Folk music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th century folk revival. The term originated in the 19th century, but is applied to music older than that. Some types of music are also called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways, as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers and it has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. Starting in the century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms. Smaller, similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times and this type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rock, folk metal, electric folk, and others. Even individual songs may be a blend of the two, a consistent definition of traditional folk music is elusive. The terms folk music, folk song, and folk dance are comparatively recent expressions and they are extensions of the term folklore, which was coined in 1846 by the English antiquarian William Thoms to describe the traditions, customs, and superstitions of the uncultured classes. Traditional folk music also includes most indigenous music, however, despite the assembly of an enormous body of work over some two centuries, there is still no certain definition of what folk music is. Some do not even agree that the term Folk Music should be used, Folk music may tend to have certain characteristics but it cannot clearly be differentiated in purely musical terms. One meaning often given is that of old songs, with no known composers, the fashioning and re-fashioning of the music by the community that give it its folk character. Such definitions depend upon processes rather than abstract musical types, one widely used definition is simply Folk music is what the people sing. For Scholes, as well as for Cecil Sharp and Béla Bartók, Folk music was already. seen as the authentic expression of a way of life now past or about to disappear, particularly in a community uninfluenced by art music and by commercial and printed song. In these terms folk music may be seen as part of a schema comprising four types, primitive or tribal, elite or art, folk. Music in this genre is often called traditional music. Although the term is only descriptive, in some cases people use it as the name of a genre
Image: Bartok recording folk music
Indians always distinguished between classical and folk music, though in the past even classical Indian music used to rely on the unwritten transmission of repertoire.