An Introduction to Folk Music in the United States

An Introduction to Folk Music in the United States

An Introduction to Folk Music in the United States

An Introduction to Folk Music in the United States

Excerpt

During the past few years, folk music has become such apopular subject in America that hundreds of collections, printedand recorded, and dozens of descriptive books have appeared.Most of the latter concern themselves with special fields withinAmerican folk music, but, surprisingly, no over-all survey or summary of the subject in its entirety exists. The folk music of thenon-English-speaking groups has been especially neglected in attempts to survey the field. This volume is intended, in an introductory and elementary fashion, to fill that gap. It does notpretend to be definitive or comprehensive nor to present new material. Based on previous publications by many authors, its purpose is to introduce the layman to the great variety of forms andcultures represented in the folk music in this country. Only aglimpse into each of the larger categories is offered, and manyimportant song types, instruments, and ethnic groups are omitted. The emphasis is on the music; words are here a secondaryconsideration. I have tried to include such material on folk musicin general as is necessary for understanding the material in thiscountry (hence the non-American examples), and I have gonebeyond what is usually included in folk music discussions in orderto show the use of folk music in the modern city, in the professional singer's repertory, and in art music. But I advise thereader to continue beyond this introduction, which merelyscratches the surface of the subject, into the fascinating worldof folk music, a world to which the United States has made a . . .

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