Story: Folk, country and blues music

Making their own music, around 1880

Making their own music, around 1880

This painting by William Mathew Hodgkins depicts a group of men entertaining themselves by making music, probably around the 1880s. In an age before gramophones and radio, informal singing and playing musical instruments was a major form of entertainment, particularly in rural areas. In these settings folk songs were learned by ear and passed on through performance.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-213-013
Watercolour by William Mathew Hodgkins

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Chris Bourke, 'Folk, country and blues music - Folk music – the voice of the people, 1790s to 1920s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 July 2024)

Story by Chris Bourke, published 22 Oct 2014