Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
Starting in the mid-20th century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms. Smaller, similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times, but the term folk music has typically not been applied to the new music created during those revivals. This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rock, folk metal, and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, in U.S. English it shares the same name, and it often shares the same performers and venues as traditional folk music.
Béla Bartók recording Slovak peasant singers in 1908
|Traditions||List of folk music traditions|
|Musicians||List of folk musicians|
|Traditional folk music|
|Stylistic origins||Traditional music|
|Cultural origins||Individual nations or regions|
|Typical instruments||See Folk instruments|
The terms folk music, folk song, and folk dance are comparatively recent expressions. They are extensions of the term folklore, which was coined in 1846 by the English antiquarian William Thoms to describe "the traditions, customs, and superstitions of the uncultured classes". The term further derives from the German expression volk, in the sense of "the people as a whole" as applied to popular and national music by Johann Gottfried Herder and the German Romantics over half a century earlier. Though it is understood that folk music is music of the people, observers find a more precise definition to be elusive. Some do not even agree that the term folk music should be used. Folk music may tend to have certain characteristics but it cannot clearly be differentiated in purely musical terms. One meaning often given is that of "old songs, with no known composers", 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 and Béla Bartók, 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's words, "associated with a lower class" in culturally and socially stratified societies. In these terms folk music may be seen as part of a "schema comprising four musical types: 'primitive' or 'tribal'; 'elite' or 'art'; 'folk'; and 'popular'".
Music in this genre is also often called traditional music. Although the term is usually only descriptive, in some cases people use it as the name of a genre. For example, the Grammy Award previously used the terms "traditional music" and "traditional folk" for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. Folk music may include most indigenous music.
From a historical perspective, traditional folk music had these characteristics:
As a side-effect, the following characteristics are sometimes present:
In folk music, a tune is a short instrumental piece, a melody, often with repeating sections, and usually played a number of times. A collection of tunes with structural similarities is known as a tune-family. America's Musical Landscape says "the most common form for tunes in folk music is AABB, also known as binary form".
Throughout most of human prehistory and history, listening to recorded music was not possible. Music was made by common people during both their work and leisure, as well as during religious activities. The work of economic production was often manual and communal. Manual labor 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.
Some believe that folk music originated as art music that was changed and probably debased by oral transmission, while reflecting the character of the society that produced it. In many societies, especially preliterate ones, the cultural transmission of folk music requires learning by ear, although notation has evolved in some cultures. Different cultures may have different notions concerning a division between "folk" music on the one hand and of "art" and "court" music on the other. In the proliferation of popular music genres, some traditional folk music became also referred to "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 could be termed "folk" in America. The International Folk Music Council definition allows that the term can also apply to music that, "...has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten, living tradition of a community. But the term does not cover a song, dance, or tune that has been taken over ready-made and remains unchanged."
The post–World War II folk revival in America and in Britain started a new genre, contemporary folk music, and brought an additional meaning to the term "folk music": newly composed songs, fixed in form and by known authors, which imitated some form of traditional music. The popularity of "contemporary folk" recordings caused the appearance of the category "Folk" in the Grammy Awards of 1959: in 1970 the term was dropped in favor of "Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording (including Traditional Blues)", while 1987 brought a distinction between "Best Traditional Folk Recording" and "Best Contemporary Folk Recording". After that, they had a "Traditional music" category that subsequently evolved into others. The term "folk", by the start of the 21st century, could cover singer songwriters, such as Donovan from Scotland and American Bob Dylan, who emerged in the 1960s and much more. This completed a process to where "folk music" no longer meant only traditional folk music.
Traditional folk music often includes sung words, although folk instrumental music occurs commonly in dance music traditions. Narrative verse looms large in the traditional folk music of many cultures. This encompasses such forms as traditional epic poetry, much of which was meant originally for oral performance, sometimes accompanied by instruments. Many epic poems of various cultures were pieced together from shorter pieces of traditional narrative verse, which explains their episodic structure, repetitive elements, and their frequent in medias res plot developments. Other forms of traditional narrative verse relate the outcomes of battles or describe tragedies or natural disasters.
Sometimes, as in the triumphant Song of Deborah found in the Biblical Book of Judges, 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 heroes such as John Henry or Robin Hood. Some traditional song narratives recall supernatural events or mysterious deaths.
Hymns and other forms of religious music are often of traditional and unknown origin. Western musical notation was originally created to preserve the lines of Gregorian chant, which before its invention was taught as an oral tradition in monastic communities. Traditional songs such as Green grow the rushes, O present religious lore in a mnemonic form, as do Western Christmas carols and similar traditional songs.
Work songs frequently feature call and response structures and are designed to enable the laborers who sing them to coordinate their efforts in accordance with the rhythms of the songs. They are frequently, but not invariably, composed. In the American armed forces, a lively oral tradition preserves jody calls ("Duckworth chants") which are sung while soldiers are on the march. Professional sailors made similar use of a large body of sea shanties. Love poetry, often of a tragic or regretful nature, prominently figures in many folk traditions. Nursery rhymes and nonsense verse used to amuse or quiet children also are frequent subjects of traditional songs.
Music transmitted by word of mouth through a community, in time, develops 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" (Roud 975) are known from a broadside in the Bodleian 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). Scottish traveler Jeannie Robertson from Aberdeen, made the next recorded version in 1961. She has changed it to make reference to "Jock Stewart", one of her relatives, and there are no Irish references. In 1976 Scottish artist Archie Fisher deliberately altered the song to remove the reference to a dog being shot. In 1985 The Pogues took it full circle by restoring all the Irish references.
