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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Grab BS: Electric Folk Music (76* d) RE: BS: Electric Folk Music 27 Apr 08

My previous post seems to have vanished. Anyway, previous to Ron's point...

As a traditionalist I tend to like my music as it was intended to be heard.

This is a bit of a problem for folk music, since many of our favourite tunes were designed to be played on the harp or lute!

Violin/fiddle? Only became a folk instrument in the 18th century, and only became well established in the 19th century. Baroque violins are a unique instrument in their own right.

Mandolin? Closest thing to a lute, and Neapolitan mandolins were around for the 18th and 19th centuries, but our modern flat-back mandolin dates from the start of the 20th century.

Bouzouki? The Irish zouk comes from the 1960s, as a slight deviation from the mandolin family instruments invented for mandolin orchestras early in the 20th century but since abandoned.

Guitar? Steel-string guitars didn't exist until the early 20th century, and the gut-string classical guitar only came to maturity in the 19th century.

Squeezeboxes? Invented in the early 19th century, and took the rest of the 19th century to figure out a few standard fingering patterns.

Bodhran? Big-frame skin drums have existed for centuries (maybe millenia), but the concept of a bodhran played on the lap with a tipper is a creation of the 1960s.

So all this does rather beg the question - how traditional are you really? Or more to the point, do you realise how *untraditional* your concept of "traditional" really is?


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