Folk music

Folk music

Overview
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. This music is also referred to as traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 and, in US, as "roots music".

Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music.
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Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. This music is also referred to as traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 and, in US, as "roots music".

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. The most common name for this new form of music is also "folk music", but is often called "contemporary folk music" or "folk revival music" to make the distinction. This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

, electric folk
Electric folk
Electric folk is the name given to the form of folk rock pioneered in England from the late 1960s, and most significant in the 1970s, which then was taken up and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, to produce Celtic rock and its...

, and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, it often shares the same English name, performers and venues as traditional folk music; even individual songs may be a blend of the two.

Definitions


A consistent definition of traditional folk music is elusive. The terms folk music, folk song, and folk dance
Folk dance
The term folk dance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:*They are dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music or music based on traditional music....

are comparatively recent expressions. They are extensions of the term folk lore, which was coined in 1846 by the English antiquarian William Thoms
William Thoms
William John Thoms was a British writer credited with coining the term "folklore" in the 1840s. Thoms's investigation of folklore and myth led to a later career of debunking longevity myths...

 to describe "the traditions, customs, and superstitions of the uncultured classes." The term is further derived from the German expression Volk
Völkisch movement
The volkisch movement is the German interpretation of the populist movement, with a romantic focus on folklore and the "organic"...

, in the sense of "the people as a whole" as applied to popular and national music by Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism.-Biography:...

 and the German Romantics over half a century earlier. Traditional folk music also includes most indigenous music
Indigenous music
Indigenous music is a term for the traditional music of the indigenous peoples of the world, that is, the music of an "original" ethnic group that inhabits any geographic region alongside more recent immigrants who may be greater in number...



However, despite the assembly of an enormous body of work over some two centuries, there is still no certain definition of what folk music (or folklore, or the folk) is. 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", 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." 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".

For Scholes, as well as for Cecil Sharp
Cecil Sharp
Cecil James Sharp was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.-Early life:Sharp was born in Camberwell, London, the eldest son of...

 and Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

, 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 favour of a simple distinction of economic class yet for him true folk music was, in Charles Seeger
Charles Seeger
Charles Seeger, Jr. was a noted musicologist, composer, and teacher. He was the father of iconic American folk singer Pete Seeger .-Life:...

's words, "associated with a lower class in societies which are culturally and socially stratified, that is, which have developed an elite, and possibly also a popular, musical culture." 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'."

Characteristics


From a historical perspective, traditional folk music had these characteristics:
  • It was transmitted through an oral tradition
    Oral tradition
    Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

    . Before the twentieth century, ordinary farm workers and factory workers were usually illiterate. They acquired songs by memorizing them. Primarily, this was not mediated by books, recorded or transmitted media. Singers may extend their repertoire using broadsheets, song books or CDs, 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 the United States, where Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Asian-Americans and others strive to emphasis differences from the mainstream. They will learn songs and dances that originate in the countries where their grandparents came from.

  • They commemorate historical and personal events. On certain days of the year, such as Easter, May Day and Christmas, particular songs celebrate the yearly cycle. Weddings, birthdays 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, over a long period of time, usually several generations.


As a side-effect, the following characteristics are sometimes present:
  • The is no copyright on the songs. There are hundreds of folk songs from the nineteenth century which have known authors. However, they have continued in oral tradition, to the point where they are classified as "Traditional", for purposes of music publishing. This has become much less frequent since the 1970s. Today, almost every folk song that is recorded is credited with an arrangement.

  • Fusion of cultures. In the same way that people can have a mixed background, with parents originating in different continents, so too music can be a blend of influences. A particular rhythmic pattern, or a characteristic instrument, is enough to give a traditional feel to music, even when it has been composed recently. It is easy to recognize the presence of a bagpipe or a tabla in a piece of music. The young are usually much less offended by the dilution or adaptation of songs this way. Equally an electric guitar can be added to an old song. The relevant factors may include instrumentation, tunings, voicings, phrasing, subject matter, and even production methods.

Origins



Throughout most of human prehistory and history, listening to recorded music was not possible. One origin is the work of economic production which was often manual and communal. Music was made by common people during both their work and leisure. Manual labor often included singing by the workers, which served several practical purposes. It reduced the boredom of repetitive tasks, it kept the rhythm during synchronized pushes and pulls, and it set the pace of many activities such as planting, weeding, reaping, threshing, weaving, and milling. In leisure time, singing and playing musical instruments 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.

Opinions differed over the origins of folk music: it was said by some to be art music changed and probably debased by oral transmission, by others to reflect the character of the race that produced it. Traditionally, the cultural transmission of folk music is through playing by ear
Playing By Ear
Playing By Ear was Preston Reed's second release on Flying Fish Records. It subsequently went out-of-print and was re-released as a compilation with Pointing Up and re-titled Preston Reed.-Track listing:...

, although notation
Musical notation
Music notation or musical notation is any system that represents aurally perceived music, through the use of written symbols.-History:...

 may also be used. The competition of individual and collective theories of composition set different demarcations and relations of folk music with the music of tribal societies on the one hand and of "art" and "court" music on the other. The traditional cultures that did not rely upon written music or had less social stratification could not be readily categorized. In the proliferation of popular music genres, some traditional folk music became also referred to "World music" or "Roots music".


The English term "folklore", 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 in general has always been loose, particularly in America and Germany - for example popular songwriters such as Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

 could be termed "folk" in America. The International Folk Music Council definition allows that the term "can also be applied to music which 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 folk revival in America and in Britain started a new genre, contemporary folk music and brought an additional meaning to the term folk music. The popularity of "contemporary folk" recordings caused the appearance of the category "Folk" in the Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

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 which subsequently evolved into others. The term "folk", by the start of the 21st century, could cover singer song-writers
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

, such as Donovan
Donovan
Donovan Donovan Donovan (born Donovan Philips Leitch (born 10 May 1946) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist. Emerging from the British folk scene, he developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music...

 and Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, 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



Apart from instrumental music that forms a part of traditional folk music, especially dance music traditions, much traditional folk music is vocal music
Vocal music
Vocal music is a genre of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instrumental accompaniment, in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but does not feature it prominently is generally considered instrumental music Vocal music is a genre of...

, since the instrument that makes such music is usually handy. As such, most traditional folk music has meaningful lyrics
Lyrics
Lyrics are a set of words that make up a song. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist or lyrist. The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of...

.

Narrative verse looms large in the traditional folk music of many cultures. This encompasses such forms as traditional epic poetry
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

, 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 and often their in medias res
In medias res
In medias res or medias in res is a Latin phrase denoting the literary and artistic narrative technique wherein the relation of a story begins either at the mid-point or at the conclusion, rather than at the beginning In medias res or medias in res (into the middle of things) is a Latin phrase...

plot developments. Other forms of traditional narrative verse relate the outcomes of battle
Battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...

s and other tragedies
Tragedy (event)
A tragedy is an event in which one or more losses, usually of human life, occurs that is viewed as mournful. Such an event is said to be tragic....

 or natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s. Sometimes, as in the triumphant Song of Deborah found in the Biblical
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 Book of Judges
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

, 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
Folk hero
A folk hero is a type of hero, real, fictional, or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name, personality and deeds of the character in the popular consciousness. This presence in the popular consciousness is evidenced by...

es such as John Henry
John Henry (folklore)
John Henry is an American folk hero and tall tale. Henry worked as a "steel-driver"—a man tasked with hammering and chiseling rock in the construction of tunnels for railroad tracks. In the legend, John Henry's prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam powered hammer,...

 to Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

. Some traditional song narratives recall supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 events or mysterious deaths.

Hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s and other forms of religious music
Religious music
Religious music is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence.A lot of music has been composed to complement religion, and many composers have derived inspiration from their own religion. Many forms of traditional music have been adapted to fit religions'...

 are often of traditional and unknown origin. Western musical notation
Musical notation
Music notation or musical notation is any system that represents aurally perceived music, through the use of written symbols.-History:...

 was originally created to preserve the lines of Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

, which before its invention was taught as an oral tradition in monastic
Monasticism
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

 communities. Traditional songs such as Green grow the rushes, O
Green Grow the Rushes, O
Green Grow The Rushes, Ho , is a folk song popular across the English-speaking world. It is sometimes sung as a Christmas carol...

present religious lore in a mnemonic form. In the Western world, Christmas carol
Christmas carol
A Christmas carol is a carol whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas.-History:...

s and other traditional songs preserve religious lore in song form.

Work song
Work song
A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a specific form of work, either sung while conducting a task or a song linked to a task or trade which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song....

s frequently feature call and response
Call and response (music)
In music, a call and response is a succession of two distinct phrases usually played by different musicians, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or response to the first...

 structures and are designed to enable the labourers 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 forces, a lively tradition of jody calls ("Duckworth chants") are sung while soldiers are on the march. Professional sailors made use of a large body of sea shanties
Sea Shanties
Sea Shanties is the debut album of Progressive Rock band High Tide. The cover artwork was drawn by Paul Whitehead.-Production:Denny Gerrard produced Sea Shanties in return for High Tide acting as the backing band on his solo album Sinister Morning...

. Love poetry, often of a tragic or regretful nature, prominently figures in many folk traditions. Nursery rhyme
Nursery rhyme
The term nursery rhyme is used for "traditional" poems for young children in Britain and many other countries, but usage only dates from the 19th century and in North America the older ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’ is still often used.-Lullabies:...

s and nonsense verse
Nonsense verse
Nonsense verse is a form of light, often rhythmical verse, usually for children, depicting peculiar characters in amusing and fantastical situations. It is whimsical and humorous in tone and tends to employ fanciful phrases and meaningless made-up words. Nonsense verse is closely related to...

 also are frequent subjects of traditional songs.

Folk song transformations and variations





Music transmitted by word of mouth through a community will, in time, develop many variants, because this kind of transmission cannot produce word-for-word and note-for-note accuracy. Indeed, many traditional singers are quite creative and deliberately modify the material they learn.

For example the words of "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day
I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day
"I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day" is a traditional Irish song written from the point of view of a rich landowner telling the story of his day while buying drinks at a public house.Various versions of the song exist...

" (Roud 975) are known from a broadside in the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library , the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library...

. The date is almost certainly before 1900, and it seems to be Irish. In 1958 the song was recorded in Canada (My Name is Pat and I'm Proud of That). Jeannie Robertson
Jeannie Robertson
Jeannie Robertson was a Scottish folk singer.-Hamish Henderson and Alan Lomax:It is not known where Jeannie Robertson was born but she did live at 90, Hilton Street in Aberdeen, where a plaque now commemorates her. Like many of the Scottish Travellers from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Ayrshire, she went...

 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 Archie Fisher
Archie Fisher
Archie Fisher MBE is a Scottish folk singer and song writer.-The early years:Archie Fisher was born in Glasgow on 23 October 1939 into a large singing family. His sister Cilla Fisher is also a professional singer, as was his late sister Ray. In 1960 he moved to Edinburgh and appeared regularly at...

 deliberately altered the song to remove the reference to a dog being shot. In 1985 The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

 took it full circle by restoring all the Irish references.

Because variants proliferate naturally, it is naive to believe that there is such a thing as the single "authentic" version of a ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

 such as "Barbara Allen". Field researchers in traditional song (see below) have encountered countless versions of this ballad throughout the English-speaking world, and these versions often differ greatly from each other. None can reliably claim to be the original, and it is quite possible that whatever the "original" was, it ceased to be sung centuries ago. Any version can lay an equal claim to authenticity, so long as it is truly from a traditional singing community and not the work of an outside editor.

Cecil Sharp
Cecil Sharp
Cecil James Sharp was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.-Early life:Sharp was born in Camberwell, London, the eldest son of...

 had an influential idea about the process of folk variation: he felt that the competing variants of a traditional song would undergo a process akin to biological natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

: 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 aesthetically ever more appealing — it would be collectively composed to perfection, as it were, by the community.