Because variants proliferate naturally, it is naïve to believe that there is such a thing as the single "authentic" version of a ballad 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 possible that the "original" version ceased to be sung centuries ago. Many versions can lay an equal claim to authenticity.
The influential folklorist Cecil Sharp felt that these competing variants of a traditional song would undergo a process of improvement akin to biological natural selection: 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.
Literary interest in the popular ballad form dates back at least to Thomas Percy and William Wordsworth. 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'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 was most asserted. Nationalist composers emerged in Central Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain and Britain: the music of Dvořák, Smetana, Grieg, Rimsky-Korsakov, Brahms, Liszt, de Falla, Wagner, Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Bartók, and many others drew upon folk melodies.
While the loss of traditional folk music in the face of the rise of popular music is a worldwide phenomenon, it is not one occurring at a uniform rate throughout the world. The process is most advanced "where industrialization and commercialisation of culture are most advanced" but also occurs more gradually even in settings of lower technological advancement. However, the loss of traditional music is slowed in nations or regions where traditional folk music is a badge of cultural or national identity, for instance in the case of Bangladesh, Hungary, India, Ireland, Pakistan, Scotland, Latvia, Turkey, Portugal, Brittany, Galicia, Greece and Crete. Tourism revenue can provide a potent incentive to preserve local cultural distinctives. Local government often sponsors and promotes performances during tourist seasons, and revives lost traditions.
Starting in the 19th century, academics and amateur scholars, taking note of the musical traditions being lost, initiated various efforts to preserve the music of the people. One such effort was the collection by Francis James Child in the late 19th century of the texts of over three hundred ballads in the English and Scots traditions (called the Child Ballads), some of which predated the 16th century.
Contemporaneously with Child, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould and later Cecil Sharp worked to preserve a great body of English rural traditional song, music and dance, under the aegis of what became and remains the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Sharp campaigned with some success to have English traditional songs (in his own heavily edited and expurgated versions) to be taught to school children in hopes of reviving and prolonging the popularity of those songs. Throughout the 1960s and early to mid-1970s, American scholar Bertrand Harris Bronson published an exhaustive four-volume collection of the then-known variations of both the texts and tunes associated with what came to be known as the Child Canon. He also advanced some significant theories concerning the workings of oral-aural tradition.
Similar activity was also under way in other countries. One of the most extensive was perhaps the work done in Riga by Krisjanis Barons, who between the years 1894 and 1915 published six volumes that included the texts of 217,996 Latvian folk songs, the Latvju dainas. In Norway the work of collectors such as Ludvig Mathias Lindeman was extensively used by Edvard Grieg in his Lyric Pieces for piano and in other works, which became immensely popular.
Around this time, composers of classical music developed a strong interest in collecting traditional songs, and a number of outstanding composers carried out their own field work on traditional music. These included Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams in England and Béla Bartók in Hungary. These composers, like many of their predecessors, both made arrangements of folk songs and incorporated traditional material into original classical compositions. The Latviju dainas are extensively used in the classical choral works of Andrejs Jurāns, Jānis Cimze, and Emilis Melngailis.
The advent of audio recording technology provided folklorists with a revolutionary tool to preserve vanishing musical forms. The earliest American folk music scholars were with 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 as well. In North America, during the 1930s and 1940s, the Library of Congress worked through the offices of traditional music collectors Robert Winslow Gordon, Alan Lomax 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 Other Frontier Ballads. and was arguably the most prominent US folk music scholar of his time, notably during the beginnings of the folk music revival in the 1930s and early 1940s. Cecil Sharp also worked in America, recording the traditional songs of the Appalachian Mountains in 1916–1918 in collaboration with Maud Karpeles and Olive Dame Campbell and is considered the first major scholar covering American folk music. Campbell and Sharp are represented under other names by actors in the modern movie Songcatcher.
One strong theme amongst folk scholars in the early decades of the 20th century was regionalism, the analysis of the diversity of folk music (and related cultures) based on regions of the US rather than based on a given song's historical roots. Later, a dynamic of class and circumstances was added to this. The most prominent regionalists were literary figures with a particular interest in folklore. Carl Sandburg often traveled the U.S. as a writer and a poet. He also collected songs in his travels and, in 1927, published them in the book The American Songbag. "In his collections of folk songs, Sandburg added a class dynamic to popular understandings of American folk music. This was the final element of the foundation upon which the early folk music revivalists constructed their own view of Americanism. Sandburg's working class Americans joined with the ethnically, racially, and regionally diverse citizens that other scholars, public intellectuals, and folklorists celebrated their own definitions of the American folk, definitions that the folk revivalists used in constructing their own understanding of American folk music, and an overarching American identity".
Prior to the 1930s, the study of folk music was primarily the province of scholars and collectors. The 1930s saw the beginnings of larger scale themes, commonalities, 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 U.S. Communist Party's interest in folk music as a way to reach and influence Americans, and politically active prominent folk musicians and scholars seeing communism as a possible better system, through the lens of the Great Depression. Woody Guthrie exemplifies songwriters and artists with such an outlook.
Folk music festivals proliferated during the 1930s. President Franklin Roosevelt was a fan of folk music, hosted folk concerts at the White House, and often patronized folk festivals. One prominent festival was Sarah Gertrude Knott's National Folk Festival, established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1934. Under the sponsorship of the Washington Post, the festival was held in Washington, DC at Constitution Hall from 1937–1942. The folk music movement, festivals, and the wartime effort were seen as forces for social goods such as democracy, cultural pluralism, and the removal of culture and race-based barriers.
