folk music

See synonyms for folk music on
  1. music, usually of simple character and anonymous authorship, handed down among the common people by oral tradition.

  2. music by known composers that has become part of the folk tradition of a country or region.

Origin of folk music

First recorded in 1885–90

Words Nearby folk music Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use folk music in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for folk music

folk music

  1. music that is passed on from generation to generation by oral tradition: Compare art music

  2. any music composed in the idiom of this oral tradition

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for folk music

folk music

A kind of music originating from the ordinary people of a region or nation and continued by oral tradition. The ballad (see also ballad) is a typical form of folk music. Music is also called “folk” when it is made by artists and composers who are inspired by, or imitate, true folk music. Composers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie are folk musicians of the second kind.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.