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List of North American folk music traditions

List of North American folk music traditions

This is a list of folk music traditions, with styles, dances, instruments and other related topics. The term folk music can not be easily defined in a precise manner; it is used with widely varying definitions depending on the author, intended audience and context within a work. Similarly, the term traditions in this context does not connote any strictly-defined criteria. Music scholars, journalists, audiences, record industry individuals, politicians, nationalists and demagogues may often have occasion to address which fields of folk music are distinct traditions based along racial, geographic, linguistic, religious, tribal or ethnic lines, and all such peoples will likely use different criteria to decide what constitutes a "folk music tradition". This list uses the same general categories used by mainstream, primarily English-language, scholarly sources, as determined by relevant statements of fact and the internal structure of works.

These traditions may coincide entirely, partially or not at all with geographic, political, linguistic or cultural boundaries. Very few, if any, music scholars would claim that there are any folk music traditions that can be considered specific to a distinct group of people and with characteristics undiluted by contact with the music of other peoples; thus, the folk music traditions described herein overlap in varying degrees with each other.

See also

  • American folk music
  • Folk music


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  • Borggreen, Jørn (2012). Right to the Helm: Cape Breton Square Dances, third ed. Jyllinge, Denmark: The author.
  • Broughton, Simon (2000). Mark Ellingham (ed.). Rough Guide to World Music (First ed.). London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
  • Burk, Cassie; Virginia Meierhoffer; Claude Anderson Phillips (1942). America's Musical Heritage. Laidlaw Brothers.
  • Crawford, Richard (2001). America's Musical Life: A History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04810-1.
  • Darden, Robert (2004). People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8264-1436-2.
  • Fussell, Fred C. (2003). Blue Ridge Music Trails: Finding a Place in the Circle. North Carolina Folklife Institute. ISBN 0-8078-5459-X.
  • Lankford, Ronald D. Jr. (2005). The Changing Voice Music of Protest USA. New York: Schirmer Trade Books. ISBN 0-8256-7300-3.
  • Lornell, Kip (2004). NPR Curious Listener's Guide to American Folk. New York: Berkley Publisher Group. ISBN 0-399-53033-9.
  • "Music and Theater". Maryland History and Culture. Archived from the original on May 7, 2005. Retrieved September 12, 2005.
  • Ritchie, Fiona (2004). The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Celtic Music. New York: Berkley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-399-53071-1.
  • Philip V. Bohlman; Bruno Nettl; Charles Capwell; Thomas Turino; Isabel K. F. Wong (1997). Excursions in World Music (Second ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-230632-8.
  • Nettl, Bruno (1965). Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  • Sawyers, June Skinner (2000). Celtic Music: A Complete Guide (First ed.). Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81007-7.
  • Titon, Jeff Todd; David Locke; David P. McAllester; Anne K. Rasmussen; Jonathan P. J. Stock; David B. Reck; John M. Schechter; Timothy Cooley; R. Anderson Sutton (2008). Jeff Todd Titon (ed.). Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples (Fifth ed.). New York: Schirmer Books/Cengage. ISBN 978-0-02-872602-1.
  • van der Merwe, Peter (1989). Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316121-4.
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Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: List of North American folk music traditions by Wikipedia (Historical)