Folk Music, What is it, It’s History and Influence

From it’s ancient history to today’s modern fusions folk music in modern music. To try and make some sense of this deceptively simple-sounding term we’ve thrown together a brief outline of, largely Western, folk history and its evolution.
What is folk music?
By definition, folk music is a style of music that represents a community and sung by people using the instruments available in their community. It is the music of the people and so, it is expected of them to be familiar and be able to play it. Traditionally, people learn folk music from others and not from the performance in the studio or on stage. The songs are passed down from one generation to another. Folk music tells the story of how the people live, their daily activities, as well as their daily struggles in life. While most of these songs are not performed on stage or recorded in the studio, people get to learn the songs by singing them with others. A good example of folk songs is the jamboree songs and children songs like “Happy Birthday To You”.
History of Folk Music
Different countries have different folk music. While Europe and Asia have their own sets of folk music, America also has her own folk music. American folk music was born as early as the first settlers of America. Americans expressed their protest, delights, and desire through songs. 
American folk music is also known as roots music since it led to the development of many other forms of music nowadays such as jazz, pop, rock n’ roll, blues, and many more. American folk music rose to popularity around the 1950s and even became a phenomenon in the 1960s. During this time, the songs of famous folk musicians, Woody Guthrie, were everywhere and all Americans can sing folk songs. It was at the end of the 1960s when people became more comfortable with folk music and musicians personalized folk songs by adding philosophies and belief in them. Folk musicians have included the stories of war, their political point of view, as well as their stand on many political issues; then its popularity died out in the mid-70s.
Folk Music and Its Influence
Folk music plays a big role in society then and now. It was the people’s way of telling their fellow how they struggle with life or how fun and wonderful their life is. It also serves as their voice when their own voices aren’t loud enough to reach the government. Folk music wasn’t just used as a propaganda tool, but it was also the force that unites people and teaches them that it is alright to express their own opinions. And today, folk music has evolved according to how people or the community would benefit from it. At present, folk music provides hope and inspires listeners all over the world.  

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