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American folk music

American folk music developed out of various musical traditions of immigrants and enslaved people in the United States. Some key characteristics of American folk music include:

  • Appalachian folk music - Originated from English, Scottish, and Irish ballads and dance tunes brought by immigrants to the Appalachian Mountains. Instruments include the banjo, fiddle, and dulcimer.

  • Blues - Emerged from African-American work songs and spirituals. Characterized by a call-and-response pattern and focus on everyday struggles. Instruments include guitar, harmonica, piano.

  • Cajun music - From the Acadian settlers in Louisiana, combining French folk songs with African and Caribbean influences. Features accordion and frottoir.

  • Country music - Draws from folk, blues, gospel, and traditional American and British Isles songs. Covers themes of rural and working-class life. Instruments include guitar, fiddle, banjo.

  • Native American music - Highly diverse styles reflecting different tribes and regions. May incorporate chants, drums, rattles, and flutes. Songs often tell stories or have spiritual significance.

In general, American folk music is a reflection of the cultural influences and experiences of various immigrant and indigenous communities in the United States throughout history. It remains an important part of America's musical heritage.