Country, country music (from the English country “rural, rustic”) - the generalized name for the form of music that originated among the white people in the rural areas of the south and west of the USA, folk music of the USA, whose origins go back to the first white settlements of colonists from Europe (mainly Anglo-kelts ), settled in the New World back in the XVII-XVIII centuries. It took shape at the beginning of the 20th century as a result of a long process of mixing archaic forms of musical folklore of various European peoples. It is subdivided into rural (country) and cowboy song-ballad (western). Currently, it is almost entirely related to the field of commercial entertainment music.
Country is based on song and dance tunes brought to America by early settlers from Europe, and relies on Anglo-Celtic folk musical traditions. This music has long been preserved in an almost untouched form among residents of mountainous areas of the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina.
By their content, songs and ballads performed by country performers are close to the usual themes for rural folklore. The spirit of country art is also determined by the selection of stringed instruments like a guitar and mandolin. From the very beginning, the violin-fiddle, the main musical instrument of American farmers for several centuries, gave a characteristic flavor to the sound of music.
The country style was also influenced by Negro musical culture. This is most clearly manifested in the rhythm and laid-back improvisational manner of performance, as well as in the use of instruments such as banjo and harmonica.