Folk Music in The United States


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88                 An Introduction to Folk Music in the United States

members of a folk group or musicological study. The results of such a use of folk music are varied. Some composers write melodies in the style of folk songs and fit them into an environment which bears little or no relationship to that style. This happened, for example, in Dvorak's Fifth Symphony (From the New World); the second theme of the first movement imitates an Indian song in a symphony which is otherwise not Indian in style. Another example is a theme in Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring which sounds like an American fiddle tune. That these discrepancies do not inhibit the general effectiveness of the compositions goes without saying.

Less frequently, composers have taken certain characteristic elements of a folk style, such as a peculiar kind of tonal organization, a rhythmic pattern, or a kind of melodic contour, and used it, leaving other elements of the music in their non-folk style. An example is the violin solo from Rimski-Korsakov's Scheherazade, where the rhythmic monotony and the interweaving of a few tones, common in Arabic and Persian music, are taken over into a Western tonal and harmonic structure.

Finally, some composers try to reproduce the stylistic features of folk music even in those elements of their music which are not present in the folk style at all, such as harmony. This reproduction is usually accomplished by extending the patterns of the folk style, such as the use of a scale in the harmony which is already present in the melody. This manner of imparting the elements of a kind of folk or exotic music to the entire musical structure of a complex Western piece has been used by some modern composers, for example, by Bartok and Vaughan Williams in Hungarian and English folk songs.

The use of folk music has had several purposes. Occasionally it has been tried in order to create a light or gay mood. In music with a text or a program (representation of non-musical material), rustic scenes and peasants are sometimes characterized by folk-like elements. Various types of local color and geographic locations are indicated by folk or folk-like music. In the nineteenth century the main motivation for using traditional material seems to have been the growing national consciousness among

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