The term itself is comparatively recent; Cecil Sharp thought of it as replacing alternatives such as “national song” in the 1880s. In 1954 the International Folk Music Council defined folk song as “the product of a musical tradition … evolved through the process of oral transmission” and “selection by the community”, whether it originated in “a community uninfluenced by popular and art music” o…
Jackson-Houlston, Caroline. "Folk song (British)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 February 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=425, accessed 25 April 2015.]