The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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264 The National Music of America.
Has America also a folk-song ? Certain cir­cumstances have militated against the creation of it. Just as music is often the offspring of sorrow, so prosperity often obliterates the marked types of existence which culminate in folk-song. England's folk-songs meant something while the yeomanry and peasantry were well-defined types; when commercial prosperity made the mother-country one of the most powerful nations of the earth, its folk-song began to decay.
America is handicapped in the production of folk-song both by its business activity and by the fact that it is a gathering of many nations who are not yet amalgamated into a distinct type; at best its folk-songs are sec­tional rather than national; the life of the West, the South, the North, each presents a different phase which would produce different music, — if it produced any.
But the North (the Eastern and Middle States) is too definitely commercial to reflect
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