The American folk music revivalists of the 1930s approached folk music in different ways. Three primary schools of thought emerged: "Traditionalists" (e.g. Sarah Gertrude Knott and John Lomax) emphasized the preservation of songs as artifacts of deceased cultures. "Functional" folklorists (e.g. Botkin and Alan Lomax) maintained that songs only retain relevance when utilized by those cultures which retain the traditions which birthed those songs. "Left-wing" folk revivalists (e.g. Charles Seeger and Lawrence Gellert) emphasized music's role "in 'people's' struggles for social and political rights". By the end of the 1930s these and others had turned American folk music into a social movement.
Sometimes folk musicians became scholars and advocates themselves. For example, Jean Ritchie (born in 1922) 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)
In January 2012, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, with the Association for Cultural Equity, announced that they would release Lomax's vast archive of 1946 and later recording in digital form. Lomax spent the last 20 years of his life working on an interactive multimedia educational computer project he called the Global Jukebox, which included 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, and 5,000 photographs. As of March 2012, this has been accomplished. Approximately 17,400 of Lomax's recordings from 1946 and later have been made available free online. This material from Alan Lomax’s independent archive, begun in 1946, which has been digitized and offered by the Association for Cultural Equity, is "distinct from the thousands of earlier recordings on acetate and aluminum discs he made from 1933 to 1942 under the auspices of the Library of Congress. This earlier collection—which includes the famous Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Muddy Waters sessions, as well as Lomax’s prodigious collections made in Haiti and Eastern Kentucky (1937) — is the provenance of the American Folklife Center" at the library of Congress.
Africa is a vast continent and its regions 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.
The music and dance forms of the African diaspora, including African American music and many Caribbean genres like soca, calypso and Zouk; and Latin American music genres like the samba, Cuban rumba, salsa; and other clave (rhythm)-based genres, were founded to varying degrees on the music of African slaves, which has in turn influenced African popular music.
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 is a good example of a classical South Asian folk singer of great repute. Khunung Eshei/Khuland Eshei is an ancient folk song of Meiteis of Manipur who have maintained it for thousands of years.
Han traditional weddings and funerals usually include a form of oboe called a suona and apercussive ensembles called a chuigushou. Ensembles consisting of mouth organs (sheng), shawms (suona), flutes (dizi) and percussion instruments (especially yunluo gongs) are popular in northern villages; their music is descended from the imperial temple music of Beijing, Xi'an, Wutai shan and Tianjin. Xi'an drum music, consisting of wind and percussive instruments, is popular around Xi'an, and has received some commercial popularity outside of China. Another important instrument is the sheng, pipes, an ancient instrument that is ancestor of all Western free reed instruments, such as the accordion. Parades led by Western-type brass bands are common, often competing in volume with a shawm/chuigushou band.
In southern Fujian and Taiwan, Nanyin or Nanguan is a genre of traditional ballads. They are sung by a woman accompanied by a xiao and a pipa, as well as other traditional instruments. The music is generally sorrowful and typically deals with a love-stricken women. Further south, in Shantou, Hakka and Chaozhou, erxian and zheng ensembles are popular.Sizhu ensembles use flutes and bowed or plucked string instruments to make harmonious and melodious music that has become popular in the West among some listeners. These are popular in Nanjing and Hangzhou, as well as elsewhere along the southern Yangtze area. Sizhu has been secularized in cities but remains spiritual in rural areas.Jiangnan Sizhu (silk and bamboo music from Jiangnan) is a style of instrumental music, often played by amateur musicians in tea houses in Shanghai; it has become widely known outside of its place of origin. Guangdong Music or Cantonese Music is instrumental music from Guangzhou and surrounding areas. It is based on Yueju (Cantonese Opera) music, together with new compositions from the 1920s onwards. Many pieces have influences from jazz and Western music, using syncopation and triple time. This music tells stories, myths and legends.
The genre of Sri Lankan music is known as Oriental music. The art, music and dances of Sri Lanka derives from the elements of nature, and have been enjoyed and developed in the Buddhist environment. The music is of several types and uses only a few types of instruments. The folk songs and poems were used in social gatherings to work together. The Indian influenced classical music has grown to be unique. The traditional drama, music and songs are typically Sri Lankan. The temple paintings and carvings used birds, elephants, wild animals, flowers and trees, and the Traditional 18 Dances display the dancing of birds and animals. For example:
Musical types include:
The classical Sinhalese Orchestra consists of five categories of instruments, but among the percussion instruments, the drum is essential for dance. The vibrant beat of the rhythm of the drums form the basic of the dance. The dancers feet bounce off the floor and they leap and swirl in patterns that reflect the complex rhythms of the drum beat. This drum beat may seem simple on the first hearing but it takes a long time to master the intricate rhythms and variations, which the drummer sometimes can bring to a crescendo of intensity. There are six common types of drums falling within 3 styles (one-faced, two-faced, and flat-faced):
Other instruments include:
Folk song traditions were taken to Australia by early settlers from England, Scotland and Ireland and gained particular foothold in the rural outback. 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, 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 whose recording in the 1950s became the basis of the collection in the National Library of Australia.
