Seeking folk music from the past
November 20, 2010 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Looking for folk music that recreates music from the past with traditional instruments.

I'm completely new to this area of music, so I have no idea if there is a name for it, so I'll seek to explain what I'm after with examples.

The closet music I've found is Krauka, who seek to recreate the music from the Vikings (example).

Another group that is kind of close to this ideal is Wardruna (example). But Wardruna seems to go more into dark ambient/neofolk territory with some of his songs, which is not what I'm looking for (something closer to the natural sound of Krauka above would be better).

Of course, I'm looking for anything including and outside of Scandinavian folk.

I also seem to a recall a link making the rounds on the 'net a few months back (maybe on the blue?), that had the sounds of a (European?) woodwind instrument from a couple of thousands years ago. That combination of archaeology and sound is what I'm looking for.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
La Reverdie (yt)
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:07 AM on November 21, 2010

"This unique video, features my arrangement for solo lyre, of the 3400 year old "Hurrian Hymn no.6", which was discovered in Ugarit in Syria in the early 1950s, and was preserved for 3400 years on a clay tablet, written in the Cuniform text of the ancient Hurrian language - it is THE oldest written song yet known! Respect, to the amazing ancient culture of Syria...السلام عليكم"

posted by Mr_Crazyhorse at 1:23 AM on November 21, 2010

Corvus Corvax - remember that wild parties and lots of dancing are historically recorded, not just quiet, thoughtful songs. Seen with all their instruments here
posted by Coobeastie at 1:53 AM on November 21, 2010

Prehistoric Music Ireland recreate ancient music instruments and have some recordings available - not heard the CDs they sell at the site but did hear and like some soundtrack music they did.
posted by Abiezer at 2:03 AM on November 21, 2010

Oh, and this came up while I was searching for the above dimly-recalled link:
Out Of The Stones "we hit upon what we thought was a really exciting project: to make a CD of the kind of music that could have been heard in Orkney from prehistoric times up until 1468"
posted by Abiezer at 2:06 AM on November 21, 2010

Does this qualify? Ancient Echoes is a recreation of Second Temple era (i.e., Jesus-era) music using traditional instruments.

Also perhaps the Mediaeval Baebes, who recreate medieval sacred and secular music, some with instruments, some with just voices. Some are very traditional, some are more modern, and I think sometimes they match poetry and music that didn't traditionally go together, but the liner notes are extensive so you can tell what's what.

I think these are the sort of thing you're asking for but I'm a little afraid I've misunderstood the question. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:38 AM on November 21, 2010

"Early Music" is what you want to Google for if you're looking for people who play music from the early 4-digit years (around medieval).
posted by rhizome at 8:56 AM on November 21, 2010

Passion - Sources is a compilation of earthy folk/World Music which was later edited/adapted into the soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ, and is more interesting than the actual soundtrack. Much of it has that authentic-sounding 'old' vibe.
posted by ovvl at 10:42 AM on November 21, 2010

Coronach - renaissance Scottish music.

Misericordia - mediaeval European music.

The Carnival Band - not sure how to summarise them, so will quote: "while we have been called 'Henry VIII's Rock 'n Roll Band' our horizons have widened to include music from practically every continent (we're working on Antarctica) and every century since about 1200AD".
posted by paduasoy at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2010

He's more art music than folk music, but Jordi Savall has put out some great early music albums that are exotic enough to my ears to match. Try Istanbul or Jerusalem. The NPR also provides access to a live concert of some of the Jerusalem music.

Another good early music group to check out is Sequentia, led by Benjamin Bagby. They have versions of Beowulf and the Nibelung saga with medieval harp and a flute made from a swan bone. Pretty freaky!
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 1:34 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Mediaeval Baebes are in no way authentic.

Try the Dufay Collective for fun and larks.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2010

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