Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Appalachian Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Roy Andrade

Committee Members

Ron Roach, Ted Olson


American flat-picking guitarist, singer and songwriter Norman Blake holds legendary status among guitar players, bluegrass, and folk musicians.

The aim of this research is to analyze the interaction of sense of place in Norman Blake’s songwriting. This research will explore the techniques Blake uses to create that acute sense of place. Elements of literary criticism, cultural geography, ethnomusicology, and sense of place studies, as well as historical background information on Northern Alabama and North Georgia will be employed to show how this particular region of Southeastern Appalachia has informed Blake’s songwriting.

The research questions that I aim to answer are how a sense of place has influenced Norman Blake’s songwriting, how his writing has influenced other songwriters in the field of 20th century folk music, bluegrass, Americana, and country music, and what songwriting techniques Blake has employed to create an acute sense of place.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.