All Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20.
small text medium text large text

Folk & Ethnic Music

See also: Pete Seeger and Stephen Foster

Databases

African American Music   Library Access   Remote Access
African American Song is now a part of American Song! To listen to historical recordings of African American music, visit American Song or Music Online Plus.

 

American Song   Library Access   Remote access
(CLP Card)
This site contains over 12,000 tracks (with more added regularly) that illustrate our country’s history through music. Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others are included. Of particular interest is the index by historical event.

 

DRAM Online
Digital Recordings of American Music
  Library Access
CLP-Main Only
  NO Remote Access
A scholarly resource of recordings, including liner notes and essays, from New World Records, Composers Recordings (CRI) and other labels such as Albany, Frog Peak, Mode, and XI.
Only available within the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

 

Smithsonian Global Sound   Library Access   Remote access
(CLP Card)
Listen to world, folk and traditional music online.

 

 

Pittsburgh Region

  • Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein D’Pittsburgher
    The Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein D’ Pittsburgher, a dance group dedicated to the preservation of the dances, costumes (Tracht) and traditions of Bavarian culture.
  • Balkan Women's Ensemble of Pittsburgh (Balkan Babes)
    including real audio sound clips
  • Calliope
    The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society offering classes and concerts.
  • Carnegie Mellon Pipes and Drums
    A bagpipe band that teaches students to play the Scottish bagpipes or the drums as part of the band. They participate in school ceremonies and perform in Scottish festivals and parades.
  • Center for American Music
    This is a department within the Special Collections of the University of Pittsburgh Library System, housed in the Stephen Foster Memorial Building, which engages in research, teaching, interpretive performance, and conservation of music in the context of its cultural and social roles in the history of the United States of America.
  • Duquesne University Tamburitzans
    a unique ensemble of talented young folk artists dedicated to the performance and preservation of the music, songs, and dances of Eastern Europe and other related folk cultures.
  • Echoes of Erin
    on WEDO 810 AM, an Irish and Celtic radio programming, broadcasting every Sunday at 1:00pm
  • Home Front
    Home Front is a group of western Pennsylvania musicians who perform authentic Civil War era music in period style.
  • Hooley
    Hooley is a collection of Pittsburgh’s finest traditional Irish musicians and dancers who perform at concert halls, festivals, colleges and high schools, clubs and pubs, dances, receptions, and weddings throughout western Pennsylvania and the Ohio valley.
  • NewLanders
    Performing songs documenting the evolution of southwestern Pennsylvania, combining folk, rock and blues to make old tunes sound new again.
  • Pittsburgh Area Slovak Folk Ensemble (PÁS)
    PÁS celebrates Slovak heritage through the study of common customs, stories, language and, most of all, the music, songs and dances of Slovakia.
  • Pittsburgh Banjo Club
    The Pittsburgh Banjo Club is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the encouragement and preservation of the banjo, America’s Native Instrument. It has over 100 members, including banjos, trumpets, tubas, and bass, and its repertoire consists of sing-alongs, vocals, banjo solos, music from the ’20s and ’30s, polkas and Dixieland.
  • Pittsburgh Folk Festival
    Food and music from 15 countries. Organized by Pittsburgh area ethnic associations on Memorial Day Weekend
  • Pittsburgh Irish Festival
    Cultural and musical festival held the weekend after Labor Day (September) at its new location at Riverplex near Sandcastle. Family fun! Festival highlights include Irish food, music, dance, language, sports, history, instrument demos, native dogs, and much more! Call 412-422-1113 for more information.
  • Poltava Ukrainian Dance Company
    For thirty years, Poltava Ukrainian Dance Company has been a vital part of the Ukrainian community in Western Pennsylvania and the tri-state area, providing the youth of the Ukrainian community an opportunity to experience their Ukrainian heritage and to presenting this rich heritage to the general public.
  • Saturday Light Brigade
    The Saturday Light Brigade is broadcast live from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (Eastern) on Saturday mornings and originates live from WRCT-Pittsburgh. You can also hear broadcasts at wrct.org.
  • Slavjane Folk Ensemble
    Representing the Slavic heritage and culture, especially that of the Carpatho-Rusyn region. Slavjane makes its home at the Holy Ghost Church in McKees Rocks, PA and is co-sponsored by the Greek Catholic Union of America (GCU), a Carpatho-Rusyn Fraternal Organization.
  • South Wind
    Annie Trimble and Curt Cooper combine their vocal and acoustic instrument talents to create South Wind, a duo presenting a variety of traditional and contemporary folk, including Appalachian and Celtic music, and original compositions.
  • Thompson, Chris and Meredith
    an acoustic group composed of identical twins, Meredith and Christina Thompson that have been writing and playing original acoustic music for five years. Both women sing, and Meredith plays the flute, drum and bass, while Christina writes the music and plays the guitar. Their songs feature haunting melodies, beautiful harmonies and poetic lyrics.
  • Tuesday Night Folk Dancers
    Come dance on Tuesdays from 7:30 until 10:30 pm at 4836 Ellsworth Ave (Friend's Meeting House) in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.
  • UMOJA African Arts Company
    UMOJA is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of African culture through the public performance of authentic traditional and neo-traditional music, dancing, and storytelling, and through demonstrations and educational lectures and workshops in African heritage, culture, and arts.
  • WYEP Radio
    Bluegrass, contemporary and traditional folk music, rhythm and blues, Celtic music.

