the workings of oral-aural tradition. Similar activity was also under way in other countries. One of the most extensive was perhaps the work done in
Riga Riga (; lv, Rīga , liv, Rīgõ) is the capital and largest city of Latvia and is home to 605,802 inhabitants which is a third of Latvia's population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava (river), Daugava river where ...
by Krisjanis Barons, who between the years 1894 and 1915 published six volumes that included the texts of 217,996 Latvian folk songs, the ''Latvju dainas''. In Norway the work of collectors such as Ludvig Mathias Lindeman was extensively used by Edvard Grieg in his ''Lyric Pieces'' for piano and in other works, which became immensely popular. Around this time, composers of
classical music Classical music generally refers to the art music of the Western world, considered to be #Relationship to other music traditions, distinct from Western folk music or popular music traditions. It is sometimes distinguished as Western classical m ...
developed a strong interest in collecting traditional songs, and a number of composers carried out their own field work on traditional music. These included
Percy Grainger Percy Aldridge Grainger (born George Percy Grainger; 8 July 188220 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist who lived in the United States from 1914 and became an American citizen in 1918. In the course of a long an ...
and
Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, (; 12 October 1872– 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over ...
in England and
Béla Bartók Béla Viktor János Bartók (; ; 25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hun ...
in Hungary. These composers, like many of their predecessors, both made arrangements of folk songs and incorporated traditional material into original classical compositions.


North America

The advent of
audio recording Sound recording and reproduction is the electrical, Mechanical system, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of ...
technology provided folklorists with a revolutionary tool to preserve vanishing musical forms. The earliest American folk music scholars were with the
American Folklore Society The American Folklore Society (AFS) is the United States, US-based professional association for folklorists, with members from the US, Canada, and around the world, which aims to encourage research, aid in disseminating that research, promote th ...
(AFS), which emerged in the late 1800s. Their studies expanded to include Native American music, but still treated folk music as a historical item preserved in isolated societies as well. In North America, during the 1930s and 1940s, the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...
worked through the offices of traditional music collectors Robert Winslow Gordon,
Alan Lomax Alan Lomax (; January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American ethnomusicology, ethnomusicologist, best known for his numerous field recordings of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a musician himself, as well as a folklore, folklori ...
and others to capture as much North American field material as possible.
John Lomax John Avery Lomax (September 23, 1867 – January 26, 1948) was an American teacher, a pioneering musicologist Musicology (from Greek μουσική ''mousikē'' 'music' and -λογια ''-logia'', 'domain of study') is the scholarly analysis ...
(the father of Alan Lomax) was the first prominent scholar to study distinctly American folk music such as that of cowboys and southern blacks. His first major published work was in 1911, ''Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads''. and was arguably the most prominent US folk music scholar of his time, notably during the beginnings of the folk music revival in the 1930s and early 1940s. Cecil Sharp also worked in America, recording the traditional songs of the Appalachian Mountains in 1916–1918 in collaboration with Maud Karpeles and Olive Dame Campbell and is considered the first major scholar covering American folk music. Campbell and Sharp are represented under other names by actors in the modern movie '' Songcatcher''. One strong theme amongst folk scholars in the early decades of the 20th century was regionalism, the analysis of the diversity of folk music (and related cultures) based on regions of the US rather than based on a given song's historical roots. Later, a dynamic of class and circumstances was added to this. The most prominent regionalists were literary figures with a particular interest in folklore.
Carl Sandburg Carl August Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg ...
often traveled the U.S. as a writer and a poet. He also collected songs in his travels and, in 1927, published them in the book '' The American Songbag''. Rachel Donaldson, a historian who worked for Vanderbilt, later stated this about The American Songbird in her analysis of the folk music revival. "In his collections of folk songs, Sandburg added a class dynamic to popular understandings of American folk music. This was the final element of the foundation upon which the early folk music revivalists constructed their own view of Americanism. Sandburg's working class Americans joined with the ethnically, racially, and regionally diverse citizens that other scholars, public intellectuals, and folklorists celebrated their own definitions of the American folk, definitions that the folk revivalists used in constructing their own understanding of American folk music, and an overarching American identity". Prior to the 1930s, the study of folk music was primarily the province of scholars and collectors. The 1930s saw the beginnings of larger scale themes, commonalities, and linkages in folk music developing in the populace and practitioners as well, often related to the
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
.Donaldson, 2011, pp. 39–55 Regionalism and
cultural pluralism Cultural pluralism is a term used when smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique Cultural identity, cultural identities, whereby their value (personal and cultural), values and practices are accepted by the dominant culture, pro ...
grew as influences and themes. During this time folk music began to become enmeshed with political and social activism themes and movements. Two related developments were the U.S. Communist Party's interest in folk music as a way to reach and influence Americans, and politically active prominent folk musicians and scholars seeing communism as a possible better system, through the lens of the Great Depression.
Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music. His work focused on themes of American Left, American socialism and anti-fascism. He ...
exemplifies songwriters and artists with such an outlook. Folk music festivals proliferated during the 1930s.
President Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (; ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician and attorney who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. As the ...
was a fan of folk music, hosted folk concerts at the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...
, and often patronized folk festivals. One prominent festival was Sarah Gertrude Knott's National Folk Festival, established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1934. Under the sponsorship of
the Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area and has a large nati ...
, the festival was held in Washington, DC at Constitution Hall from 1937 to 1942. The folk music movement, festivals, and the wartime effort were seen as forces for social goods such as democracy, cultural pluralism, and the removal of culture and race-based barriers. The American folk music revivalists of the 1930s approached folk music in different ways. Three primary schools of thought emerged: "Traditionalists" (e.g. Sarah Gertrude Knott and
John Lomax John Avery Lomax (September 23, 1867 – January 26, 1948) was an American teacher, a pioneering musicologist Musicology (from Greek μουσική ''mousikē'' 'music' and -λογια ''-logia'', 'domain of study') is the scholarly analysis ...
) emphasized the preservation of songs as artifacts of deceased cultures. "Functional" folklorists (e.g. Botkin and Alan Lomax) maintained that songs only retain relevance when used by those cultures which retain the traditions which birthed those songs. "Left-wing" folk revivalists (e.g. Charles Seeger and Lawrence Gellert) emphasized music's role "in 'people's' struggles for social and political rights".Donaldson, 2011, p. 87 By the end of the 1930s these and others had turned American folk music into a social movement. Sometimes folk musicians became scholars and advocates themselves. For example,
Jean Ritchie Jean Ruth Ritchie (December 8, 1922 – June 1, 2015) was an American List of traditional singers, folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, called by some the "Mother of Folk". In her youth she learned hundreds of Folk music, fo ...
(1922–2015) was the youngest child of a large family from Viper, Kentucky that had preserved many of the old
Appalachia Appalachia () is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg ...
n traditional songs. Ritchie, living in a time when the
Appalachians The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, (french: Appalaches), are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern to northeastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovicia ...
had opened up to outside influence, was university educated and ultimately moved to New York City, where she made a number of classic recordings of the family repertoire and published an important compilation of these songs. In January 2012, the
American Folklife Center The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. was created by United States Congress, Congress in 1976 "to preserve and present American Folklife". The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, established at the li ...
at the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...
, with the Association for Cultural Equity, announced that they would release Lomax's vast archive of 1946 and later recording in digital form. Lomax spent the last 20 years of his life working on an Interactive Multimedia educational computer project he called the Global Jukebox, which included 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000
videotape Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually Sound recording and reproduction, sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal, analog or Digital signal (signal processing), digital signal. Vi ...
s, and 5,000 photographs. As of March 2012, this has been accomplished. Approximately 17,400 of Lomax's recordings from 1946 and later have been made available free online. This material from Alan Lomax's independent archive, begun in 1946, which has been digitized and offered by the Association for Cultural Equity, is "distinct from the thousands of earlier recordings on acetate and aluminum discs he made from 1933 to 1942 under the auspices of the Library of Congress. This earlier collection—which includes the famous Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Muddy Waters sessions, as well as Lomax's prodigious collections made in
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...
and Eastern Kentucky (1937) — is the provenance of the American Folklife Center" at the library of Congress.


