The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13068   Message #114693
Posted By: Frank Hamilton
16-Sep-99 - 11:25 AM
Thread Name: Threads on the meaning of Folk
Subject: RE: Threads on the meaning of Folk
Art, Alan's Cantrometrics might have some theoretical application but I don't think there's much to replace the human ear when it comes to taking in emotional information. Alan had this theory about cultures that have freer sexual mores than others and how it affects their singing styles. The Appalachian styles are supposed, according to him, to be highly repressed and sing in a tight, high-strung vocal style. The Mediterranean styles of singing with a full deep relaxed vibrato are supposed to indicate a sexually gratified society. Some called Alan the Darwin of folk music and some of us humorously referred to him as the Freud of Folk. African-American communal styles of singing were supposedly freer and less repressed than the Anglo solo styles which contained attitudes of distance from others. A lot of this is conjecture, I think. The notational measuements might be useful to a point and if they were able to be read might give vocalista and instrumentalists an insight to in muscal intricacies of traditional folk music. Charlie Seeger's mellograph (?) was an interesting annotational machine that could measure pitch distances by lines such as on an EKG.

Barry, Thanks for reminding me of that time. I remember Sandy well as I once taught in his music store. He is a great guy. Even sang in one of his produced concerts. I remember seeing Koerner at one of the FSSGB's folk concerts. Didn't know those folks too well at the time. I sang in the chorus of one of the John Langstaff's "Revels" at the Sanders Theater. I frequented the Idler Back Room in those days to see what was happening on the "Fast Folk Track". My favorite place was Briggs and Briggs where you could find trad folk recordings.

Frank Hamilton