Folk music in the United States from 1800 to 1850 had a unique sound. All countries around the world formed their own style or type of folk music. The United States was no different. But there were some similarities with folk music from different parts of the world.
With the continued migration of people from various countries, the United States included many of the different styles and types into their own folk music. In the United States, different regions developed different folk music and different instruments.
Folk music in the United States from 1800 to 1850 was influenced by migrants from Europe. Immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany brought some of their folk music with them. Folk music was generally not written in sentence form. Folk music was handed down from one person to another person.
The first forms of folk music were ballads. The ballads helped people understand many different things like politics, relationships, families, and work. There were ballads sung by workers on whaling ships, railroads, canal builders, and more. Slaves in the southern states used ballads throughout the workday in the fields. Other ballads explained a victory or loss at a specific battle, a political problem, and there were ballads explaining the origins of immigrants and their families.
Children’s folk music
Another form of folk music in the United from 1800 to 1850 was geared toward children. These folk songs had quick rhymes and snappy music. Folk songs for children explained morality, games, and were an easy way for children to learn. Some of the most famous children’s folk songs are still popular today. Songs like the Alphabet Song, A Tisket, A Tasket, Bingo, Farmer in the Dell, and Johnny Appleseed were folk songs written in the United States from 1800 to 1850.
Frontier folk music
Folk music along the frontier in the United States from 1800 to 1850 was different. The frontiersmen had a variety of different instruments. This music concentrated on fun and was generally played during festive times or in the evening. Songs like Oh! Susanna, Camptown Races, Turkey In De Straw, Home, Sweet Home, Dixie, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Jimmy Crack Corn was instrumental in helping people forget their worries of the lonesome frontier.
Instruments used along the frontier also played a part in creating folk music. Pianos were not common. Easily carried musical instruments like guitars, drums, fifes, violins, banjos, harmonicas, and harpsicords were common instruments to accompany folk music.
Other forms of folk music
Other regions of the United States created its own style of folk music. For instance, in New Orleans, musicians played Cajun-style folk music influenced by Creole-speaking people and slaves.
Gospel folk music was prominent during the Second Great Awakening. Along with vibrant preachers, people sang in unison citing scripture. Many gospel songs were written from 1800 to 1850, including Amazing Grace and America.
Facts about Folk Music in the United States from 1800 to 1850
- Folk music originated in Europe. Immigrants entering the United States from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany brought their songs with them.
- At first, folk music was in the form of a ballad. The ballad told a story about various items, including religion, work, politics, and families.
- There were different types or styles of folk music, depending on the region of the country.
- Frontier folk music relied on musical instruments such as guitars, violins, drums, fifes, jugs, and harmonicas. Pianos were not widely available.
- Children’s folk music helped children learn about things in life.
- Frontier folk music concentrated on having fun and was usually accompanied by people dancing.
- Stephen Foster is a famous folk music composer in the United States from 1800 to 1850.
- Gospel music is a form of folk music that became popular during the Second Great Awakening.
What did you learn?
Who is a famous folk music composer of the United States from 1800 to 1850?
What was the first form of folk music in the United States from 1800 to 1850?
What was a famous children’s folk song that helped children learn?
The Alphabet Song
What type of folk music became popular during the Second Great Awakening?