A literary interest in the popular ballad was not new; it dates back to Thomas Percy and William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

. 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
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

'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
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 was most asserted. Nationalist composers emerged in Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and Britain: the music of Dvorak
Antonín Dvorák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...

, Smetana
Bedrich Smetana
Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music...

, Grieg
Edvard Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.-Biography:Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in...

, Rimsky-Korsakov, Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

, Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

, de Falla
Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla y Matheu was a Spanish Andalusian composer of classical music. With Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados and Joaquín Turina he is one of Spain's most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century....

, Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

, Sibelius
Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."...

, Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

, Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

 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
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 is a worldwide phenomenon, it is not one occurring at a uniform rate throughout the world. While even many tribal cultures are losing traditional folk music and folk cultures, the process is most advanced "where industrialization and commercialisation of culture are most advanced". Yet in nations or regions where traditional folk music is a badge of cultural or national identity, the loss of traditional music can be slowed; this is held to be true, for instance in the case of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Portugal
Fado
Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar, Rui Vieira Nery, states that "the only reliable information on the history of Fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best...

, Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, and Galicia, Greece
Music of Greece
The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds...

 and Crete
Music of Crete
The music of Crete is a traditional form of Greek folk music called κρητικά . The lyra is the dominant folk instrument on the island; there are three-stringed and four-stringed versions of this bowed string instrument, closely related to the medieval Byzantine lyra. It is often accompanied by the...

 all of which retain their traditional music to some degree, in some such areas the decline of traditional music and loss of traditions has been reversed.

19th century Europe


Starting in the 19th century, interested people - academics and amateur scholars - started to take note of what was being lost, and there grew various efforts aimed at preserving the music of the people. One prominent such effort was the collection by Francis James Child
Francis James Child
Francis James Child was an American scholar, educator, and folklorist, best known today for his collection of folk songs known as the Child Ballads. Child was Boylston professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard University, where he produced influential editions of English poetry...

 in the late 19th century of the texts of over three hundred ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s in the English and Scots traditions (called the Child Ballads
Child Ballads
The Child Ballads are a collection of 305 ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants, collected by Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century...

) most of which predated the sixteenth century.

Contemporaneously with Child came the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould
Sabine Baring-Gould
The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould was an English hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist and eclectic scholar. His bibliography consists of more than 1240 publications, though this list continues to grow. His family home, Lew Trenchard Manor near Okehampton, Devon, has been preserved as he had it...

, and later and more significantly Cecil Sharp
Cecil Sharp
Cecil James Sharp was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.-Early life:Sharp was born in Camberwell, London, the eldest son of...

 who worked in the early 20th century 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
English Folk Dance and Song Society
The English Folk Dance and Song Society was formed in 1932 when two organisations merged: the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society. The EFDSS, a member-based organisation, was incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee in 1935 and became a Registered Charity The English Folk...

 (EFDSS). Sharp also worked in America, recording the traditional songs of the Appalachian Mountains in 1916-1918 in collaboration with Maud Karpeles
Maud Karpeles
Maud Karpeles was a collector of folksongs and dance teacher.Maud Karpeles was born in London in 1885. In Berlin at the "Hochschule für Musik" she studied piano for six months. In 1892 a women's settlement had been created in Cumberland Road, Canning Town in 1892...

 and Olive Dame Campbell
Olive Dame Campbell
Olive Dame Campbell was an American folklorist.Born Olive Arnold Dame in West Medford, Massachusetts, she married John C. Campbell, American educator, in 1907. After his death, she co-founded and directed the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina in 1925...

 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
Songcatcher
The film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne...

. 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
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

 by Krisjanis Barons
Krišjanis Barons
Krišjānis Barons is known as the "father of the dainas" thanks largely to his systematization of the Latvian folk songs and his labour in preparing their texts for publication in Latvju dainas. His portrait appears on the 100-lat banknote, the only human face of a living person on modern Latvian...

 who between the years between 1894 and 1915 published six volumes including the texts of 217 996 Latvian folk songs; the Latvju dainas.

Around this time, composers of classical music developed a strong interest in traditional song collecting, and a number of outstanding composers carried out their own field work on traditional song. These included Percy Grainger
Percy Grainger
George Percy Aldridge Grainger , known as Percy Grainger, was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many...

 and Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 in England and Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

 in Hungary. These composers, like many of their predecessors, incorporated traditional material into their classical compositions. The Latviju dainas are extensively used in the classical choral works of Andrejs Jurāns, Jānis Cimze
Jānis Cimze
Jānis Cimze was a Latvian pedagogue, collector and harmoniser of folk songs, organist, founder of Latvian choral music and initiator of professional Latvian music. He is buried at the Lugaži Cemetery.- Early life :Jānis Cimze was born at the Cimze Manor in the family of a manor overseer...

, and Emilis Melngailis.

North America



Earliest American scholars were with the The American Folklore Society (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.
In North America, during the 1930s and 1940s, the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 worked through the offices of traditional music collectors Robert Winslow Gordon
Robert Winslow Gordon
Robert Winslow Gordon was born September 2, 1888 in Bangor, Maine. Educated at Harvard, he joined the English faculty at the University of California at Berkley in 1918. He was the founding head of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress in 1928, later the Archive of Folk...

, Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax was an American folklorist and ethnomusicologist. He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain.In his later career, Lomax advanced his theories of...

 and others to capture as much North American field material as possible. 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 was arguably the most prominent US folk music scholar of his time, notably during the beginnings of teh folk music revival in the 1930's and early 1940's.

People who studied traditional song sometimes hoped that their work would restore traditional music to the people. For instance, Cecil Sharp
Cecil Sharp
Cecil James Sharp was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.-Early life:Sharp was born in Camberwell, London, the eldest son of...

 campaigned, with some success, to have English traditional songs (in his own heavily edited and expurgated versions) to be taught to school children.

One strong theme amongst folk scholars in the early decades of the the 20th century was regionalism. This tended to recognize the diversity of folk music (and related cultures) based on regions of the US rather than based on just its 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 Sandberg often traveled the USA as a writer and a poet. He also collected songs in his travels and, in 1927, published them in a book American Songbag. "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. Sandberg'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 1930's, larger scale themes and linkages between were mostly drawn by folk music scholars and collectors. The 1930's saw the beginnings of larger scale themes, commonalities, themes and linkages in folk music developing in the populace and practitioners as well, often related to the great depression. Regionalism and cultural pluralism 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 US 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.

Much of the folk music growth was in the area of live performance, particularly in folk festivals which began during the 1930's. President Franklin Roosevelt was a fan of folk music, hosted folk concerts at the White House and often patronized folk festivals.

One theme that runs through the great period of scholarly traditional song collection is the tendency of certain members of the "folk", who were supposed to be the object of study, to become scholars and advocates themselves. For example, Jean Ritchie
Jean Ritchie
Jean Ritchie is an American folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player.- Out of Kentucky :Abigail and Balis Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky had 14 children, and Jean was the youngest...

 was the youngest child of a large family from Viper, Kentucky that had preserved many of the old Appalachian traditional songs. Ritchie, living in a time when the Appalachians 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. (See also Hedy West
Hedy West
Hedy West was an American folksinger and songwriter.West was of the same generation as Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and others of the American folk music revival. Her most famous song "500 Miles" is one of America's best loved and best known folk songs...

)

Africa




Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

is a vast continent and its regions
Regions of Africa
The continent of Africa can be conceptually subdivided into a number of regions or subregions.-Directional approach:One common approach categorises Africa directionally, e.g., by cardinal direction :...

 and nations have distinct musical traditions. The music of North Africa for the most part has a different history from Sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions exhibit so many common features that they may in some respects be thought of as constituting a single musical system. While some African music is clearly contemporary-popular music and some is art-music, still a great deal is communal and orally transmitted...

.

The music and dance forms of the African diaspora
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

, including African American music
African American music
African-American music is an umbrella term given to a range of musics and musical genres emerging from or influenced by the culture of African Americans, who have long constituted a large and significant ethnic minority of the population of the United States...

 and many Caribbean
Caribbean music
The music of the Caribbean is a diverse grouping of musical genres. They are each syntheses of African, European, Indian and native influences, largely created by descendants of African slaves...

 genres like soca
Soca music
Soca is a style of music from Trinidad and Tobago. Soca is a musical development of traditional Trinidadian calypso, through loans from the 1960s onwards from predominantly black popular music....

, calypso
Calypso music
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song...

 and Zouk
Zouk
Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe & Martinique. Zouk means "party" or "festival" in the local Antillean Creole of French, although the word originally referred to, and is still used to refer to, a popular dance, based on the Polish dance, the...

; and Latin American music
Latin American music
Latin American music, found within Central and South America, is a series of musical styles and genres that mixes influences from Spanish, African and indigenous sources, that has recently become very famous in the US.-Argentina:...

 genres like the samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

, rumba
Rumba
Rumba is a family of percussive rhythms, song and dance that originated in Cuba as a combination of the musical traditions of Africans brought to Cuba as slaves and Spanish colonizers. The name derives from the Cuban Spanish word rumbo which means "party" or "spree". It is secular, with no...

, salsa
Salsa music
Salsa music is a genre of music, generally defined as a modern style of playing Cuban Son, Son Montuno, and Guaracha with touches from other genres of music...

; and other clave (rhythm)
Clave (rhythm)
The clave rhythmic pattern is used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music, such as rumba, conga de comparsa, son, son montuno, mambo, salsa, Latin jazz, songo and timba. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms...

-based genres, were founded to varying degrees on the music of African slaves
African slave trade
Systems of servitude and slavery were common in many parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In some African societies, the enslaved people were also indentured servants and fully integrated; in others, they were treated much worse...

, which has in turn influenced African popular music
African popular music
African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions...

.

Asia


Many Asian civilizations distinguish between art/court/classical styles and "folk" music, though cultures that do not depend greatly upon notation and have much anonymous art music must distinguish the two in different ways from those suggested by western scholars. For example the late Alam Lohar
Alam Lohar
Muhammad Alam Lohar was a prominent Punjabi folk music singer of Pakistan.He died in 1979 in an accident. He is also credited with popularizing the term and song Jugni.-Early life:...

 is a good example of a classical South Asian folk singer of great repute.

Australia



Folk song traditions were taken to Australia by early settlers from Britain and Ireland and gained particular foothold in the rural outback
Outback
The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia, term colloquially can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush".-Overview:The outback is home to a...

. 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
"The bush" is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in certain countries.-Australia:The term is iconic in Australia. In reference to the landscape, "bush" describes a wooded area, intermediate between a shrubland and a forest, generally of dry and nitrogen-poor soil, mostly...

, and the authors and performers are often referred to as bush bards. The 19th century was the golden age of bush ballads. Several collectors have catalogued the songs including John Meredith
John Meredith (folklorist)
John Stanley Raymond Meredith was an Australian pioneer folklorist from Holbrook, New South Wales whose work influenced the Australian folk music revival of the 1950s.- The Bushwhackers and Reedy River :...

 whose recording in the 1950s became the basis of the collection in the National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library of Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the...

. 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
Sheep shearing, shearing or clipping is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep's wool is called a shearer. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year...

, wanderings, war stories, the 1891 Australian shearers' strike
1891 Australian shearers' strike
350px|thumb|Shearers' strike camp, Hughenden, central Queensland, 1891.The 1891 shearers' strike is one of Australia's earliest and most important industrial disputes. Working conditions for sheep shearers in 19th century Australia weren't good. In 1891 wool was one of Australia's largest industries...

, class conflicts between the landless working class and the squatters
Squatting (pastoral)
In Australian history, a squatter was one who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock.  Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first Europeans in the area....

 (landowners), and outlaws such as Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly
Edward "Ned" Kelly was an Irish Australian bushranger. He is considered by some to be merely a cold-blooded cop killer — others, however, consider him to be a folk hero and symbol of Irish Australian resistance against the Anglo-Australian ruling class.Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish...

