American Folk Music Analysis

2051 Words9 Pages
Since its discovery by the western world American has been looked upon as a place of change, a place for people to go and remake themselves. With this mentality, people took their culture and recreated it in America. The aspect of culture that saw the largest amount of change was music. Music changed in many ways because of people wanting to sing hymns that they could not in Europe, not having or remembering the original music right, passing down music orally, having different instruments, or being exposed to new music altogether. American Folk music was created for these reasons and many more. It would not be until the Great Depression that American Roots music was made mainstream, thanks in part by preservationists and Communist groups. With…show more content…
John Lomax believed that the tradition of folk music could quickly be lost if some movement to preserve the style was not started. And so, he set out to record as many voices as he could. Thanks to his efforts many records are now preserved in the Library of Congress. Due to his efforts in creating awareness around folk music, John Lomax is partly responsible for the popularizing the genre of…show more content…
But now, the musicians had a new struggle to inspire people to act around, the rise of Nazi Germany and the start of the Second World War. Many communist folk singers supported Stalin's Russia during the nineteen thirty-nine. Once the war started and the many different European nations became involved, the folk scene took action. Many songs were created defacing Nazi Germany and encouraging the people to fight against them and to not give up hope. From this time many songs such as "Tear the Fascists Down" and "Mr. Hitler". This is also the period when Guthrie wrote "This Machine Kills Fascists" on his guitar after the creation of an antifascist song. Soon, during the nineteen forties, many of the people responsible for the folk revival died, those people include John Lomax and Led Belly ending with Guthrie in the late sixties. The scene would die back to only include some sparse festivals around the American South. It would not be until the late sixties that people like Bob Dylan would gain attention displaying an obvious folk inspired style. From that point forward many musicians from many different genres would cite dominate folk artist as an inspiration, such people as Andrew Jackson Jihad and Johnny

More about American Folk Music Analysis

Open Document