The songs tell personal stories of life in the wide open country of Australia. Typical subjects include mining, raising and droving cattle, sheep shearing, wanderings, war stories, the 1891 Australian shearers' strike, class conflicts between the landless working class and the squatters (landowners), and outlaws such as Ned Kelly, as well as love interests and more modern fare such as trucking. The most famous bush ballad is "Waltzing Matilda", which has been called "the unofficial national anthem of Australia".
Indigenous Australian 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 musical styles of and fusion with European traditions as interpreted and performed by indigenous Australian artists. Music has formed an integral part of the social, cultural 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 instrumentation unique to particular regions or Indigenous Australian groups. Equal elements of musical tradition are common through much of the Australian continent, and even beyond. The culture of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea and so their music is also related. Music is a vital part of Indigenous Australians' cultural maintenance.
Celtic music 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. These traditions include Irish, Scottish, Manx, Cornish, Welsh, and Breton traditions. Asturian and Galician music is often included, though there is no significant research showing that this has any close musical relationship. Brittany's Folk revival began in the 1950s with the "bagadoù" and the "kan-ha-diskan" before growing to world fame through Alan Stivell's work since the mid-1960s.
In Ireland, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (although its members were all Irish-born, the group became famous while based in New York's Greenwich Village), The Dubliners, Clannad, Planxty, The Chieftains, The Pogues, The Corrs, The Irish Rovers, and a variety of other folk bands have done much over the past few decades to revitalise and re-popularise Irish traditional music. These bands were rooted, to a greater or lesser extent, in a tradition of Irish music and benefited from the efforts of artists such as Seamus Ennis and Peter Kennedy.
In Scotland, The Corries, Silly Wizard, Capercaillie, Runrig, Jackie Leven, Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts, Dick Gaughan, Wolfstone, Boys of the Lough, and The Silencers have kept Scottish folk vibrant and fresh by mixing traditional Scottish and Gaelic folk songs with more contemporary genres. These artists have also been commercially successful in continental Europe and North America. There is an emerging wealth of talent in the Scottish traditional music scene, with bands such as Mànran, Skipinnish, Barluath and Breabach and solo artists such as Patsy Reid, Robyn Stapleton and Mischa MacPherson gaining many successes in recent years.
During the Communist era national folk dancing in the Eastern Bloc was actively promoted by the state. Dance troupes from Russia and Poland toured non-communist Europe from about 1937 to 1990. The Red Army Choir recorded many albums. Eastern Europe is also the origin of the Jewish Klezmer tradition.
The polka is a central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia. Polka is still a popular genre of folk music in many European countries and is performed by folk artists in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Slovakia. Local varieties of this dance are also found in the Nordic countries, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Latin America (especially Mexico), and in the United States.
German Volkslieder perpetuated by Liederhandschriften manuscripts like Carmina Burana date back to medieval Minnesang and Meistersinger traditions. Those folk songs revived in the late 18th century period of German Romanticism, first promoted by Johann Gottfried Herder and other advocates of the Enlightenment, later compiled by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano (Des Knaben Wunderhorn) as well as by Ludwig Uhland.
The Volksmusik and folk dances genre, especially in the Alpine regions of Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland (Kuhreihen) and South Tyrol, up to today has clinged on rustic communities against the backdrop of industrialisation—Low German shanties or the Wienerlied (Schrammelmusik) being notable exceptions. Slovene folk music in Upper Carniola and Styria also originated from the Alpine traditions. Traditional Volksmusik is not to be confused with commercial Volkstümliche Musik.
The Hungarian group Muzsikás played numerous American tours and participated in the Hollywood movie The English Patient while the singer Márta Sebestyén worked with the band Deep Forest. The Hungarian táncház movement, started in the 1970s, involves strong cooperation between musicology experts and enthusiastic amateurs. However, traditional Hungarian folk music and folk culture barely survived in some rural areas of Hungary, and it has also begun to disappear among the ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania. The táncház movement revived broader folk traditions of music, dance, and costume together and created a new kind of music club. The movement spread to ethnic Hungarian communities elsewhere in the world.
The Balkan folk music was influenced by the mingling of Balkan ethnic groups in the period of Ottoman Empire. It comprises the music of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, some of the historical states of Yugoslavia or the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and geographical regions such as Thrace. 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 includes a number of traditions in Northern European, especially Scandinavian, countries. The Nordic countries are generally taken to include Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Sometimes it is taken to include Greenland and historically the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
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 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. Most Swedish instrumental folk music is dance music; the signature music and dance form within Swedish folk music is the polska. Vocal and instrumental traditions in Sweden have tended to share tunes historically, though they have been performed separately. Beginning with the folk music revival of the 1970s, vocalists and instrumentalists have also begun to perform together in folk music ensembles.
Folk music on the Americas consists on the encounter and union of three main musical types: European traditional music, traditional music of the American natives and tribal African music that arrived among the slaves, main differences consist on the particular type of each of these main slopes.
Particular case of Latin and South American music points to Andean music among other native musical styles (such as Caribbean, pampean and selvatic), Iberean music (Spain and Portugal) and generally speaking African tribal music, that fused together evolving in differentiated musical forms along South and Central America.
Andean music comes from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples that 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. Andean music is popular to different degrees across Latin America, having its core public in rural areas and among indigenous populations. The Nueva Canción movement of the 1970s revived the genre across Latin America and bought it to places where it was unknown or forgotten.
Nueva canción (Spanish for 'new song') is a movement and genre within Latin American and Iberian 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. 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, Liberation Theology, hippie and human rights movements due to political lyrics. It would gain great popularity throughout Latin America, and is regarded as a precursor to Rock en español.
