Which of the Following is a Genre of British Folk Music that Influenced the

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some new music to check out? Why not give British folk a try? This genre has influenced many other artists and can be quite beautiful and moving.

What is British Folk Music?

British Folk Music is a genre of music that originates from the United Kingdom. This type of music has been influenced by many different cultures and has evolved over time. The music is typically characterized by its use of traditional instruments, such as the fiddle, accordion, and bagpipes. It often includes elements of traditional song and dance, as well.

What are the Different Genres of British Folk Music?

There are many different genres of British folk music, from the traditional ballads of the North East to the modern folk songs of the 21st century. Each genre has its own distinct history and influences. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular genres of British folk music.

Traditional British Folk Music

Traditional British folk music has its roots in the music of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. It is often a mix of many different influences, including Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norse and later influences from continental Europe. Folk music was usually handed down orally, and it wasn’t until the late 18th century that it began to be written down and published.

One of the most important collections of folk songs is the Child Ballads, a huge collection of over 305 songs compiled by Francis James Child in the late 19th century. Many of these songs are still sung today, and they have provided a significant source of influence for both traditional and contemporary folk musicians.

Contemporary British Folk Music

Contemporary British folk music has been influenced by a wide range of musical traditions, from the music of other countries to rock, jazz, and pop. Theincorporation of these diverse influences has resulted in a rich and varied genre that incorporates everything from traditional folk songs to modern composition.

There are many different subgenres of contemporary British folk music, each with its own unique sound and style. Some of the most popular include:

Celtic Folk: Celtic folk music is a genre that includes the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. Celtic folk is often characterized by its use of traditional instruments like the fiddle, bagpipes, and accordion, as well as its distinctive vocal style.

English Folk: English folk music is a tradition that dates back centuries. It includes a wide range of musical styles, from traditional ballads to more modern compositions. English folk often features instruments like the guitar, mandolin, and violin, as well as percussion instruments like the bodhran.

British Isles Folk: British Isles folk music encompasses the traditional music of all the countries that make up the British Isles, including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. This genre generally includes Celtic and English folk influences, as well as elements from other musical traditions.

How has British Folk Music Influenced Other Music Genres?

British Folk music has been around for centuries and has influenced many other genres of music. Some of the most popular genres that have been influenced by British Folk music are rock, pop, and country. Let’s take a look at how British Folk music has influenced these genres.


Folk-rock is a genre of popular music that emerged in the mid-1960s. It blended elements of folk music and rock music, creating a new, hybrid genre. Folk-rock was most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, peaking in popularity with bands such as Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The folk-rock sound was created by combining the acoustic guitars and folk repertoire of the early 1960s with the electric guitars and rock rhythms of the mid-1960s. Folk musicians such as Bob Dylan and The Byrds added electric guitars, drums, and bass to their folk songs to create a new sound that was both familiar and fresh. Folk-rock quickly became popular with both folk fans and rock fans, crossing over to top the pop charts in 1967 with hits such as “The Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel) and “Mr. Tambourine Man” (The Byrds).

Despite its short-lived popularity, folk-rock left a lasting legacy on popular music. The fusion of folk and rock influenced subsequent genres such as country-rock, jangle pop, college rock, Celtic rock, and alternative rock. Many of the most successful musicians of the 1970s and 1980s got their start in folk-rock bands or were influenced by the genre, including Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, REM’s Michael Stipe, 10cc’s Eric Stewart, and XTC’s Andy Partridge.

Indie Folk

Indie folk is a subgenre of folk that developed in the 1990s. It is characterized by its use of alternative and indie rock influences. Many indie folk artists are singer-songwriters who play acoustic guitars and use traditional folk instruments such as banjos, accordions, and fiddles.

Some notable indie folk artists include Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, and The Avett Brothers. Indie folk has influenced other genres of music, such as indie rock and pop.

Celtic Folk

The Celtic folk music genre has had a large influence on other music genres, particularly those that developed in the British Isles. Celtic folk music is characterized by its use of traditional instruments, its focus on storytelling, and its often-lilting melodies. Many of the earliest folk rock and punk bands drew heavily from Celtic folk music, and today, the influence of Celtic folk can be heard in everything from indie rock to hip-hop.


In conclusion, there are many genres of British folk music that have influenced the modern day music scene. Some of these genres include Celtic, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish music. Each of these genres has its own unique sound and style that has helped to shape the sound of modern day folk music.

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