folk music mus100

folk music mus100 - Folk music is shared by all members of...

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Folk music is shared by all members of a group: singers, players, dancers, and listeners/participants. It is meant to reflect the spirit and personality of the members. It comes from everyday living and comments on/recalls joys, sorrows, relationships, romances, events, and important circumstances of their lives. As I mentioned, in America, our general forms of folk music are associated with the following groups/regions: 1. African-American, deep South – slave experiences 2a. Anglo American, Northeast/South – folk & hymn music from Britain 2b. Anglo-American, Appalachia – mostly Scottish/Irish folk songs and dances There are many types of folk music found in these groups/regions: 1. ballads (story songs) – these tell a story (a bit like an epic poem) and are in strophic form. Strophic form has the same music for each verse, which makes the music easy to remember, and allows also for easier recall of the words, strangely enough. As an example of strophic form, listen to "Sylvie" [example 1]. Then, listen to the ballad "Barbara Allen" [example 5]. 2. lyric songs – akin to ballads, but with more emotion & commenting, these can be in either strophic form, or in verse/refrain form (with music that repeats for each verse, and then both words and music that repeat as a refrain). Here is a lyric song "Klondike", which is commenting on the Alaskan Gold Rush (notice how at least the refrain is pretty easy to "pick up" and sing along with): . 3. work songs – often in call & response form (one voice calls, and the rest of the voices respond with a phrase or word), these allow for a regular rhythm which can aid in work such as grinding grain, spinning, or as shown in the video below, felling trees (with axes): Work songs can even come from chain-gang work on railway lines and rocks, like this example, "Rosie", from the 1950s: . 4. children’s songs – these usually have very simple, repetitive lyrics and music, like "Twinkle twinkle" or "Old MacDonald" and can include lullabies and game songs like "Ring around the rosie" and "Bingo was his name-o". One can probably safely include the School House Rock songs in this category; once again, music aids in the memory of the words and information. Here is a memory-trick song for US state capitals from the woefully under-appreciated cartoon "The Animaniacs": (you may recognize the melody as "Turkey in the Straw", itself an American folk song!). 5. protest and rally songs – these are either in protest against something, or as a rallying cry in support of something. They start appearing in the late 1800s but are commonly associated with the 1960s, like this Peter, Paul, and Mary song "If I had a hammer": . Notice how the form is fairly strophic (even some of the words are repeated) and how quickly you feel like singing along - characteristics shared by the most famous US protest song "We shall overcome", here sung (in almost call/response fashion!) by Pete Seeger: . Protest songs can put new words to old folk songs (using melodies you know) but can also be newly
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This note was uploaded on 06/29/2011 for the course FIN 322 taught by Professor Zhu during the Spring '11 term at Oakland University.

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folk music mus100 - Folk music is shared by all members of...

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