Questions tagged [folk]

Folk music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th century folk revival. The term originated in the 19th century but is often applied to music that is older than that. Some types of folk music are also called world music.

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What makes two dances that share the same meter and a similar tempo different?

Common practice music employs only a small handful of time signatures, but there is a multitude of different dances. The steps are different. But is there something other than meter and tempo that ...
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Why does American traditional music (e.g. old-time fiddle, folk, bluegrass, etc.) exclude drumming?

I'm a trained percussionist who for years has appreciated traditional American folk music. I've also been frustrated for years by the complete lack of any drums in this music. I've searched the web ...
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Analysing “Dust to Dust”, John Kirkpatrick

I've been trying to analyse the song "Dust to Dust" by John Kirkpatrick to perhaps get some insight into how one writes in Locrian without sounding it sounding ugly. The only thing I've noticed is ...
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Where do we draw the line between a new composition and an arrangement In folk-themed pieces?

Take for example Mozart's variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman!", or Bartok's Romanian Dances, or Komitas' Armenian Dances. What makes them "original" compositions? Does taking a melody not count ...
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Am-Dm-Am-E songs (usually powerful folk songs) what key could they be in? What diatonic blues harp or penny whistle to use?

Examples include some (best ^_^) interpretations of Katyusha, La Llorona, Bella Ciao, Cariñito etc. They often go into short C-major type sequences during emphasis so everything points to an Am scale. ...
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How do you phrase Celtic and Irish music?

Is there a hard and fast rule on how to slur notes for Celtic and Irish jigs and reels? I have listened to many people play this kind of folk music (Alasdair Fraser, Deborah Klemme, Eileen Ivers...), ...
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Analysis of Scarborough Fair

I'm attempting to figure out what is going on in terms of harmony with this song. This is the best I have managed so far (supposing a tonal center of A): Chords are: Am Em G ...
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What key contains the chord progression C, Fm, Bb? Or is it multiple keys?

The chord progressions for the song Nomadic Revery by Bonnie Prince Billy are: Verse: (C Fm Bb Fm Bb C)x2 Cmaj7 Chorus: (Bb C Fm Bb C)x2 Bridge: (Cm Eb)x3 Gm (Cm Eb)x3 Bb Cm (Cm Eb)x3 Fm Gm The ...
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Where does the opening solo of the Rite of Spring come from?

In Tom Service's commentary to the BBC Proms 2013 performance of the Rite of Spring, he starts off with something I had no idea of: The best bassoon solo ever? It sounds otherworldly: but it's ...
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Find the origin of folk

The origins of a specific piece of music can be difficult to find. Especially when there are multiple variations in multiple languages. Folk music is often old and translated many times. Sometimes ...
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Is there a particular word, name, classification or designation that differentiates “Slavic Sung” Vibrato?

I introduce this question with something I'll amateurishly call "Slavic sung vibrato", because I don't know of a better term. It's a sort of recognizable extendeded and pronounced vibrato that ...
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What characterizes American folk music?

It seems the American folk genre is pretty diverse, from Bob Dylan (and much earlier!) to more modern musicians like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. Specifically, I want to know if there are certain ...
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What makes a song sound “folk-y”?

Are there distinctive traits (melodies, scales, chord progressions, rhythm, techniques) that set the genre of folk music apart?
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How much of classical Arabic maqam music is improvised?

I am listening to a piece of music sung in maqam bayat (or bayati). It's Psalm 126, which is 7 verses long, but the piece takes about 10 minutes and sounds very improvisatory. This is similar to ...
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How to avoid excessive bow-hair damage when playing “scratch percussion” on string instruments?

Prominently featured in Bluegrass fiddle playing, the ever-so-feared noise of a bow "squaking" over the strings can be used to produce distinctive, yet surprisingly sweet percussive accents if well ...
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At the research of some folklore russian accordion tunes

The other day I was watching a video documentary about the discovering of frozen mammoths in the Siberian tundra. At some moment there was a tune in I really enjoyed. It was mainly accordion, rather ...
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Original underlying melodies of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies

As we all know, Liszt's 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies contain and conserve some Hungarian and Gipsy tunes (although some of them are in a somewhat modified form). I'd like to know if there's any resource ...
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What characterises Irish drumming?

A bunch of my friends are into Irish music, including irish punk/rock (like the Pogues), as well as more folky stuff. I play (kit) drums, and would like to be able join in. I've tried, but I'm not ...