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Appalachian Music and the Phonograph

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I have all the Confederate recording’s of Bobby Horton

He published his findings with the observation that there were more authentic British folk songs in Appalachia than in Britain.

In the late 19th century, Romantic composers were driven by nationalism as a means to advance their art.  For example, Russian composers like Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov made their composed music sound Russian, and the only way to do this was to become immersed in Russian folk music to see what made it tick.  They studied work songs, play songs, love songs, church hymns, nursery rhymes, etc., in order to grasp what scales were used, what rhythms were used, what harmonies were favored, and what generally contributed to an identifiably Russian sound.  They then used these discoveries as a compositional tool to connect their original musical creations back to the folk music that inspired it.  As a result of this process, the musicologist became a valued commodity to Romantic composers as a person who literally wandered the countryside and collected folk songs, albeit “collected” meant writing down the music by hand in sheet music notation.  Some musicologists, like Percy Grainger, became composers themselves, and used their own catalogs of collected folk music as inspirations for original compositions.

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