History[ edit ] Appalachian dulcimer Immigrants from EnglandWalesIrelandand Scotland arrived in Appalachia in the 18th century, and brought with them the musical traditions of these countries. These traditions consisted primarily of English and Scottish ballads — which were essentially unaccompanied narratives— and dance music, such as Irish reelswhich were accompanied by a fiddle. New World ballads were typically written to reflect news events of the day, and were often published as broadsides.
Barnhill, photographer, [between and ]. The term "Appalachian music" is in truth an artificial category, created and defined by a small group of scholars in the early twentieth century, but bearing only a limited relationship to the actual musical activity of people living in the Appalachian mountains.
Since the region is not only geographically, but also Appalachian musicians essay and musically diverse and has been since the early days of European settlement there music of the Appalachian mountains is as difficult to define as is American music in general.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing into the s, nearly all of the early scholarship on Appalachian music focused on "ballad-hunting" or "song-catching," the discovery of New World variants of ballads and other songs that had originated in the British Isles.
He and others helped create an unassailable historical connection between some of the songs of Appalachia and those of the British Isles.
The early assessments of Appalachian music by non-Appalachian writers reflected the values and interests of the writers much more than those of the subjects. For example, Robert Winslow Gordon, founder of the Archive of Folk Song in the Library of Congress in now the American Folklife Centersaw Appalachian folk music as defined by its direct relation to British song as the more "authentic" or "American" alternative to African-American and Jewish-American popular music: From the point of view of true Americanism.
Folklorists and activists such as John and Alan Lomax, Ziphia Horton, and others collected topical and contemporary songs in the s and s, often in tandem with efforts at organizing the Appalachian population for leftist causes. Furthermore, isolation between these groups was not necessarily the norm.
The mountain dulcimer, now almost an icon of Appalachian music, is a direct descendant of the German Scheitholt. African-American banjos, string bands, and many of the tunes that came with them arrived sometime around the s as minstrel shows began to make their way around the U. They used homemade fiddles side by side with guitars, banjos and mandolins purchased by mail.
In the process of selecting performers and repertoire to record, Peer did urge performers to keep out anything modern. But even this small cloud had a silver lining. The Teneva Ramblers, a group that operated out of Bristol but had recently acquired the talents of a young Mississippi singer named Jimmie Rodgers, were told that before they could record they had to find "older, more down-home songs than the ones they had been doing.
Ernest Phipps of the Holiness Church, stark traditionalist B. Shelton, fiddler "El" Watson the only known African American at the sessions and other string band musicians, contemporary shape-note singers the Alcoa Quartet, and numerous others--showed that the music of the mountains was woven from many strands indeed.
Stephen William Foster has stated, "One might argue that the notion of Appalachia as a distinctive and creditable variant of American culture remains a minority opinion. In fact, music of the Appalachian region has never been one thing, but rather another multifaceted force in the creation of twentieth-century music.
Its influence has appeared in blues, jazz, bluegrass, honky tonk, country, gospel, and pop, at the very least. These music styles owe to Appalachia much the same debt they owe to cities and rural areas outside Appalachia. The story of Appalachian music is very similar to the story of music in America, where musicians have never cared much for categories or purity of lineage, but have eagerly mined whatever styles and forms felt suitable for the raw material of new adaptations.
Caption for image above: Notes Williams, Appalachia, Ragtime · Blues · Hot Piano WWI Draft Registration Cards and Essays Jelly Roll Morton · Relatives · Associates · Musicians Ragtime Composers · Bandleaders · Authors · Broadcasters.
This article is Part 2 of a multipart series looking at the statistics gathered from choruses, verses, etc.
of popular songs to discover the answer to some interesting questions about .
Disclaimer to Internet readers: The following text is a humorous essay written for the layperson. It originally appeared in a companion booklet to my Christmas Collection CDs. The information, while factual, is presented in a personal, unorthodox manner.
This webpage is for Dr.
Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies. John Michael Vlach is Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at The George Washington University and Director of the university’s Folklife Program.
His scholarship has focused on aspects of the African Diaspora, conducting field research in Africa (Ghana, Nigeria), the Caribbean (Haiti, Jamaica), and across the southern regions of the United States.
Hiking The Appalachian Trail Scenic Trail, is a footpath in the eastern United States for outdoor enthusiasts, extending about about miles from Maine .