, as well as love interests and more modern fare such as trucking
Truck driver
A truck driver , is a person who earns a living as the driver of a truck, usually a semi truck, box truck, or dump truck.Truck drivers provide an essential service to...

. The most famous bush ballad is "Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia"....

", which has been called "the unofficial national anthem of Australia".

Indigenous Australian music
Indigenous Australian music
Australian indigenous music includes the music of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, who are collectively called Indigenous Australians; it incorporates a variety of distinctive traditional music styles practiced by Indigenous Australian peoples, as well as a range of contemporary...

 includes the music of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders
Torres Strait Islanders
Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. They are culturally and genetically linked to Melanesian peoples and those of Papua New Guinea....

, who are collectively called Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

; it incorporates a variety of distinctive traditional music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 styles practiced by Indigenous Australian peoples, as well as a range of contemporary musical styles of and fusion
Fusion (music)
A fusion genre is music that combines two or more styles. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm, i a sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided...

 with European traditions as interpreted and performed by indigenous Australian artists. Music has formed an integral part of the social
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

, cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 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
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

ation which are unique to particular regions or Indigenous Australian groups; there are equally elements of musical tradition which are common or widespread through much of the Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n continent, and even beyond. The culture of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 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
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

 is a term used by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic peoples of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. These traditions include Irish
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

, Scottish
Music of Scotland
Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music...

, Manx
Music of the Isle of Man
The music of the Isle of Man reflects Celtic, Norse and other influences, including from its neighbours, Scotland, Ireland England and Wales. The Isle of Man is a small island nation in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland .A wide range of music is performed on the island, such as rock,...

, Cornish
Music of Cornwall
Cornwall has been historically Celtic, though Celtic-derived musical traditions had been moribund for some time before being revived during a late 20th century roots revival.-History:...

, Welsh
Music of Wales
Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

, Breton traditions. Galician music is often included, though significant research showing that this has any close musical relationship is lacking. Brittany
Music of Brittany
Since the early 1970s, Brittany has experienced a tremendous revival of its folk music. Along with flourishing traditional forms such as the bombard-binou pair and fest-noz ensembles incorporating other additional instruments, it has also branched out into numerous sub-genres...

'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
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

's work since the mid-1960s.

In Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, 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
The Dubliners are an Irish folk band founded in 1962.-Formation and history:The Dubliners, initially known as "The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group", formed in 1962 and made a name for themselves playing regularly in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin...

, Clannad, Planxty
Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

, The Chieftains
The Chieftains
The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irish musical group founded in 1962, best known for being one of the first bands to make Irish traditional music popular around the world.-Name:...

, The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

, The Irish Rovers
The Irish Rovers
The Irish Rovers is a Canadian Irish folk group created in 1963 and named after the traditional song "The Irish Rover". The group is best known for their international television series, and renditions of traditional Irish drinking songs, as well as early hits, Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn",...

, and a variety of other folk bands have done much over the past few decades to revitalise and re-popularise Irish traditional music
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

. These bands were rooted, to a greater or lesser extent, in a living tradition of Irish music and benefited from the efforts of artists such as Seamus Ennis
Séamus Ennis
Séamus Ennis was an Irish piper, singer and folk-song collector.- Early years :In 1908 James Ennis, Séamus's father, was in a pawn-shop in London. Ennis bought a bag of small pieces of Uilleann pipes. They were made in the early nineteenth century by Coyne of Thomas Street in Dublin. James worked...

 and Peter Kennedy
Peter Douglas Kennedy
Peter Douglas Kennedy was an English collector of folk songs in the 1950s. Peter's father, Douglas, was EFDSS director after Cecil Sharp....

.
Eastern Europe


During the Communist era national folk dancing was actively promoted by the state.
Dance troupes from Russia and Poland toured Western Europe from about 1937 to 1990. The Red Army Choir
Red Army Choir
The A.V. Alexandrov Russian army twice red-bannered academic song and dance ensemble , in short, the Alexandrov ensemble is a performing ensemble that serves as the official army choir of the Russian armed forces...

 recorded many albums. A female choir from Bulgarian State Radio recorded "Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares".

The Hungarian group Muzsikás
Muzsikás
Muzsikás is a Hungarian musical group playing mainly folk music of Hungary and other countries and peoples of the region. Established in 1973, it has also played works by classical composers, especially Béla Bartók, who himself collected folk tunes...

 played numerous American tours and participated in the Hollywood movie The English Patient
The English Patient (film)
The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje. The film, written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella, won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture...

while the singer Márta Sebestyén
Márta Sebestyén
Márta Sebestyén is a Hungarian folk vocalist, as well as a composer and actress.Sebestyén's mother is a composer, and was a music student of Zoltán Kodály. Her father was an economist and author. When Sebestyén was seven years old, her father, returning from a trip to the U.S...

 worked with the band Deep Forest
Deep Forest
Deep Forest is a musical group consisting of two French musicians, Michel Sanchez and Eric Mouquet. They compose a style of world music, sometimes called ethnic electronica, mixing ethnic with electronic sounds and dance beats or chillout beats...

. The Hungarian táncház
Táncház
Táncház is a "casual" Hungarian folk dance event . It is an aspect of the Hungarian roots revival of traditional culture which began in the early 1970s, and remains an active part of the national culture across the country, especially in cities like Budapest...

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
Hungarians in Romania
The Hungarian minority of Romania is the largest ethnic minority in Romania, consisting of 1,431,807 people and making up 6.6% of the total population, according to the 2002 census....

 in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

. The ttáncházmovement 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



The Balkan folk music was influenced by the mingling of Balkan ethnic groups in the period of Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. It comprises the music of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Music of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Like the surrounding Balkan countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a turbulent past marked by frequent foreign invasions and occupation. As a result, Bosnian music is now a mixture of the national Slavic folklore with some Turkish influences along with influences from the western part of the...

, Croatia
Music of Croatia
The music of Croatia, like the divisions of the country itself, has two major influences: the Central European one, present in the central and northern parts of the country, as well as in Slavonia, and the Mediterranean one, particularly present in the coastal regions of Dalmatia and Istria.In...

, Bulgaria
Music of Bulgaria
The music of Bulgaria refers to all forms of music associated with Bulgaria like classical, folk, popular music, etc. Bulgarian music is part of the Balkan tradition, which stretches across Southeastern Europe, and has its own distinctive sound...

, Greece
Music of Greece
The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds...

, Montenegro
Music of Montenegro
The music of Montenegro represents a mix of the country's unique musical tradition and Western musical influences.-History:In the 10th and 11th centuries a composer of religious chants was the oldest composer known from the Adriatic coast...

, Serbia
Music of Serbia
Serbs and Serbia has a variety of traditional music, which is part of the wider Balkan tradition, with its own distinctive sound and characteristics.-History:...

, Romania
Music of Romania
Romania is a European country with a multicultural music environment which includes active ethnic music scenes. Romania also has thriving scenes in the fields of pop music, hip hop, heavy metal and rock and roll...

, Slovenia
Music of Slovenia
The music of Slovenia is closely related to Austrian and Northern Italian music because of its common history and Alpine and littoral culture, and in some southern regions to Croatian . In the minds of many foreigners, Slovenian folk music means a form of polka that is still popular today,...

, Republic of Macedonia
Music of the Republic of Macedonia
Music of the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonians has many things in common with the music of neighbouring Balkan countries, but maintains its own distinctive sound.-Folk music:...

, Albania
Music of Albania
Albanian music displays a variety of influences. Albanian folk music traditions differ by region, with major stylistic differences between the traditional music of the Ghegs in the north and Tosks in the south. Modern popular music has developed around the centers of Korça, Shkodër and Tirana....

, Turkey
Music of Turkey
The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and has many copies and references of Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian music, Balkan music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences...

, the historical states of Yugoslavia
Music of Yugoslavia
-Meaning:Music of Yugoslavia can mean:#Music of Kingdom of Yugoslavia .#Music of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which includes the music of its constituent republics: Socialist Republic of Slovenia, Socialist Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,...

 or the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and geographical regions such as Thrace
Music of Thrace
Music of Thrace is the music of Thrace, a region in Southeastern Europe spread over southern Bulgaria , northeastern Greece , and European Turkey ....

. Some music is characterised by complex rhythm. An important part of the whole Balkan folk music is the music of the local Romani ethnic minority.
Nordic folk music

Nordic folk music includes a number of traditions in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

an, especially Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n, countries. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 are generally taken to include Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. Sometimes it is taken to include Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and historically the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 of Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

.

The many regions of the Nordic countries share certain traditions, many of which have diverged significantly. It is possible to group together the Baltic states (or, sometimes, only Estonia) and parts of northwest Russia as sharing cultural similarities, contrasted with Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Atlantic islands of, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Greenland's Inuit culture has its own musical traditions, influenced by Scandinavian culture. Finland shares many cultural similarities with both the Baltic nations and the Scandinavian nations. The Saami of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia have their own unique culture, with ties to the neighboring cultures.
Swedish folk music

Swedish folk music
Swedish folk music
Swedish folk music is a genre of music based largely on folkloric collection work that began in the early 19th century in Sweden. The primary instrument of Swedish folk music is the fiddle. Another common instrument, unique to Swedish traditions, is the nyckelharpa...

 is a genre of music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 based largely on folkloric
Folkloristics
Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore. The term derives from a nineteenth century German designation of folkloristik to distinguish between folklore as the content and folkloristics as its study, much as language is distinguished from linguistics...

 collection work that began in the early 19th century in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. The primary instrument of Swedish folk music is the fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

. Another common instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

, unique to Swedish traditions, is the nyckelharpa
Nyckelharpa
A nyckelharpa , sometimes called a keyed fiddle, is a traditional Swedish musical instrument. It is a string instrument or chordophone. Its keys are attached to tangents which, when a key is depressed, serve as frets to change the pitch of the string.The nyckelharpa is similar in appearance to a...

. Most Swedish instrumental folk music is dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

; the signature music and dance form within Swedish folk music is the polska
Polska (dance)
The polska is a family of music and dance forms shared by the Nordic countries: called polsk in Denmark, polska in Sweden and Finland and by several names in Norway in different regions and/or for different variants - including pols, rundom, springleik, and springar...

. Vocal and instrumental traditions in Sweden have tended to share tunes
Tune (folk music)
In folk music, a tune is a short instrumental piece, a melody, often with repeating sections, and usually played a number of times. The most common form for tunes in folk music is AABB, also known as binary form....

 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
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

.

Latin and South America



Andean music
Andean music
Andean music comes from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples that lived roughly in the area of the Inca Empire prior to European contact. It includes folklore music of parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela...

comes from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples that roughly in the area of the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 prior to European contact. It includes folklore music of parts of Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Andean music is popular to different degrees across Latin America, having its core public in rural areas and among indigenous populations. The Nueva Canción
Nueva canción
Nueva canción is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music...

 movement of the 70s revived the genre across Latin America and bought it to places where it was unknown or forgotten.

Nueva canción
Nueva canción
Nueva canción is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music...

(Spanish for 'new song') is a movement and genre within Latin American
Latin American music
Latin American music, found within Central and South America, is a series of musical styles and genres that mixes influences from Spanish, African and indigenous sources, that has recently become very famous in the US.-Argentina:...

 and Iberia
Iberia
The name Iberia refers to three historical regions of the old world:* Iberian Peninsula, in Southwest Europe, location of modern-day Portugal and Spain** Prehistoric Iberia...

n music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music. It some respects its development and role is similar to the second folk music revival. 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
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. The musical style emerged shortly afterwards in Spain and other areas of Latin America where it came to be known under similar names. Nueva canción renewed traditional Latin American folk music, and was soon associated with revolutionary movements, the Latin American New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

, Liberation Theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

, hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

 and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 movements due to political lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, and is regarded as a precursor to Rock en español
Rock en Español
Rock en español is the Spanish-language rock music. While the term is used widely in English, it is used in Spanish mainly to distinguish such music from "Anglo rock." It is a style of rock music that developed in Latin American countries and Latino communities, along with other genres like...

