The Best of Northern Folk Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Find the best of Northern Folk Music right here! We’ll keep you updated with the latest folk music news, reviews, and more!

The Origins of Northern Folk Music

Northern Folk music is a genre of music that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the northern United States and southern Canada. It was a blend of several music traditions, including English and Scottish ballads, Irish and Scottish fiddle tunes, and Swedish and Norwegian dance tunes. The music was often played on acoustic instruments such as fiddles, guitars, and mandolins.

The British Isles

The British Isles have a rich history of folk music, with roots in the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions. Folk music has been an important part of British culture for centuries, and has been influenced by a variety of factors over the years.

The Celtic tradition is perhaps the most significant influence on British folk music. Celtic music is characterized by its use of traditional instruments such as the fiddle, bagpipes, and accordion. It is also known for its use of ornamentation, ornaments being embellishments added to a melody for decoration.

Anglo-Saxon folk music also had a significant impact on British folk music. This tradition is characterized by its use of harmony and counterpoint, as well as its focus on storytelling. Anglo-Saxon folk songs often told stories of love, loss, and adventure.

Over time, other traditions have also had an impact on British folk music. These include Romanticism, which favored emotional expression and colorful language; the Industrial Revolution, which led to the development of new musical instruments; and American jazz and blues, which introduced new rhythms and harmonies.

The United States

In the United States, folk music is often associated with the music of the nation’s founding people, referred to as root music. This includes the music of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh immigrants, who arrived in the United States during the colonial period and maintained their musical traditions while also intermingling with the music of Native Americans and Africans.

Folk music in the United States has undergone multiple changes since its origins, but it has always maintained a strong sense of tradition and community. In the early 20th century, for example, folksingers such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger popularized traditional songs by reworking them with new lyrics that spoke to contemporary issues, such as social injustice and labor rights. This style of folk music became known as protest folk or topical folk, and it remains an important part of the genre today.

Other 20th-century innovations infolk music includedcountry folkandcity folk. Country folk combined traditional Folk songs with elements of country music, while cityfolk drew from the wealth of contemporary pop styles to create a more urban sound. These subgenres helped to broaden the appeal of folk music and make it more accessible to new audiences.

The Characteristics of Northern Folk Music

Northern Folk music is known for its simple melodies and harmonies. The instruments used are usually acoustic, and the music is often based on traditional dance rhythms. The lyrics are often about everyday life, love, and work. The music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, and it often tells a story.


Folk music from the north of England is often characterized by its lyrics. The lyrics are usually about everyday life and the experience of the common people. They often deal with subjects such as love, loss, work, and play. The language used in these songs is usually simple and direct. The songs are often passed down from generation to generation, and they sometimes change over time.

The music itself is often very simple. It is usually just a few instruments playing together. The most common instruments are guitars, fiddles, and mandolins. Sometimes people also sing along with the music.

Northern folk music is sometimes called “country music” or “roots music”. It is similar to American folk music, but it has its own unique sound.


Folk music of the north is characterized by the use of certain instruments. The fiddle is perhaps the most important of these, as it is used in a great many songs. Other popular instruments include the accordion, harmonica, penny whistle, and bagpipes.

In addition to these traditional folk instruments, many modern artists have begun to experiment with incorporating electric guitars and other more contemporary sounds into their music. This has led to a new and exciting fusion of traditional and modern folk music that is sure to entertain listeners for years to come.


Northern folk music is a genre of folk music that includes a number of traditions and subgenres, including sea shanties, work songs, ballads, and dances. The music often has its origins in the cultures of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The term “northern” refers to the region of the British Isles where the music is sung, which includes everything north of London. This includes the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as the northern parts of France and Germany.

The music is often characterized by its use of simple harmonies and melodic lines, as well as its focus on stories and narratives. The instruments used in northern folk music are typically acoustic, such as guitars, fiddles, and accordions.

Some of the most famous northern folk songs include “Danny Boy,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “The Wild Rover,” and “Whiskey in the Jar.” Northern folk music has also been influential on other genres of music, such as country music and rock ‘n’ roll.

The Influence of Northern Folk Music

Northern Folk music has had a profound influence on the music of today. This type of music has been around for centuries and has been passed down from generation to generation. It is a blend of different cultures and styles that have been brought together to create a unique sound. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Northern Folk music has influenced the music of today.

On other genres of music

The influence of Northern Folk Music can be seen in many other genres of music, most notably Country and Bluegrass. The folk music of the north west counties of England, particularly Lancashire and Yorkshire, had a significant impact on the development of Country music in the United States. In the early twentieth century, Lancaster County fiddler Cornelius “Connie” Converse wrote more than 2,000 songs, many of which were adopted by bluegrass and country artists. Some of Converse’s most famous songs include “Wayfaring Stranger” and “I Saw The Light”.

It is safe to say that northern folk music has had a profound influence on popular culture, both in the UK and internationally. This can be seen in the way that many popular musicians have drawn inspiration from this genre of music, and in the way that it has been used in film and television.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in northern folk music, with a new generation of musicians rediscovering its richness and diversity. This has led to a number of successful albums and tours, as well as a greater understanding and appreciation of this important part of our cultural heritage.

The Future of Northern Folk Music

There is something special about northern folk music. It has a way of captivating the listener and transporting them to another time and place. It is the perfect music to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you’re looking for a new genre of music to explore, northern folk music is a great option.

The resurgence of popularity

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of popularity in Northern Folk music. This is partly due to the efforts of musicians like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, who popularized the genre in the 1960s, and partly due to the increasing interest in traditional music from all over the world.

There are now many festivals devoted to Northern Folk music, and it is easy to find recordings of traditional songs. The following are some of the most popular Northern Folk songs:

“The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan
“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
“The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
“We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger
“I Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” by Woody Guthrie

The new generation of musicians

The new generation of musicians is coming up with some incredible new sounds, blending traditional folk music with contemporary styles. It’s an exciting time for northern folk music, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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