National and regional forms


Africa

Yuefu ''Yuefu'' are Chinese poetry, Chinese poems composed in a folk song style. The term originally literally meant "Music Bureau", a reference to the imperial Chinese governmental organization(s) originally charged with collecting or writing the lyr ...
Africa is a vast continent and its
regions In geography, regions, otherwise referred to as zones, lands or territories, are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and t ...
and
nations A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the collective Identity (social science), identity of a group of people unde ...
have distinct musical traditions. The music of North Africa for the most part has a different history from
Sub-Saharan African music traditions In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the use of music is not limited to entertainment: it serves a purpose to the local community and helps in the conduct of daily routines. Traditional African music supplies appropriate music and dance for work ...
. The music and dance forms of the
African diaspora The African diaspora is the worldwide collection of communities descended from native Africans or List of ethnic groups of Africa, people from Africa, predominantly in the Americas. The term most commonly refers to the descendants of the West ...
, including
African American music African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is t ...
and many
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
genres like soca, calypso and
Zouk Zouk is a musical movement pioneered by the French Antilles, French Antillean band Kassav' in the early 1980s. It was originally characterized by a fast tempo (120–145 beats per minute, bpm), a percussion-driven rhythm and a loud horn section ...
; and
Latin American music The music of Latin America refers to music originating from Latin America, namely the Romance language, Romance-speaking regions of the Americas south of the United States. Latin American music also incorporates African music from enslaved Afric ...
genres like the
samba Samba (), also known as samba urbano carioca (''urban Carioca samba'') or simply samba carioca (''Carioca samba''), is a Brazilian music genre that originated in the Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Brazilian communities of Rio de Janeiro in the early 20 ...
,
Cuban rumba Rumba is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, n ...
, salsa; and other clave (rhythm)-based genres, were founded to varying degrees on the music of
African slaves Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the Ancient history, ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade ...
, which has in turn influenced
African popular music African popular music (also styled Afropop, Afro-pop or Afro pop), like Music of Africa, African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. M ...
.


Asia

Many Asian civilizations distinguish between
art Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wha ...
/court/classical styles and "folk" music. For example, the late Alam Lohar is an example of a South Asian singer who was classified as a folk singer. Khunung Eshei/Khuland Eshei is an ancient folk song from India, a country of Asia, of Meiteis of
Manipur Manipur () ( mni, Kangleipak) is a States and territories of India, state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. It ...
, that is an example of Asian folk music, and how they put it into its own genre.


= Folk music of China

= Archaeological discoveries date Chinese folk music back 7000 years; it is largely based on the
pentatonic scale A pentatonic scale is a musical scale (music), scale with five Musical note, notes per octave, in contrast to the heptatonic scale, which has seven notes per octave (such as the major scale and minor scale). Pentatonic scales were developed ...
. Han traditional weddings and funerals usually include a form of oboe called a
suona ''Suona'' (International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA: /swoʊˈnɑː/, ), also called ''dida'' (from Cantonese / '' īdá'), ''laba'' or ''haidi'', is a traditional China, Chinese music instrument with double-reed, double-reed horn. The suona's ba ...
, and apercussive ensembles called a chuigushou. Ensembles consisting of mouth organs ( sheng), shawms (
suona ''Suona'' (International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA: /swoʊˈnɑː/, ), also called ''dida'' (from Cantonese / '' īdá'), ''laba'' or ''haidi'', is a traditional China, Chinese music instrument with double-reed, double-reed horn. The suona's ba ...
), flutes ( dizi) and percussion instruments (especially yunluo
gong A gongFrom Indonesian language, Indonesian and ms, gong; jv, ꦒꦺꦴꦁ ; zh, c=鑼, p=luó; ja, , dora; km, គង ; th, ฆ้อง ; vi, cồng chiêng; as, কাঁহ is a percussion instrument originating in East Asia and S ...
s) are popular in northern villages; their music is descended from the imperial temple music of Beijing,
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), frequently spelled as Xian and also known by #Name, other names, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub-provincial city o ...
,
Wutai shan Mount Wutai, also known by its Chinese name Wutaishan and as is a sacred Chinese Buddhism, Buddhist site at the headwaters of the Qingshui (Shanxi), Qingshui in Shanxi Province, China. Its central area is surrounded by a cluster of flat-topped ...
and
Tianjin Tianjin (; ; Mandarin: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Tientsin (), is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality and a coastal metropolis in North China, Northern China on the shore of the Bohai Sea. It ...
.
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), frequently spelled as Xian and also known by #Name, other names, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub-provincial city o ...
drum music, consisting of wind and percussive instruments, is popular around Xi'an, and has received some commercial popularity outside of China. Another important instrument is the sheng, a type of Chinese pipe, an ancient instrument that is ancestor of all Western
free reed A free reed aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound as air flows past a vibrating reed (instrument), reed in a frame. Air pressure is typically generated by breath or with a bellows. In the Hornbostel–Sachs system, it is number: ...
instruments, such as the
accordion Accordions (from 19th-century German language, German ''Akkordeon'', from ''Akkord''—"musical chord, concord of sounds") are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free reed aerophone, free-reed aerophone type (prod ...
. Parades led by Western-type brass bands are common, often competing in volume with a shawm/chuigushou band. In southern
Fujian Fujian (; postal romanization, alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a provinces of China, province on the southeastern coast of China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and ...
and
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
, Nanyin or Nanguan is a genre of traditional ballads. They are sung by a woman accompanied by a xiao and a
pipa The pipa, pípá, or p'i-p'a () is a traditional China, Chinese List of traditional Chinese musical instruments, musical instrument, belonging to the Plucked string instrument, plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the "Chinese lute" ...
, as well as other traditional instruments. The music is generally sorrowful and typically deals with love-stricken people. Further south, in
Shantou Shantou, Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanization of Chinese, romanized as Swatow and sometimes known as Santow, is a prefecture-level city on the eastern coast of Guangdong, China, with a total population of 5,502,031 as of the 2 ...
,
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, or Hakkas are a Han Chinese Han Chinese subgroups, subgroup whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka Chinese, Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, ...
and
Chaozhou Chaozhou (), alternatively Chiuchow, Chaochow or Teochew, is a city in the eastern Guangdong province of China. It borders Shantou to the south, Jieyang to the southwest, Meizhou to the northwest, the province of Fujian to the east, and the Sout ...
, zheng ensembles are popular. Sizhu ensembles use flutes and bowed or plucked string instruments to make harmonious and melodious music that has become popular in the West among some listeners. These are popular in
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. It is a sub-provincial city, a megacity, and t ...
and
Hangzhou Hangzhou ( or , ; , , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), also Chinese postal romanization, romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang, China. It is located in the northwestern part of the prov ...
, as well as elsewhere along the southern
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ; ) is the longest list of rivers of Asia, river in Asia, the list of rivers by length, third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in th ...
area.
Jiangnan Sizhu ''Jiangnan sizhu'' () is a style of traditional Chinese instrumental music from the ...
(silk and bamboo music from
Jiangnan Jiangnan or Jiang Nan (; formerly romanized Kiang-nan, literally "South of the River" meaning "South of the Yangtze") is a geographic area in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. ...
) is a style of instrumental music, often played by amateur musicians in tea houses in Shanghai. Guangdong Music or Cantonese Music is instrumental music from
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton () and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about north-northwest of Hong K ...
and surrounding areas. The music from this region influenced Yueju (Cantonese Opera) music, which would later grow popular during the self-described "Golden Age" of China under the PRC. Folk songs have been recorded since ancient times in China. The term
Yuefu ''Yuefu'' are Chinese poetry, Chinese poems composed in a folk song style. The term originally literally meant "Music Bureau", a reference to the imperial Chinese governmental organization(s) originally charged with collecting or writing the lyr ...
was used for a broad range of songs such as ballads, laments, folk songs, love songs, and songs performed at court (Birrell, "Balladry and Popular Song" in Mair 2001, p.954). For an English-language translation of ancient ballads see Birrell (1993). China is a vast country, with a multiplicity of linguistic and geographic regions. Folk songs are categorized by geographic region, language type, ethnicity, social function (e.g. work song, ritual song, courting song) and musical type.  Han Kuo-Huang distinguishes between ten regional types and one sub-ethnicity in his study of the folk songs of the Han Chinese, the majority population of China (1989). Sue Tuohy has explained the importance of language and regional differences in Chinese folk songs (See “The Choices and Challenges of Local Distinction" in Berger and Carroll 2003, pp.153-186). Modern anthologies collected by Chinese folklorists distinguish between traditional songs, revolutionary songs, and newly-invented songs (Gibbs 2019, p.98). The songs of northwest China are known as “flower songs” (''hua’er''), a reference to beautiful women. In the past they were notorious for their erotic content (Yang Mu 1994). The village “mountain songs” ('' shan’ge'') of Jiangsu province were also well-known for their amorous themes (Schimmelpenninck 1997; McLaren 2022). Other regional song traditions include the “strummed lyrics” (''
tanci Tanci is a narrative form of Music of China, song in China that alternates between verse and prose.Wang, Lingzhen, p53 The literal name "plucking rhymes" refers to the singing of verse portions to a ''pipa''.Hu, Siao-chen, p539 A ''tanci'' is usua ...
'') of the Lower Yangtze Delta, the Cantonese Wooden Fish tradition (''muyu'' or ''muk-yu'') and the Drum Songs ('' guci'') of north China (Bender, "Regional Literatures" in Mair 2001, p.1019‒1031). For Chinese folk songs in English translation see Mair and Bender (2011, pp.90-178). Heroic and mythic songs of epic length, often performed for ritual purposes, are known amongst the Mongol, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Kazaks, and Kirghiz people (Karl Reichl, 2019). See also
Epic Poetry An epic poem, or simply an epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants. ...
Non-European forms In the twenty-first century many cherished Chinese folk songs have been inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (Howard and Ingram 2020, pp. 20-24, 39, 53-54). In the process, songs once seen as vulgar are now being reconstructed as romantic courtship songs (Man Beryl Yang 2020). Regional song competitions, popular in many communities, have promoted professional folk singing as a career. Some individual folk singers have gained national prominence (Gibbs 2018).


