The Folk Music Journal is unique in the field of cultural studies. In principle, it exists to publish papers devoted to folk music, folk dance, and folk song, which in practice are interpreted in their broadest sense. Contributions come from a variety of subjects and disciplines ranging from ethnomusicology, dance ethnology, and social anthropology, through folkloristics, social and oral history, the history of street literature and ballad studies, to the study of contemporary performance. Various approaches are adopted, including theoretical, empirical and fieldwork-based studies, which may be local, regional, national or international in scope. Essentially, the Journal is concerned with 'lived' as opposed to 'processed' popular culture, with the focus on the British Isles and the English-speaking world.
The Journal combines erudition and accessibility in a manner that is intelligible to non-specialists and academics. The reviews section provides an invaluable source of information on the latest studies and collections that have been published. Recent audio and video materials and electronic resources which document music and dance traditions also receive informed reviews.