.

Cueca
Cueca
Cueca is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. In Chile, the cueca holds the status of national dance, where it was officially selected on September 18, 1979.- Origins :...

is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

.
USA

American traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 is also called roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, gospel
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

, old time music, jug band
Jug band
A Jug band is a band employing a jug player and a mix of traditional and home-made instruments. These home-made instruments are ordinary objects adapted to or modified for making of sound, like the washtub bass, washboard, spoons, stovepipe and comb & tissue paper...

s, Appalachian folk, blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, Cajun
Cajun 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 Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

 and Native American music
Native American music
American Indian music is the music that is used, created or performed by Native North Americans, specifically traditional tribal music. In addition to the traditional music of the Native American groups, there now exist pan-tribal and inter-tribal genres as well as distinct Indian subgenres of...

. The music is considered American either because it is native to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 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
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, contemporary folk music, rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

, and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

.

Cajun music
Cajun 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 Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

, an emblematic music of Louisiana
Music of Louisiana
The music of Louisiana can be divided into four general regions. Southwest Louisiana, , Southern Louisiana, west of New Orleans the southeast, the region in and around Greater New Orleans has a unique musical heritage tied to Dixieland jazz, blues and Afro-Caribbean rhythms...

, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadian
Acadian
The Acadians are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia . Acadia was a colony of New France...

s of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole
Louisiana Creole people
Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

-based, Cajun
Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

-influenced zydeco
Zydeco
Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music...

 form, both of Acadiana
Acadiana
Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment, make up the intrastate...

 origin. These French Louisiana sounds have influenced American popular music
American popular music
American popular music had a profound effect on music across the world. The country has seen the rise of popular styles that have had a significant influence on global culture, including ragtime, blues, jazz, swing, rock, R&B, doo wop, gospel, soul, funk, heavy metal, punk, disco, house, techno,...

 for many decades, especially country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, and have influenced pop culture through mass media, such as television commercials.

Appalachian music
Appalachian music
Appalachian music is the traditional music of the region of Appalachia in the Eastern United States. It is derived from various European and African influences, including English ballads, Irish and Scottish traditional music , religious hymns, and African-American blues...

 is the traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 of the region of Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 in the Eastern United States. It is derived from various European and African influences, including English ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s, Irish and Scottish traditional music (especially fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

 music), religious hymns, and African-American blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

. First recorded in the 1920s, Appalachian musicians were a key influence on the early development of Old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

, country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, and bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, and were an important part of the American folk music revival
American folk music revival
The American folk music revival was a phenomenon in the United States that 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, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, John Jacob...

. Instruments typically used to perform Appalachian music include the banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

, American fiddle
American fiddle
This page is about fiddle music in the USA. For other North American styles, see Fiddle#Fiddling_styles.American fiddle playing began with the early settlers who found that the small viol family instruments were portable and rugged. According to Ron Yule, "John Utie, a 1620 immigrant, settled in...

, fretted dulcimer
Appalachian dulcimer
The Appalachian dulcimer is a fretted string instrument of the zither family, typically with three or four strings. It is native to the Appalachian region of the United States...

, and guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

.

Early recorded Appalachian musicians include Fiddlin' John Carson
Fiddlin' John Carson
Fiddlin' John Carson was an American old time fiddler and an early-recorded country musician.-Early life:...

, Henry Whitter
Henry Whitter
Henry Whitter was an early country musician.-Biography:...

, Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer, folklorist, and performer of traditional music from western North Carolina. He was often known by the nickname "Minstrel of the Appalachians."- Early life :...

, the Carter Family
Carter Family
The Carter Family was a traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s. They were the first vocal group to become country...

, Clarence Ashley
Clarence Ashley
"Tom" Clarence Ashley was an American clawhammer banjo player, guitarist and singer. He began performing at medicine shows in the Southern Appalachian region as early as 1911, and gained initial fame during the late 1920s as both a solo recording artist and as a member of various string bands...

, Frank Proffitt
Frank Proffitt
Frank Proffitt was an Appalachian old time banjoist and performer at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. He was a key figure in inspiring musicians of the 1960s and 1970s to play the banjo. He recorded the ballad "Tom Dooley", learned from his aunt Nancy Prather...

, and Dock Boggs
Dock Boggs
Moran Lee "Dock" Boggs was an influential old-time singer, songwriter and banjo player. His style of banjo playing, as well as his singing, is considered a unique combination of Appalachian folk music and African-American blues...

, 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 Ritchie
Jean Ritchie is an American folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player.- Out of Kentucky :Abigail and Balis Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky had 14 children, and Jean was the youngest...

, Roscoe Holcomb
Roscoe Holcomb
Roscoe Holcomb, was an American singer, banjo player, and guitarist from Daisy, Kentucky. A prominent figure in Appalachian folk music, Holcomb was the inspiration for the term "high, lonesome sound," coined by folklorist and friend John Cohen...

, Ola Belle Reed
Ola Belle Reed
Ola Belle Campbell Reed was an American folk singer, songwriter and banjo player. Born in Lansing, North Carolina, Reed's songs often speak of Appalachian life and traditions. Her best known songs have been recorded by mainstream bluegrass and country artists...

, Lily May Ledford
Lily May Ledford
Lily May Ledford was an American clawhammer banjo and fiddle player. After gaining regional radio fame in the 1940s and 1950s as head of the Coon Creek Girls— one of the first all-female string bands to appear on radio— Ledford went on to gain national renown as a solo artist during...

, and Doc Watson
Doc Watson
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded...

. Country and bluegrass artists such as Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter, author and philanthropist. Born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner father, Lynn married at 13 years old, was a mother soon after, and moved to Washington with her husband, Oliver Lynn. Their marriage was sometimes tumultuous; he...

, Roy Acuff
Roy Acuff
Roy Claxton Acuff was an American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the King of Country Music, Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.Acuff...

, Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. Dolly Parton has appeared in movies like 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias and Straight Talk...

, Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs
Earl Eugene Scruggs is an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music...

, Chet Atkins
Chet Atkins
Chester Burton Atkins , known as Chet Atkins, was an American guitarist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well.Atkins's picking style, inspired by Merle...

, and Don Reno
Don Reno
Don Wesley Reno was an American bluegrass and country musician best known as a banjo player in partnership with Red Smiley, and later with guitarist Bill Harrell.-Biography:...

 were heavily influenced by traditional Appalachian music. Artists such as Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia
Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead...

, and Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

 have performed Appalachian songs or rewritten versions of Appalachian songs.

The Carter Family
Carter Family
The Carter Family was a traditional American folk music group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, Southern Gospel, pop and rock musicians as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s. They were the first vocal group to become country...

 was a traditional American folk music
American folk music
American folk music is a musical term that encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as traditional music or roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American...

 group that recorded between 1927 and 1956. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel music—at one time also known as "quartet music"—is music whose lyrics are written to express either personal or a communal faith regarding biblical teachings and Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

, pop
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 and rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

ians. 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
Wabash Cannonball
"The Wabash Cannonball" is an American folk song about a fictional train, thought to have originated in the late nineteenth century. Its first documented appearance was on sheet music published in 1882, titled "" and credited to J. A. Roff...

", "Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By)
"Can the Circle Be Unbroken " is the title of a country/folk song reworked by A. P. Carter from the hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" by Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel. The song's lyrics concern the death, funeral, and mourning of the narrator's mother.The song first gained attention due...

", "Wildwood Flower
Wildwood Flower
"Wildwood Flower" is an American song, best known through performances and recordings by the Carter Family. However, the song predates them. The original title was "I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets"...

" and "Keep On the Sunny Side
Keep On the Sunny Side
Keep On the Sunny Side is a popular American song originally written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn with music by J. Howard Entwisle . The song was popularized in a 1928 recording by the Carter Family...

" made them country standards.
Canada


Canada's traditional folk music is particularly diverse. "Traditional folk music of European origin has been present in Canada since the arrival of the first French and British settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries." "They fished the coastal waters and farmed the shores of what became Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the St Lawrence River valley of Quebec."

The fur trade and its voyageurs brought this farther north and west into Canada; later lumbering operations and lumberjacks continued this process.

"Agrarian settlement in eastern and southern Ontario and western Quebec in the early 19th century established a favorable milieu for the survival of many Anglo-Canadian folksongs and broadside ballads from Great Britain and the USA. Despite massive industrialization, folk music traditions have persisted in many areas until today. In the north of Ontario, a large Franco-Ontarian population kept folk music of French origin alive. Populous Acadian communities in the Atlantic provinces contributed their song variants to the huge corpus of folk music of French origin centred in the province of Quebec. A rich source of Anglo-Canadian folk music can be found in the Atlantic region, especially Newfoundland. Completing this mosaic of musical folklore is the Gaelic music of Scottish settlements, particularly in Cape Breton, and the hundreds of Irish songs whose presence in eastern Canada dates from the Irish famine of the 1840s which forced the large migrations of Irish to North America."

"Knowledge of the history. of Canada is essential in understanding the mosaic of Canadian folk song. Part of this mosaic is supplied by the folk songs of Canada which were brought by European and Anglo-Saxon settlers to the new land. Cartier's historical journey, in 1535, to the territory that was to become Canada initiated the immigration of the French. Without too much delay people came from Great Britain, Germany, and other European countries to live in close proximity. Each brought a wealth of folk music from his homeland and some of it has survived to this day. Barbeau has estimated that well over ten thousand French folk songs and their variants have been collected in Canada. Many of the ancient ones have been forgotten in France."

Traditional folk music revivals


"Folk revival" most commonly refers to two particular phenomena; the British folk revival of approximately 1890-1920, and the folk revival of the mid 20th century which started new genres of folk music. But earlier events have also sometimes been referred to as folk revivals.

One such earlier one influenced western classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

. Such composers as Percy Grainger
Percy Grainger
George Percy Aldridge Grainger , known as Percy Grainger, was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many...

, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 and Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

, made field recordings or transcriptions of folk singers and musicians.

In Spain, Isaac Albéniz
Isaac Albéniz
Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual was a Spanish Catalan pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms .-Life:Born in Camprodon, province of Girona, to Ángel Albéniz and his wife Dolors Pascual, Albéniz...

 (1860–1909) produced piano works reflect his Spanish heritage, including the Suite Iberia (1906–1909). Enrique Granados
Enrique Granados
Enrique Granados y Campiña was a Spanish pianist and composer of classical music. His music is in a uniquely Spanish style and, as such, representative of musical nationalism...

 (1867–1918) composed zarzuela
Zarzuela
Zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance...

, Spanish light opera, and Danzas Españolas - Spanish Dances. Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla y Matheu was a Spanish Andalusian composer of classical music. With Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados and Joaquín Turina he is one of Spain's most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century....

 (1876–1946) became interested in the cante jondo
Cante jondo
Cante jondo is a vocal style in flamenco. An unspoiled form of Andalusian folk music, the name means deep song It is generally considered that the common traditional classification of flamenco music is divided into three groups of which the deepest, most serious forms are known as cante jondo...

 of Andalusian flamenco
Flamenco
Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which has its foundation in Andalusian music and dance and in whose evolution Andalusian Gypsies played an important part....

, the influence of which can be strongly felt in many of his works, which include Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Nights in the Gardens of Spain is a piece of music by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla...

and Siete canciones populares españolas ("Seven Spanish Folksongs", for voice and piano). Composers such as Fernando Sor
Fernando Sor
Josep Ferran Sorts i Muntades was a Spanish classical guitarist and composer. While he is best known for his guitar compositions, he also composed music for a wide range of genres, including opera, orchestra, string quartet, piano, voice and ballet...

 and Francisco Tarrega
Francisco Tárrega
Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea was an influential Spanish composer and guitarist of the Romantic period.-Biography:Tárrega was born on 21 November 1852, in Vila-real, Castelló, Spain...

 established the guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 as Spain's national instrument. Modern Spanish folk artists abound (Mil i Maria, Russian Red
Russian Red
Russian Red is the stage name of Lourdes Hernández , a Spanish indie and folk singer-songwriter.Known by many as the Spanish Feist, in reference to the Canadian singer-songwriter who inspires her in many of her attitudes on the microphone, Hernández—who writes and sings all of her compositions in...