= Traditional folk music of Sri Lanka

= The art, music and dance of Sri Lanka derive from the elements of nature, and have been enjoyed and developed in the
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
environment. The music is of several types and uses only a few types of instruments. The folk songs and poems were used in social gatherings to work together. The Indian influenced classical music has grown to be unique. The traditional drama, music and songs of Sinhala Light Music are typically Sri Lankan. The temple paintings and carvings feature birds, elephants, wild animals, flowers, and trees, and the Traditional 18 Dances display the dancing of birds and animals. For example: * Mayura Wannama – The dance of the
peacock Peafowl is a common name for three bird species in the genera ''Pavo (genus), Pavo'' and ''Afropavo'' within the tribe Pavonini of the family Phasianidae, the pheasants and their allies. Male peafowl are referred to as peacocks, and female pea ...
* Hanuma Wannama – The dance of the monkey * Gajaga Wannama – The dance of the elephant Musical types include: * Local drama music includes Kolam and Nadagam types. Kolam music is based on low country tunes primarily to accompany mask dance in
exorcism Exorcism () is the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons, jinns, or other malevolent spiritual entities from a person, or an area, that is believed to be demonic possession, possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exor ...
rituals. It is considered less developed/evolved, true to the folk tradition and a preserving of a more ancient artform. It is limited to approximately 3–4 notes and is used by the ordinary people for pleasure and entertainment. * Nadagam music is a more developed form of drama influenced from South Indian street drama which was introduced by some south Indian artists. Phillippu Singho from Negombo in 1824 performed "Harishchandra Nadagama" in Hnguranketha which was originally written in the Telingu language. Later "Maname", "Sanda kinduru" and others were introduced. Don Bastian of
Dehiwala Dehiwala is a suburban area in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It lies within the administrative boundaries of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council. It is known for the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, zoo which houses thousands of animals and h ...
introduced Noorthy firstly by looking at Indian dramas and then John de Silva developed it as did Ramayanaya in 1886. * Sinhala light music is currently the most popular type of music in Sri Lanka and enriched with the influence of folk music, kolam music, nadagam music, noorthy music,
film music A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and other ...
, classical music, Western music, and others. Some artists visited India to learn music and later started introducing light music. Ananda Samarakone was the pioneer of this and also composed the national anthem. The classical Sinhalese orchestra consists of five categories of instruments, but among the percussion instruments, the drum is essential for dance. The vibrant beat of the rhythm of the drums form the basic of the dance. The dancers' feet bounce off the floor and they leap and swirl in patterns that reflect the complex rhythms of the drum beat. This drum beat may seem simple on the first hearing but it takes a long time to master the intricate rhythms and variations, which the drummer sometimes can bring to a
crescendo In music, the dynamics of a piece is the variation in loudness In acoustics, loudness is the subjective perception of sound pressure. More formally, it is defined as, "That attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be o ...
of intensity. There are six common types of drums falling within 3 styles (one-faced, two-faced, and flat-faced): * The typical Sinhala Dance is identified as the
Kandy Kandy ( si, මහනුවර ''Mahanuwara'', ; ta, கண்டி Kandy, ) is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka, Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city ...
an dance and the Gatabera drum is indispensable to this dance. * Yak-bera is the demon drum or the drum used in low country dance in which the dancers wear masks and perform devil dancing, which has become a highly developed form of art. * The Daula is a
barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it is wide. They are traditionally made of wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees a ...
-shaped drum, and it was used as a companion drum with a Thammattama in the past, to keep strict time with the beat. * The Thammattama is a flat, two-faced drum. The drummer strikes the drum on the two surfaces on top with sticks, unlike the others where you drum on the sides. This is a companion drum to the aforementioned Dawula. * A small double-headed hand drum is used to accompany songs. It is primarily heard in the poetry dances like vannam. * The Rabana is a flat-faced circular drum and comes in several sizes. The large Rabana - called the Banku Rabana - has to be placed on the floor like a circular short-legged table and several people (traditionally women) can sit around it and beat on it with both hands. This is used in festivals such as the
Sinhalese New Year Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda ( si, අලුත් අවුරුද්ද) in Sri Lanka, is a Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary ce ...
and ceremonies such as weddings. The resounding beat of the Rabana symbolizes the joyous moods of the occasion. The small Rabana is a form of mobile drum beat since the player carries it wherever the person goes. Other instruments include: * The Thalampata – 2 small cymbals joined by a string. * The wind section, is dominated by an instrument akin to the clarinet. This is not normally used for dances. This is important to note because the Sinhalese dance is not set to music as the western world knows it; rhythm is king. * The flutes of metal such as silver & brass produce shrill music to accompany Kandyan Dances, while the plaintive strains of music of the reed flute may pierce the air in devil-dancing. The conch-shell ( Hakgediya) is another form of a natural instrument, and the player blows it to announce the opening of ceremonies of grandeur. * The
Ravanahatha A ravanahatha (variant names: ''ravanhatta'', ''rawanhattha'', ''ravanastron'', ''ravana hasta veena'') is an ancient Indian musical instruments#Bowed strings, bowed, stringed instrument, used in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and surrounding areas. ...
(ravanhatta, rawanhattha, ravanastron or ravana hasta veena) is a bowed fiddle that was once popular in Western India. It is believed to have originated among the Hela civilisation of Sri Lanka in the time of King Ravana. The bowl is made of cut coconut shell, the mouth of which is covered with goat hide. A dandi, made of bamboo, is attached to this shell. The principal strings are two: one of steel and the other of a set of horsehair. The long bow has jingle bells


