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Red Ajah Autumn Festival: Folk Music

Moon Sedai

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Folk music is generally traditional music of (generally unknown) composers that is spread around by word of mouth through (typically) lower classes.

It also refers to the music of the 20th century Folk Music revival movement. 


Folk music can have regional differences. We see examples of this in Eye of the World when Mat and Rand are playing music at inns to pay for food and shelter: the titles and words vary from region to region, sometimes even neighboring towns. (And all of this within Andor, though it proves to be true throughout Randland).



Examples of Folk music in America:

Oh! Susanna. 
Camptown Races

I've been Working on the Railroad


Blowin' in the Wind (Bob Dylan), a Folk Revival song. 


What are some examples of folk music in your home? 
How do you define Folk music? 

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i would basicaly define folk music same way; he music of the common people/peasantts that is eithre passed down within a certain area or dessiminates to neighbuoring areas that share similar cultuer. generaly the composer/who firstt sang or played the songg isnt known as ascribing songs/pieces to a specificc artist is relativly recent phenomenon and rarelyy happenedd before renaissance (but before and during th renaissance and for while after, prety much the artist wuold only be recognised if he was producing "high" art rather than art of the peasant class/lower stratificationn). Some people classify ceremoniall music of certain tribes as folk but that seems wrong, its better to call traditional music becaus those sorts of societies may have realtivly little social strata, whereas social stratification adn stratification of the arts as consequence partly definess folk music. 
Lol its alwys a wonder how the high art/music of many societiess is often the things that do not surivive the test of time, whiel often the folk music is whatt lasts and at times remainns very little changed; in my cuontry, most of the music of the upper clases, the high art, went out when clan system was torn apart, while the music of th peasants survived and is what mostt people recognise now as "Irish' music, though theres revival gruops who try to recreate what theyy think was the high art. Folk music where I live comprised largely of jigs, slides, reels, and sean nós in either englishh or gaeilge. theres some ceremoniall styles of singing but like I said earlier, feels wrong to call thatt folk but call it traditional. this wuold be an example of slides which orginated aruond where I live:


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Folk music was some of the only music I could share with my parents.  Dad and I would listen to the Celtic show on the local public station and we would go to the local bluegrass festival each summer.  Bluegrass as a genre is relatively new but it opened up a lot of doorways into traditional folk music as it developed in America.  I'm trying to think of modern folk songs that have addressed current events, like "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  The Ewan McColl tune "Dirty Old Town" has a lot of significance for me because I grew up in a mill town whose shelf-life had long since expired and there are passages in it that make hit pretty close to home.

There are also aspects of folk music that speak to folklore and big tales.  A lot of songs deal with the mythic (Ólafur Liljurós is an Icelandic song about a man mortally wounded by an elf-maiden) but others have a little more salt of the earth in them. The songs that surround John Henry sing about a folk hero who matched his prowess as a steel driver on the railroads against a steam powered machine.  He won the match but died at the end of the contest.  Here's the Lesley Riddle version from the Smithsonian Folkways series.

I also listen to a lot of early and medieval music.  I can't begin to tell you have much Thomas Ravenscroft pleases me.
Edited by Wren of the Brown
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Tal, I think there is something there. Folk music adjusts, and changes, slightly, but not so much as pop music does. Pop music changes from year to year.


We use folk music a lot as "kids' music" to teach them love of singing/music. 


And that's amazing stuff, Hiarth!

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