Folk Music

My reading of choice was “Folk Music: Songs of the Struggle” by Jasmine Jenkins. In her article, Jenkins successfully begun her text with a strong statement when she stated that most of the struggles of the enslaved black person could be traced back to the stories they told in the early folk songs. It is important to make note of Jenkins’ connection to identity, or lack thereof, when exploring important composers from the genre. This highlighted fact is vital to the story of enslaved people; it touches on how their identity was stripped from them,giving them a reason to sing in the first place. Jenkins’ article was beautifully written but I would have liked to see more emphasis on how the use of folk song influenced the daily lives of the enslaved people whether it be negative or positive – embracive or punishable. I did however really enjoy the connection made between folk songs and the modern day songs they’ve influenced. This connection allowed me to put a sound to the influence Folk music has on modern day music and gain a deeper appreciation for the sound and its history. 

The article was very brief in content and thus resulting in a vague understanding of the genre. Although I feel I understand the basic idea of the concept, the author failed to keep me engaged in her text or interested in learning more. I was disappointed with the length, being that Folk was the genre in which all other genres derived from so I would have liked to see greater detail on the delivery of song, the consequences of performance, or the response of their masters. Overall Ms.Jenkins organized the assignment well and was clear on her topic. My only area of feedback would be detail in content.