Australia

Folk song traditions were taken to Australia by early settlers from England, Scotland and Ireland and gained particular foothold in the rural
outback The Outback is a remote, vast, sparsely populated area of Australia. The Outback is more remote than Australian bush, the bush. While often envisaged as being arid, the Outback regions extend from the northern to southern Australian coastlines ...
. The rhyming songs, poems and tales written in the form of bush ballads often relate to the itinerant and rebellious spirit of Australia in
The Bush "The bush" is a term mostly used in the English vernacular of Australia and New Zealand where it is largely synonymous with ''wikt:backwoods, backwoods'' or ''hinterland'', referring to a natural undeveloped area. The fauna and flora containe ...
, and the authors and performers are often referred to as bush bards. Kerry O'Brien, December 10, 2003 '' 7:30 Report''
abc.net.au
/ref> The 19th century was the golden age of bush ballads. Several collectors have catalogued the songs including John Meredith whose recording in the 1950s became the basis of the collection in the
National Library of Australia The National Library of Australia (NLA), formerly the Commonwealth National Library and Commonwealth Parliament Library, is the largest reference library in Australia, responsible under the terms of the ''National Library Act 1960'' for "mainta ...
. The songs tell personal stories of life in the wide open country of Australia. Typical subjects include mining, raising and droving cattle,
sheep shearing Sheep shearing is the process by which the Wool, woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep's wool is called a ''Sheep shearer, shearer''. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to h ...
, wanderings, war stories, the
1891 Australian shearers' strike The 1891 shearers' strike is one of Australia's earliest and most important industrial disputes. The dispute was primarily between Trade union, unionised and non-unionised wool workers. It resulted in the formation of large camps of striking work ...
, class conflicts between the landless working class and the
squatters Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use. The United Nations The United Nations ( ...
(landowners), and outlaws such as
Ned Kelly Edward Kelly (December 1854 – 11 November 1880) was an Australian bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and convicted police-murderer. One of the last bushrangers, he is known for wearing a armour of the Kelly gang, suit of bulletproof armour dur ...
, as well as love interests and more modern fare such as
trucking Road transport or road transportation is a type of transport using roads. Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into the transportation of goods and transportation of people. In many countries licensing requirements and safety regulations e ...
. The most famous bush ballad is "
Waltzing Matilda "Waltzing Matilda" is a song developed in the Australian style of poetry and folk music called a bush ballad. It has been described as the country's "unofficial national anthem". The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing) ...
", which has been called "the unofficial national anthem of Australia".
Indigenous Australian music Indigenous music of Australia comprises the music of the Aboriginal Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, intersecting with their culture, cultural and ceremonial observances, through the millennia of their ind ...
includes the music of
Aboriginal Australians Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples of the Mainland Australia, Australian mainland and many of its islands, such as Tasmania, Fraser Island, Hinchinbrook Island, the Tiwi Islands, and Groote Eylandt, but excluding the T ...
and
Torres Strait Islanders Torres Strait Islanders () are the Indigenous Melanesian people of the Torres Strait Islands, which are part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Ethnically distinct from the Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal people of the rest of Australia ...
, who are collectively called
Indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians or Australian First Nations are people with familial heritage from, and membership in, the ethnic groups that lived in Australia before History of Australia (1788–1850), British colonisation. They consist of two distin ...
; it incorporates a variety of distinctive traditional music styles practiced by Indigenous Australian peoples, as well as a range of contemporary musical styles of and fusion with European traditions as interpreted and performed by indigenous Australian artists. Music has formed an integral part of the
social Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or not. Etymology The word "social" derives from ...
,
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
and ceremonial observances of these peoples, down through the millennia of their individual and collective histories to the present day. The traditional forms include many aspects of performance and
musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. A person ...
s unique to particular regions or Indigenous Australian groups. Equal elements of musical tradition are common through much of the Australian continent, and even beyond. The culture of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, or , historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island with an area of . Located in Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, the island is separated from Mainlan ...
and so their music is also related. Music is a vital part of Indigenous Australians' cultural maintenance.


Europe


= Celtic traditional music

=
Celtic music Celtic music is a broad grouping of music genres that evolved out of the folk music traditions of the Celts (modern), Celtic people of Northwestern Europe. It refers to both orally-transmitted traditional music and recorded music and the styles ...
is a term used by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of
musical genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in practice these terms are some ...
s that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the
Celtic people The Celts (, see pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct pronu ...
s. These traditions include Irish, Scottish, Manx, Cornish, Welsh, and Breton traditions. Asturian and Galician music is often included, though there is no significant research showing that this has any close musical relationship.
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the west of modern France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country pri ...
's Folk revival began in the 1950s with the "bagadoù" and the "kan-ha-diskan" before growing to world fame through
Alan Stivell Alan Stivell (; born Alan Cochevelou on 6 January 1944) is a French, Breton people, Breton and Celtic musician and singer, songwriter, recording artist, and master of the Celtic harp. From the early 1970s, he revived global interest in the Celtic ...
's work since the mid-1960s. In Ireland, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (although its members were all Irish-born, the group became famous while based in New York's Greenwich Village),
The Dubliners The Dubliners were an Folk music of Ireland, Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962 as The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group, named after its founding member; they subsequently renamed themselves The Dubliners. The line-up saw many changes in personn ...
,
Clannad Clannad () is an Irish band formed in 1970 in Gweedore, County Donegal by siblings Ciarán, Pól Brennan, Pól, and Moya Brennan and their twin uncles The Duggans, Noel and Pádraig Duggan. They have adopted various musical styles throughout t ...
,
Planxty Planxty were an Irish folk music band formed in January 1972, consisting initially of Christy Moore (vocals, acoustic guitar, bodhrán), Andy Irvine (musician), Andy Irvine (vocals, mandolin, mandola, Irish bouzouki, bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, harm ...
,
The Chieftains The Chieftains are a traditional Irish folk band formed in Dublin in 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Seán Potts and Michael Tubridy. Their sound, which is almost entirely instrumental and largely built around uilleann pipes, has become synonymous wi ...
,
The Pogues The Pogues were an English or Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan and others, founded in Kings Cross, London in 1982, as "Pogue Mahone" – the anglicisation of the Irish language, Irish Gaelic ''póg mo thóin'', meaning "k ...
,
The Corrs The Corrs are an Irish family band that combine pop rock Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock) is a fusion genre with an emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude than rock music. Originating in ...
, The Irish Rovers, and a variety of other folk bands have done much over the past few decades to revitalise and re-popularise
Irish traditional music Irish traditional music (also known as Irish trad, Irish folk music, and other variants) is a Music genre, genre of folk music that developed in Ireland. In ''A History of Irish Music'' (1905), W. H. Grattan Flood wrote that, in Gaelic Irel ...
. These bands were rooted, to a greater or lesser extent, in a tradition of Irish music and benefited from the efforts of artists such as Seamus Ennis and Peter Kennedy. In
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
, The Corries, Silly Wizard,
Capercaillie ''Tetrao'' is a genus of birds in the grouse subfamily known as capercaillies. They are some of the largest living grouse. Taxonomy The genus Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon ...
, Runrig, Jackie Leven, Julie Fowlis,
Karine Polwart Karine Polwart ( ) (born 23 December 1970) is a Scottish singer-songwriter. She writes and performs music with a strong Folk music, folk and roots feel, her songs dealing with a variety of issues from alcoholism to genocide. She has been most r ...
, Alasdair Roberts,
Dick Gaughan Richard Peter Gaughan (born 17 May 1948) is a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter, particularly of folk and social protest songs. He is regarded as one of Scotland's leading singer-songwriters. Early years Gaughan was born in Glasgow's Prin ...
, Wolfstone, Boys of the Lough, and The Silencers have kept Scottish folk vibrant and fresh by mixing traditional Scottish and Gaelic folk songs with more contemporary genres. These artists have also been commercially successful in continental Europe and North America. There is an emerging wealth of talent in the Scottish traditional music scene, with bands such as Mànran, Skipinnish, Barluath and
Breabach Breabach is a Scottish folk music Scottish folk music (also Scottish traditional music) is a Music genre, genre of folk music that uses forms that are identified as part of the Scottish musical tradition. There is evidence that there was a flou ...
and solo artists such as Patsy Reid, Robyn Stapleton and Mischa MacPherson gaining a lot of success in recent years.


