Folk Music Collections

Norman Cazden’s decades-long study of the musical traditions of upstate New York reflect both his meticulous scholarship and his genuine respect for rural folklife. The melodies and dance rhythms of this region, in turn, influenced many of his formal compositions, especially the orchestral works Stony Hollow and Three Ballads from the Catskills. See Ethnomusicology for his commentaries on this material and related topics.

Cazden’s compositions are largely out of print, but can be accessed through the libraries shown below.


Opus #Title, NotesDatePublisher
--Folksongs of the Catskills1982State University of New York Press
--A Catskill Songbook
(songs with guitar chords)
1978Purple Mountain Press
--Abelard Folksong Book
(songs with piano accompaniment and guitar chords)
1958Abelard Schuman
71A Book of Nonsense Songs
(104 songs with guitar chords, drawings by Charles Keller)
1961, 1971Crown Publishers

Fiddle Tunes

Opus #Title, NotesDatePublisher
50Reels, Jigs, and Squares: 200 Dance Tunes for Violin and Piano1945ACA**
56Traditional Dances: 200 Tunes for Violin and Piano1958CFE*
57Olden Time Dances: 142 Tunes for Violin and Piano1958CFE*
50, 56, 57542 Dance Tunes for Violin and Piano. Reels, Jigs & Squares; Traditional Dances; Olden Time Dances1958Andrews Music House

Instructional Folksong Collections

Opus #Title, NotesDatePublisher
63American Folksongs for Piano1958Jack Spratt
67American Folk Songs for 2 Recorders
Vol. 1 & 2

1962, 1963Associated Music Publishers

In 2000, a CD was made of favorites from this collection:
“Folksongs of the Catskills” (2000)
Pete Seeger, Jay Unger, Joanna Cazden, others

“History is made when two lines cross, when things or people meet. Especially it is made when people come to the same conclusions from different directions.  In this case we have some people with a liberal political perspective, who come from the city, meeting some traditional-minded people from the Catskill Mountain area, and agreeing that there were many good old songs still work remembering, worth singing, and worth writing down. … Music historians five hundred years from now…will be amazed at the thorough and conscientious job [Cazden and Haufrecht] did. Their extensive documentation is a model for other such efforts around the world.”

— Pete Seeger, foreword to Folk Songs of the Catskills, 1982.


*CFE: Composers Facsimile Edition, American Composers Alliance

Scores and some parts are available through one or more of the following collections. Click on each name and search “Norman Cazden”:  URSUS; University of Illinois; Oberlin College; Eastman School of Music; Harvard University; New York Public Library.

The administrators of this website do not own copies and cannot respond to requests for specific manuscripts. Please ask a local music librarian for help.

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