Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jim the Bart Song evolution (20) RE: Song evolution 26 Jul 01


When songs are passed on in an oral tradition, I would imagine that songs with clarity (or, perhaps, simplicity would be a better word) of language and image would be not only most appealing, but most easily remembered. They would invite the most repetition, and hence most versions. As a song is passed on, I would think that there would be a further polishing and stripping of non-essential or confusing language, either in attempts to "improve" the song or simply through the limitations of the singers memory.

But since a song is both melody and language, the simplicity or clarity of the melody would also contribute to a song's longevity and diffusion. Simple melodies are easier to retain, even for people without developed musical abilities and would most likely stay in common usage as lullabies and "hummers" or "whistlers". It would follow that melodies would also become more simplified and/or polished, as they are stripped of "non-essential" , i.e., difficult or forgettable notes.

Simplification of melody would lead to further truncation of text, as words are made to fit the "tune"; even to the point where images are blurred, non-sequitors occur and dead end rhymes retained.


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.