Trova and Son are styles of traditional Cuban music originating in the province of Oriente that includes influences from Spanish song and dance such as Bolero and contradanza as well as Afro-Cuban rhythm and percussion elements.
Moda de viola is the name designed to Brazilian folk music. Is often performed with a 6-string nylon acoustic guitar, but the most traditional instrument is the viola caipira. The songs basically detailed the hardness of life of those who work in the country. The themes are usually associated with the land, animals, folklore, impossible love and separation. Although there are some upbeat songs, most of them are nostalgic and melancholic.
Canada's traditional folk music is particularly diverse. Even prior to liberalizing its immigration laws in the 1960s, Canada was ethnically diverse with dozens of different Indigenous and European groups present. In terms of music, academics do not speak of a Canadian tradition, but rather ethnic traditions (Acadian music, Irish-Canadian music, Blackfoot music, Innu music, Inuit music, Métis fiddle, etc.) and later in Eastern Canada regional traditions (Newfoundland music, Cape Breton fiddling, Quebecois music, etc.)
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 US. 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", wrote Isabelle Mills in 1974, "is essential in understanding the mosaic of Canadian folk song. Part of this mosaic is supplied by the folk songs of Canada brought by European and Anglo-Saxon settlers to the new land." She describes how the French colony at Québec brought French immigrants, followed before long by waves of immigrants from Great Britain, Germany, and other European countries, all bringing music from their homelands, some of which survives into the present day. Ethnographer and folklorist Marius Barbeau estimated that well over ten thousand French folk songs and their variants had been collected in Canada. Many of the older ones had by then died out in France.
Music as professionalized paid entertainment grew relatively slowly in Canada, especially remote rural areas, through the 19th and early 20th centuries. While in urban music clubs of the dance hall/vaudeville variety became popular, followed by jazz, rural Canada remained mostly a land of traditional music. Yet when American radio networks began broadcasting into Canada in the 1920s and 1930s, the audience for Canadian traditional music progressively declined in favour of American Nashville-style country music and urban styles like jazz. The Americanization of Canadian music led the Canadian Radio League to lobby for a national public broadcaster in the 1930s, eventually leading to the creation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936. The CBC promoted Canadian music, including traditional music, on its radio and later television services, but the mid-century craze for all things "modern" led to the decline of folk music relative to rock and pop. Canada was however influenced by the folk music revival of the 1960s, when local venues such as the Montreal Folk Workshop, and other folk clubs and coffee houses across the country, became crucibles for emerging songwriters and performers as well as for interchange with artists visiting from abroad.
American traditional music is also called 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 music. The music is considered American either because it is native to the United States or because it developed there, out of foreign origins, to such a degree that it struck musicologists as something distinctly new. It is considered "roots music" because it served as the basis of music later developed in the United States, including rock and roll, contemporary folk music, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Some of these genres are considered to be traditional folk music.
"Folk music revival" refers to either a period of renewed interest in traditional folk music, or to an event or period which transforms it; the latter usually includes a social activism component. A prominent example of the former is the British folk revival of approximately 1890–1920. The most prominent and influential example of the latter (to the extent that it is usually called "the folk music revival") is the folk revival of the mid 20th century, centered in the English-speaking world which gave birth to contemporary folk music. See the "Contemporary folk music" article for a description of this revival.
One earlier revival influenced western classical music. Such composers as Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók, made field recordings or transcriptions of folk singers and musicians.
In Spain, Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) produced piano works reflect his Spanish heritage, including the Suite Iberia (1906–1909). Enrique Granados (1867–1918) composed zarzuela, Spanish light opera, and Danzas Españolas – Spanish Dances. Manuel de Falla (1876–1946) became interested in the cante jondo of Andalusian flamenco, the influence of which can be strongly felt in many of his works, which include Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Siete canciones populares españolas ("Seven Spanish Folksongs", for voice and piano). Composers such as Fernando Sor and Francisco Tarrega established the guitar as Spain's national instrument. Modern Spanish folk artists abound (Mil i Maria, Russian Red, et al.) modernizing while respecting the traditions of their forebears.
Flamenco grew in popularity through the 20th century, as did northern styles such as the Celtic music of Galicia. French classical composers, from Bizet to Ravel, also drew upon Spanish themes, and distinctive Spanish genres became universally recognized.
Folk music revivals or roots revivals also encompass a range of phenomena around the world where there is a renewed interest in traditional music. This is often by the young, often in the traditional music of their own country, and often included new incorporation of social awareness, causes, and evolutions of new music in the same style. Nueva canción, a similar evolution of a new form of socially committed music occurred in several Spanish speaking countries.
The "first" British folk revival was a roots revival 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.
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. The National Folk Festival (USA) is an itinerant folk festival in the United States. Since 1934, it has been run by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and has been presented in 26 communities around the nation. After leaving some of these communities, the National Folk Festival has spun off several locally run folk festivals in its wake including the Lowell Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, the American Folk Festival and, most recently, the Montana Folk Festival.
The Newport Folk Festival is an annual folk festival held near Newport, Rhode Island. It ran most year from 1959 to 1970, and 1985 to the present, with an attendance of approximately 10,000 persons.
The four-day Philadelphia Folk Festival began in 1962. It is sponsored by the non-profit Philadelphia Folksong Society. The event hosts contemporary and traditional artists in genres including World/Fusion, Celtic, Singer/Songwriter, Folk Rock, Country, Klezmer, and Dance. It is held annually on the third weekend in August. The event now hosts approximately 12,000 visitors, presenting bands on 6 stages.
