Folk Music 4 examples
What is folk music? • A broad term applied to many kinds of music. Also called Traditional Music. • There is often no known author/composer. • It is passed down aurally/orally. • It is indigenous music that evokes the culture and lifestyle of the people from which it comes. • Indigenous: having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.
This week we will study different types of folk music. • American Hymn (liturgical text or scripture was often set to folk tunes) • Russian Folk Song • Polish Folk Music/Dance • Spanish Folk Music/Dance
Modes (also called Church Modes) • Many folk songs are modal. That is, they use only the notes in a particular scale (series of pitches). • There are 7 modes. If you use only the white keys on the piano, you can play the notes in a mode by starting on any key and playing the seven ascending notes. • C – Ionian (major scale) • D – Dorian • E – Phrygian • F – Lydian • G – Mixolydian • A – Aeolian (minor scale) • B – Locrian
Interesting… • The Doctrine of Ethos: the ancient Greeks believed that music possessed moral qualities and could affect character and behavior. • Plato recommended two modes, or styles of song, the Dorian and Phrygian because they fostered the virtues of temperance and courage.
American Hymn • When the settlers came to America they sang German chorales and British Psalms (EinFeste Burg istunserGott). • Eventually they began to sing hymns composed by Isaac Watts during the Great Awakening. • Many hymns were set to folk tunes. • New Britain – Amazing Grace • Green sleeves – What child is This • Saw Ye My Jonny – Saw Ye My Savior
Songsters/Tune Books • A small pocket sized book containing the lyrics and sometimes also the music of hymns. • Singing School – Singing Masters would travel from town to town. Often entire towns would attend. It was also viewed as an opportunity for courtship among the young people. • Shape-note Notation: farepresented as a triangle, sol as a circle, laas a square, mias a diamond, etc.
Russian Folk Song • Much of Russian folk music was sung a cappella. Instruments were forbidden in church. • Russian folk songs tend to move within a narrow range. Rhythmic patterns are often repeated. The meter is often mixed (4/4 time may change to 3/2 time then back again). They are generally modal. • The words are very important – poetry.
Balalaika- a traditional Russian instrument • a stringed instrument of Russian origin, with a characteristic triangular body and 3 strings
Polish Folk Music and Dance • Songs are sung at important rituals and events. • Mazurka – a traditional Polish dance that emphasizes the weak beats (or off-beats). • Accompanied by dudy or gajdy(Polish Bagpipes) • Melody would be played on fujarka(shepherd’s pipe) • Dancers stamp or click heals on the displaced beats.
Lydian Mode • Poland’s folk music often used the lydian mode. The lydian mode has a raised 4th.
Spanish Folk Music/Dance • Spain has over 1000 types of dance. • Dances can be ritual or non-ritual. • Ritual dances are performed by specially rehearsed dancers. • Non-ritual dances have simple steps and can be danced by anyone.
Flamenco • Traditionally, Flamenco is learned by watching relatives or friends. • It is a dance accompanied by guitar • The dancer uses hand claps – palmassordas, finger snaps – pitos, and stomping – taconeo, to express the music and rhythm. • The Phrygian mode is typically used.