Hobgoblin music is a term used to refer loosely to folk music, although this connection may likely be more so because of the folk music store franchise that began in the United Kingdom called “Hobgoblin Music.” The term “hobgoblin” refers to a type of goblin, or a scary mythical character common in folklore. Perhaps this is why the term hobgoblin music has been used to refer to folk music as well.
The term folklore has been coined only in the 1870s when an English antiquarian searched for a term to use in describing the whole of superstitious beliefs, customs, and traditions of indigenous people groups. From there, folk music has come to be recognized as a part of this set of beliefs and customs, referring mainly to traditional folk music.
Hobgoblin music, or traditional folk music, is most often heard in uncultured classes, and it typically refers to music that has been passed on over the generations by oral transmission. One generation will be singing and playing the vocals and the music on indigenous instruments, and in the absence of recording capability, the next generation will only make do with committing the musical piece to memory. This second generation will again be playing and enjoying the same music, which the third generation will also remember by heart. Throughout the generations, the music and the songs will essentially stay the same, albeit perhaps with some amendments as the instruments become more fine-tuned and depending on the memory capacities of the generation that receives it.
In the absence of a known composer, folk music relies simply on the transmission across the generation, and on its appeal to the population masses; if it were not the music for the lower class, it likely would not have survived, as the sheer number of people who enjoy it and memorize it has certainly contributed to its preservation. For the higher class, classical music with specific composers would have had their music preserved via the written format, on musical scores that only those educated in music can read and understand and therefore play out loud.
The Hobgoblin Music franchise understands the importance of preserving music in any culture, and therefore seeks to offer a wide variety of folk music instruments. These instruments can cover those used in traditional folk music as well as those that were popularized during the folk revival of the 1960s, although the traditional instruments are definitely the more unusual to our modern eyes and ears. Among the most common types of folk instruments are the stringed instruments, which include the banjos and the ukuleles. In making these folk instruments more accessible to the modern individual, there have been certain innovations, such as the Dean Backwoods Banjo, Six String, which makes it easy for guitar players to adapt to the folk instrument.
Folk music continues to be a challenging genre of music, simply because of the extremely wide range it covers. After all, when you travel around the world, you will surely encounter different nuances and trademarks of music in that particular region; this is why folk music is also known as world music. Perhaps the strange sounds that accompany this type of music are also the reason why it is known as hobgoblin music: for example, the Scottish bagpipe is often portrayed in cartoons as a musical instrument that produces highly annoying and eerie sounds much like that of cats howling and screeching. The Children’s Bagpipe is a good way to introduce young children to the nuances of folk music, although you may not be as successful in the absence of real bagpipe playing lessons.
Hobgoblin music may have the connotation of eerie music that stirs up the emotions in a negative way, but when you understand how certain folk music come about, such as from the context of various cultures, you will learn to appreciate them and their roots. For anyone who is interested in studying various cultures, learning the intricacies of every aspect of life will naturally include learning about the musical life of such cultures, and getting a feel of folk musical instruments of a particular nation or people group will allow you to connect more deeply with the people than any other means.