= Central and Eastern Europe

= During the Communist era national folk dancing in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a Sover ...
was actively promoted by the state. Dance troupes from Russia and Poland toured non-communist Europe from about 1937 to 1990. The Red Army Choir recorded many albums, becoming the most popular military band. Eastern Europe is also the origin of the Jewish
Klezmer Klezmer ( yi, קלעזמער or ) is an instrumental musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. The essential elements of the tradition include dance tunes, ritual melodies, and virtuosic improvisations played for l ...
tradition. The
polka Polka is a dance and musical genre, genre of dance music originating in nineteenth-century Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. Though associated with Czechs, Czech culture, polka is popular throughout Europe and the Americas. History ...
is a central European dance and also a
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...
of
dance music Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dance, dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are Concert, live dance music an ...
familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech Republic. Bohemia can also refer to a wider area consisting of the historical Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by the List o ...
. Polka is still a popular genre of folk music in many European countries and is performed by folk artists in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
,
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
,
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , Abbreviation, abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the s ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
,
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
,
Belarus Belarus,, , ; alternatively and formerly known as Byelorussia (from Russian ). officially the Republic of Belarus,; rus, Республика Беларусь, Respublika Belarus. is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by R ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
and
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
. Local varieties of this dance are also found in the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; literal translation, lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It includes the sovereign states of Denmar ...
,
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
,
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland (), is a country in north-western Europe consisting of 26 of the 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, on the eastern ...
,
Latin America Latin America or * french: Amérique Latine, link=no * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no, name=a, sometimes referred to as LatAm is a large cultural region in the Americas where Romance languages — languages derived f ...
(especially
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...
), and in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. German Volkslieder perpetuated by Liederhandschriften manuscripts like ''
Carmina Burana ''Carmina Burana'' (, Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) arou ...
'' date back to medieval
Minnesang (; "love song") was a tradition of lyric- and song-writing in Germany and Austria that flourished in the Middle High German literature, Middle High German period. This period of Middle High German literature, medieval German literature began i ...
and Meistersinger traditions. Those folk songs revived in the late 18th century period of German Romanticism, first promoted by
Johann Gottfried Herder Johann Gottfried von Herder ( , ; 25 August 174418 December 1803) was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, ''Sturm und Drang'', and Weimar Classicism. Biogr ...
and other advocates of the Enlightenment, later compiled by
Achim von Arnim Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig von Arnim (26 January 1781 – 21 January 1831), better known as Achim von Arnim, was a German poet A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as su ...
and
Clemens Brentano Clemens Wenzeslaus Brentano (also Klemens; pseudonym: Clemens Maria Brentano ; ; 9 September 1778 – 28 July 1842) was a German poet and novelist, and a major figure of German Romanticism. He was the uncle, via his brother Christian Brentano, Ch ...
('' Des Knaben Wunderhorn'') as well as by Ludwig Uhland. The
Volksmusik Alpine folk music (german: Alpenländische Volksmusik; German's ''Volksmusik'' means "people's music" or as a Germanic connotative translation, "folk's music") is the common umbrella designation of a number of related styles of traditional folk ...
and folk dances genre, especially in the Alpine regions of
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...
,
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
('' Kuhreihen'') and
South Tyrol it, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano – Alto Adige lld, Provinzia Autonoma de Balsan/Bulsan – Südtirol , settlement_type = Autonomous area, Autonomous Provinces of Italy, province , image_skyline = ...
, up to today has lingered in rustic communities against the backdrop of industrialisation—Low German shanties or the Wienerlied ('' Schrammelmusik'') being notable exceptions. Slovene folk music in
Upper Carniola Upper Carniola ( sl, Gorenjska; it, Alta Carniola; german: Oberkrain) is a traditional region of Slovenia, the northern mountainous part of the larger Carniola region. The centre of the region is Kranj, while other urban centers include Jesenic ...
and
Styria Styria (german: Steiermark ; Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic languages, So ...
also originated from the Alpine traditions, like the prolific Lojze Slak Ensemble. Traditional ''Volksmusik'' is not to be confused with commercial '' Volkstümliche Musik'', which is a derivation of that. The Hungarian group Muzsikás played numerous American tours and participated in the Hollywood movie ''
The English Patient ''The English Patient'' is a 1992 novel by Michael Ondaatje. The book follows four dissimilar people brought together at an Italian villa during the Italian Campaign of the Second World War World War II or the Second World War, ...
'' while the singer Márta Sebestyén worked with the band Deep Forest. The Hungarian '' táncház'' movement, started in the 1970s, involves strong cooperation between musicology experts and enthusiastic amateurs. However, traditional Hungarian folk music and folk culture barely survived in some rural areas of Hungary, and it has also begun to disappear among the ethnic Hungarians in
Transylvania Transylvania ( ro, Ardeal or ; hu, Erdély; german: Siebenbürgen) is a historical and cultural region in Central Europe, encompassing central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Ap ...
. The táncház movement revived broader folk traditions of music, dance, and costume together and created a new kind of music club. The movement spread to ethnic Hungarian communities elsewhere in the world.


= Balkan music

= Balkan folk music was influenced by the mingling of Balkan ethnic groups in the period of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
. It comprises the music of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
,
Montenegro ) , image_map = Europe-Montenegro.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Podgorica , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Mo ...
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Bas ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
,
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
, some of the historical states of
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
or the
State Union of Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro ( sr, Cрбија и Црна Гора, translit=Srbija i Crna Gora) was a country in Southeast Europe located in the Balkans that existed from 1992 to 2006, following the Breakup of Yugoslavia, breakup of the Socialist ...
and geographical regions such as
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
. Some music is characterised by complex rhythm. A notable act is The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, which won a
Grammy Award The Grammy Awards (stylized as GRAMMY), or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most pr ...
in 1989. An important part of the whole Balkan folk music is the music of the local Romani ethnic minority, which is called
Tallava Tallava or Talava is a music genre originating from Albanian-speaking communities in Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Републик ...
and Brass band music.


