The dogged pursuit of folk tunes and songs

Lomax, the Hound of Music, a relatively new show on PBS, stars a puppet dog who rides a train in search of local music and musicians. Named after legendary folklorist and musicicologist Alan Lomax, this four-legged hound tracks down folksongs on the Melody Hound Express, traveling to many regions of the United States. As befitting a dog, Lomax has the advantage of being able to hear tunes from very far away. 

Perhaps this show will introduce a whole new generation of children to participatory folk music. On the other hand, unmediated folk music is still alive and well around the country, as this video clip featuring the real Alan Lomax’s sister, Bess Lomax Hawes commenting on the contuinuity of children’s hand-clapping games.