Honors Program

Fine and Performing Arts Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Nate Olson

Thesis Professor Department

Appalachian Studies

Thesis Reader(s)

Roy Andrade


This thesis focuses on the question of authenticity in old-time music, and the ways in which it is studied in ETSU’s Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies program. In an academic setting, old-time is often studied in more of a historical or anthropological context and less as a specific style of music. Arguments for authenticity in this music have been made since the popularity of such films as “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Cold Mountain”, which brought a lot of outside attention to the genres of bluegrass and old-time music, as well as defining the aesthetics associated with them. Contemporary composition and performance of old-time music exists, but is not typically studied in an academic setting, or evaluated for how it adds to the musical tradition. The intention of this thesis is to validate the existence of contemporary composition in old-time music, and its authenticity within the genre.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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