Instruments used in folk music – Part 2

In the first part we covered only three of the main instruments, but did not include the equally important Jew’s harp, jug and spoons. We are continuing our report on popular folk instruments that were developed along the universal people and do not have the original creator.

Jew’s Harp

Even though the name of the instrument itself have a word related to religion, there is no real connection to Judaism. People from Europe and Asian countries made Jew’s harp from metal, and some earlier cultures used to build it out of what they had, usually bamboo (a plant familiar to wood). It is the oldest instrument still used today and is diverse, as many countries around the globe utilize it in folk music.

The instrument has vibration detail which makes the Jew’s harp more practical to use for the effect of laying down the rhythm of the songs. There are a lot of sizes and shapes of the instrument and it makes it easy to carry around in the backpack or simply in a pocket. The harp can have different chords and sounds. If you are listening to a professional player, you can surely expect a mixture of sounds coming from it and you might not even believe your ears!


It might sound that just a jug can’t make it as an instrument, but it is true. To accompany a group of folk music players, you would only need a stoneware jug and that is it – you are a jug player. There are also ceramic and glass jugs and it is simple to use the three of them no matter the texture. The player uses the jug to blow into it and make folky type sounds, they can be described as mean or angry because of the bass  coming from it. Only with their lips, players can change the tone or style of a pitch.


The spoon was used back in the old days and as far as the past goes. Almost as soon as the spoon was utilized for eating, that is when the music with spoons started. Cultural regions of East Europe and Native North America have a lot of history related to creating tunes with spoons. Some old folks used bones that were shaped like spoons to make music. There is a belief that playing with bones created a closer connection to the spirit of mammals.

If you are interested in play spoons, you can do it and practice at home. You are free to pick your spoons – metal or wooden. To play them, arrange two spoons back to back and swing them between the leg and your hand.

There are some well-known elite musicians who accompanied the folk tunes with spoons. Duncan Campbell is the only one who is registered as a professional spoon player in the United Kingdom. Bobby Hebb, Noel Crombie and Eric Nagler are also very well-known and appreciated in music industry for implementing spoons into their songs.