folk music part 1

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  • 1. Folk Music

2. Is This Folk Music? What do you hear? What qualities (if any) do you hear that make you think this is folk music? What qualities (if any) do you hear that make you think this is NOT folk music? Does anyone in your group disagree? If so, what about? Does this matter? 3. Example 1 4. Example 2 5. Example 3 6. Folk Music (Part 1) The Folk Music Trilogy Part 1: Prior to 1920 Part 2: 1920 to 1960 Part 3: 1960 to present 7. Terms To Know Vernacular: spoken language of the common person; distinct from formal written language Strophic: repeated tune that is used with every verse of a song Ballad: a story song usually associated with oral tradition; almost always strophic. Broadside: a printed and published ballad; usually not associated with oral tradition; often considered to be lower in artistic merit. 8. American Folk Music Imported material; establishing a national identity Europe vs America economic support Europe: Church, courts/aristocracy, state America: No national church, no courts/aristocracy, developing political structure If it wasnt in or for the church, how did Americans hear music? Where was this music coming from? Was there such a thing as American folk music? 9. Ballads in Oral Tradition British songs in American lives Benjamin Franklin (London, 1765) Peter, his brother, writes him a letter asking Benjamin to have a London composer set some verses of text to music. Benjamin responds: If you had given this text to some country girl in the heart of Massachusetts, who has never heard any other than psalm tunes or Chevy Chase, the Children in the Wood, the Spanish Lady, and such old, simple ditties, but has naturally a good ear, she might more probably have made a pleasing popular tune for you than any of our masters here. Names ballads (narrative, strophic); originated in Britain around or prior to 1600; still circulating in North America 165 years later! These ballads in the oral tradition existed outside of commercial influence. 10. Broadside Ballads By the early 1700s in America; earlier in Europe Ballads were written, bought, and sold Printing No music notation Text would be matched with a familiar tune Reputation of being cheap commercial goods Rev. Cotton Mather (1713): I am informed, that the Minds and Manners of many People about the Countrey are much corrupted by foolish songs and Ballads, which the Hawkers and Pedlars carry into all parts of the Countrey. Inspiration: colonial settlement, Indian wars, dissatisfaction with English rule, crime, love, and religion Cartoonish, exaggeration, vulgar 11. Francis James Child 12. Francis James Child 1825 1896 Harvard Professor of Rhetoric Shakespeare scholar Folklorist Obsessed with collecting ballads Not broadsides! Focused on collecting from the British Isles Stayed in MA while collecting; armchair research Ballads were in written form, no tunes included 13. Child Ballads This term does not imply child-like or children English and Scottish Ballads (1857 1858) Eight Volumes The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) Ten Volumes Note the word The added to the title It was not my wish to begin to print The English and Scottish Ballads until this unrestricted title should be justified by my having at command every valuable copy and every known ballad. 305 different titles Prints every known variant of each title (approx. 1300 total) Annotates history, subject matter, and alterations they had suffered. 14. English and Scottish Popular Ballads and The English and Scottish Popular Ballads 15. Appalachia Interest in mountain culture and folklore Late 1800s Folklore societies American Folklore Society (1888) NC, KY (1912); VA (1913); WV (1915) The search for old-time British tunes Geographic isolation Nationwide effort to repopularize folk tunes 16. Folk Songs for Popular Use Josephine McGill Folk Songs of the Kentucky Mountains (1917) Loraine Wyman (18851937) Howard Brockway (1870 1951) Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs (1920) Used for entertainment in the home; not scholarly Appealing to middle class women 17. Cecil Sharp (1859 1924) Englishman Started folk music revival in England in early 20th century Collector of English ballads in Appalachia Why? Pick and choose Worked in the field; not an armchair researcher Cultural/Musical bias Modern society Disappointment 18. Authentic? Was this documentation a true reflection of music in American culture? Is this significant? Important? Relevant? What does this say about the general feelings of Americans? 19. Listening Assignment Groups of 3 or 4 Compare/Contrast two recordings of Barbara Allen Jean Ritchie Moses Platt Are these the same song? 20. Jean Ritchie 21. Moses Platt