Folk Song Research

Folk Song Research Sites

Of great interest to Zoltan Kodály was preserving the folk music of his native country, Hungary. He believed that only the best music, both folk and composed music of the highest quality, should be used to teach children, and that their musical education should begin with music of the "Mother Tongue," or the folk music traditions of the child's homeland. Taking this idea from Kodály himself, music educators should be interested in preserving America's folk music tradition and exposing our students to the rich history and culture combined within it. Below are some fantastic sites that may be of interest to anyone who is fascinated by the oral tradition of folk music in America and would like to research songs or satisfy curiosity, or someone who is interested in seeking out new materials to use in your music classroom. This is the website for the Kodály Center for Music Education at Holy Names University. This site includes an amazing online searchable folk song collections of nearly 300 folk songs.  This collection shows notation, song analysis, games and field recordings of the songs, and it is all printable.   The Smithsonian Global Sounds website is like Itunes for music geeks. The website allows you to search music by country, culture group, genre, instrument, label/archive, language and year/decade, as well as allowing for quick search/keyword searches. Then, just like Itunes, you can listen to samples of each track, and purchase tracks or entire albums. Most albums seem to be for under $10. The best part is, you can download a PDF of each albums' liner notes for free and print them out on your computer. The website also provides free resources for your classroom, like lessons, folk like education kits, videos, and online interactive games and activities for students. This is the web page for the Library of Congress.