Folk music originated in the 19th century when the enslaved Africans came over to the new land. Folk music originated in Africa and was brought to America during the Slave Trade.  Folk music was a way for slaves to tell their story. Because they were forced to a new area without any of their original instruments, folk music was a compilation of songs and music made while on the slave ships. Folk music was often referred to as the music of the lower class.

Folk music was a means for communication for the slaves to talk to each other secretly. Most times, they were used to keep the spirits high to help others continue working. The slaves also used folk music as a way to discuss the planned escape without using words that would alert masters. These hymns, rhythms, and songs were used as coping mechanisms while enduring torturous labor. Folk music was used by the enslaved to express their dislike for their master, tell a story, or communicate with each other.

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 used to convey their struggles, and keep themselves connected to their cultural roots in Africa. Many songs that are associated with folk music have also been associated with conflict and human rights. Folk music also influenced R&B, Jazz, and Blues music, which are still dominating in the African American culture.

One element of folk music is polyrhythm, which contains several contrasting rhythms that were played and sung simultaneously. Another aspect of folk music is the banjo, which is a popular instrument used.   Another element is the patting juba, which is a style of dance that was used to replace drumming that consisted of clapping, stomping, and patting your arms, chest, and legs.  Also, folk music has been passed down orally, which was usually passed down by word of mouth.

Assessment :

Lauren Smith used lots of visuals for her folk music page. The information is not as detailed as some other pages that I looked at. The overall look of the page is nice but she could have added more. The page is messing some aspects such as the social implications, elements of the genre and their could have also been some information on how folk music influenced other genres. I did like the way the instruments were described in detail and the information and videos of how to use the instrument. I did learn more about the banjo which I didn’t previously know such as it was used in folk music. I and also associated the banjo to white people just like Lauren stated in her conclusion.

Twanesha Powell

Twanesha Powell


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