The aim point of this paper will be the Western Folk Music and the history of it. The writer will show how the music has been changed through centuries and which factors were responsible for the spreading of each kind of those music. …
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Moreover, they were sung by neighbors and the communities, when there were major events (Dzuris 331). In explaining folk music, I have not found an accepted definition, but this does not mean that it does not have a definition, but it ranges with the understanding of the subject. Folk music can be described as the music for and of the people, a nation, a community, or a subculture that carries messages with specific meaning regarding the people’s life and experiences (Dunaway and Beer 7-10). Music in the Western World In reference to the North America, folk music has been there before the arrival of the immigrant from Europe and later from Africa. The European immigrant brought with them ballads and other acoustic instruments. Folk music has been practiced for centuries, was, and is still referred to as the music of the masses. In the 17th century, most of the people in Europe were peasants, and folk songs transferred stories of event through oral narration. By this time, folk music was rarely performed musically. There composition was of simple form and represented the identity of the poorer in the communities (Dunaway and Beer 7- 17). In the period when Christianity movement started in Europe, folk music was at the centre stage of the expansion of the religion. It was highly associated with heathenism due its singing styles. Thereafter, folk music became more popular in society in sensitizing the masses in the start of the romantic period. People like Haydn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky identified themselves with folk music. During this time, there were no cities and people lived in villages and urban communities. And with these settings, folk songs were recognized as a treasure and people identified themselves with the different styles of folk music. Each political beliefs, ethnicity, race, and religion had identified itself with specific style of folk song. Therefore, folk music played an important role in passing on the culture and the history of a particular community or country from one generation another. By the end of 19th century, folk songs had become unpopular in Western Europe and later in Eastern Europe and North America, during this time only the older individuals knew and sung folk songs. Still in the century, cities were established and people were moving from the rural areas to urban cities and this resulted to diminishing of the folk traditional music. Nevertheless, urban folklorists stimulated by a person known as Thomas Percy a British, Johann Gottfried, a German and an American by the name Francis James collected and later published volumes where they emphases on the different age of the folk songs and their meaning in the society. However, there work did not save the diminishing trend of folk songs and the music had little attention by this time. In 1899, Cecil Sharp an English scholar toured various communities in Britain collecting folk songs. He later established a society to preserve the songs, dances and other traditions of communities at that time (Dunaway and Beer 17-23). In the late 19th century, the documentation of folk songs started and more of the songs were recorded on a wax cylinder, and folk songs and other traditions were consolidated and shared far and wide as opposed to being confined within the borders of a community. Later in the same period, some new tradition begun to emerge in the urban districts where the
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