This site contains the Max Hunter Folk Song Collection, an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs recorded between 1956 and 1976. Hunter, a traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, took his reel-to-reel recorder into the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks to record the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history. The site is a joint project of the Missouri State University Department of Music and the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Missouri, where the permanent collections is housed.
Type of Material:
The site is a collection of audio files indexed by Song Title, Singer, and Catalogue Number. Text transciptions and some musical transcriptions are also provided.
This could be used to find folk song materials for research, song literature for an ensemble, class or writing arrangements. It could also be used in a study of World Music -- for study and learning the music tradition of this folk music style. The site is useful as a comprehensive collections of field recordings of Ozark Mountain folk songs, together with interesting variants, so-called Child Ballads, and additional citations.
real audio, quicktime
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To provide insight into the rich musical and sociological heritage of the Ozark Mountain life and culture.
Target Student Population:
World Music students. Classroom teachers to share children's music of American tradition. Junior High, High School, undergraduate.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None, Notational musical notation is helpful but not required.
This is a central collection of folk songs on a variety of subjects. Songs were recorded and collected in the environment. The song categories are organized into 3-4 collections and are easily accessed with a minimum number of clicks. Audio quality is excellent considering the conditions and equipment for recording the songs.
The material is not contextualized. Besides the date and place of the recordings it would be beneficial to include information about how the song was used or what it represented in the culture. Download times are sometimes a bit lengthy and bumpy.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The is a jewel of a source for music historians and students of regional American history. The field recordings are a treasure. The music manuscripts represent a real labor of love by Max Hunter. The verse transcriptions from tape represent hours of labor-intensive work. The material could compliment a lesson on folk songs. It would be useful in a American Folk Music course or for comparitive research on the development of specific folk songs.
This material provides a basic resource and has limited potential for using within a teaching situation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site provides links for seamless movement among the collection indices and within the various categories. Song variant links are provided within each citation for easy access comparison. This is a major strength of the site as the user is able to hear and understand the evolution of the folk song over time and through various interpretations by singers. Very easy and obvious to navigate. The cross referencing is strong.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site provides a major web-based resource for students and scholars of American cultural history although its scope is limited.
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