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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
richd The folk tradition in Wales (81* d) RE: The folk tradition in Wales 04 Apr 06

Hello all, I'm not a fan of Eisteddfodiau myself, having sat through far too many of them in school, and think their relationship with ANY kind of tradition appart from allowing certain kinds of kids to show off is purely coincidental. (I don't wish to offend those who take part in Eistedfodiau for medical reasons, or who have a very, very deep and close relationship with a harp, or the precise enunciation of long words with many sylables.)Hymns I like, and 'Calon Lan' I think myself is about the closest thing Wales has to a protest song, having heard it sung by grown men with great passion in quite dodgy circumstances.

I realy am interested in this whole thing about 'tradition', and who decides what's in it, and what's not. Leaving aside the question of technology and what and who gets recorded, how is it possible to distinguish between a folk 'style' and a 'folk music?' Also, is it possible for the music to exist as a weird kind of cultural fossil after the society that produced it has ceased to exist in any meaningful form?

I suppose at the back of my mind I have the idea that a living tradition consists of something like: 1. The things your mam sang to you when you were scared or had a toothache. 2.The things you sing to your children when they can't go to sleep or have toothache. 3. The things you sing to yourself when working, alone or frightened. 4. The things you, your pals and family sing when in the pub or at a wedding. 5. What you sing AFTER the funeral, with family. 6. The things you sing to bring yourself courage as a group in adversity (see 'Calon Lan' above).

There's a bit of me that feels that anything beyond this is anthropology, or entertainment, and nothing wrong with that, but that's probably just me. Best wishes all.

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