This is a list of resources that I have been pulling together for my own use. Since I wanted to easily be able to get back to the sites, I figured putting this information on my site was a good idea. Plus it makes it available to anyone doing a similar search.
How to find chords from a recording
Chordify is a site to “Extract high quality chords from any song to practice and play.” On the song I tried it missed some of the chords but got most of them. I have found it very useful.
Lyrics and Tablature: General & Broad Genre Folk
- The Mudcat Café is an online discussion group and song and tune database, which also includes many other features relating to folk music.
- Digital Traditions: by Erich Rickheit mirrors the Mudcat Digital Traditions Database in a format that is easier to search. Incredible compendium of song lyrics with tunes if he has them.
- Scroll down a bit on this Mudcat Page to see Joe’s list of other digital databases for Folk Music.
- Gunther Anderson‘s: Singing Resource (with chords for most songs)
- The Sing Out Resource Center and Oberlin College teamed up to develop an Index to more than 2500 books with some 48,000 song entries in this collection. What is especially cool about this database is that you can just put in a few words of a song to find it. To test it out I put in just “Polly” and hit search. 158 songs came up with the name Polly in the song. Wow!
- Martin Dardis had a wonderful site of songs with guitar chords, and in most cases he has either a video or a recording of the song. It is called Irish Songs with Guitar Chords by Martic Dardis, but the first song I found on there was by Eric Bogle – who lives in Australia.
- The British Library has collections of ethnographic recordings that are pretty amazing.
- NegroSpirituals.com site is devoted to traditional African American spirituals, and some information is given about the early Gospel songs.
- The National Library of Scotland, Broadsides Index has a searchable index to the more than 1000 broadsides in this Scottish collection, with scanned images available for all entries.
- Jane Keefer of Portland Oregon has an amazing Folk Music – An Index to Recorded and Print Resources that she has been building online since 1996.
- Jane also has a great list of other resources and indexes.
- Not sure who runs this one (JS Ward – whoever that is) but it is a great resource for Sea Shanties. http://www.jsward.com/shanty/
- Another good one for Sea Shanties is: http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/shanties.php
- The Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads project makes digitised images of more than 30,000 broadsheets and ballads available to the research community.
Library of Congress
Every time I go to the Library of Congress site I get lost in listening to old songs and reading about the collecting of them. I highly recommend crawling around that website! Here are a few links to get you started:
- Voices from the Dust Bowl: the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941
- Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942
- Now What A Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938 to 1943
- Alan Lomax Collection of Michigan and Wisconsin Recordings
- Folk Recordings Selected from the Archive of Folk Culture
- Ron’s Folk Chords has guitar chords and lyrics in Tab style of [quote] “songs from today’s top folksingers”.
This is not a complete list. Please leave a note in the comments section of other resources you find and we will update the list. Thank you!