20 Interesting Facts about Folk Music

  1. African American folk music was a product of the transatlantic slave trade. 
  2. The Banjo is a quintessential instrument in the folk music genre in the United States. 
  3. Through the Transatlantic slave trade, Africans brought instruments like the djembe and banjar on the ships to bring them to the Western world.
  4. The genre of secular folk music was developed during this time through fiddlers, children’s game songs, creole songs, and protest songs. 
  5. The banjo still has negative connotations surrounding its use in mainstream media to portray African American stereotypes.
  6. Folk music serves as a means of remembrance of the sufferings and hope of our ancestors.
  7. Folk music has influenced various musical genres like the blues and even hip hop.
  8. Folk music stems from the negro spirituals. 
  9. Folk songs were an efficient way to measure time and also to spread secret messages. 
  10. Harriet Tubman used folk music to assist in her work as a conductor of the Underground Railroad. 
  11. African Americans would use folk music to express their feelings of sadness, joy, frustration, and longing for their true home. 
  12. Odetta was a civil rights activist that is made a lasting contribution to folk music through her song. 
  13. Odetta helped reintroduce folk music to the black community by demonstrating how it could be used to express relatable experiences. 
  14. Bones are curved pieces of bones or wood that are clapped together. 
  15. Nina Simone considered herself as a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in her music. 
  16. Folk music is often related to national culture. 
  17. Present day folk music often features songs performed by white musicians. 
  18. Folk music was passed down to multiple generations and still continues to be used in modern music. 
  19. Tracy Chapman used her folk music to express a narrative and an experience, positive or negative. 
  20. Despite claims of folk musics’ history originating in the Western world and Europe, Africans and African Americans contributed much to the genre especially of what it is today. 

Naomi Wagner

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.