Folk Music in The United States

A complete authoritative book by BRUNO NETTL providing an
over-all view of folk and traditional music in the USA

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Folk Music In the USA


During the past few years, folk music has become such a popular subject in America that hundreds of collections, printed and recorded, and dozens of descriptive books have appeared. Most of the latter concern themselves with special fields within American folk music, but, surprisingly, no over-all survey or summary of the subject in its entirety exists. The folk music of the non-English-speaking groups has been especially neglected in attempts to survey the field. This volume is intended, in an introductory and elementary fashion, to fill that gap. It does not pretend to be definitive or comprehensive nor to present new material. Based on previous publications by many authors, its piu:-pose is to introduce the layman to the great variety of forms and cultures represented in the folk music in this country. Only a glimpse into each of the larger categories is ofEered, and many important song types, instruments, and ethnic groups are omitted. The emphasis is on the music; words are here a secondary consideration. I have tried to include such material on folk music in general as is necessary for understanding the material in this country (hence the non-American examples), and I have gone beyond what is usually included in folk music discussions in order to show the use of folk music in the modern city, in the professional singer's repertory, and in art music. But I advise the reader to continue beyond this introduction, which merely scratches the surface of the subject, into the fascinating world of folk music, a world to which the United States has made a unique contribution. The chapter bibliographies are included with the reader's further exploration in mind. Changes made in this revised edition are minimal. I have corrected obvious errors, and I have heeded some suggestions made by review^ers of the first edition. Also, I have brought biographical aids (p. 118-122) up to date, and I have added an index.
Finally, I am indebted to Richard M. Dorson for the idea of writing this book and for his valuable advice and suggestions.
Bruno Nettl

Sheet music is provided for the MUSICAL examples section in BW 200dpi format, it is intended for printing rather than screen display so the quality may not be that good on some displays. If you have probelms with it try printing, the apperence will be much better.

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