Folk Music: A Regional Exploration

Author: Norm Cohen

Publication date: 2005

Greenwood Guides to American Roots Music

Greenwood Press

“American folk music has provided a narrative thread to the fiber of the nation since its earliest days. Forms ranging from New England sea chanteys to Pennsylvania Dutch worksongs helped shape life in the Northeast. Appalachian ballads evolved in the South, as did slave spirituals that served as codes for the Underground Railroad. Folk ballads on lumbering and mining grew in the Midwest and Northwest, while cowboy ballads emerged across the Great Plains and the West, and railroad songs accompanied expansion along the American frontier. Folk music scholar Norm Cohen presents a thorough exploration of the many ways in which folk music genres and subgenres have arisen in different regions of America. Chapters on folk song types, folk instrumentation, and the urban folk revival set further context to the discussion, and an itemized summary of noted folksong collections serves as an additional tool for both general readers and folk music scholars. The Greenwood Guide to American Roots Music series includes volumes on musical genres that have pervaded American culture. Each volume explores the different ways that selected genres, such as folk music, have evolved naturally in different regions and "scenes" thoughout the nation."

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