The English word “folk,” as we use it today, has Germanic roots and was at one time was defined as all of the following: “people”; “army”; “common people”; “men”; “tribe”; “multitude.” Antiquarian William J. Thoms invented the word folklore in 1986, reviving a modern sense of something that was “of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally”, and opened up a flood of related things, including folk art (1921), folk dance (1912), and folk music (1889). The nature of folk art is specific to its particular culture; varied geographical and temporal prevalence and diversity of folk art make it difficult to describe as a whole, though some patterns have been demonstrated.
The use of the keyword “folk” on REDEFINE can be used to describe:
1. Traditional folk music (1889): Music that may be: transmitted by worth of mouth; music of the lower classes; music with unknown origins. Also known as “traditional music” or “roots music” in the United States.
2. Contemporary folk music (1958): A evolved form of traditional folk music that reached a zenith in the 1960s. Also known as “folk revival music.”
3. Folk art: Works of art that may be: produced from an indigenous culture or laboring tradespeople; utilitarian or decorative rather purely aesthetic; characterized by a style where “traditional” rules of proportion and perspective are not employed.