folk music


music, usually of simple character and anonymous authorship, handed down among the common people by oral tradition.
music by known composers that has become part of the folk tradition of a country or region.

Nearby words

  1. folk linguistics,
  2. folk magic,
  3. folk mass,
  4. folk medicine,
  5. folk memory,
  6. folk rock,
  7. folk singer,
  8. folk singing,
  9. folk society,
  10. folk song

Origin of folk music

First recorded in 1885–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for folk music

British Dictionary definitions for folk music

folk music


music that is passed on from generation to generation by oral traditionCompare art music
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

Word Origin and History for folk music

folk music

1889, from folk (also cf. folklore). In reference to the branch of modern popular music (originally associated with Greenwich Village in New York City) it dates from 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture 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.