Introduction to Anglo-American Folk Music

Photograph of a banjo.

A banjo. (Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.)


MIT Course Number

21L.423J / 21M.223J

As Taught In

Fall 2005



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Description

This course examines the production, transmission, preservation and qualities of folk music in the British Isles and North America from the 18th century to the folk revival of the 1960s and the present. There is a special emphasis on balladry, fiddle styles, and African-American influences. The class sings ballads and folk songs from the Child and Lomax collections as well as other sources as we examine them from literary, historical, and musical points of view. Readings supply critical and background materials from a number of sources. Visitors and films bring additional perspectives.

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Related Content

George Ruckert, and Ruth Perry. 21L.423J Introduction to Anglo-American Folk Music. Fall 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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