20 Elements of Folk Music

  1. The Hambone is known as the “human instrument of folk”.
  2. Folk music is always tells a story or has a hidden message for the listener.
  3. The Djembe is a popular instrument in folk music.
  4. The washboard is another popular instrument in folk music.
  5. The Banjo (popular folk instrument) is originally from Gambia.
  6. Folk music itself originated in the 1600s.
  7. Hambone is also known as patting Juba.
  8. Folk music was used to express feelings of joy, frustration, sadness, and the pain of longing for the homeland.
  9. Folk music was often used as a form of resistance.
  10. Harriet Tubman and other conductors of the Underground Railroad used folk music as a means of helping the enslaved to escape to freedom.
  11. “Follow the Drinking Gourd” is an example of a folk song.
  12. Folk music stems from Negro Spirituals.
  13. Folk music regained popularity during the Civil Rights Movement.
  14. There is often an element of call and response in folk music.
  15. Nina Simone was a self-proclaimed folk singer who unapologetically advocated for the Black community during the 50s-60s.
  16. Odetta is deemed the “Queen of Folk Music”.
  17. Lead Belly was another legendary Folk artist.
  18. Bones are curved pieces of wood that are clapped together in folk music.
  19. The Banjo was popularized due to the popularity of Minstrel shows, but was reclaimed by Black musicians.
  20. Percussion and rhythm is at the core of all folk music.

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