Does Country Music Have Irish Roots? [VIDEO]
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Whether or not you and yours descended from Irish origins, we're all a little Irish today.
Another thing we all have in common if you're reading this is--we love country music. You may also enjoy Bluegrass, too. Either way, the country music you love finds its roots, at least partially, in Ireland--and also Scotland and England.
The genre we know as country music, or alternatively country-western, was descended from American folk music, including Appalachian music. Originally introduced in the 1920's in the United States as a "Southern phenomenon," country music was referred to as "hillbilly music" and the name changed to "country" as it was considered to be the preferable term when it was changed in the 1940's.
Some of those who immigrated to the Appalachian Mountains, way before the 1920's, brought their musical styles along with them. Many of those immigrants were Irish, along with others from around Europe and Africa. Over time, the blending of these styles, new generations, and new ways of living became reflected in the music that would become Appalachian music--a definitive "forefather" of country music as we know it.
This music made its way westward. And a "crossroad" of sorts developed along the Mississippi River. In Louisiana, this would give rise to the Cajun music we know today. As it continued to move west to the Southwestern portion of the U.S., country music took on a number of different styles as influences from cowboys, Native Americans, Texans and Mexicans added their own musical thread to the tapestry.
American Folk Music, that would give rise to country music, draws from many cultural musical traditions, including " singing cowboys, corrido, ranchera, norteño, French folk music, African-American music, and other traditional folk music traditions," according to Wikipedia.
While today, the umbrella of country music has expanded to include quite a diverse number of styles, it was originally inspired by American Folk Music--which yes, was one musical descendent of Celtic music--the early form of music in the British Isles.