Transcript Folk Music

4 examples
 A broad term applied to many kinds of
music. Also called Traditional Music.
 There is often no known author/composer.
 It is passed down aurally/orally.
 It is indigenous music that evokes the culture and
lifestyle of the people from which it comes.
 Indigenous: having originated in and being produced,
growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular
region or environment.
 American Hymn (liturgical text or scripture was often
set to folk tunes)
 Russian Folk Song
 Polish Folk Music/Dance
 Spanish Folk Music/Dance
 Many folk songs are modal. That is, they use only the notes
in a particular scale (series of pitches).
 There are 7 modes. If you use only the white keys on the
piano, you can play the notes in a mode by starting on any
key and playing the seven ascending notes.
 C – Ionian (major scale)
 D – Dorian
 E – Phrygian
 F – Lydian
 G – Mixolydian
 A – Aeolian (minor scale)
 B – Locrian
 The Doctrine of Ethos: the ancient Greeks believed
that music possessed moral qualities and could affect
character and behavior.
 Plato recommended two modes, or styles of song, the
Dorian and Phrygian because they fostered the virtues
of temperance and courage.
 When the settlers came to America they sang German
chorales and British Psalms (Ein Feste Burg ist unser
 Eventually they began to sing hymns composed by
Isaac Watts during the Great Awakening.
 Many hymns were set to folk tunes.
 New Britain – Amazing Grace
 Green sleeves – What child is This
 Saw Ye My Jonny – Saw Ye My Savior
 A small pocket sized book containing the lyrics and
sometimes also the music of hymns.
 Singing School – Singing Masters would travel from
town to town. Often entire towns would attend. It
was also viewed as an opportunity for courtship among
the young people.
 Shape-note Notation: fa represented as a triangle, sol
as a circle, la as a square, mi as a diamond, etc.
 Much of Russian folk music was sung a cappella.
Instruments were forbidden in church.
 Russian folk songs tend to move within a narrow
range. Rhythmic patterns are often repeated. The
meter is often mixed (4/4 time may change to 3/2 time
then back again). They are generally modal.
 The words are very important – poetry.
 a stringed instrument of Russian origin, with a
characteristic triangular body and 3 strings
 Songs are sung at important rituals and events.
 Mazurka – a traditional Polish dance that emphasizes
the weak beats (or off-beats).
 Accompanied by dudy or gajdy (Polish Bagpipes)
 Melody would be played on fujarka (shepherd’s pipe)
 Dancers stamp or click heals on the displaced beats.
 Poland’s folk music often used the lydian mode. The
lydian mode has a raised 4th.
 Spain has over 1000 types of dance.
 Dances can be ritual or non-ritual.
 Ritual dances are performed by specially rehearsed
 Non-ritual dances have simple steps and can be
danced by anyone.
 Traditionally, Flamenco is learned by watching
relatives or friends.
 It is a dance accompanied by guitar
 The dancer uses hand claps – palmas sordas, finger
snaps – pitos, and stomping – taconeo, to express the
music and rhythm.
 The Phrygian mode is typically used.