Sidmouth Festival began in 1954, and Cambridge Folk Festival began in 1965. The Cambridge Folk Festival in Cambridge, England is noted for having a very wide definition of who can be invited as folk musicians. The "club tents" allow attendees to discover large numbers of unknown artists, who, for ten or 15 minutes each, present their work to the festival audience.
The National Folk Festival is Australia’s premier folk festival event and is attended by over 50,000 people. the Woodford Folk Festival, National Folk Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival are amongst Australia's largest major annual events, attracting top international folk performers as well as many local artists.
Stan Rogers is a lasting fixture of the Canadian folk festival Summerfolk, held annually in Owen Sound, Ontario, where the main stage and amphitheater are dedicated as the "Stan Rogers Memorial Canopy". The festival is firmly fixed in tradition, with Rogers' song "The Mary Ellen Carter" being sung by all involved, including the audience and a medley of acts at the festival. The Canmore Folk Music Festival is Alberta's longest running folk music festival.
Urkult Näsåker, Ångermanland held August each year is purportedly Sweden's largest world-music festival.
(does not include those used as references)
The American folk-music revival began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Richard Dyer-Bennet, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, John Jacob Niles, Susan Reed, Paul Robeson and Cisco Houston had enjoyed a limited general popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. The revival brought forward styles of American folk music that had, in earlier times, contributed to the development of country and western, jazz, and rock and roll music.American folk music
The term American folk music encompasses numerous music genres, variously known as traditional music, traditional folk music, contemporary folk music, or roots music. Many traditional songs have been sung within the same family or folk group for generations, and sometimes trace back to such origins as Great Britain, Europe, or Africa. Musician Mike Seeger once famously commented that the definition of American folk music is "...all the music that fits between the cracks."Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American music. The music is considered American either because it is native to the United States or because it developed there, out of foreign origins, to such a degree that it struck musicologists as something distinctly new. It is considered "roots music" because it served as the basis of music later developed in the United States, including rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.Contemporary folk music
Contemporary folk music refers to a wide variety of genres that emerged in the mid 20th century and afterwards which were associated with traditional folk music. Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from 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. The transition was somewhat centered in the US and is also called the American folk music revival. Fusion genres such as folk rock, folktronica, and others also evolved within this phenomenon. 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.
While the Romantic nationalism of the first 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 with artists marketed through concerts, recordings and broadcasting. One of the earliest figures in this revival was Woody Guthrie, who sang traditional songs in the 1930s and 1940s as well as composing his own. In the United Kingdom, the folk revival fostered a generation of singer-songwriters such as Donovan, who achieved initial prominence in the 1960s. The folk revival spawned Canada's first true wave of internationally successful artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Major performers who emerged from the 1940s to the early 1960s included Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan. The mid-1960s through the early 1970s was associated with large musical, political, lifestyle, and counterculture changes. Folk music underwent a related rapid evolution, expansion and diversification at that same time. Major 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. During this period, the term "protest music" was often used to characterize folk music with topical political themes. The Canadian performers Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell represented such fusions and enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. Starting in the 1970s folk music was fueled by new singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, John Denver, and Harry Chapin.
Other subgenres of folk include anti folk, folk punk (e.g., the Irish band the Pogues in the 1980s), indie folk, folktronica, freak folk and Americana and fusion genres such as folk metal, progressive folk, psychedelic folk, and neofolk.Cèilidh
A cèilidh (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʲʰeːlɪ]) or céilí (Irish pronunciation: [ˈceːlʲiː]) is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering. In its most basic form, it simply means a social visit. In contemporary usage, it usually involves dancing and playing Gaelic folk music, either at a house party or a larger concert at a social hall or other community gathering place.
Cèilidhean (plural of cèilidh) and Céilithe (plural of céilí) originated in the Gaelic areas of Scotland and Ireland and are consequently common in the Scottish and Irish diasporas. They are similar to the Troyl traditions in Cornwall and Twmpath and Noson Lawen events in Wales, as well as English country dances throughout England which have in some areas undergone a fusion with céilithe.English folk music
The folk music of England is tradition-based music, which has existed since the later medieval period. It is often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music. Folk music has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings. The term is used to refer to English traditional music and music composed, or delivered, in a traditional style. English folk music has produced or contributed to several important musical genres, including sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and dance music, such as that used for Morris dancing. It can be seen as having distinct regional and local variations in content and style, particularly in areas more removed from the cultural and political centres of the English state, as in Northumbria, or the West Country. Cultural interchange and processes of migration mean that English folk music, although in many ways distinctive, has particularly interacted with the music of Scotland. It has also interacted with other musical traditions, particularly classical and rock music, influencing musical styles and producing musical fusions, such as British folk rock, folk punk and folk metal. There remains a flourishing sub-culture of English folk music, which continues to influence other genres and occasionally gains mainstream attention.Folk-pop
Folk-pop is a music genre that falls into two categories. Either it is contemporary folk songs with large, sweeping pop arrangements, or pop songs with intimate, acoustic-based folk arrangements. Folk-pop began to evolve in the early 1960s, but it came into full force after folk rock became a sensation in the mid-'60s. Folk-pop doesn't have ringing guitars and rougher edges of folk-rock; rather it's softer, gentler, and more pop-oriented.In the Balkans region of Southeastern Europe, (Balkan) pop-folk is an umbrella term for genres of Balkan popular music that blend pop, folk and ethnic music. It's the modern counterpart of Balkan folk music, in which the dominant rhythms are influenced by oriental music, especially Arabic music and Romani folk music. Much of this music could be defined as a mix of traditional Balkan folk music and dance-pop. Balkan pop-folk music is a part of the ethnic pop-folk style which is spread at the junction area of Asia and Europe, which also includes genres like Arabesque from Turkey, Mizrahi music from Israel and Rabiz from Armenia. Balkan pop-folk genres include:
Chalga, in Bulgaria
Turbo-folk, in Serbia
Modern Laika, in Greece
Manele, in Romania
Tallava, in Albania
Néo-trad, in Quebec (Canada)Folk rock
Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the folk music revival and the influence that the Beatles and other British Invasion bands had on members of that movement. Performers such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds—several of whose members had earlier played in folk ensembles—attempted to blend the sounds of rock with their preexisting folk repertoire, adopting the use of electric instrumentation and drums in a way previously discouraged in the U.S. folk community. The term "folk rock" was initially used in the U.S. music press in June 1965 to describe the Byrds' music.
