Scope of this Pathfinder
Reference Books
Journals and Magazines
Research Databases
Library of Congress Subject Headings and Browsing Areas at UNC
Online Newsgroups, Research Centers, and Other Unique Resources
Record Labels


The folk South has given the nation much of its music. There are many southern forms of music, from blues to Cajun and Tex-Mex, and each has its own special features. Nevertheless, they share an interrelatedness that reflects the pluralism of the culture. The folk South has been basically biracial; that is, its basic components have been Afro-American and Anglo-American, cultures that in turn were never "pure" but were instead composites of Old World elements.

--from Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris's Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1989), p. 985.

The diversity of the South has generated far more types, sub-types, and forms of music than could be listed here, but some major forms include:

  • Anglo-American Ballads
  • Bluegrass Music
  • Blues
  • Cajun
  • Country
  • Dixieland Jazz
  • Folk Music
  • Gospel music/Spirituals
  • Hillbilly Music
  • Old Time Music/Mountain Music
  • Prison/Work Songs
  • Rockabilly
  • String and Jug Bands
  • Tejano
  • Zydeco

The Scope of this Pathfinder
This pathfinder is intended to facilitate interdisciplinary research in traditional Southern music styles for undergraduate or graduate students of music, folklore, American Studies, history, cultural studies, Southern studies and related disciplines. Specifically, it identifies multimedia resources at UNC-Chapel Hill and online to help students better understand both the context (social, lyrical, and musical origins, influences, and impacts) and the content (forms, themes, and instrumentation) of traditional Southern music styles.

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last updated 11 March 2004 by Jessica F. Kem

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