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Folk Music Majors?

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  • #110444
    Karen Johns
    Participant

    Hi All-

    Came across something funny today. I was talking to a church director about my musical ability and described some of the instruments I play- Celtic lever harp, wire-strung lap harp(clarsach), hammered dulcimer, bodrhan, and medieval to modern flutes. She asked me if I was a music major. I laughed and replied, “No, but maybe a folk music major?”. However, this got me thinking (a dangerous thing!). Is there such a thing as a folk music major? Where would one take classes? I’m pretty much self-taught on everything but modern (classical) flute. Also, is anyone else out there multi-instrumental in folk instruments? If so, how did you learn?

    Blessings,

    Karen

    #110445
    tony-morosco
    Member

    I don’t know about degrees in Folk Music, but you can get a degree in Ethnomusicology, which is the study of the social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts. This typically includes the study of specific cultural styles of music include folk music (as well as things like Jazz).

    I do think some schools have Folk Music degrees, Newcastle University in the UK I think had the first such program.

    I grew up with folk music and play several instruments that fall under folk, including guitar, folk harp, bodhrán, various flutes, fife, tin whistle and recorder. The winds I learned in school. We learned a lot of local folk music in elementary school. Guitar and harp I took lessons, and although I didn’t specifically study folk on either I learned to easily use what I learned in the folk context. Bodhrán I am self taught.

    #110446
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Although it’s not exactly a folk music degree, I think that Laura Zaerr’s lever harp program at U of Oregon is primarily geared towards traditional music.

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