Folk music includes a variety of musical genres that emerged in the early 20th century, combined with traditional music. In the middle of the 20th century, first considered a subgenre of soul, folk folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process reached its peak of popularity in the 1960s. This new form of music is called "folk music" or "contemporary folk music" or "folk revival music" to better differentiate it. This type of folk also involves fusion genres such as folk rock, electric folk, and others.
Folk music first referred to traditional folk music in English-speaking countries. The English word folk, used again by the Romantics, refers to the people of the people. It has the same origin as the German Volk which has the broader sense of nation. It is therefore possible to translate it as popular. However, since the beginning of the 20th century, the characteristics of popular music have changed: we now speak of pop music, reserving the term "folk" for popular music of oral tradition.
In the United States, folk musicians are the guardians of a musical, lyrical and historical tradition, an America of pioneers, builders and travellers. Among them: Woodie Guthrie (who wrote, with This Land Is Your Land (1941), one of the great hymns of the pacifist generation), Doc Watson (although his music is considered more like bluegrass like the dark green grass of Kentucky), and many others. The "folk revival" movement, often a protest song, is an expression of a movement for human rights, peace and social justice. During its rebirth in the 1960s, "folksong" became a more varied musical expression, influenced by the rebellious spirit of rock'n' roll, but always of protest inspiration, and developed while keeping the same acoustic instruments and the same poetic texts closer to reality. The great names of this period were Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger. Traditional songs often describe landscapes, roads, the harshness of the life of an itinerant worker who was called (sometimes pejoratively) "hobo", with, sometimes, an admiration for the works that men built with their hands (the Hoover dam, railway lines, among others). The generation of folk musicians of the second half of the 20th century was inspired by the beatniks and certain writers such as Jack Kerouac and his mythical novel Sur la route (1957).
In Canada, folk music continues to flourish, particularly in the western prairies, traditionally characterized by a rural spirit under country influence. The history of the pioneers, more recent than in the East, is still very much on people's minds. Such events now attract a very diverse audience. The vitality of this genre can be seen during landmark events such as the Winnipeg Folk's Festival, which, since 1973, has been marking the sustainability of this genre in Manitoba and attracting an eclectic audience from across the continent.