2. A type of traditional and generally rural music which originally was passed down through families and other small social groups.
Typically, folk music, like folk literature, lives in oral tradition. It is learned through hearing rather than reading.
It is functional in the sense that it is associated with other activities, and it is primarily rural in origin. The usefulness of the concept varies from culture to culture, but it is usually convenient as a designation of a type of music of Europe and the Americas.