Appalachian music. Usually paired with the image of hicks on a dilapidated porch in West Virginia. To some Americans, Appalachian music could seem to be a genre of simple minded folk songs from a poor town in the southern mountains of North America. Some people may simply think of the Deliverance theme song, met by the image of a handicapped child playing his banjo in the trails of Appalachia. What most people do not think about is the significance that Appalachian music plays in most of the music America listens to today. This music has influenced many other genres, including Rock & Roll, Classical and even Punk, and especially what we know today as urban folk.
[...] Although Appalachian music is not initially considered a genre of high sophistication, when closely studied one sees how valuable this music is to the history of American music. Without such music, America would not have such equally influential genres as, Urban Folk, Country Music, Blues and Rock ‘n' Roll. Bibliography Dexter, Diane. An American Mosaic. Vol Jones, Joanna. Copland Appalachian Spring; Music for the Theatre; Two Ballads; El Salon Mexico, etc Copland Appalachian Spring; Music for the Theatre; Two Ballads; El Salon Mexico, etc Little, Thomas J. [...]
[...] The reason for this is because as opposed to British communities, Appalachian community gatherings were not as frequent, so this would be there only chance to meet members of their community all in one place. Unfortunately, by the 1930s, with the combination of liquor and fighting, Square dances faded out. Nineteen states in the U.S. have designated the square dance as their state dance. African Americans had their own dance, called the “Cakewalk”. This music and dance was a grotesque outgrowth of just some of the ways slaves were treated by the White community. [...]
[...] It has also been known to be played in a “guitar style” when the dulcimer hangs from a strap around the neck, and the instrument is played as if it is a guitar. The instrument became used as a parlor instrument, as its sound volume was well-suited to small home gatherings. The Appalachian dulcimer achieved a renaissance in the 1950s urban folk music revival in the United States through the work of Jean Ritchie, a Kentucky musician who introduced the instrument to New York City audiences. [...]
[...] CHARACTERISTIC S OF APPALACHIAN MUSIC As stated previously, the demographics which initially made up the Appalachian region were those of an Anglo Saxon, Gaelic or African origins. The music from Appalachia truly reflects this in its form, timbre, composition and subject matter. Like Irish music, Appalachian music has many characteristics of Irish music. These include ornamentation, lilting (form of improvisation), tonal qualities and lastly, as for singers, a nasally quality used in the timbre of the voice. Mostly all Appalachian songs can be categorized as Celtic and Anglo dance tunes, reels, and ballads. [...]
[...] At young ages they heard the tight harmonies of Appalachian gospel music and participated in shape note style singing. Ma Maybelle of the Carter Family introduced a guitar style where lead melodies were picked out by the thumb. Tim Eriksen is a young ethnomusicologist. He was a featured performer on the Cold Mountain motion picture soundtrack. He started out as a punk artist, but now mainly performs Appalachian folk music. The Fairfield Four is a legendary gospel group. They sing a capella music that takes uses African influences. [...]
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