Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Folk Music Guide : Home

Folk History

Folk Defined

The term folk music and its equivalents in other languages denote many different kinds of music; the meaning of the term varies according to the part of the world, social class, and period of history. In determining whether a song or piece of music is folk music, most performers, participants, and enthusiasts would probably agree on certain criteria derived from patterns of transmission, social function, origins, and performance.

The central traditions of folk music are transmitted orally or aurally, that is, they are learned through hearing rather than the reading of words or music, ordinarily in informal, small social networks of relatives or friends rather than in institutions such as school or church. In the 20th century, transmission through recordings and mass media began to replace much of the face-to-face learning. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

Watch Folk Music History

Woody Guthrie Sings "This Land is Your Land"

 

Elizabeth Cotten Performs "Freight Train"

Check Out a Book on Folk Music

Link to Songs of America by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw in the catalog
Link to Revolution in the Air the songs of Bob Dylan by Clinton Heylin in the catalog
Link to American Ballads and Folk Songs by John Lomax in the catalog
Link to Reckless daughter : a portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe.in the catalog
Link to Wasn't that a time : the Weavers by Jesse Jarnow in the catalog
Link to Denver Folk Music by Paul Malkoski in Hoopla
Link to New Jersey Folk Revival Music by Michael C. Gabriele  in Hoopla
Link to North Florida Folk Music by by Ron Johnson in Hoopla