Sociology Index


Music Articles

America's Popular Music Traditions as "Canon-Fodder". - Sammie Ann Wicks - It has been nearly 25 years since one of the last scholars to do so complained that music education was "threaten[ing] to fly up into clouds of elitism" (Blacking, How), but so little has changed in the intervening years that we have to wonder whether the problem of elitism in music will simply go on forever. 

An interview with Pete Seeger - by Anita Krajnc and Michael Greenspoon - Pete Seeger has combined folk music and progressive politics since he began singing professionally in 1939 at the age of 20. This February, at the Folk Dream Gala Concert in Toronto, he encouraged the whole audience to join in on variations of "Oh Freedom."

"When I give an evening of songs, I'm circling around. I may sing a union song, I may sing a peace song, I may sing a children's song.

Seeger has long maintained that folk music should be sung by everybody. He has helped popularize folk music in his travels across America with Woodie Guthrie in 1940, and with the Almanacs and then the Weavers in the '40s and '50s. At a single 1954 concert in Palo Alto Seeger inspired the career of both Joan Baez and Dave Guard (of the Kingston Trio).

The Words, Music and Influence of Joe Hill
By Mary Killebrew.

The music of Joe Hill was a uniting force that captured the spirit of the radical Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) labor movement.

Modern students of music history have identified Hill as one the most influential protest artists in American history, an influence that can be heard in the work of songwriters as diverse as Woody Guthrie and John Lennon.