Louise Manny and Helen Creighton Collecting Folksongs with Chief John Augustine and Mary Sanipas at Red Bank, 1953

© 2007, New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B.. All Rights Reserved.

Introduction

Few human activities are more universal or more diverse in their forms than music. In New Brunswick music has existed in various forms and functions : as an essential part of religious worship and military ceremonial; as personal recreation and a source of popular amateur entertainment; and as a means of livelihood by composition, instruction, and performance.
The most distinctive feature of New Brunswick’s musical past has been its oral tradition of the folk song. Over time, the traditions derived from First Nations, France, Ireland and Great Britain, have evolved into local innovations. Combined with particular events and industries of the past, our folksongs have their own unique traditions. Folk music has always been the “Music of the People”: the heartbeat of a society. By understanding the folk music of a people, one understands broader curriculum outcomes of culture, diversity, interdependence, continuity, and change.

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