= Nordic folk music

= Nordic folk music includes a number of traditions in Northern European, especially Scandinavian, countries. The
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; literal translation, lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It includes the sovereign states of Denmar ...
are generally taken to include
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic island country in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most list of countries and dependencies by population density, sparsely populated coun ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia Russia (, , ), or the Ru ...
, Sweden,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America that is part of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic Ocean, Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic oceans, east of the ...
. Sometimes it is taken to include the
Baltic countries The Baltic states, et, Balti riigid or the Baltic countries is a geopolitical term, which currently is used to group three countries: Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Euro ...
of
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, sea across from Sweden, to ...
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
. The many regions of the Nordic countries share certain traditions, many of which have diverged significantly, like Psalmodicon of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It is possible to group together the Baltic states (or, sometimes, only Estonia) and parts of northwest Russia as sharing cultural similarities, although the relationship has gone cold in recent years. Contrast with Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Atlantic islands of Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which share virtually no similarities of that kind. Greenland's Inuit culture has its own unique musical traditions. Finland shares many cultural similarities with both the Baltic nations and the Scandinavian nations. The Sami of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia have their own unique culture, with ties to the neighboring cultures.
Swedish folk music Swedish folk music is a musical genre, genre of music based largely on folkloristics, folkloric collection work that began in the early 19th century in Sweden. The primary musical instrument, instrument of Swedish folk music is the fiddle. Another ...
is a
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...
of music based largely on
folkloric Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief or behavior (folk custom) passed down within a group or society A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent s ...
collection work that began in the early 19th century in Sweden. The primary instrument of Swedish folk music is the
fiddle A fiddle is a Bow (music), bowed String instrument, string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres, including European classical music, classical music. Although in many ...
. Another common instrument, unique to Swedish traditions, is the nyckelharpa. Most Swedish instrumental folk music is
dance music Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dance, dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are Concert, live dance music an ...
; the signature music and dance form within Swedish folk music is the
polska Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The ...
. Vocal and instrumental traditions in Sweden have tended to share tunes historically, though they have been performed separately. Beginning with the folk music revival of the 1970s, vocalists and instrumentalists have also begun to perform together in folk music ensembles.


Latin America

The folk music of the Americas consists of the encounter and union of three main musical types: European traditional music, traditional music of the American natives, and tribal African music that arrived with slaves from that continent. The particular case of Latin and South American music points to
Andean music Andean music is a group of styles of music from the Andes region in South America. Original chants and melodies come from the general area inhabited by Quechua people, Quechuas (originally from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile), Aymara people, Aymar ...
among other native musical styles (such as Caribbean and pampean), Iberian music of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
and
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
, and generally speaking African tribal music, the three of which fused together evolving in differentiated musical forms in Central and South America.
Andean music Andean music is a group of styles of music from the Andes region in South America. Original chants and melodies come from the general area inhabited by Quechua people, Quechuas (originally from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile), Aymara people, Aymar ...
comes from the region of the
Quechuas Quechua people (, ; ) or Quichua people, may refer to any of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, aboriginal people of South America who speak the Quechua languages, which originated among the Indigenous people of Peru. Although most Quechua ...
, Aymaras, and other peoples that inhabit the general area of the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
prior to European contact. It includes folklore music of parts of
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...
,
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially the Republic of Ecuador ( es, República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechuan ...
, Chile,
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
,
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
and
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many Federal Dependencies of V ...
. Andean music is popular to different degrees across Latin America, having its core public in rural areas and among indigenous populations. The Nueva Canción movement of the 1970s revived the genre across Latin America and brought it to places where it was unknown or forgotten. Nueva canción (Spanish for 'new song') is a movement and genre within Latin American music, Latin American and Iberian folk music, folk-inspired music, and socially committed music. In some respects its development and role is similar to the second folk music revival in North America. This includes evolution of this new genre from traditional folk music, essentially contemporary folk music except that that English genre term is not commonly applied to it. Nueva cancion is recognized as having played a powerful role in the social upheavals in Portugal, Spain and Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s. Nueva cancion first surfaced during the 1960s as "The Chilean New Song" in Chile. The musical style emerged shortly afterwards in Spain and areas of Latin America where it came to be known under similar names. Nueva canción renewed traditional Latin American folk music, and with its political lyrics it was soon associated with revolutionary movements, the Latin American New Left, Liberation Theology, hippie and human rights movements. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America, and it is regarded as a precursor to Rock en español. Cueca is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile,
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...
and
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
. Trova and Son (music), Son are styles of traditional Cuban music originating in the province of Oriente that includes influences from Spanish song and dance, such as Bolero and contradanza as well as Afro-Cuban rhythm and percussion elements. Moda de viola is the name designated to Brazilian folk music. It is often performed with a 6-string nylon acoustic guitar, but the most traditional instrument is the viola caipira. The songs basically detailed the difficulties of life of those who work in the country. The themes are usually associated with the land, animals, folklore, impossible love and separation. Although there are some upbeat songs, most of them are nostalgic and melancholic.


North America


= Canada

= Canada's traditional folk music is particularly diverse. Even prior to liberalizing its immigration laws in the 1960s, Canada was ethnically diverse with dozens of different Indigenous and European groups present. In terms of music, academics do not speak of a Canadian tradition, but rather ethnic traditions (Acadian music, Irish-Canadian music, Blackfoot music, Innu music, Inuit music, Métis fiddle, etc.) and later in Eastern Canada regional traditions (Music of Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland music, Cape Breton fiddling, Quebecois music, etc.) "Knowledge of the history of Canada", wrote Isabelle Mills in 1974, "is essential in understanding the mosaic of Canadian folk song. Part of this mosaic is supplied by the folk songs of Canada brought by European and Anglo-Saxon settlers to the new land." She describes how the French colony at Québec brought French immigrants, followed before long by waves of immigrants from Great Britain, Germany, and other European countries, all bringing music from their homelands, some of which survives into the present day. Ethnographer and folklorist Marius Barbeau estimated that well over ten thousand French folk songs and their variants had been collected in Canada. Many of the older ones had by then died out in France. Music as professionalized paid entertainment grew relatively slowly in Canada, especially remote rural areas, through the 19th and early 20th centuries. While in urban music clubs of the dance hall/vaudeville variety became popular, followed by jazz, rural Canada remained mostly a land of traditional music. Yet when American radio networks began broadcasting into Canada in the 1920s and 1930s, the audience for Canadian traditional music progressively declined in favour of Nashville sound, American Nashville-style country music and urban styles like jazz. The Americanization of Canadian music led the Canadian Radio League to lobby for a national public broadcaster in the 1930s, eventually leading to the creation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936. The CBC promoted Canadian music, including traditional music, on its radio and later television services, but the modernism, mid-century craze for all things "modern" led to the decline of folk music relative to rock and pop. Canada was however influenced by the folk music revival of the 1960s, when local venues such as the Montreal Folk Workshop, and other folk clubs and coffee houses across the country, became crucibles for emerging songwriters and performers as well as for interchange with artists visiting from abroad.


