Do you have any favorite genres of music? You might like dancing to a snappy beat. Or rock and roll suits more on your style? Or maybe you would rather love to hear and dance to modern rap and hip-hop music. However, do you have any friends who love to enjoy folk songs? What image do these words of folk songs bring in your head? How the tunes of acoustic guitars affect your mind? Does it relax you or make you disturbed? It might be the soft, quiet music that they enjoy. However, in reality, folk music much more than soft and quiet music only. Therefore, in this article, we will see the origins and history of folk music as people’s music.
What is folk music?
Folk is the term that describes every kind of musical, oral, and cultural tradition from certain regions and parts of the world. Basically, the derivation of folk is from the German word ‘volk’ that means ‘people’. So, folk music is the kind of music that directly belongs to the people. Historically, it was a reflective term to differentiate certain kinds of music from the institutions like a church or western classical music.
Origin of folk music
It is impossible to determine the place from where exactly folk music originates. It shows from the historical texts, that certain kind of music originates from distinct regions around the world. However, around the 19th century, there was a movement of collection and documentation of folk musical forms from all over the world. Which later develops folk as a distinct genre of music in the 20th century. However, today, it is common to associate music not only with its region but also with its composer or singer as they are freely available on the internet. This flexible nature of folk music has given it a political aspect that is relevant today. This aspect is responsible for impacting the revivals of folk music.
What are folk songs related to?
The subject matter of folk songs ranges from commemorative, the death of Nelson to rural. Which later after the industrial it became more related to the urban and captures the political edge. Common types of songs of the folk musical form include ballads, lyric songs. These are the songs that bend themselves towards the storytelling aspects of the folk culture. The song structure of folk songs revolves around a repetitive chorus that punctuates with changing verses. Also, the chorus is designed in a way in which multiple people can join in.
Which instruments are used in folk music?
Typically, the instrumentation and band of the folk songs traditionally from the British Isles include voice, violin, which is the fiddle in the folk setting. Along with it, acoustic guitar, flute, whistle, pipes, harmonica, and tenor banjo are some of the instruments in folk songs. However, there are other instruments too which are not that common among the people. These are the percussion instruments like spoons, bodhran and bones, and some kind of unusual ones like hurdy-gurdy, hammer dulcimer and so on.
The blending of folk and popular genres
From the last century, it is seen that as soon as a folk culture becomes popular, its content modifies quickly to be more like popular music. So, such kind of modified music includes electric guitars, drum kit, or structure of rhythm that was not in the original one. An example of this contemporary form is the bluegrass, which develops with the intermixing of American old-time music with blues and jazz.
From the 1970s, the genre of ‘contemporary folk’ filled with new composers, which keeps the tradition of non-classical music alive among people. In the 1980s a group of artists such as Phranc and The Knitters made a form of music, folk-punk. The same music was expanded by the artists like Dave Alvin, Steve Earle. The folk music continues into hard rock and heavy metal, with a band named Skyclad, Waylander with a variety of traditions. This includes some instruments like fiddles, whistles, and bagpipes. Different from other genres of folk, folk metal is more in favor of ancient pagan-inspired themes rather than monotheistic religion.
Therefore, folk music is still relevant and popular among some people today, with the increment of the folk clubs to share traditional songs. Also, many countries organize folk music festivals like the Port Fairy Folk Festival of Australia. Folk art has distinct forms with the generations, that vary with regions. This means that folk music from one region can sound completely different from the music of another one. This is the thing which makes it so interesting for many people. So, spend some time while listening to the traditional folk songs from different countries. Then after that, check some songs of contemporary folk. Who knows, you might get your new music playlist to calm you. For more articles, Click Here.