In the late 1990s, NAfME (then MENC) published two volumes of Get America Singing…Again!, a collection of songs whose title implied that action was needed to return America to a culture of collective song based on knowledge of folk and traditional song literature. It has been nearly twenty years since the publication of these volumes, and questions abound regarding the status of 21st century America’s singing culture. The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which elementary music textbooks published in the United States from the late 1800s through the present have included folk and traditional songs, identify trends regarding types of songs selected for inclusion in elementary music texts, and identify potential trends that may impact future curricula. Results suggest that the number of folksongs included in elementary music texts has increased in the time since early publications. Also, the types of folk and traditional songs included in elementary texts have become more diverse over time. Finally, criteria used to categorize songs as “folk” or “traditional” have changed over time, suggesting a trend of broadening the inclusion of folk song literature which may continue in forthcoming elementary music textbooks.
Branscome, Eric E.
"Where Have all the Folksongs Gone?
We’ve Replaced Them Every One. (Or Have We?),"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 32, Article 5.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol32/iss1/5