Skip to main content

Tradition and Change

"If traditional music does not change, it's not traditional, because it needs to stay part of the life of its community." These words, spoken by longtime New Mexico musician Roberto Martínez, sum up the challenges faced by individuals, institutions, and societies seeking to keep their past relevant to their future.

The twentieth century saw an unprecedented, worldwide acceleration of social change. Often, such rapid evolution outpaced time-honored values and practices, eroding their currency. In many cases, a tsunami of unchecked global intrusion via commerce and the media provoked this change, overwhelming cultural self-determination and ...

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.