In Britain, a long-standing musical tradition spanning hundreds (if not thousands) of years.
Folk music can involve many types of instrument - stereotypically violin, melodion / piano accordion, penny whistle, bodhrans (lap-drums played with a double-ended beater) and bagpipes (not loud Highland bagpipes, but quieter Irish and lowland types). Other common folk instruments include the washboard (played with thimbles), harp, hammer dulcimer, cello, double bass and acoustic guitar.
Folk has traditionally been played only in the back rooms of pubs / bars (these gatherings are called "sessions"), in folk clubs or in a great many small folk festivals held yearly across the UK. However, folk music has become much more popular recently and "new wave" folk artists (as opposed to traditional folk artists) are now playing big concerts.
New wave folk artists include Seth Lakeman, Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy and Bellowhead.
Old-school traditional folk artists include The Chieftains, The Dubliners, The Pogues and the Waterson & Carthy Family.
Folkie: Hey, do you want to come down to the folk club tonight? Spiers and Boden are playing - they're totally crazy. I caught them at Beverley folk festival last summer.
Folkie 2: Yay, folk for teh win!
Normal person: Freaks
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