Down Home Music: Folk Music at a Glance

Folk Music at a glance

Folk music is an African American music form that originated in the new world with heavy influences from West Africa.

influences on future Genres

folk music started on slave ships and in the fields as a way for African Americans to express themselves. today you can still find key elements of folk music in other genres of music such as Hip-Hop rhythm and blues, or blues.


due to the fact that the enslaved and freed slaves were the primary performers of folk music they often times sang form their spirit with no intent of making a  profit. Although white people came and transcribed the songs that they were singing and published them in order to make a profit.

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influences on society

Many songs that are associated with folk music have also been associated with struggle and human rights.During the time of slavery, this form of music was used by the enslaved to express their dislike for their master, tell a story, or communicate with each other. 

elements of folk music


Juba was used by african americans as a element in folk music because slave masters were intimidated and confused by the instruments used by the enslaved people so they took them away. As a result the enslaved people began using their bodies as the instruments.


the fiddle is an instrument similar to the violin used in folk music in order to produce a specific sound and add substance to the folk song.

call and respond

Call and respond was a key element of folk music where the leader, or a specific group of people would sing one thing and the congregation or another group of people would respond.


Due to the slave masters taking the enslaved instruments they had to become creative when it came to making music. They began to used the items that were intended for work. After slavery ended this "instrument" was still used as a key element of folk music.


Folk Music was a way of telling a story. Griots were basically the story tellers used. Passed down form generation to generation were the stories of African Americas via Griots.​

my opinion and overall summary

I am glad that I explored this topic deeper than I have before. Folk music was not only a form of music, but a cry for help, a plea for change, and a form of expression. I believe that it is important to know the history, makings, and ways of your ancestors in order to know yourself fully.

Shanesha Caldwell

Shanesha Caldwell

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