The commercial success of the Byrds' cover version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and their debut album of the same name, along with Dylan's own recordings with rock instrumentation—on the albums Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966)—encouraged other folk acts, such as Simon & Garfunkel, to use electric backing on their records and new groups, such as Buffalo Springfield, to form. Dylan's controversial appearance at the Newport Folk Festival on 25 July 1965, where he was backed by an electric band, was also a pivotal moment in the development of the genre.
During the late 1960s in Britain and Europe, a distinct, eclectic British folk rock style was created by Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Alan Stivell. Inspired by British psychedelic folk and the North American style of folk rock, British folk rock bands began to incorporate elements of traditional British folk music into their repertoire, leading to other variants, including the overtly English folk rock of the Albion Band and Celtic rock.Greek folk music
Greek folk music (Greek: παραδοσιακή μουσική) includes a variety of Greek styles played by ethnic Greeks in Greece, Cyprus, Australia, the United States and elsewhere. Apart from the common music found all-around Greece, there are distinct types of folk music, sometimes related to the history or simply the taste of the specific places.Irish traditional music
Irish traditional music (also known as Irish trad, Irish folk music, and other variants) is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland.
In A History of Irish Music (1905), W. H. Grattan Flood wrote that, in Gaelic Ireland, there were at least ten instruments in general use. These were the cruit (a small harp) and clairseach (a bigger harp with typically 30 strings), the timpan (a small string instrument played with a bow or plectrum), the feadan (a fife), the buinne (an oboe or flute), the guthbuinne (a bassoon-type horn), the bennbuabhal and corn (hornpipes), the cuislenna (bagpipes – see Great Irish Warpipes), the stoc and sturgan (clarions or trumpets), and the cnamha (bones). There is also evidence of the fiddle being used in the 8th century.There are several collections of Irish folk music from the 18th century, but it was not until the 19th century that ballad printers became established in Dublin. Important collectors include Colm Ó Lochlainn, George Petrie, Edward Bunting, Francis O'Neill, James Goodman and many others. Though solo performance is preferred in the folk tradition, bands or at least small ensembles have probably been a part of Irish music since at least the mid-19th century, although this is a point of much contention among ethnomusicologists.
Irish traditional music has endured more strongly against the forces of cinema, radio and the mass media than the indigenous folk music of most European countries. This was possibly because the country was not a geographical battleground in either of the two world wars. Another potential factor was that the economy was largely agricultural, where oral tradition usually thrives. From the end of the second world war until the late fifties folk music was held in low regard. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (an Irish traditional music association) and the popularity of the Fleadh Cheoil (music festival) helped lead the revival of the music. The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self-confidence to many Irish musicians. Following the success of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the US in 1959, Irish folk music became fashionable again. The lush sentimental style of singers such as Delia Murphy was replaced by guitar-driven male groups such as The Dubliners. Irish showbands presented a mixture of pop music and folk dance tunes, though these died out during the seventies. The international success of The Chieftains and subsequent musicians and groups has made Irish folk music a global brand.
Historically much old-time music of the USA grew out of the music of Ireland, England and Scotland, as a result of cultural diffusion. By the 1970s Irish traditional music was again influencing music in the US and further afield in Australia and Europe. It has occasionally been fused with rock and roll, punk rock and other genres.Italian folk music
Italian folk music has a deep and complex history. National unification came quite late to the Italian peninsula, so its many hundreds of separate cultures remained un-homogenized until quite recently compared to many other European countries. Moreover, Italian folk music reflects Italy's geographic position at the south of Europe and in the center of the Mediterranean Sea: Arabic, African, Celtic, Persian, and Slavic influences are readily apparent in the musical styles of the Italian regions. Italy's rough geography and the historic dominance of small city states has allowed quite diverse musical styles to coexist in close proximity.
