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What The Folk? Best Folk Music Gear at Dolphin!

Published: Fri September 18, 2009  News Feed

"Folk" music has been with us for as long as string instruments have been played... if not longer! Whether you're into American Bluegrass, Celtic or English Folk, here's a selection of our best folk music instruments to help you to folk it up!

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Best Selection of folk music instruments

The Instruments


Fender Banjo

Fender FB 54 Buy Now Buy Now £199.99

A very satisfying instrument to play or just hear... check the classic scene from 70's classic film Deliverance (above), which helped to popularize the instrument amongst modern audiences.

The banjo is a stringed instrument developed by enslaved Africans in the United States, adapted from several African instruments. Today, the banjo is commonly associated with country, folk and bluegrass music. For such a simple instrument, the banjo still remains incredibly popular.

Other highlights:

Vintage VUB50 Uke banjo


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Tanglewood TB-18/5


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Tanglewood TB18MT


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Tanglewood TB18DLX T


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 View Banjos in stock at Dolphin Music


Tanglewood TML Buy Now Buy Now £134.96

A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed). It is descended from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. It has a body with a teardrop-shaped soundboard, or one which is essentially oval in shape, with a soundhole, or soundholes, of varying shapes which are open and are not decorated with an intricately carved grille like the Baroque era mandolins

Other highlight:

Fender FM-53S 8-String Acoustic Mandolin 


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The twentieth century saw the rise in popularity of the mandolin for Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, and classical styles. Much of the development of the mandolin from Neapolitan bowl-back to the flat-back style (actually, gently rounded and carved like a violin) is attributable to Orville Gibson. Dolphin Music has a great selection of mandolins in stock. Check them out!


Tanglewood TU 4221 £53.96

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Vintage Ukulele - Coconut Tan £19.56

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The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of a small guitar-like instrument brought to Hawaiʻi by Portuguese immigrants. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally. Several famous players have used the Ukulele, in cluding George Harrison and Paul McCartney.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a successful live act that is also helping to spread the popularity of the uke, a very affordable and easy instrument to play - hence its appeal to children, but the Ukulele is very popular amongst serious and professional musicians, too.

Tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

Check the Ukuleles in stock now at dolphin!


Tanglewood TF-8 Nashville Series Buy Now Buy Now £199.00

This model from the Tanglewood Nashville Series of acoustic guitars has recently been voted the USA's top Folk Guitar. with a case included, it offers great value for money.

Guitars are the staple of most forms of popular music, so it's no wonder that they have great importance in the world of folk music: be it 12-string models played by Leadbelly, dreadnought

models played by Woody Guthrie, Super Jumbo played by Bob Dylan or the smaller, concert-shaped models often played by finger-pickin' master Davey Graham, acoustic guitars have played a major role in the development and popularization of folk music!

And Dolphin Music has a great selection of steel-strung acoustic guitars. Tanglewood makes some of the best models available today, the reason why they've been voted the best Selling Guitar Brand 2009. If you want a cheap, affordable guitar by a great brand, you won't go wrong with the Fender Acoustic Guitars.

Check out our selection of Acoustic Guitars for full list of models available.

And if your band needs a good, acoustic rhythm section, check the Ibanez Acoustic Bass Guitars.


...And if the Bob Dylan-type of Folk Music is your favourite, you might as well try a cheap harmonica...Check the harmonicas in stock now.

About The Music:

Folk Britannia legend Davey Graham (left) Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie

 The  American Woody Guthrie collected folk music in the 1930s and 1940s and also composed his own songs, as did Pete Seeger. In the 1930s Jimmie Rodgers, in the 1940s Burl Ives and in the 1950s Seeger's group The Weavers, Harry Belafonte, The Kingston Trio, and The Limeliters found a popularity that culminated in the Hootenanny television series  and the associated magazine ABC-TV Hootenanny in 1963–1964. Sing Out! magazine helped spread both traditional and composed songs, as did folk-revival-oriented record companies.

In the 1960s, folk singers and songwriters such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton followed in Guthrie's footsteps, writing "protest music" and topical songs and expressing support for the American Civil Rights Movement. The Canadians Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell were all invested with the Order of Canada. Dylan's use of electric instruments helped inaugurate the genres of folk rock and country rock, particularly by his album John Wesley Harding and his support for the music of The Band. Many of the acid rock bands of San Francisco began by playing acoustic folk and blues.

In 1950 Alan Lomax came to Britain and met A.L.'Bert' Lloyd and Ewan MacColl, a meeting credited as inaugurating the second British folk revival. In London the colleagues opened The Ballads and Blues Club, eventually renamed the Singers' Club, possibly the first folk club: it closed in 1991. As the 1950s progressed into the 1960s, the folk revival movement built up in both Britain and America.

In the United Kingdom, the folk revival fostered young artists like Martin Carthy and Roy Bailey and a generation of singer-songwriters such as Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell, Donovan and Roy Harper. Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Tom Paxton visited Britain for some time in the early 1960s, the first two, particularly, making later use of the traditional English material they heard.

The late 1960s saw the advent of electric folk groups, a key moment being the release of Fairport Convention's album Liege and Lief. Guitarist Richard Thompson declared that the music of The Band demanded a corresponding "English Electric" style, while bassist Ashley Hutchings formed Steeleye Span in order to pursue a wholly traditional repertoire. In the second half of the 1990s, once more, folk music made an impact on the mainstream music via a younger generation of artists such as Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby and Spiers and Boden

Celtic music in many cases is based on an amalgamation of Irish, Scottish, Manx, Cornish,Welsh and other traditional musics associated with lands in which Celtic languages are or were spoken. In Ireland, The Dubliners, Clannad, Planxty, The Chieftains, The Pogues, The Irish Rovers, and a variety of other folk bands have done much over the past few decades to revitalise and re-popularise Irish traditional music. These bands were rooted, to a greater or lesser extent, in a living tradition of Irish music and benefited from the efforts of artists such as Seamus Ennis and Peter Kennedy.

The popularity of folk music - in all its varieties - remains undiminished.

Related Products

Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Concert Ukulele - Natural

A similar size to a ukulele, the GL1 plays just like a normal guitar with 6 nylon strings and standard guitar tuning intervals...but offers the size and tone of a ukulele. Yamaha Guitalele Ukulele Key Features: small Quart-quitar Measurements 450 mm Back and sides from mahogany Top from spruce incl. bag 17" scale…

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