Balladry and Ballad-Collecting in Appalachia: An Introduction

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Popular Press

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Excerpt: Among the most enduring artifacts (along with certain lined-out hymns that are traceable back to sixteenth-century British churches) from the early days of European settlement in Appalachia, ballads are still in everyday use in some regional households and among certain performers, if largely outside the purview of the popular music industry. Even if reduced in range and frequency of performance from their heyday during the preindustrial and early industrial eras, ballads remain relevant today, as they are gems of compact storytelling that communicate thematically timeless narratives.