 

Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia Folksong Society
    The Philadelphia Folksong Society is an organization dedicated to furthering folk music in the Greater Philadelphia area, offering concerts and workshops and producing the Philadelphia Folk Festival, which is held on the weekend before Labor Day weekend at the Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville, PA.

 

Web Sites

  • Alan Lomax and the Association for Cultural Equity
    In the 1930s and early ‘40s Alan Lomax and his father, folklorist John A. Lomax helped to develop the Library of Congress’ Archive of American Folk Song as a national resource, recording thousands of songs and oral histories in their original settings, throughout the South, the Northeast, Lake States, Midwest. These recordings are now available online.
  • American Routes
    American Routes is a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans, presenting a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical.
  • Ben Gray Lumpkin Digital Folk Music Collection
    The Ben Gray Lumpkin Collection is an archive of the folk songs that were collected and recorded by Ben Gray Lumpkin while he was a professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He traveled throughout Colorado, recording the songs that were remembered and sung by people who were living in Colorado between 1950 and 1970.
  • Ceolas
    "the home of celtic music on the internet," contains a Fiddler's Companion, plus other tune resources, as well as numerous links to other Celtic music information.
  • Country Dance and Song Society
    an association of people with a common interest in folk dance, music and song rooted in English and Anglo-American traditions.
  • Folk Music of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and America
    This web site includes tunes, lyrics, information and historical background, as well as related links.
  • FolkLib Index : A Library of Folk Music Links
    The FolkLib Index is an on-going attempt to index information on the World Wide Web that is related to the fields of Folk Music, Bluegrass and Old-Time Music, Acoustic Blues, Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitarists, Harp (the stringed kind) Players, and a very special emphasis on everything to do with Wisconsin music and musicians.
  • Jammin Reggae Archives
    information about reggae music (including lyrics, catalogs, discographies, sound clips, and events) and numerous links to reggae-related Web sites.
  • Jewish Music WebCenter
    "information on academic, organizational, and personal activities in Jewish music today." Includes both online and book sources. Check in our target="_blank"Library Catalog to see if the resources are available locally.
  • Latin American Folk Institute
    A non-profit organization in Washington DC, founded in 1997 as a center to promote, study and develop Latin American arts and culture by examining the folkloric traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Their website contains articles from their quarterly magazine on Latin American music.
  • Mudcat Cafe: Folk Song Database
    Lyrics of 9000 songs
  • Max Hunter Folk Song Collection
    An archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded between 1956 and 1976 by Max Hunter, a traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, who took his reel-to-reel tape recorder into the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks, preserving the heritage of the region by recording the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history. A joint project of the Southwest Missouri State University Department of Music and the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Missouri, where the permanent collection is housed.
  • National Council for the Traditional Arts
    a private not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the presentation and documentation of traditional arts in the United States. Sponsors the National Folk Festival, held in East Lansing, Michigan, for three years (1999-2001).
  • Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
    Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. Topics included traditional, ethnic, and contemporary music from around the world; poetry, spoken word, and instructional recordings in numerous languages; and documentary recordings of individuals, communities, current events, and natural sounds. You can order the music on this website and listen to samples of the music online, as well as access the lyric transcriptions.