= United States

= American traditional music is also called roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass music, bluegrass, country music, gospel music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk music, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun music, Cajun and Native American music. The music is considered American either because it is native to the United States or because it developed there, out of foreign origins, to such a degree that it struck musicologists as something distinctly new. It is considered "roots music" because it served as the basis of music later developed in the United States, including rock and roll, contemporary folk music, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Some of these genres are considered to be traditional folk music. * Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Louisiana Creole people, Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin. These French Louisiana#Modern French Louisiana, French Louisiana sounds have influenced American popular music for many decades, especially country music, and have influenced pop culture through mass media, such as television commercials. * Appalachian music is the traditional music of the region of
Appalachia Appalachia () is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg ...
in the Eastern United States. It derives from various European and African influences, including English
ballad A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French ''chanson balladée'' or ''Ballade (forme fixe), ballade'', which were originally "dance songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of t ...
s, Irish and Scottish traditional music (especially
fiddle A fiddle is a Bow (music), bowed String instrument, string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres, including European classical music, classical music. Although in many ...
music), hymns, and African-American blues. First recorded in the 1920s, Appalachian musicians were a key influence on the early development of Old-time music, country music, and bluegrass music, bluegrass, and were an important part of the American folk music revival. Instruments typically used to perform Appalachian music include the banjo, American fiddle, Appalachian dulcimer, fretted dulcimer, and guitar.Ted Olson, "Music – Introduction". ''Encyclopedia of Appalachia'' (Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 2006), pp. 1109–20. Early recorded Appalachian musicians include Fiddlin' John Carson, Henry Whitter, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the Carter Family, Clarence Ashley, Frank Proffitt, and Dock Boggs, all of whom were initially recorded in the 1920s and 1930s. Several Appalachian musicians obtained renown during the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, including
Jean Ritchie Jean Ruth Ritchie (December 8, 1922 – June 1, 2015) was an American List of traditional singers, folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, called by some the "Mother of Folk". In her youth she learned hundreds of Folk music, fo ...
, Roscoe Holcomb, Ola Belle Reed, Lily May Ledford, and Doc Watson. Country and bluegrass artists such as Loretta Lynn, Roy Acuff, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs, Chet Atkins, and Don Reno were heavily influenced by traditional Appalachian music. Artists such as
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career sp ...
, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia, and Bruce Springsteen have performed Appalachian songs or rewritten versions of Appalachian songs. * The Carter Family was a American folk music, traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass music, bluegrass, country music, country, Southern gospel, popular music, pop and rock musicians. They were the first vocal group to become country music stars; a beginning of the divergence of country music from traditional folk music. Their recordings of such songs as "Wabash Cannonball" (1932), "Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By), Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (1935), "Wildwood Flower" (1928), and "Keep On the Sunny Side" (1928) made them country standards. * Oklahoma and southern US plains: Before recorded history American Indians (U.S. Census), American Indians in this area used songs and instrumentation; music and dance remain the core of ceremonial and social activities. "Stomp dance" remains at its core, a Call and response (music), call and response form; instrumentation is provided by Rattle (percussion beater), rattles or shackles worn on the legs of women. "Other southeastern nations have their own complexes of sacred and social songs, including those for animal dances and friendship dances, and songs that accompany stickball games. Central to the music of the southern Plains Indians is the drum, which has been called the heartbeat of Plains Indian music. Most of that genre can be traced back to activities of hunting and warfare, upon which plains culture was based." The drum is central to the music of the southern plains Indians. During the reservation period, they used music to relieve boredom. Neighbors gathered, exchanged and created songs and dances; this is a part of the roots of the modern intertribal Pow wow, powwow. Another common instrument is the courting flute. * African-American folk music in the area has roots in Slavery in the United States, slavery and emancipation. Sacred music—A cappella, a capella and instrumentally-accompanied—is at the heart of the tradition. Early spirituals framed Christian beliefs within native practices and were heavily influenced by the music and rhythms of Africa." Spiritual (music), Spirituals are prominent, and often use a call and response pattern. "Gospel music, Gospel developed after the Civil War (1861–1865). It relied on biblical text for much of its direction, and the use of metaphors and imagery was common. Gospel is a "joyful noise", sometimes accompanied by instrumentation and almost always punctuated by hand clapping, toe tapping, and body movement." "Shape note, Shape-note or Sacred Harp singing developed in the early 19th century as a way for itinerant singing instructors to teach church songs in rural communities. They taught using song books in which
musical notation Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent wikt:aurally, aurally perceived music played with instrument (music), instruments or singing, sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise ...
s of tones were represented by geometric shapes that were designed to associate a shape with its pitch. Sacred harp singing became popular in many Oklahoma rural communities, regardless of ethnicity." Later the blues tradition developed, with roots in and parallels to sacred music. Then jazz developed, born from a "blend of ragtime, gospel, and blues" * Anglo-Scots-Irish music traditions gained a place in Oklahoma after the Land Rush of 1889, Land Run of 1889. Because of its size and portability, the
fiddle A fiddle is a Bow (music), bowed String instrument, string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres, including European classical music, classical music. Although in many ...
was the core of early Oklahoma Anglo-Saxons, Anglo music, but other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin, banjo, and steel guitar were added later. Various Oklahoma music traditions trace their roots to the British Isles, including Cowboy Music, cowboy ballads, western swing, and contemporary country and western." Mexican immigrants began to reach Oklahoma in the 1870s, bringing beautiful Canción, canciones and corridos love songs, waltzes, and ballads along with them. Like American Indian communities, each rite of passage in Hispanic communities is accompanied by traditional music. The acoustic guitar, string bass, and violin provide the basic instrumentation for Mexican music, with maracas, flute, Horn (instrument), horns, or sometimes
accordion Accordions (from 19th-century German language, German ''Akkordeon'', from ''Akkord''—"musical chord, concord of sounds") are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free reed aerophone, free-reed aerophone type (prod ...
filling out the sound. Other Europeans (such as Bohemians (tribe), Bohemians and Germans) settled in the late 19th century. Their social activities centered on community halls, "where local musicians played
polka Polka is a dance and musical genre, genre of dance music originating in nineteenth-century Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. Though associated with Czechs, Czech culture, polka is popular throughout Europe and the Americas. History ...
s and waltzes on the accordion, piano, and brass instruments". Later, Asians contributed to the musical mix. "Ancient music and dance traditions from the temples and Chinese court music, courts of China, India, and Indonesia are preserved in Asian communities throughout the state, and popular song genres are continually layered on to these classical music forms"


Folk music revivals

"Folk music revival" refers to either a period of renewed interest in traditional folk music, or to an event or period which transforms it; the latter usually includes a social activism component. A prominent example of the former is the British folk revival of approximately 1890–1920. The most prominent and influential example of the latter (to the extent that it is usually called "''the'' folk music revival") is the folk revival of the mid 20th century, centered in the English-speaking world which gave birth to contemporary folk music. See the "Contemporary folk music" article for a description of this revival. One earlier revival influenced western classical music. Such composers as
Percy Grainger Percy Aldridge Grainger (born George Percy Grainger; 8 July 188220 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist who lived in the United States from 1914 and became an American citizen in 1918. In the course of a long an ...
,
Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, (; 12 October 1872– 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over ...
and
Béla Bartók Béla Viktor János Bartók (; ; 25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hun ...
, made field recordings or transcriptions of folk singers and musicians. In Spain, Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) produced piano works reflect his Spanish heritage, including the ''Suite Iberia'' (1906–1909). Enrique Granados (1867–1918) composed ''zarzuela'', Spanish light opera, and ''Danzas Españolas'' – Spanish Dances. Manuel de Falla (1876–1946) became interested in the cante jondo of Andalusian flamenco, the influence of which can be strongly felt in many of his works, which include ''Nights in the Gardens of Spain'' and ''Siete canciones populares españolas'' ("Seven Spanish Folksongs", for voice and piano). Composers such as Fernando Sor and Francisco Tarrega established the guitar as Spain's national instrument. Modern Spanish folk artists abound (Mil i Maria, Russian Red, et al.) modernizing while respecting the traditions of their forebears. Flamenco grew in popularity through the 20th century, as did northern styles such as the Celtic music of Galicia (Spain), Galicia. French classical composers, from Georges Bizet, Bizet to Maurice Ravel, Ravel, also drew upon Spanish themes, and distinctive Spanish genres became universally recognized. Folk music revivals or roots revivals also encompass a range of phenomena around the world where there is a renewed interest in traditional music. This is often by the young, often in the traditional music of their own country, and often included new incorporation of social awareness, causes, and evolutions of new music in the same style. Nueva canción, a similar evolution of a new form of socially committed music occurred in several Spanish-speaking countries.


