When I think of Old Time Traditional Music, I think of music that was played in the Appalachian Mountains or backwoods of Arkansas, Missouri and across the American frontier from the 16th to 19th centuries including the early 20th century.
A long time ago when folks emigrated over here from England, Scotland, Ireland, and many other countries one of the many things they brought with them was their music. Back then there were no radio or televisions, so they entertained themselves by playing music.
Now you have people all gathering around from different backgrounds and playing their music and one fellow says to the other, Hey! I like that tune! Will you show me how to play it? There was not a lot of sheet music around so most of the learning of those tunes would have been by ear.
Here is where I think the stories get interesting and the tunes get all twisted up and why there are so many tunes that sound the same but have different titles. You have a Scotsman teaching a Swede to play a ballad or an Irishman teaching Frenchman a jig and each of these people putting their own twist to the tune you get a very interesting sound. Maybe not like it was or was not originally written. The bottom line to me is the song was passed on and that makes it traditional.
I hope you enjoy and find this page entertaining and useful. Please feel free to send me your comments and corrections.
Angelina baker or Angeline the Baker
Arkansas Traveler, The
Billy in the Lowground
Girl I left Behind, The
Old Joe Clark
Run Johnny Run