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A "Freight Train" Picker: Elizabeth Cotton

Have you ever wondered how a person in a community happens to become a good folk musician? After you've talked about this with a number of singers and instrumentalists, you find that the process is a fairly constant one, no matter what the type of community, what the size of it, where it is, whether it is black or white . Perhaps the most common pattern is this: a person grows up in a situation in which there is music made by people he or she knows, perceives music as something you do (rather than sit through), gets occasional use of someone else's musical instrument and manages to learn some basic techniques, then begins to do a little ...

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