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date: 15 November 2019

Ozarks, thelocked

  • Drew Beisswenger,
  • Julie Henigan
  •  and Matt Meacham


Predominantly rural region including much of southern and central Missouri, northern Arkansas, and arguably parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois. Musically, the Ozarks is known for contributing to folk and popular genres associated with the Upland South. Its musical history bespeaks diversity, however, and, in many respects, parallels that of the nation.

Native Americans residing in the Ozarks before white settlement included the Osage , who performed ceremonial dances and songs. Though most Native people left the region in the early 1800s, their musical influences remained. Cherokee and other Native people migrated to the region in anticipation or because of forced removal from homelands in the Southeast in the 1830s; many residents today claim Native ancestry. Intertribal powwows featuring music occur annually.

An 1807 report suggests that bands in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, the first organized settlement established by French colonists, played cotillions and other popular dances of the time. French folk traditions persist in parts of southeast Missouri. Traditional fiddling from the Old Mines area appears on ...

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