OLD-TIME MUSIC --
What is "Old-time" music? People have somewhat
different ideas about that -- even different ideas about how it ought to be
spelled ("Old-time" vs. "Old-timey").
There is probably a pretty general agreement that "old-time" music
is played on the traditional acoustic string band "arsenal" of guitar,
banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, string (or washtub) bass, etc.
There is also probably a pretty general agreement that there is no such
thing as "contemporary" "old-time" song-writing.
People add to the"old-time" repertoire by discovery, not
However, "old-time" music is not necessarily restricted to music
that has come down through generation upon generation from an indefinable
origin. Plenty of music that would now be considered authentic
"old-time" music is known to have been written by particular folks at
a particular time. The latter part of the 19th Century saw a great
development of popular song as the sheet music publication business grew.
It is also not necessarily restricted to music that was propagated solely
through the oral tradition, musician-to-musician; plenty of music that
would now be considered authentic "old-time" music was spread
primarily through published sheet music or phonograph records or the radio.
The distribution of songs by way of sheet music was significant from at least
the mid-19th Century on, and the phonograph and radio had an immediate impact on
the propagation of popular music from the very beginning of those technologies.