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p. 212. Close-up: songs, strums, and ceremonieslocked

  • Mark Slobin


‘Close-ups: songs, strums, and ceremonies’ uses examples to summarize folk music's structure, style and meaning. Both the Afghan falak and Yiddish song of longing both use four line stanzas to tell tales of displacement and lost love. Both these songs have local elements but resonate universally. The British ballad was used to tell many tales, some heroic, some vulgar. These ballads were collected by Victorian scholars. Many variants of one ballad were found, each localizing the tale to its own community. Folk music was heavily involved in many rituals, such as Christmas celebrations and weddings.

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