Skip navigation

What ChatGPT has to say about British folk music

British folk music is a genre of traditional music that has been passed down through generations in the United Kingdom. It has a rich history that dates back centuries and is known for its unique sound and storytelling qualities.

One of the earliest forms of British folk music is the ballad, which were often sung by travelling minstrels and passed down orally. These ballads often told stories of love, loss, and the supernatural, and were accompanied by simple instruments like the lute or the harp.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, British folk music underwent a revival, with musicians like Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams collecting and transcribing traditional songs. This revival was driven by a desire to preserve the music and culture of rural communities that were rapidly disappearing due to industrialization and urbanization.

The 1960s and 70s saw another wave of folk music popularity in Britain, with artists like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Pentangle blending traditional folk music with rock and pop influences. This fusion led to the creation of a new genre known as "British folk rock," which gained international popularity.

Today, British folk music continues to evolve and thrive, with a vibrant community of musicians and fans. Artists like Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, and Seth Lakeman are carrying on the tradition of storytelling through music, while newer bands like The Unthanks and Stick in the Wheel are pushing the boundaries of the genre with innovative arrangements and production techniques.

Overall, British folk music is a deeply rooted and diverse genre that reflects the history and culture of the United Kingdom. Its timeless melodies and poignant lyrics continue to captivate audiences around the world, and its influence can be heard in a wide range of modern music genres.