Contemporary folk music


Festivals


United States

It is sometimes claimed that the earliest United States folk music festival was the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, 1928, in Asheville, North Carolina, founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The National Folk Festival (USA) is an itinerant folk festival in the United States. Since 1934, it has been run by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and has been presented in 26 communities around the nation. After leaving some of these communities, the National Folk Festival has Spin-off (media), spun off several locally run folk festivals in its wake including the Lowell Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, the American Folk Festival and, most recently, the Montana Folk Festival. The Newport Folk Festival is an annual folk festival held near Newport, Rhode Island. It ran most years from 1959 to 1970 and from 1985 to the present, with an attendance of approximately 10,000 people each year. The four-day Philadelphia Folk Festival began in 1962. It is sponsored by the non-profit Philadelphia Folksong Society. The event hosts contemporary and traditional artists in genres including World/Fusion, Celtic, Singer-Songwriter, Folk Rock, Country, Klezmer, and Dance. It is held annually on the third weekend in August. The event now hosts approximately 12,000 visitors, presenting bands on 6 stages. The Feast of the Hunters' Moon in Indiana draws approximately 60,000 visitors per year.


United Kingdom

Sidmouth Festival began in 1954, and Cambridge Folk Festival began in 1965. The Cambridge Folk Festival in Cambridge, England is noted for having a very wide definition of who can be invited as folk musicians. The "club tents" allow attendees to discover large numbers of unknown artists, who, for ten or 15 minutes each, present their work to the festival audience.


Australia

The National Folk Festival (Australia), National Folk Festival is Australia's premier folk festival event and is attended by over 50,000 people. The Woodford Folk Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival are similarly amongst Australia's largest major annual events, attracting top international folk performers as well as many local artists.


Canada

Stan Rogers is a lasting fixture of the Canadian folk festival Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival, Summerfolk, held annually in Owen Sound, Ontario, where the main stage and amphitheater are dedicated as the "Stan Rogers Memorial Canopy". The festival is firmly fixed in tradition, with Rogers' song "The Mary Ellen Carter" being sung by all involved, including the audience and a medley of acts at the festival. The Canmore Folk Music Festival is Alberta's longest running folk music festival.


Other

Urkult Näsåker, Ångermanland held August each year is purportedly Sweden's largest world-music festival.


See also

* Contemporary folk music * Anthology of American Folk Music * Canadian Folk Music Awards * Country music * Folk process * List of classical and art music traditions * List of folk festivals * Roud Folk Song Index * ''The Voice of the People'' anthology of UK folk songs


References


Citations


Sources

: ''These sources are cited above with multiple abbreviated cites with varying locations.'' * Donaldson, Rachel Clare, 201
''Music for the People: the Folk Music Revival And American Identity, 1930–1970''
PhD Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, May 2011, Nashville, TN *


Further reading

(does not include those used as references) * Reprinted in McAllester, David Park (ed.) (1971) ''Readings in ethnomusicology'' New York: Johnson Reprint. * * Bevil, Jack Marshall (1984). ''Centonization and Concordance in the American Southern Uplands Folksong Melody: A Study of the Musical Generative and Transmittive Processes of an Oral Tradition''. PhD Thesis, North Texas University, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International. * * Bevil, Jack Marshall (1987). "A Paradigm of Folktune Preservation and Change Within the Oral Tradition of a Southern Appalachian Community, 1916–1986." Unpublished. Read at the 1987 National Convention of the American Musicological Society, New Orleans. * Bronson, Bertrand Harris. ''The Ballad As Song'' (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969). * Bronson, Bertrand Harris. ''The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads'' (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976). * Bronson, Bertrand Harris. ''The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, with Their Texts, According to the Extant Records of Great Britain and North America'', 4 volumes (Princeton and Berkeley: Princeton University Press, Princeton University and University of California Presses, 1959, ff.). * Cartwright, Garth (2005). ''Princes Amongst Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians''. London: Serpent's Tail. * Carson, Ciaran (1997). ''Last Night's Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music''. North Point Press. * Cole, Ross. ''The Folk: Music, Modernism, and the Political Imagination''. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2021. 275. . * Cooley, Timothy J. ''Making Music in the Polish Tatras: Tourists, Ethnographers, and Mountain Musicians''. Indiana University Press, 2005 (Hardcover with CD). * Cowdery, James R. (1990). ''The Melodic Tradition of Ireland''. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. * Czekanowska, Anna. ''Polish Folk Music: Slavonic Heritage – Polish Tradition – Contemporary Trends''. Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology, Reissue 2006 (Paperback). * Farsani, Mohsen (2003) ''Lamentations chez les nomades bakhtiari d'Iran''. Paris: Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. * Harker, David (1985). ''Fakesong: The Manufacture of British 'Folksong', 1700 to the Present Day''. Milton Keynes [Buckinghamshire]; Philadelphia: Open University Press. * Jackson, George Pullen (1933). ''White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands: The Story of the Fasola Folk, Their Songs, Singings, and "Buckwheat Notes"''. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing (2008) * * Karpeles, Maud. ''An Introduction to English Folk Song''. 1973. Oxford. Oxford University Press. * Nelson, David Taylor (2012) "Béla Bartók: The Father of Ethnomusicology", ''Musical Offerings'': vol. 3: no. 2, article 2
Béla Bartók: The Father of Ethnomusicology
* Pegg, Carole (2001). "Folk Music". ''The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians'', edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan. * * * Rooksby, Rikky, Dr Vic Gammon et al. ''The Folk Handbook''. (2007). Backbeat * Sorce Keller, Marcello (2014) "What Can Be Old and What Can Be New in 'Folk Music'", in Thomas Nussbaumer (Ed.), ''Das Neue in der Volksmusik in der Alpen''. Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner, 2014. * Sorce Keller, Marcello (1984). "The Problem of Classification in Folksong Research: A Short History". ''Folklore''. 95 (1): 100–04. . JSTOR 1259763 * Sharp, Cecil. ''Folk Song: Some Conclusions''. 1907. Charles River Books * Sharp, Cecil ''English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians''. Collected by Cecil J. Sharp. Ed. Maud Karpeles. 1932. London. Oxford University Press. * * Peter van der Merwe (musicologist), van der Merwe, Peter (1989). ''Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. .


External links


Folk Alliance International
Prominent folk music organization

Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...

The Traditional Ballad Index: : An Annotated Bibliography of the Folk Songs of the English-Speaking World
California State University, Fresno
Ben Gray Lumpkin Digital Folk Music Collection
Howard B. Waltz Music Library, University of Colorado Boulder * *
The Traditional Music in England project, World and Traditional Music section at the British Library Sound Archive

The Folk File: A Folkie's Dictionary
by Bill Markwick (1945–2017) – musical definitions and short biographies for American and U.K. Folk musicians and groups. Retrieved September 21, 2017. {{Authority control Articles containing video clips Folk music,