, et al.) modernizing whilst 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. French classical composers, from Bizet to Ravel
Maurice Ravel
Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

, also drew upon Spanish themes, and distinctive Spanish genres became universally recognised.

First British folk revival


The "first" British folk revival
British folk revival
The British folk revival incorporates a number of movements for the collection, preservation and performance of traditional music in the United Kingdom and related territories and countries, which had origins as early as the 18th century...

 was a roots revival
Roots revival
A roots revival is a trend which includes young performers popularizing the traditional musical styles of their ancestors. Often, roots revivals include an addition of newly-composed songs with socially and politically aware lyrics, as well as a general modernization of the folk sound.After an...

 which occurred approximately 1890 -1920 and was marked by heightened interest in traditional music and its preservation. It arose from earlier developments, perhaps combined with changes in the nature of British identity, led to a much more intensive and academic attempt to record what was seen as a vanishing tradition, and is now usually referred to as the first English or British folk revival.

Contemporary folk music


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. The most common name for this new form of music is also "folk music", but is often called "contemporary folk music" or "folk revival music" to make the distinction. This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

, electric folk
Electric folk
Electric folk is the name given to the form of folk rock pioneered in England from the late 1960s, and most significant in the 1970s, which then was taken up and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, to produce Celtic rock and its...

, and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, it often shares the same English name, performers and venues as traditional folk music; even individual songs may be a blend of the two.

Definitions of "contemporary folk music" are generally vague and variable. Here it is taken to mean all music that is called folk which is not traditional music; a set of genres which began with and then evolved from the folk revival of the mid-20th century. According to Hugh Blumenfeld, for the American folk scene, in general it is:
  • "Anglo-American, embracing acoustic and/or tradition-based music from the U.K. and the United States.
  • Musically, it is mainly Western European in its origins; linguistically, it is predominantly English-based.
  • The few exceptions to the above are based mainly on prevailing political/historical conditions in the Anglo-American world and the demographics of folk fans: Celtic music, blues, some Central and South American music, Native American music, and Klezmer." With "folk music" being an particularly English term, this definition may have general relevance. This is the common use of the term contemporary folk music (and the subject of this section), but is not the only case of evolution of new forms of folk music from traditional folk music. Nueva canción
    Nueva canción
    Nueva canción is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian music of folk music, folk-inspired music and socially committed music...

    , a similar evolution of a new form of socially committed music occurred in several Spanish speaking countries. New forms of traditional music emerge elsewhere to someday become themselves traditional folk music.


Contemporary country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 descends ultimately from a rural American folk tradition, but has evolved differently. Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 is a professional development of American old time music, intermixed with blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

.

Folk revival of the mid 20th century in Britain and America





While the Romantic nationalism of the folk revival had its greatest influence on art-music, the "second folk revival" of the later 20th century brought a new genre of popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 with artists marketed by amplified concerts, recordings and broadcasting. This is the genre that remains as folk music even when traditional music is considered to be a separate genre. One of the earliest figures in this revival was Woody Guthrie. The American Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

 collected folk music in the 1930s and 1940s and also composed his own songs, as did Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

. In the 1930s Jimmie Rodgers
Jimmie Rodgers (country singer)
James Charles Rodgers , known as Jimmie Rodgers, was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling...

, in the 1940s Burl Ives
Burl Ives
Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice .....

, in the early 1950s Seeger's group The Weavers
The Weavers
The Weavers were an American folk music quartet based in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. They sang traditional folk songs from around the world, as well as blues, gospel music, children's songs, labor songs, and American ballads, and selling millions of records at the height of their...

 and Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte
Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s...

, and in the late 1950s The Kingston Trio
The Kingston Trio
The Kingston Trio is an American folk and pop music group that helped launch the folk revival of the late 1950s to late 1960s. The group started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act with an original lineup of Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds...

 as well as other professional, commercial groups became popular. In 1963–1964, the ABC television network aired the Hootenanny television series devoted to this brand of folk music and also published the associated magazine ABC-TV Hootenanny
Linda Solomon
Linda Solomon is an American music critic and editor. Although she has written about various aspects of popular culture, her main focus has been on folk music, blues, R&B, jazz and country music...

. Starting in 1950 the Sing Out!
Sing Out!
Sing Out! is a quarterly journal of folk music and folk songs that has been published since May 1950.-Background:Sing Out! is the primary publication of the tax exempt, not-for-profit, educational corporation of the same name...

, Broadside
Broadside Magazine
Broadside Magazine was a small mimeographed publication founded in 1962 by Agnes "Sis" Cunningham and her husband, Gordon Friesen. Hugely influential in the folk-revival, it was often controversial. Issues of what is folk music, what is folk rock, and who is folk were roundly discussed and debated...

, and The Little Sandy Review magazines helped spread both traditional and composed songs, as did folk-revival-oriented record companies.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the folk revival fostered young artists like The Watersons
The Watersons
The Watersons were an English folk group from Hull, Yorkshire. They performed mainly traditional songs with little or no accompaniment. Their distinctive sound came from their closely woven harmonies.-Career:...

, Martin Carthy
Martin Carthy
Martin Carthy MBE is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and later artists such as Richard Thompson since he emerged as a young musician in the early days...

 and Roy Bailey
Roy Bailey (folk singer)
Roy Bailey MBE , is a British socialist folk singer. Roy began his singing career in a skiffle group in 1958.Colin Irwin from the music magazine Mojo said Bailey represents "the very soul of folk's working class ideals.....

 and a generation of singer-songwriters such as Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch
Herbert "Bert" Jansch was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, as an acoustic guitarist, as well as a singer-songwriter...

, Ralph McTell
Ralph McTell
Ralph McTell is an English singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s....

, Donovan
Donovan
Donovan Donovan Donovan (born Donovan Philips Leitch (born 10 May 1946) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist. Emerging from the British folk scene, he developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music...

 and Roy Harper
Roy Harper
Roy Harper is an English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist who has been a professional musician since the mid 1960s...

; all seven entered the public eye in the 1960s. Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Paul Simon
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles...

 and Tom Paxton
Tom Paxton
Thomas Richard Paxton is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years...

 visited Britain for some time in the early 1960s, the first two, particularly, making later use of the traditional English material they heard.

In 1950, Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax
Alan Lomax was an American folklorist and ethnomusicologist. He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain.In his later career, Lomax advanced his theories of...

 came to Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and met A.L. 'Bert' Lloyd and Ewan MacColl
Ewan MacColl
Ewan MacColl was an English folk singer, songwriter, socialist, actor, poet, playwright, and record producer. He was married to theatre director Joan Littlewood, and later to American folksinger Peggy Seeger. He collaborated with Littlewood in the theatre and with Seeger in folk music...

, a meeting credited as inaugurating the second British folk revival. In London the colleagues opened The Ballads and Blues Club, eventually renamed the Singers' Club, possibly the first folk club; it closed in 1991. As the 1950s progressed into the 1960s, the folk revival movement built up in both Britain and America.
The mid and late 1960s saw fusion forms of folk (such as folk rock) achieve prominence never before seen by folk music, but the early 1960s were perhaps the zenith of non-fusion folk music prominence in the music scene.

Major performers who emerged from the 1940s to the early 1960s


Some major folk music performers who emerged during 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s were:
  • Woody Guthrie
    Woody Guthrie
    Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

    (1912 –1967) is best known as an American singer-songwriter
    Singer-songwriter
    Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

     and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional
    Traditional music
    Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

     and children's songs, ballad
    Ballad
    A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

    s and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land
    This Land Is Your Land
    "This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by Woody Guthrie in 1940 based on an existing melody, in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America", which Guthrie considered unrealistic and complacent. Tired of hearing Kate Smith sing it on...

    ". Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

    . In the 1930s Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California while learning, rewriting, and performing traditional folk and blues songs along the way. Many the songs he composed were about his experiences in the Dust Bowl
    Dust Bowl
    The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

     era during the Great Depression
    Great Depression in the United States
    The Great Depression began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 and rapidly spread worldwide. The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement...

    , earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Balladeer". Throughout his life, Guthrie was associated with United States communist
    Communism
    Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

     groups, though he was never formally joined the Party. Guthrie fathered American folk
    American folk music
    American folk music is a musical term that encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as traditional music or roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American...

     musician Arlo Guthrie
    Arlo Guthrie
    Arlo Davy Guthrie is an American folk singer. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Arlo often sings songs of protest against social injustice...

    . During his later years Guthrie served as a figurehead
    Figurehead (metaphor)
    In politics, a figurehead is a person who holds de jure an important title or office yet de facto executes little actual power, most commonly limited by convention rather than law. The metaphor derives from the carved figurehead at the prow of a sailing ship...

     in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin' Jack Elliott
    Ramblin' Jack Elliott
    Ramblin' Jack Elliott is an American folk singer and performer.-Life and career:Elliot Charles Adnopoz was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents in 1931. Elliott grew up inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to be a cowboy...

     and Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    . Such songwriters as Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    , Phil Ochs
    Phil Ochs
    Philip David Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and haunting voice...

    , Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

    , Pete Seeger
    Pete Seeger
    Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

    , Joe Strummer
    Joe Strummer
    John Graham Mellor , best remembered by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the British punk rock band The Clash. His musical experience included his membership in The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues, in...

     and Tom Paxton
    Tom Paxton
    Thomas Richard Paxton is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years...

     have acknowledged their debt to Guthrie as an influence.
  • The Almanac Singers Almanac members Millard Lampell
    Millard Lampell
    Millard Lampell was an American movie and television screenwriter who first became publicly known as a member of the Almanac Singers in the 1940s....

    , Lee Hays, Pete Seeger
    Pete Seeger
    Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

    , and Woody Guthrie
    Woody Guthrie
    Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

     began playing together informally in 1940; the Almanac Singers were formed in December 1940. They invented a driving, energetic performing style, based on what they felt was the best of American country string band music, black and white. They evolved towards controversial topical music. Two of the regular members of the group, Pete Seeger
    Pete Seeger
    Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

     and Lee Hays, later became founding members of The Weavers
    The Weavers
    The Weavers were an American folk music quartet based in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. They sang traditional folk songs from around the world, as well as blues, gospel music, children's songs, labor songs, and American ballads, and selling millions of records at the height of their...

    .
  • Burl Ives
    Burl Ives
    Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice .....

    - as a youth, Ives dropped out of college to travel around as an itinerant singer during the early 1930s, earning his way by doing odd jobs and playing his banjo and guitar. In 1930, he had a brief, local radio career on WBOW radio in Terre Haute, Indiana, and in the 1940s he had his own radio show, titled The Wayfaring Stranger, titled after one of the popular ballad
    Ballad
    A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

    s he sang. The show was very popular, and in 1946
    1946 in film
    The year 1946 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*November 21 - William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives premieres in New York featuring an ensemble cast including Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, and Harold Russell.*December 20 - Frank Capra's It's a...

     Ives was cast as a singing cowboy in the film Smoky. Ives went on to play parts in other popular film as well. His first book, The Wayfaring Stranger, was published in 1948.
  • Pete Seeger
    Pete Seeger
    Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

    had met and been influenced by many important folk musicians (and singer-songwriters with folk roots), such as Woody Guthrie
    Woody Guthrie
    Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

     and Leadbelly
    Leadbelly
    Huddie William Ledbetter was an iconic American folk and blues musician, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced....

