Wow Jim, what a bundle of laughs it must be discussing precious subjects with you. Touchy touchy..
I do respect if not always agree with what you write here in Mudcat so I will seek to clarify and unfortunately disagree yet again.
Dusty archives is a good use of words there Jim, (quoting you rather than me) I reckon the image is a fitting one for recording heritage. There is a huge difference between collecting knowledge on an abstract subject and using that to tell everybody else what it is they enjoy. Sadly, you have form in that regard. You say the vast majority of people do not listen to folk music. Might be true, might not be. A few million listened to Bellowhead on Jools Holland at the New Year and over the next few days, their Hedonism album sold hundreds of thousands of copies. err.. downloads of it did anyway, on iTunes, the media you say has no input to folk. Tell you what, you keep telling us what folk is and most others will enjoy it for what it is, abstract entertainment.
Abstract because all songs are about a subject but you don't have to empathise with the subject to enjoy it. Elton John says the song of his that he is requested to sing most is Daniel. Wonder how many of those know it is about a Vietnam vet who is blinded? When "I don't like Mondays" was in the charts, did it sell because of the tragic story it related, or we were just waiting for Boomtown Rats to release a follow up to "Mary of the Fourth Form" so we could buy it?
Sir Thomas Beecham summed it up far better than I ever could. "The English don't understand music, but they love the noise it makes."
I will listen all night to somebody expressing history and context to songs and tunes, I sit there happy as Larry listening to their knowledge. But when somebody tells me I am singing something wrong and it shouldn't be like that, I see a halo over their head with purist written on it. (Ok, the halo says "tedious fucker" but I digress.) There are four people I know of including myself taking carbon fibre guitars to clubs. Chatting, it seems we have all been told the concept doesn't fit in or whatever inane waffle some people come out with. I suppose the next time I want to make a good impression, I should have a thatched roof fitted to my jag before sticking it in the pub car park.
Final thought. There have been a few references to dictionary meanings etc in this thread. Pop music is a shortening of popular music. if 51% of the public listened to folk music more than any other type, would we have to start calling it pop music? That's the logical conclusion of some of the posts up there...