How Folk Music Has Risen in Popularity Recently

Folk music has gone through time periods of increasing popularity. American folk music, in particular, has started to once again grow in popularity.

The History

Folk music started in the 1930s in America with such musicians as Woody Guthrie; and then in the 1960s the musician Bob Dylan became popular. After the 1960s, such artists as John Denver and Joan Baez became popular with their particular type of folk music. Folk music is often associated with times of protest, which is partly why such singers became popular during the 1960s when there was much protest against the Vietnam war and a desire to return to more peaceful times. Joan Baez even played during the “Occupy Wall Street” event and protest held a few years ago.

The Increase

One theory as to why there is this increased interest in folk music is that people are tired of listening to pop music and are looking to return to a more traditional type of music. Folk music is a type of music that has ties to tradition, which is another reason it may be very popular in certain countries. There are a couple of reasons why folk music may be gaining in popularity. One reason may be the lyrics of the songs. Many of the pop songs today do not have meaningful lyrics and appeal more to teens or very young adults, which leaves out the vast majority of older adults who want to listen to music with meaningful lyrics.

Today’s Bands

It is safe to say that nowadays there still are many folk music bands, for example, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons and Passenger. Part of reason why the folk music is gaining popularity is that they have various sub-genres including Americana, techno-folk, punk-folk, and freak-folk. Some of these new folk music artists, such as Laura Marling and Jake Bugg, are doing very well and playing at big stadiums to large audiences.

The Lumineers

Techno-folk includes electronic music and acoustic instruments while punk-folk fuses punk rock and folk music. It is the willingness to add to traditional folk music that has led to these new music sub-genres. This has helped to keep elements of folk music alive today and that’s how it became popular again.

In America today, the music associated with Americana is a big hit and taps into the patriotism of the general population. Some may argue that Americana is not truly folk music, but it draws much of its inspiration from the folk.

Folk music today is able to occupy a new music niche by incorporating elements of other music yet retaining aspects of traditional folk music. This is largely how folk music has resurged in countries such as America. In Europe, many countries have retained their traditional folk music since this music is associated with ceremonies and tradition.

Folk music, in America in particular, is used when people protest social injustices. People of late have been much more aware of what they perceive as an unjust world and thus have been turning to this type of folk music as it reflects more how they are feeling today, and this includes the younger generation who have become increasingly disenfranchised with the world and with their government.

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