    . Seeger had labor movement involvements, and he met Woody at a "Grapes of Wrath" migrant workers’ concert on March 3, 1940, and the two thereafter began a musical collaboration (which included the Almanac Singers
    Almanac Singers
    The Almanac Singers were a group of folk musicians who, as their name indicates, specialized in topical songs, especially songs connected with the labor movement...

    ). In 1948, Seeger wrote the first version of his now-classic How to Play the Five-String Banjo, an instructional book that many banjo players credit with starting them off on the instrument. He has recorded, sung, and performed for more than seventy years and has become the most powerful force in the American folk revival after Guthrie.
  • The Weavers
    The Weavers
    The Weavers were an American folk music quartet based in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. They sang traditional folk songs from around the world, as well as blues, gospel music, children's songs, labor songs, and American ballads, and selling millions of records at the height of their...

    were formed in 1947 by Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert
    Ronnie Gilbert
    Ronnie Gilbert is an American folk-singer. She is one of the original members of the Weavers with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman.-Career:...

    , Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman
    Fred Hellerman
    Fred Hellerman, born in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Brooklyn College, is an American folk singer, guitarist, producer and song writer, primarily known as one of the members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert...

    . After they debuted at the Village Vanguard in New York in 1948, they were then discovered by arranger Gordon Jenkins and signed with Decca Records
    Decca Records
    Decca Records began as a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934; however, owing to World War II, the link with the British company was broken for several decades....

    , releasing a series of successful but heavily-orchestrated single songs. The group's political associations in the era of the Red Scare forced them to break up in 1952; they re-formed in 1955 with a series of successful concerts and album recordings on Vanguard Records. A fifth member, Erik Darling, sometimes sat in with the group when Seeger was unavailable and ultimately replaced Seeger in The Weavers when the latter resigned from the quartet in a dispute about its commercialism in general and its specific agreement to record a cigarette commercial.
  • Harry Belafonte
    Harry Belafonte
    Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s...

    , another influential performer, started his career as a club singer in New York to pay for his acting classes. In 1952, he signed a contract with RCA Victor and released his first record album, Mark Twain and Other Folk Favorites
    Mark Twain and other Folk Favorites
    Mark Twain and other Folk Favorites is the debut album by Harry Belafonte, released by RCA Victor in 1954. It is out of print. All songs are however available on the CD box Island in the Sun: The Complete Recordings 1949 – 1957 from Bear Family Records, Germany.- Track listing :# "Mark Twain" –...

    . His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) was the first LP to sell over a million copies. The album spent 31 weeks at number one, 58 weeks in the top ten, and 99 weeks on the US charts. It introduced American audiences to Calypso music and Belafonte was dubbed the "King of Calypso." Belafonte went on to record in many genres, including blues, American folk, gospel
    Gospel
    A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

    , and more. In 1959, he starred in Tonight With Belafonte a nationally televised special that introduced Odetta in her debut to a prime time audience. She sang Water Boy and performed a duet with Belafonte of There's a Hole in My Bucket
    There's a Hole in My Bucket
    "There's a Hole in My Bucket" is a children's song, along the same lines as "Found a Peanut". The song is based on a dialogue about a leaky bucket between two characters, called Henry and Liza. The song incorporates an infinite-loop motif: Henry has got a leaky bucket, and Liza tells him to repair...

    that hit the national charts in 1961.

  • Odetta
    Odetta
    Odetta Holmes, known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals...

    - In 1953 singers Odetta and Larry Mohr
    Odetta & Larry
    Odetta & Larry was a short-lived blues-folk duo in the mid-1950s. It consisted of Odetta and Lawrence B. Mohr, the former of whom became the more well-known in ensuing decades....

     recorded an LP that was released in 1954 as Odetta and Larry
    The Tin Angel
    The Tin Angel is now the common name for Odetta & Larry's only album, a collection of all their recordings, originally released in 1954 as "Odetta And Larry".- Background :...

    , an album that was partially recorded live at San Francisco's Tin Angel bar. Odetta enjoyed a long and respected career with a repertoire of traditional songs and blues until her death in 2009.
  • The Kingston Trio
    The Kingston Trio
    The Kingston Trio is an American folk and pop music group that helped launch the folk revival of the late 1950s to late 1960s. The group started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act with an original lineup of Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds...

    was formed in 1957
    1957 in music
    -Events:*January 5 – Renato Carosone and his band start their American tour in Cuba.*January 6 – Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on the The Ed Sullivan Show.*January 16 – The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool, UK....

     in the Palo Alto, California
    Palo Alto, California
    Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

     area by Bob Shane
    Bob Shane
    Bob Shane is an American singer and guitarist and, with Nick Reynolds' passing in October 2008, the only surviving founding member of The Kingston Trio. In that capacity, Shane became a seminal figure in the revival of folk and other acoustic music as a popular art form in the U.S...

    , Nick Reynolds
    Nick Reynolds
    Nick Reynolds was an American folk musician and recording artist. Reynolds was one of the founding members of The Kingston Trio, whose largely folk-based material captured international attention during the late fifties and early sixties.- Early life :Growing up in Coronado, California, his...

    , and Dave Guard
    Dave Guard
    Donald David "Dave" Guard was an American folk singer, songwriter, arranger and recording artist. Along with Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane, he was one of the founding members of The Kingston Trio.Guard was educated in Honolulu, Hawaii, at Punahou School in what was then the pre-statehood U.S....

    , who were just out of college. They were greatly influenced by the Weavers, the calypso sounds of Belafonte, and other semi-pop folk artists such as The Gateway Singers and The Tarriers
    The Tarriers
    The Tarriers were an American vocal group, specializing in folk music and folk-flavored popular music. Named after the folk song "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill", and founded in 1956 by Erik Darling, Alan Arkin, and Bob Carey, the group had two hit songs during 1956-57: "Cindy, Oh Cindy" and "The...

    . The unprecedented popularity and album sales of this group from 1957 to 1963 (including fourteen top ten and five number one LPs on the Billboard charts) was a significant factor in creating a commercial and mainstream audience for folk-styled music where little had existed prior to their emergence. The Kingston Trio's success was followed by other highly successful pop-folk acts, such as The Limeliters
    The Limeliters
    The Limeliters are an American folk music group, formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb , Alex Hassilev , and Glenn Yarbrough .  The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded.  After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing as...

    .

  • The Limeliters
    The Limeliters
    The Limeliters are an American folk music group, formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb , Alex Hassilev , and Glenn Yarbrough .  The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded.  After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing as...

    are an American folk music group, formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb
    Louis Gottlieb
    Dr. Louis Gottlieb was bassist and lofty comic spokesman for The Limeliters. He was considered one of the so-called "new comedy" performers such as Mort Sahl, Nichols and May, and Lenny Bruce: a new generation of unabashed intellectuals.Lou's special trademark on stage was a delightful burlesquing...

     (bass), Alex Hassilev
    Alex Hassilev
    Alex Hassilev is one of the founding members of the group The Limeliters and produced the rock album The Zodiac : Cosmic Sounds. He was educated at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is an actor with a number of film and television appearances to his credit. He is also a musician,...

     (baritone), and Glenn Yarbrough
    Glenn Yarbrough
    Glenn Yarbrough is an American folk singer. He was the lead singer with The Limeliters between 1959 and 1963, and had a prolific solo career, recording on various labels.-Biography:...

     (tenor). The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded.  After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing as The Limeliters again.
  • Joan Baez
    Joan Baez
    Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

    ’s
    career got started in 1958 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where at 17 she gave her first coffee-house concert. She was invited to perform at the premiere Newport Folk Festival in 1959 by pop folk star Bob Gibson
    Bob Gibson (musician)
    Samuel Robert Gibson was a folk singer who led a folk music revival in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was known for playing both the banjo and the 12-string guitar. He introduced a then largely unknown Joan Baez at the Newport Folk Festival of 1959. He produced a number of LPs in the decade...

    , after which Baez was sometimes called "the barefoot
    Barefoot
    Barefoot is the state of not wearing any footwear. Being barefoot is regarded as a human's natural state, though for functional, fashion and social reasons footwear is worn, at least on some occasions...

     Madonna
    Mary (mother of Jesus)
    Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

    ," gaining renown for her clear voice and three-octave range. She recorded her first album for a Vanguard Records
    Vanguard Records
    Vanguard Records is a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. It started as a classical label, but is perhaps best known for its catalogue of recordings by a number of pivotal folk and blues artists from the 1960s; the Bach Guild was a subsidiary...

     the following year – a collection of laments and traditional folk ballads from the British Isles, accompanying the songs with guitar. Her second LP release went gold, as did her next (live) albums. One record featured her rendition of a song by the then-unknown Bob Dylan. In the early 1960s, Baez moved into the forefront of the American folk-music revival. Increasingly, her personal convictions – peace, social justice, anti-poverty – were reflected in the topical songs that made up a growing portion of her repertoire, to the point that Baez became a symbol for these particular concerns.

  • Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    often performed, and sometimes toured, with Joan Baez, starting when she was a singer of mostly traditional songs. As Baez adopted some of Dylan's songs into her repertoire and even introduced Dylan to her avid audiences, a large following on the folk circuit, it helped the young songwriter to gain initial recognition. By the time Dylan recorded his first LP (1962) he had developed a style reminiscent of Woody Guthrie. He began to write songs that captured the "progressive" mood on the college campuses and in the coffee houses. Though by 1964 there were many new guitar-playing singer/songwriters, it is arguable that Dylan eventually became the most popular of these younger folk-music-revival performers.

  • Peter, Paul and Mary
    Peter, Paul and Mary
    Peter, Paul and Mary were an American folk-singing trio whose nearly 50-year career began with their rise to become a paradigm for 1960s folk music. The trio was composed of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers...

    debuted in the early 1960s and were a American
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     trio who ultimately became one of the biggest musical acts of the 1960s. The trio was composed of Peter Yarrow
    Peter Yarrow
    Peter Yarrow is an American singer who found fame with the 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow co-wrote one of the group's most famous songs, "Puff, the Magic Dragon"...

    , Paul Stookey and Mary Travers
    Mary Travers
    Mary Travers , American singer-songwriter; member of the folk, pop group, Peter, Paul and Mary.Mary Travers may also refer to:* Mary Rose-Anna Travers , Québécoise singer known as Madame Bolduc or La Bolduc...

    . They were one of the main folk music torchbearers of social commentary music in the 1960s. As the decade passed, the music incorporated more elements of pop and rock.

  • Judy Collins
    Judy Collins
    Judith Marjorie "Judy" Collins is an American singer and songwriter, known for her eclectic tastes in the material she records ; and for her social activism. She is an alumna of the University of Colorado.-Musical career:Collins was born and raised in Seattle, Washington...

    debuted in the early 1960s. At first, she sang traditional folk songs or songs written by others — in particular the protest poets
    Poetry
    Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

     of the time, such as Tom Paxton
    Tom Paxton
    Thomas Richard Paxton is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years...

    , Phil Ochs
    Phil Ochs
    Philip David Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and haunting voice...

    , and Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    . She also recorded her own versions of important songs from the period, such as Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man
    Mr. Tambourine Man
    "Mr. Tambourine Man" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, which was released on his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. The Byrds also recorded a version of the song that was released as their first single on Columbia Records, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and...

    " and Pete Seeger
    Pete Seeger
    Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

    's "Turn, Turn, Turn."

The mid 1960s through the early 1970s



The large musical, political, lifestyle, and counterculture changes most associated with "the 60s" occurred during the second half of the 1960s and the first year or two of the 1970s. Folk music underwent a related rapid evolution and expansion at that same time. Large changes occurred through the evolution of established performers such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, The Seekers and Peter Paul and Mary, and also through the creation of new fusion genres with rock and pop. Dylan's use of electric instruments helped inaugurate the genres of folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

 and country rock
Country rock
Country rock is sub-genre of popular music, formed from the fusion of rock with country. The term is generally used to refer to the wave of rock musicians who began to record country-flavored records in the late 1960s and early 1970s, beginning with Bob Dylan and The Byrds; reaching its greatest...