Today, Italy's folk music is often divided into several spheres of geographic influence, a classification system proposed by Alan Lomax in 1956 and often repeated since. The Celtic and Slavic influences on the group and open-voice choral works of the north contrast with the Arabic, Greek, and African influenced strident monody of the south. In central Italy these influences combine, while indigenous traditions like narrative and ballad singing remain. The music of the island of Sardinia is distinct from that of the rest of Italy, and is best known for the polyphonic chanting of the tenores.Jig
The jig (Irish: port) (Scottish Gaelic: port-cruinn) is a form of lively folk dance in compound metre, as well as the accompanying dance tune. It developed in 16th-century England, and was quickly adopted on mainland Europe where it eventually became the final movement of the mature Baroque dance suite (the French gigue; Italian and Spanish giga). Today it is most associated with Irish dance music, Scottish country dance and the Métis people in Canada. Jigs were originally in duple compound metre, (e.g., 128 time), but have been adapted to a variety of time signatures, by which they are often classified into groups, including light jigs, slip jigs, single jigs, double jigs, and treble jigs. There is also the reel and waltz.Music of Norway
Much has been learned about early music in Norway from physical artifacts found during archaeological digs. These include instruments such as the lur. Viking and medieval sagas also describe musical activity, as do the accounts of priests and pilgrims from all over Europe coming to visit St Olaf's grave in Trondheim.
In the later part of the 19th century, Norway experienced economic growth leading to greater industrialization and urbanization. More music was made in the cities, and opera performances and symphony concerts were considered to be of high standards. In this era both prominent composers (like Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen) and performers combined the European traditions with Norwegian tones.
The import of music and musicians for dance and entertainment grew, and this continued in the 20th century, even more so when gramophone records and radio became common. In the last half of the 20th century, Norway, like many other countries in the world, underwent a roots revival that saw indigenous music being revived.Music of Slovenia
In the minds of many foreigners, Slovenian folk music means a form of polka that is still popular today, especially among expatriates and their descendants. However, there are many styles of Slovenian folk music beyond polka and waltz. Kolo, lender, štajeriš, mafrine and šaltin are a few of the traditional music styles and dances.Music of the United Kingdom
Throughout its history, the United Kingdom has been a major producer and source of musical creation, drawing its artistic basis from the history of the United Kingdom, from church music, Western culture and the ancient and traditional folk music and instrumentation of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
In parts the 20th century, influences from the music of the United States became dominant in popular music. Following this was the explosion of the British Invasion, while subsequent notable movements in British music include the new wave of British heavy metal and Britpop. The United Kingdom has one of the world's largest music industries today, with many British musicians having influenced modern music.Nordic folk music
Nordic folk music includes a number of traditions in Northern European, especially Scandinavian, countries. The Nordic countries are generally taken to include Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The Nordic Council, an international organization, also includes the autonomous territories of Åland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Historically, the term Nordic was also applied to Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
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 and 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.Reel (dance)
The reel is a folk dance type as well as the accompanying dance tune type. Of Scottish origin, reels are also an important part of the repertoire of the fiddle traditions of the British Isles and North America. In Scottish country dancing, the reel is one of the four traditional dances, the others being the jig, the strathspey and the waltz, and is also the name of a dance figure (see below).
In Irish dance, a reel is any dance danced to music in reel time (see below). In Irish stepdance, the reel is danced in soft shoes and is one of the first dances taught to students. There is also a treble reel, danced in hard shoes to reel music.Roots revival
A roots revival (folk 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.
The term roots revival is vague, and may not always refer to identical events. Characteristics associated with a roots revival include:
Popularization of previously non-mainstream folk music
Adaptation of folk styles to pop (or rock) structures
Invention of new formats like bands where only solo acts had existed before
Introduction of new instruments
Composition of works by those who perform them, as opposed to folk tunes mostly passed down orally (see singer-songwriter)
Incorporation of politically aware lyrics, often critical of a government, religion or other authority, or society in general.
Lyrics are the first from the nation to express more than simple desires and problems, and are often seen as the embodiment of a national character or literary tradition (in comparison to the legendary American songwriter, such composers are often said to be the "Bob Dylan" of a particular variety, as in Wannes Van de Velde is the Belgian Bob Dylan)
Roots revival performers will often come from very different social and economic backgrounds compared to the people whose style of music they are popularizing.With such a vague and variable definition, roots revival could be seen as referring to the creation of any kind of pop music industry, though there are countries with well-developed pop traditions that have not had a period referred to as a roots revival (such as Jamaica, India, Cuba and Kenya). For example, homogenized pop has long had its fans in most every country in the world, but many of these nations have created their own indigenous pop styles out of folk music; this process could be called a roots revival, though in some cases the folk musics in question were still widespread and did not need to be revived.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. Most Swedish instrumental folk music is dance music; the signature music and dance form within Swedish folk music is the polska. Vocal and instrumental traditions in Sweden have tended to share tunes historically, though they have been performed separately. Beginning with the folk music revival of the 1970s, vocalists and instrumentalists have also begun to perform together in folk music ensembles.Turkish folk music
Turkish folk music (Türk Halk Müziği) combines the distinct cultural values of all civilisations that have lived in Turkey and its former territories in Europe and Asia. Its unique structure includes regional differences under one umbrella. It was the most popular music genre in the Ottoman Empire era. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Atatürk asked to make a wide-scale classification and archiving of samples of Turkish folk music from around the country, which was launched in 1924 and continued until 1953 to collect around 10,000 folk songs. In the 1960s, Turkish folk music met with radio and folk musicians like Aşık Veysel, Neşet Ertaş, Bedia Akartürk became the most popular names of the Turkish folk music. In the 1970s and 1980s, with the rising popularity of arabesque and Turkish light western, Turkish folk music has lost some ground, but singers like Belkıs Akkale, İzzet Altınmeşe, Selda Bağcan, Güler Duman and Arif Sağ made successful hit songs and became important representatives of the genre.
Folklore genres, types, and subtypes
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