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Exploring the History, Culture & Musical Traditions of American Folk Music

  • February 02, 2024
  • March 08, 2024
  • 5 sessions
  • February 02, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:15 PM (EST)
  • February 16, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:15 PM (EST)
  • February 23, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:15 PM (EST)
  • March 01, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:15 PM (EST)
  • March 08, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:15 PM (EST)
  • Pavilion (Mar 8 in Harbor Club)

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Course Description:  Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, issued by Folkways Records in 1952, brought unknown parts of America's musical landscape from the late 1920s and early 1930s to the public's attention. This course will use the anthology as a primary resource to explore the history, culture, and musical traditions that define and influence the American folk music genre. The goal is to deepen students’ understanding of the rich and diverse heritage of American folk music, from its origins in the early 20th century to its contemporary expressions today.  Topics include Appalachian ballads and old-time music, Blues and Gospel music, early Country and Bluegrass and Folk music as activism. 

Students will listen to and analyze the music, lyrics, and historical context of songs featured in the anthology and learn how these songs continue to influence modern folk music. Class sessions may also include live examples of selected styles performed by the instructors. 

Location:  Pavilion

Dates/Times:   Fridays Feb 2 to Mar 1, from 1 pm - 2:15 pm. (No class on Feb 9).

NOTE: On Mar 8 the class will be in Harbor Club.

Instructors:  Beth Falk, Dan Herman, Bill Caspary

 Beth Falk and Dan Herman are longtime folk musicians, songwriters and leaders of the Shovel Ready String Band, which performs folk, old time, blues, bluegrass and country music in New York’s Hudson Valley. 

Bill Caspary was swept up in the folk revival of the late 50’s and the 60’s.  He got to hear some of the great old timers at festivals and music camps and learned tunes from them.  He has played music in many front porches and living rooms and the occasional bar.


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