Gothic Folk Music: The Sound of Darkness

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


gothic folk music is a subgenre of dark folk that emerged in the late 1990s. Gothic folk artists often use traditional folk instruments to create a dark, atmospheric sound.

Gothic Folk Music Defined

Gothic folk music is a dark and haunting type of music that often features lyrics about death, loss, and love. This music can be found in many different cultures, but it is most commonly associated with the Middle Ages. Gothic folk music often features instruments such as the violin, cello, and harp.

The etymology of “Gothic”

The word “Gothic” has a long and complicated history. It was initially used to describe a style of architecture that flourished in Europe during the Middle Ages. This style is characterized by its ornate and dramatic features, such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses.

The term eventually came to be associated with a wide range of art and literature that was seen as dark, mysterious, and romantic. In the 18th century, Gothic novels became very popular in England. These stories often featured haunted castles, dark secrets, and doomed love affairs.

Today, the word “Gothic” is used to describe a wide range of things that have nothing to do with medieval architecture or 18th-century literature. For example, there is Gothic fashion, which is characterized by dark clothes and makeup; Gothic art, which often features dark themes; and Gothic rock music, which has a dark and atmospheric sound.

So what does all this have to do with folk music? In the 1970s, a group of English musicians started playing a style of music that they called “Gothic folk.” This type of music was inspired by the dark atmosphere of Gothic novels and stories. It often features elements of horror and tragedy, as well as issues such as death, religion, and love.

If you’re interested in exploring Gothic folk music, some good place to start are the bands Solstice, Inkubus Sukkubus, Moi dix Mois ,and Nox Arcana .

The dark and melancholic sound of Gothic Folk

Gothic Folk is a subgenre of Folk music that has its roots in the music of the Goth subculture. The sound is typically dark and melancholic, with lyrics that deal with themes of death, loss, and sorrow. Gothic Folk bands often use traditional folk instruments such as acoustic guitars and violins, but they also incorporate elements of rock and Industrial music. This combination creates a unique and haunting sound that is perfect for exploring the dark side of the human soul.

If you are looking for music that will transport you to a place of dark beauty, then look no further than Gothic Folk. This genre is sure to appeal to fans of both Folk and Gothic music, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who hear it.

The History of Gothic Folk Music

Gothic folk music is a type of music that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United Kingdom. It is characterized by dark, often morbid, lyrics and a sound that is sometimes compared to that of funeral music. Gothic folk often includes elements of traditional folk music, but it is typically darker and more melancholy.

Gothic Folk’s roots in the 18th and 19th centuries

The Gothic Folk genre has its roots in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a dark, melancholy style of music that often features minor keys and dark themes. Gothic Folk is sometimes referred to as “Dark Folk” or “Death Folk”.

Some of the earliest Gothic Folk musicians were in England. They were influenced by folkloric traditions and by the Romantic poets such as Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the 19th century, Gothic Folk began to spread to other countries, particularly Germany and Scandinavia.

Gothic Folk has been influential on many other genres of music, including Punk, Metal, and even Pop. In recent years, it has experienced a resurgence in popularity due in part to the popularity of TV shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “True Blood”.

The influence of Gothic literature on Gothic Folk

The Goth subculture is characterised by an interest in dark, sometimes morbid, fantasy and horror-related topics. Gothic literature, which began to take shape in the 18th century, with novels such as Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) and Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), had a significant influence on the development of the Gothic subculture and, by extension, on Gothic folk music.

Gothic literature often contains elements of horror and the supernatural, and these themes can be found in many Gothic folk songs. For example, “She Moves Through the Fair” is a traditional Irish ballad that tells the story of a young woman who is visited by her dead fiancé. Another example is “Lord Bateman”, a British ballad about a young nobleman who goes on a quest to rescue his true love from an evil giant. These songs often have dark and mysterious lyrics that reflect the mood of Gothic literature.

Gothic folk music typically has a slow, melancholy tempo and makes use of minor key tonality to create an atmosphere of sadness or foreboding. The instrumentation often includes acoustic guitars, drums, and keyboard instruments such as organs and synthesizers. Male vocalists often sing in a low register, while female vocalists may sing in either a low or high register.

The earliest Gothic folk bands were formed in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Britain and Scandinavia. These bands were influenced by Punk rock, New Wave music, and post-punk music. In the 1990s, Gothic folk music underwent a revival with the formation of new bands such as Death in June and Sol Invictus. These bands continued to explore the dark themes associated with Gothic literature while also incorporating aspects of Industrial music and Neo-folk music

Gothic Folk Music Today

Gothic folk music is a dark and haunting genre that has its origins in the traditional folk music of Europe. Today, gothic folk music has evolved into a unique and popular style that is beloved by fans of dark music all over the world. Gothic folk music is the perfect soundtrack for a dark and stormy night, and it can be both eerie and beautiful at the same time.

The resurgence of Gothic Folk in the 21st century

Gothic Folk music, also known as “dark folk” is a subgenre of folk music that emerged in the late 20th century. Gothic Folk is characterized by dark, often tragic themes culled from traditional folklore and ballads, as well as modern concerns such as existentialism, alienation, and post-industrialism. The sound of Gothic Folk is typically acoustic, with a focus on melody and atmosphere over traditional song structures.

Gothic Folk had a significant presence in the underground music scene of the 1990s, but faded from the mainstream in the early 2000s. However, the 21st century has seen a resurgence in popularity for the genre, with new artists taking up the mantle of Gothic Folk and bringing the sound to new audiences. If you’re looking for something dark and atmospheric to listen to, check out some of these Gothic Folk artists today.

Gothic Folk artists to check out

In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of Gothic Folk music. Gothic Folk is a dark and haunting style of music that often features elements of traditional Folk music. If you’re a fan of dark and atmospheric music, then you’ll want to check out some of the following Gothic Folk artists.

– Arkham Witch: This British duo is inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and specializes in dark and atmospheric music.
– Batusim: This Russian artist creates dark and ethereal soundscapes that are perfect for haunted nights.
– Bones of Jarrow: This UK-based artist weaves together elements of traditional Folk music with modern dark ambience.
– Darkher: This British artist’s debut album, Realms, was hailed as one of the best Gothic Folk albums in recent years.
– Winterheart: This Finnish artist creates beautiful and chilling music that will leave you feeling both haunted and enchanted.

Similar Posts