Are we discussing folk music here, or some esoteric branch of forensic science?
Frankly, I don't give a flying bab about definitions and I get rather suspicious about the motives of those who do. Imagine, joy of joys, that we came up with a definition with which everyone agreed - WHAT THEN?
In 100 years' time:
- If 'Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard' was to be heard at folk gatherings (and I believe it will), then I would be delighted.
- If songs by 50's/60's/modern-day singer/songwriters were to be heard at folk gatherings (and I believe they will), then I would be delighted.
- If 'We All Live in a Yellow Submarine' was still being sung on the back row of buses (and I believe it will), then I would be delighted.
- If 'The Birdie Song' was to be heard at folk gatherings (and I believe it won't), then I would be disappointed, but I wouldn't cut my throat over it either.
It won't be the 'experts' or the 'thinkers' or the 'scientists' who decide the future of this music we love - it will be the people (just as it's always been). That seems to worry some folks here. It doesn't worry me - I have every confidence in their good taste and judgement, both now and in 100 years' time. Even if their taste doesn't coincide with mine.
If some folks wish to become museum curators, with their 'Do not touch the exhibits' signs everywhere, then good luck to them - but I won't be stopping by.
Unfortunately I won't be around 100 years from now, so I'll say this now: I told you so!.