Which of the Following Musical Styles Influenced the Development of Folk and Country Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


We take a look at the various musical styles that have influenced the development of folk and country music over the years. From traditional folk to more modern styles, there have been many different sounds that have shaped these genres.

Folk music

The development of folk and country music was influenced by a variety of musical styles, including blues, gospel, and Appalachian music. Folk music is typically rooted in the traditions of a culture, while country music is more commercialized and often has a more pop sound.


The term “folk music” is traditionally used to refer to music passed down orally from one generation to the next. It is music that is typically associated with a particular region or culture and is often created by people who lack formal training in music. Folk music has been particularly influenced by the Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic cultures.

The roots of folk music can be traced back to the medieval period. It was during this time that the first folk songs were created. These songs were usually about love, religion, or current events. They were passed down from one generation to the next and eventually became an important part of the oral tradition.

During the Renaissance, folk music began to take on a new form. Instruments such as the lute and viola da gamba became increasingly popular, and composers began to write pieces specifically for these instruments. This type of folk music was often used for dancing.

In the 18th century, folk music began to evolve once again. The popularity of the piano led to a new form of folk song called the ballad. Ballads were typically about love or loss, and they often told tragic stories. Many of these ballads were later adapted into operas or films.

Folk music continued to evolve in the 19th century with the development of new musical styles such as ragtime and blues. These genres were very popular with African American audiences and helped to shape the sound of American folk music.

The 20th century saw yet another evolution in folk music with the rise of country and western sounds. This type of folk music was very popular in rural areas of America and helped to develop what is now known as country music.


Folk music is a genre of music that typically uses acoustic instruments and emphasizes traditional songwriting. In many cases, folk music has been passed down through the generations orally, making it hard to date its origins. However, we do know that folk music has its roots in the music of Europe’s common people.

Some of the most important characteristics of folk music are:
-Repetition: Folk songs often have repeating sections, which makes them easy to remember and sing along to.
-Simplicity: Folk songs usually have simple melodies and lyrics that deal with everyday life themes.
-Instrumentation: Folk music is typically played on acoustic instruments like guitars, banjos, and fiddles.
-Nature: Many folk songs make references to nature, whether it’s in the lyrics or the instrumentation.

Folk music has been influential in the development of other genres like country music and rock ‘n’ roll. Many famous musicians got their start in folk music before moving on to other genres. For example, Bob Dylan began his career as a folk singer before becoming one of the most important figures in rock ‘n’ roll.

Country music

Country music is a form of popular music that originated in the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the folk music of the Appalachian Mountains and the blues of the Mississippi Delta. Country music has its own unique sound and is one of the most popular genres of music today.


The origins of folk and country music can be traced back to the music of the American frontier in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This music was a mix of English, Scottish, Irish, and German traditional songs and ballads, as well as African American spirituals and work songs.


There are many different types of country music, but all of them share some common characteristics. Country music is typically characterized by its simple melodies, often with just three chords, as well as its stories about the everyday lives of ordinary people. The instruments used in country music are also typically quite simple, including guitars, banjos, fiddles, and harmonicas.

The influence of folk music on country music

Folk music has had a significant influence on the development of country music. Early country musicians would often borrow melodies from folk songs, and the two genres share many commonalities. Folk music is often passed down orally, and it often has a strong connection to the land and the people who live on it. For these reasons, folk music has been an important influence on the development of country music.

The British and Irish influence

The British and Irish influence is one of the most important influences on country music. Country music has its roots in the folk music of Britain and Ireland. The early country musicians brought with them the folk songs of their homeland, which they adapted to fit their own style.

One of the most important aspects of British and Irish folk music is the ballad. A ballad is a narrative song that tells a story. Many of the early country songs were ballads that told tales of love, loss, and hardship. These songs were often passed down from generation to generation, and they often changed as they were passed down.

Another important aspect of British and Irish folk music is the use of instruments. The most common instruments used in country music are the guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. These instruments were brought to America by the early settlers, and they quickly became a part of American culture.

The British and Irish influence on country music is evident in the sound of many country songs. The melody and harmony of many country songs are similar to those found in British and Irish folk music. The instruments used in country music are also similar to those used in folk music.

The American influence

The American folk music revival began during the 1920s and peaked in popularity in the 1960s. Its roots lay in the music of working-class Americans, which was steeped in the traditions of English, Irish, and Scottish folk music. But by the early 20th century, this music had become diluted by commercialism and was no longer representative of the American experience. In response, a new generation of folk musicians began to rediscover and reinterpret the traditional songs of their forebears.

One of the most important figures in this movement was Woody Guthrie, who popularized a new breed of folk song known as the protest song. Guthrie’s songs were inspired by his own experience as a migrant worker during the Great Depression, as well as by the social and political upheaval of his time. His greatest contribution was to show that folk music could be used as a tool for social change.

Guthrie’s influence can be seen in many of the great country musicians who arose in the 1950s and 1960s, including Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. These artists took the simple melodies and straightforward storytelling of folk music and infused them with a new energy and sensibility. In doing so, they created a sound that was uniquely American and helped to forge a new identity for country music

The influence of country music on folk music

Folk music has been around for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to the music of the British Isles. In the 18th and 19th centuries, folk music began to develop in the United States, and it was influenced by both European and African music. Country music is a genre that developed from folk music, and it has been influenced by many different styles of music over the years.

The British and Irish influence

The British and Irish influence is probably the strongest on American folk music. The ballads that were brought over by the early settlers were both Anglo-Irish in origin and heavily influence by Scottish ballads. Many of these early ballads told stories of border disputes, revenge, love, and death. One of the most famous British ballads, “Barbara Allen,” is still sung today. Other popular British ballads include “Lord Randall,” “Jamestown Homestead,” and “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight.” The melodies of these songs were often adapted to fit into the folk tradition of America, and new verses were added to update the stories for American audiences.

The American influence

While many of the early country music pioneers were born in the United States, the genre was actually heavily influenced by the music of other countries. Early country musicians often incorporated elements of folk, blues, and even popular music into their tunes, giving country music its unique sound.

One of the most important influences on country music was the American folk tradition. Folk music is a genre that is passed down orally from generation to generation, and it often tells stories about the lives of ordinary people. Many early country songs were based on folk tunes, and they often conveyed themes of hardship and love. Another important influence on country music was the blues. Blues is a genre that developed in the American South, and it is characterized by its mournful lyrics and its simple, repeating guitar melodies. Country musicians often borrowed from the blues tradition when they were creating new songs.

In addition to folk and blues, country music was also influenced by popular music styles such as jazz and swing. Some early country musicians played with jazz bands, and they often incorporated elements of jazz into their own tunes. Country swing is a subgenre of country music that combines elements of both country and swing Jazz, making it one of the most unique and interesting styles within the genre.

Similar Posts