Folk Music By: Makayla Leonard
Folk music is one of the first and greatest genres of music black folks were exposed to. Folk is a combination of African elements and American elements created by slaves. The folk genre started in parts of Africa and when the slave trade took place it was brought to America.
Folk music originated when Africans were brought to America during the Slave Trade. Hymns, rhythms, and songs were used as coping mechanisms while enduring torturous labor. Folk music was also used as self expression, an outlet for their sorrows and frustration. Folk music is best known for its solemn theme, and sorrowful lyrics. “Slave music” was used to convey their struggles, and keep themselves connected to their cultural roots in Africa.
Folk Music stemmed from Negro spirituals. Folk music was somber and always related to God.
Some folk songs include: Sweet Honey in the rock, lord how come me here, soon ah will be done, Elijah Rock, and Eziekel saw the wheel. A famous Folk Music singer is Elizabeth Cotton.
Folk music often talked about reuniting with something either pertaining to God, or their homeland. Freedom is a major topic in folk Music because African Americans were still enslaved and faced brutal treatment. There is also a sense of pain and regret. The titles of Folk Songs are often depressing. Some folk songs include: Sweet Honey in the rock, lord how come me here, soon ah will be done, Elijah Rock, and Eziekel saw the wheel. A famous Folk Music singer is Elizabeth Cotton. She accompanied all of her songs with a guitar. Instruments used to compose folk music included the guitar, banjo, and the patting juba.
Folk music influenced future genres to come, such as blues, jazz, and R&B. These genres all remain African American dominated.