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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,John Leeder Songwriter/folk can they overlap? (41) RE: Songwriter/folk can they overlap? 29 Aug 00

Just back from holidays, and coming in late on the discussion.

There are many traditions which accept new compositions written within the tradition. Certainly I'd include English-language Canada among them. Also the blues, to choose a wildly different example. I don't think the idea that "if you know the author, it's not valid" is accepted very widely any more. I would argue, though, that a composition has to be *within the tradition* to be traditional, to belabour the obvious. A song which has not been subjected to oral transmission, variation, and the other touchstones, may exist within a performing or composition ethic which has been worked on by those processes. Sorry to sound pedantic, but I can't think of snappier language at this point.

I think the best folk songwriters can innovate without losing touch with the tradition. However, people who innovate so much that they lose touch run the risk of no longer being folk songwriters, thus starting to make big bucks as mainstream writers...

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