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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tony Evolution of the term 'folk music' (49) RE: Evolution of the term 'folk music' 12 Jan 13

An older use of "folk" is to mean laity (from the Greek word λαός = people or common folk) as opposed to clergy. The Christian service was traditionally sung, or chanted, with the clergy singing the calls and all of the laity singing the responses. Liturgy books until recently identified the singer of each passage as either Priest or People (Ιερεύς or Λαός). In the present age of spectatorism the books usually say Choir instead of People.

The vague "folk song vs art song" dichotomy may have inherited that older distinction as composers became lionized instead of anonymous and their music shifted from sacred to secular.

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