All about Music

Folk Music of the United Kingdom

Folk music is usually transmitted from one generation to the other and is an important subculture in society. The island nation of United Kingdom consists of four countries, namely England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with different traditions and customs. Such diversity can also be seen in folk music, with each country having its own distinctive music forms. But how does folk music differ from country to country in the UK?

Folk Music in England

English folk music has a history that dates back to the medieval period where people used different music forms to celebrate their culture and transmit their customs and traditions orally from generation to generation. Although new music forms replaced English folk music during the industrialisation period, this music genre was revived at the start of the 21st century where it was fused with other music forms to produce subgenres such as folk punk and British folk rock.

Scottish Folk Music

Scotland is known widely as a country that holds its cultural traditions dearly and folk music helps preserve much of this tradition. Scottish folk music features a myriad of song and they include laments and ballads. In most cases, the songs are sung by a single singer, though some other people may help play the harps, bagpipes, and other music instruments. These songs are accompanied by traditional dances, including reels, jigs, strathspeys, and waltzes. As with the rest of the United Kingdom, Scottish folk music underwent a revival. But who inspired these revolutions? Names such as Jeannie Robertson, Cathy-Ann McPhee, The Whistlebinkies, The Clutha, and The Boys of the Lough played a big role in reviving folk music and fusing it with new music forms.

Welsh Folk Music

Like the Scottish, Welsh people love their culture and would hold ceremonies to commemorate and instill certain behaviors in people. Folk music is played in music festivals, which is known in Welsh as gwyl werin, and communal dances (twmpathau). Some of the most notable Welsh folk musicians include Robin Huw Bowen. After Bowem, new bands such as Rag Foundation, Moniars, Boys From The Hill, and Carreg Lafar gained popularity in the folk music industry.

Northern Ireland Folk Music

Irish folk music, or simply Irish trad, is of vital importance to people from Northern Ireland. Unlike other British and European countries, Northern Ireland folk music fared strongly against radio and other mass media that threatened the survival of this music. Sean-nós songs and Caoineadh songs, which are about stress, death, hardships in life, are typical Northern Ireland folk music forms. Instruments used in this music include banjo, guitar, bodhran, bouzouki, and harmonica. Van Morrison is arguably the best and most popular musician in Northern Ireland to have been influenced by folk music.

Parting Shot

While folk music continues to change with time, it obvious that some of the traditions will be preserved for years to come. Given that energetic dance forms accompany this music, people can seek medical advice from livi if they get hurt during performances.