Professor Ross O. Wagner
12 September 2018
Definition of American Folk music and American Root music
Today’s world most entertaining thing to do is listen to the music or dance while listening to the music. Music has its own history. Have you ever wondered the music we listen today was not exactly the music people use to here decades ago? There is a huge difference now and then. The difference is in the time folk music was listened decades ago where people from the country or an area used to sing songs for their community which use to pass to the next generations and American root music is the music that is a style of folk music such as blues, rock, and roll, gospel. Both American folk music and American root music means the same thing, but it has its unique definition.
First, the folk music is Hawaiian, Baltic, African, etc. Which is original traditional music. American Root music is bluegrass, Cajun, zydeco, western swing, Tejano. Which is folk music and mixed with American music. According to Davis, Lawrence, many immigrants travel to the United States of America and brought their native folk music with them (Lawrence 377). The folk music was not written down on a piece of paper it was memorized by the people who listen to it and was passed on to the next generation. Africans and Europeans brought centuries-old folk songs with them. Gradually new and unique form of music began to be born from different folk songs and it was called American root music because it came from the folk roots.
Second, American folk music changed into American root music while the time changed. According to Hield fay, “In the west, American music was played and sung and began to be recorded and collected (Fay 96). Later new rhythms were added to African folk song which became so-called blues. Which is now called American root music. In New Orleans, Jazz was played by musicians like buddy Bolton and Louis Armstrong. Later it started winning people’s heart and it became popular. African American from the southern states of the United States of America started to use different instruments and sing style and changed folk music to root music.
Third, In Georgia, Atlanta where people would gather and compete to see who plays a better version of turkey and straw cackling hen. In North Carolina, Asheville, Bascom Lamar organized the first real American Folk Festival. In Tennessee, rock and roll were developed by mix black culture combining gospel-style harmonies and call-and-response singing with earthy subject matter and more aggressive rhythm-and-blues rhythms. Songs like “Good Vibrations” by Brian Douglas Wilson and Mike E. Love is an example of Early rock and roll.
In conclusion, it all started with American folk music in the 1800’s and it turned and got mixed with other folk music and created a new version which is now called American root music. American root music is made up of the music that came in the United States of America centuries ago and got mixed in together. Understanding the music is a language. Listing to the American root music is same as listening to folk music but an upgraded version of folk music.
DAVIES, LAWRENCE. Notes, Dec2015, Vol. 72 Issue 2, p376-378, 3p. (Book Review), Database: Literary Reference Center
Hield, Fay. Folk Music Journal. 2016, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p93-95. 3p. , Database: Academic Search Premier