In order to fully appreciate folk music, it helps to know a little music theory.

Jack talks about characteristics of folk music theory that make it so unique, including time signature, aspects of the unique folk sound, and common themes in folk lyrics.

Time Signature

Here, Jack explains the importance of time signature in Adirondack Folk music. These time signatures created the beat and feel of each piece, and are often representative of physical activities that early Adirondack locals participated in.



Jack enlightens the audience with insight into how chord progressions found in Adirondack Folk tunes are found in many other genres of music. The basic music theory used in Adirondack Folk music transcends genres and time periods.


Here, Jack explains how using a major key or a minor key helps connect the audience to an Adirondack performer. These two types of keys sound different, and make us feel different emotions based on sound. For example, a minor key will emit a solemn and serious atmosphere, whereas a major key gives off a more merry and happy vibe.



Lyrics are an interesting aspect of Adirondack folk tunes, as they are often narratives that give us insight into the daily lives of residents in the Adirondacks. These tunes were not written to dive into the lyrical art of songwriting, but rather to reflect and convey daily lifestyles and struggles.