, particularly by his album John Wesley Harding
John Wesley Harding
John Wesley Harding may refer to:* John Wesley Harding , a 1967 Bob Dylan album* John Wesley Harding , the title track of this album* John Wesley Harding , English singer...

. The Seekers
The Seekers
The Seekers are an Australian folk-influenced pop music group which were originally formed in 1962. They were the first Australian popular music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States...

 emerged in 1963 and blended traditional music, contemporary folk music and pop, an illustration of the rapid evolution and diversification of folk music than began in the mid 1960s. These changes represented a further departure from traditional folk music. The Byrds
The Byrds
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member until the group disbanded in 1973...

 with hits such as Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn" were emblematic of a new term folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

. Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Evelyn Faithfull is an award-winning English singer, songwriter and actress whose career has spanned five decades....

 began as a folk music performer in 1964 but became known only after switching to other genres. Other performers such as Simon & Garfunkel and The Mamas & the Papas
The Mamas & the Papas
The Mamas & the Papas were a Canadian/American vocal group of the 1960s . The group recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968 with a short reunion in 1971, releasing five albums and 11 Top 40 hit singles...

 created new hard-to-classify music that is folk inspired or styled. Folk singers and songwriters such as Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs
Philip David Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and haunting voice...

, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Buffy Sainte-Marie, OC is a Canadian Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist. Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire includes...

, Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Davy Guthrie is an American folk singer. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Arlo often sings songs of protest against social injustice...

 and Tom Paxton
Tom Paxton
Thomas Richard Paxton is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years...

 followed in Woody Guthrie's
Woody Guthrie
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

 footsteps, writing "protest music
Protest song
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs . It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre...

" and topical song
Topical song
A topical song is a song that comments on political and/or social events. These types of songs are usually written about current events, but some of these songs remain popular long after the events discussed in them have occurred...

s and expressing support for various causes including the American Civil Rights Movement and anti-war causes associated with the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Bonnie Koloc is a Chicago-based American folk music
American folk music
American folk music is a musical term that encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as traditional music or roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American...

 singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 who made her recording debut in 1971. The Canadian performers Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s...

, Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

, Bruce Cockburn
Bruce Cockburn
Bruce Douglas Cockburn OC is a Canadian folk/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter. His most recent album was released in March 2011. He has written songs in styles ranging from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll.-Biography:...

 and Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

 represented such fusions and were all invested with the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

. Many of the acid rock
Acid rock
Acid rock is a form of psychedelic rock, which is characterized with long instrumental solos, few lyrics and musical improvisation. Tom Wolfe describes the LSD-influenced music of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Cream,...

 bands of San Francisco began by playing acoustic folk and blues. The Smothers Brothers
Smothers Brothers
The Smothers Brothers are Thomas and Richard , American singers, musicians, comedians and folk heroes. The brothers' trademark act was performing folk songs , which usually led to arguments between the siblings...

 television shows featured many folk performers, including formerly blacklisted ones such as Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

 and Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte
Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s...

.

The late 1960s saw the advent of electric folk
Electric folk
Electric folk is the name given to the form of folk rock pioneered in England from the late 1960s, and most significant in the 1970s, which then was taken up and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, to produce Celtic rock and its...

 groups. This is a form of folk rock, with a focus on indigenous (European, and, emblematically, English) songs. A key electric folk moment was the release of Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

's album Liege and Lief. Guitarist Richard Thompson declared that the music of the band demanded a corresponding "English Electric" style, while bassist Ashley Hutchings
Ashley Hutchings
Ashley Stephen Hutchings is an English bassist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, band leader, writer and record producer. He was a founder member of three of the most noteworthy English folk-rock bands in the history of the genre; Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band...

 formed Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat"....

 in order to pursue a more traditional repertoire performed in the electric folk style. Exponents of electric folk
Electric folk
Electric folk is the name given to the form of folk rock pioneered in England from the late 1960s, and most significant in the 1970s, which then was taken up and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, to produce Celtic rock and its...

 music such as Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

, Pentangle
Pentangle (band)
Pentangle are a British folk rock band with some folk jazz influences. The original band were active in the late 1960s and early 1970s and a later version has been active since the early 1980s...

, Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

 and Mr. Fox
Mr. Fox
Mr Fox were an early 1970s electric folk or folk rock band. They were seen as in the ‘second generation’ of electric folk performers and for a time were compared with Steeleye Span and Sandy Denny’s Fotheringay. Unlike Steeleye Span they mainly wrote their own material in a traditional style and...

 saw electrification of traditional musical forms as a means to reach a far wider audience.

Mid 1970s through present day


Malicorne
Malicorne (band)
- The traditional years :Gabriel Yacoub and Marie Yacoub formed Malicorne in 1974, naming it after the French town, Malicorne, famous for its porcelain and faience. Since several of their albums are called simply Malicorne it had become the custom to refer to them by number, even though no number...

, a French electric folk group emerged in 1973, starting with traditional music and then later blended it with pop. Stan Roger's wrote and performed folk music with strong historical nautical themes, emerging in 1976. Si Kahn
Si Kahn
Si Kahn is an American singer-songwriter, activist, and founder and former executive director of Grassroots Leadership.- Early life and education :...

 emerged in 1974 at the more political and topical end of the folk music spectrum.

In the 1980s, artists like The Knitters
The Knitters
The Knitters are a Los Angeles-based band who play country, rockabilly and folk music. At the time of their formation they were pioneers of country punk, cowpunk or folk punk, the genre which gradually evolved into alternative country...

 propagated cowpunk
Cowpunk
Cowpunk or Country punk is a subgenre of punk rock and New Wave that began in the UK and California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines punk rock or New Wave with country music, folk music, and blues in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style...

 or folk punk
Folk punk
Folk punk , is a fusion of folk music and punk rock. It was pioneered in the late 1970s and early 1980s by The Pogues in Britain and Violent Femmes in America. Folk punk achieved some mainstream success in that decade...

, which eventually evolved into alt country. More recently the same spirit has been embraced and expanded on by artists such as Dave Alvin
Dave Alvin
Dave Alvin , is a guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has been one of the leading proponents of 'roots' or 'American' music, bringing together elements of rock-and-roll, blues, rural and tejano music....

, Miranda Stone
Miranda Stone
Miranda Stone is a Canadian singer-songwriter originating from the Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario region and currently based in Toronto where she operates independent record label Earthdress Productions....

 and Steve Earle
Steve Earle
Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock and Texas Country as well as his political views. He is also a producer, author, a political activist, and an actor, and has written and directed a play....

.

Starting in the 1970s it was fueled by new singer-songwriters such as Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. The writer of "City of New Orleans", made popular by Arlo Guthrie, Goodman won two Grammy Awards.-Personal life:...

, John Prine
John Prine
John Prine is an American country/folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a recording artist and live performer since the early 1970s.-Biography:...

 who emerged in the early 1970s. The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

 who emerged in the early 1980s and Ireland's The Corrs
The Corrs
The Corrs are an Irish band which combine pop rock with traditional Celtic folk music. The brother and sisters are from Dundalk, Ireland. The group consists of the Corr siblings: Andrea ; Sharon ; Caroline ; and Jim .The Corrs came to international prominence with their performance at the...

 who emerged in the 1990s brought traditional tunes back into the album
Album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

 charts. Carrie Newcomer
Carrie Newcomer
Carrie Newcomer is an American singer and songwriter.-Early life and education:Carrie Newcomer was born in Dowagiac, Michigan, and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. She attended Goshen College and received a B.A...

 emerged with Stone Soup in 1984 and individually in 1991.

In the second half of the 1990s, once more, folk music made an impact on the mainstream music via a younger generation of artists such as Eliza Carthy
Eliza Carthy
Eliza Carthy is an English folk musician known for both singing and playing fiddle. She is the daughter of English folk musicians singer/guitarist Martin Carthy and singer Norma Waterson.-Life and career:...

, Kate Rusby
Kate Rusby
Kate Anna Rusby is an English folk singer and songwriter from Penistone, South Yorkshire. Sometimes known as The Barnsley Nightingale, she has headlined various British national folk festivals, and is regarded as one of the most famous English folk singers of contemporary times...

 and Spiers and Boden
Spiers and Boden
Spiers and Boden are an English folk duo. John Spiers plays melodeon and concertina, while Jon Boden sings and plays fiddle and guitar while stamping the rhythm on a stomp box.-Biography:...

. Hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 and heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 bands such as Korpiklaani
Korpiklaani
Korpiklaani is a folk metal band from Finland who were formerly known as Shaman.-Biography:While other folk metal bands began with metal before adding folk music, Korpiklaani started with folk music before turning metal...

, Skyclad
Skyclad (band)
Skyclad are a British heavy metal band with heavy folk influences in their music. They are considered one of the pioneers of folk metal. The etymology behind the term "skyclad" comes from a pagan/wiccan term for ritual nudity, in which rituals are performed with the participants metaphorically clad...

, Waylander
Waylander (band)
Waylander is a Northern Irish band influential in the realms of Celtic folk metal. Formed in 1993, the band blends traditional Irish folk with 1990s heavy metal.-Biography:...

 and Finntroll
Finntroll
Finntroll is a folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal and folk metal. Finntroll's lyrics are mostly in Swedish, the only exception being the song "Madon Laulu" on Visor Om Slutet...

 meld elements from a wide variety of traditions, including in many cases instruments such as fiddles, tin whistle
Tin whistle
The tin whistle, also called the penny whistle, English Flageolet, Scottish penny whistle, Tin Flageolet, Irish whistle and Clarke London Flageolet is a simple six-holed woodwind instrument. It is an end blown fipple flute, putting it in the same category as the recorder, American Indian flute, and...

s, accordions and bagpipes
Bagpipes
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes of many different types come from...

. Folk metal
Folk metal
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with traditional folk music...

 often favours pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

-inspired themes.
Viking metal
Viking metal
Viking metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its galloping pace, keyboard-rich anthemic sound, bleakness and dramatic emphasis on lyrical themes of Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age...

 is defined in its folk stance, incorporating folk interludes into albums (e.g., Bergtatt and Kveldssanger
Kveldssanger
-Credits:*Garm - performer*Håvard Jørgensen - performer*Erik Olivier Lancelot - performer*Alf Gaaskjønli - cello*Kristian Romsøe - co-producer, engineer, mixing*Craig Morris - mastering*Tanya "Nacht" Stene - album cover design...

, the first two albums by once-folk metal, now-experimental
Experimental music
Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage...

 band Ulver
Ulver
Ulver is a musical group from Norway. Since their first, folklore-influenced black metal release entitled Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler , Ulver’s musical style has been fluid and increasingly eclectic, blending genres such as rock, electronica, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise and...

).

Specialty sub-genres


Filk music
Filk music
Filk is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to science fiction/fantasy fandom and a type of fan labor. The genre has been active since the early 1950s, and played primarily since the mid-1970s. The term predates 1955.-Definitions:As the Interfilk What Is Filk page demonstrates, there is...

 can be considered folk music stylistically and culturally (though the 'community' it arose from, science fiction fandom
Science fiction fandom
Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or "fandom" of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy and in contact with one another based upon that interest...

, is an unusual and thoroughly modern one). Neofolk
Neofolk
Neofolk is a form of folk music-inspired experimental music that emerged from post-industrial music circles. Neofolk can either be solely acoustic folk music or a blend of acoustic folk instrumentation aided by varieties of accompanying sounds such as pianos, strings and elements of industrial...

 began in the 1980s, fusing traditional European folk music with post-industrial music, historical topics, philosophical commentary, traditional songs and paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

. The genre is largely European.

Anti folk began in New York City in the 1980s. Folk punk
Folk punk
Folk punk , is a fusion of folk music and punk rock. It was pioneered in the late 1970s and early 1980s by The Pogues in Britain and Violent Femmes in America. Folk punk achieved some mainstream success in that decade...

