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Committee Members

Edward Haas (Committee Member), Marjorie Mclellan (Committee Member), Mary L. Rucker (Committee Chair)

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Master of Humanities (MHum)


The purpose of this project was to extend the literature on the influence of family in the preservation of Appalachian traditional music since few scholars have focused their research on this topic. The family was the first institution in the Appalachian Mountain area, and families preserved the music by performing in their homes for themselves and friends. Families preserved the traditional music, passing it down to future generations. The music was a part of the everyday life of the Appalachian people, and it was performed, remembered, and taken with them wherever they went. Even though the music changed as the culture was influenced by outside forces, the family preserved the culture and traditions, including the musical traditions. This thesis includes the historical background of Appalachia and the settlement of the area, the values of the Appalachian people, the importance of Appalachian families in preserving the musical traditions, and the ballad musical styles of the Carter Family, the Ritchie Family, and the Queen Family.

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Year Degree Awarded