, known in its early days as rogue folk, is a fusion of folk music and punk rock. It was pioneered by the London-based Irish band The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

 in the 1980s. Industrial folk music
Industrial folk music
Industrial folk music, industrial folk song or industrial work song is a subgenre of folk or traditional music that developed from the 18th century, particularly in Britain and North America, with songs dealing with the lives and experiences of industrial workers.-Origins:Industrial folk song...

 is a characterization of folk music normally referred to under other genres, and covers music of or about industrial environments and topics, including related protest music.

Other sub-genres include Indie folk
Indie folk
Indie folk is a music genre that arose in the 1990s from singer/songwriters in the indie rock community showing heavy influences from folk music scenes of the 50s, 60s and early 70s, country music, and indie rock. A few early artists included Lou Barlow, Beck, Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith...

, Techno-folk, Freak folk
Freak folk
Freak folk is a genre of folk music associated with contemporary artists such as Faun Fables, Animal Collective, Davenport, Devendra Banhart,CocoRosie, Panda Bear, Kelli Ali, Joanna Newsom, Bowerbirds, Woods, Greg Weeks, Hecuba, Akron/Family, Rio en Medio, Birdengine, Sufjan Stevens, Sean Hayes,...

 and Americana
Americana (music)
Americana is an amalgam of roots musics formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the American musical ethos; specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influential styles...

 and fusion genres such as folk metal
Folk metal
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with traditional folk music...

, progressive folk, psychedelic folk, and neofolk
Neofolk
Neofolk is a form of folk music-inspired experimental music that emerged from post-industrial music circles. Neofolk can either be solely acoustic folk music or a blend of acoustic folk instrumentation aided by varieties of accompanying sounds such as pianos, strings and elements of industrial...

.

Notable venues


The Philadelphia Folk Festival
Philadelphia Folk Festival
The Philadelphia Folk Festival is an annual folk music festival near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania in the vicinity of Philadelphia. Begun in 1962, the four-day festival is sponsored by the non-profit Philadelphia Folksong Society. The event hosts contemporary and traditional artists in genres...

 is a four-day festival which 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 Newport Folk Festival
Newport Folk Festival
The Newport Folk Festival is an American annual folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in 1959 as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival...

 is an annual folk festival held near Newport, Rhode Island. It ran most year from 1959 to 1970, and 1985 to the present, with an attendance of approximately 10,000 persons.

It is sometimes claimed that the earliest folk festival was the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, 1928, in Asheville, North Carolina, founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer, folklorist, and performer of traditional music from western North Carolina. He was often known by the nickname "Minstrel of the Appalachians."- Early life :...

. Sidmouth Festival began in 1954, and Cambridge Folk Festival began in 1965. The Cambridge Folk Festival
Cambridge Folk Festival
The Cambridge Folk Festival is an annual music festival held on the site of Cherry Hinton Hall in Cherry Hinton, one of the villages subsumed by the city of Cambridge, England. The festival is renowned for its eclectic mix of music and a wide definition of what might be considered folk. It occurs...

 in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 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.

Stan Rogers is a lasting fixture of the Canadian folk festival Summerfolk
Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival
The Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival is an annual music festival held in Owen Sound, Ontario that takes place during the third weekend in August. The festival was founded in 1975 by brothers Tim and John Harrison...

, held annually in Owen Sound, Ontario
Owen Sound, Ontario
Owen Sound , the county seat of Grey County, is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada...

, 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
The Mary Ellen Carter
The Mary Ellen Carter is a song written and recorded by Stan Rogers, intended as an inspirational hymn about triumphing over great odds. It tells the story of a heroic effort to salvage a sunken ship, the Mary Ellen Carter, by members of her former crew...

" 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. The Feast of the Hunters' Moon in Indiana draws approximately 60,000 visitors per year.

Folk music is popular among some audiences today, with folk music clubs meeting to share traditional-style songs, and there are major folk music festivals in many countries, e.g. the Woodford Folk Festival
Woodford Folk Festival
The Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music festival held near the small country town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia....

, National Folk Festival
National Folk Festival (Australia)
The National Folk Festival - Australia’s premier folk festival event – is a colourful and diverse family orientated celebration attended by over 50,000 people.It is the best Easter week-end in Australia!...

 and Port Fairy Folk Festival
Port Fairy Folk Festival
The Port Fairy Folk Festival is a popular annual four-day music festival based in the historic fishing village of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia....

 are amongst Australia's largest major annual events, attracting top international folk performers as well as many local artists.

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

See also


  • List of folk festivals
  • Ethnomusicology
    Ethnomusicology
    Ethnomusicology is defined as "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts."Coined by the musician Jaap Kunst from the Greek words ἔθνος ethnos and μουσική mousike , it is often considered the anthropology or ethnography of music...

  • Roud Folk Song Index
    Roud Folk Song Index
    The Roud Folk Song Index is a database of 300,000 references to over 21,600 songs that have been collected from oral tradition in the English language from all over the world...

  • World music
    World music
    World music is a term with widely varying definitions, often encompassing music which is primarily identified as another genre. This is evidenced by world music definitions such as "all of the music in the world" or "somebody else's local music"...

  • Indigenous music
    Indigenous music
    Indigenous music is a term for the traditional music of the indigenous peoples of the world, that is, the music of an "original" ethnic group that inhabits any geographic region alongside more recent immigrants who may be greater in number...

  • Canadian Folk Music Awards
    Canadian Folk Music Awards
    The Canadian Folk Music Awards are an annual music awards ceremony, presenting awards in a variety of categories for achievements in both traditional and contemporary folk music, and other roots music genres, by Canadian musicians...


Traditional folk music

  • Bayard, Samuel Preston (1950). "Prolegomena to a Study of the Principal Melodic Families of British-American Folksong", Journal of American Folklore pp. 1–44. Reprinted in McAllester, David Park (ed.) (1971) Readings in ethnomusicology New York: Johnson Reprint.
  • Bearman, C. J. (2000). "Who Were the Folk? The Demography of Cecil Sharp's Somerset Folk Singers." The Historical Journal (September 2000) Vol. 43 No.3 pp. 751–75.
  • 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 (1986). "Scale in Southern Appalachian Folksong: a Reexamination", College Music Symposium Vol. 26, 77-91.
  • 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
    University of California Press
    University of California Press, also known as UC Press, is a publishing house associated with the University of California that engages in academic publishing. It was founded in 1893 to publish books and papers for the faculty of the University of California, established 25 years earlier in 1868...

    , 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
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

     and University of California Presses, 1959, ff.).
  • Cartwright, Garth (2005). Princes Amongst Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians. London: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1852428775
  • Carson, Ciaran (1997). Last Night's Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music. North Point Press. ISBN 9780865475151
  • Cowdery, James R. (1990). The Melodic Tradition of Ireland. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. ISBN 9780873384070
  • 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. ISBN 0335150667
  • 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) ISBN 9781436690447 (August 6)
  • Karpeles, Maud. An Introduction to English Folk Song. 1973. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Keller, Marcello Sorce (1984). "The Problem of Classification in Folksong Research: A Short History", Folklore Vol. 95, no. 1:100–104.
  • Poladian, Sirvart. "Melodic Contour in Traditional Music," Journal of the International Folk Music Council III (1951), 30-34.
  • Poladian, Sirvart. "The Problem of Melodic Variation in Folksong," Journal of American Folklore (1942), 204-211.
  • Rooksby, Rikky, Dr Vic Gammon et al. The Folk Handbook. (2007). Backbeat
  • 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
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    .
  • Warren-Findley, Jannelle (1980). "Journal of a Field Representative : Charles Seeger and Margaret Valiant" Ethnomusicology, Vol. 24, No. 2 (May, 1980), pp. 169–210

Contemporary folk music

  • Cantwell, Robert. When We Were Good: The Folk Revival. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-674-95132-8
  • Cohen, Ronald D., Folk music: the basics, Routledge, 2006.
  • Cohen, Ronald D., A history of folk music festivals in the United States, Scarecrow Press, 2008
  • Cohen, Ronald D. Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival & American Society, 1940-1970. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. ISBN 1-55849-348-4
  • Cohen, Ronald D., ed. Wasn't That a Time? Firsthand Accounts of the Folk Music Revival. American Folk Music Series no. 4. Lanham, Maryland and Folkstone, UK: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 1995.
  • Cohen, Ronald D., and Dave Samuelson. Songs for Political Action. Booklet to Bear Family Records BCD 15720 JL, 1996.
  • Cray, Ed, and Studs Terkel. Ramblin Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie. W.W. Norton & Co., 2006.
  • Cunningham, Agnes "Sis", and Gordon Friesen. Red Dust and Broadsides: A Joint Autobiography. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999. ISBN 1-55849-210-0
  • De Turk, David A.; Poulin, A., Jr., The American folk scene; dimensions of the folksong revival, New York : Dell Pub. Co., 1967
  • Denisoff, R. Serge. Great Day Coming: Folk Music and the American Left. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.
  • Denisoff, R. Serge. Sing Me a Song of Social Significance. Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1972. ISBN 0-87972-036-0
  • Denning, Michael. The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century. London: Verso, 1996.
  • Dunaway, David. How Can I Keep From Singing: The Ballad of Pete Seeger. [1981, 1990] Villard, 2008. ISBN 0-306-80399-2
  • Eyerman, Ron, and Scott Barretta. "From the 30s to the 60s: The folk Music Revival in the United States". Theory and Society: 25 (1996): 501-43.
  • Eyerman, Ron, and Andrew Jamison. Music and Social Movements. Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-62966-7
  • Filene, Benjamin. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory & American Roots Music. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8078-4862-X
  • Goldsmith, Peter D. Making People's Music: Moe Asch and Folkways Records. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998. ISBN 1-56098-812-6
  • Hajdu, David. Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña. New York: North Point Press, 2001. ISBN 0-86547-642-X
  • Hawes, Bess Lomax. Sing It Pretty. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008
  • Jackson, Bruce, ed. Folklore and Society. Essay in Honor of Benjamin A. Botkin. Hatboro, Pa Folklore Associates, 1966
  • Lieberman, Robbie. "My Song Is My Weapon:" People's Songs, American Communism, and the Politics of Culture, 1930-50. 1989; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995. ISBN 0-252-06525-5
  • Lomax, Alan, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger, eds. Hard Hit Songs for Hard Hit People. New York: Oak Publications, 1967. Reprint, Lincoln University of Nebraska Press, 1999.
  • Lynch, Timothy. Strike Song of the Depression (American Made Music Series). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001.
  • Middleton, Richard (1990). Studying Popular Music. Milton Keynes; Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15276-7 (cloth), ISBN 0-335-15275-9 (pbk).
  • Reuss, Richard, with [finished posthumously by] Joanne C. Reuss. American Folk Music and Left Wing Politics. 1927-1957. American Folk Music Series no. 4. Lanham, Maryland and Folkstone, UK: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2000.
  • Rubeck, Jack; Shaw, Allan; Blake, Ben et al. The Kingston Trio On Record. Naperville, IL: KK, Inc, 1986. ISBN 978-0-9614594-0-6
  • Scully, Michael F. (2008). The Never-Ending Revival: Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Seeger, Pete. Where Have All the Flowers Gone: A Singer's Stories. Bethlehem, Pa.: Sing Out Publications, 1993.
  • Willens, Doris. Lonesome Traveler: The Life of Lee Hays. New York: Norton, 1988.
  • Weissman, Dick. Which Side Are You On? An Inside History of the Folk Music Revival in America. New York: Continuum, 2005. ISBN 0-8264-1698-5
  • Wolfe, Charles, and Kip Lornell. The Life and Legend of Leadbelly. New York: Da Capo [1992] 1999.

Covering both traditional music and contemporary folk music

  • Pegg, Carole (2001). "Folk Music". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.
  • Van der Merwe, Peter (1989). Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316121-4.

External links