The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81116   Message #1487149
Posted By: greg stephens
18-May-05 - 07:19 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
The recent adoption of a Welsh national anthem tune in Brittany is no evidence whatever of any musical contact in the past. It would appear to me that the obvious and huge musical links vetween Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England are not duplicated between Brittany and Wales. The whole business of playing Welsh/Breton/Scottish/Irish tunes insuch a way as to sound like each other is a fairly recent bit of pan-Celticism. There are plentiful recordings of actual traditional music from all these countries recorded in the 1900-1950 period. I think the vbest thing is for anyone to listen to these recordings recordings critically before assessing the "Celtic" theories. Alan Stivell, like some modern Galicians and the Titanic soundtrack musicians, can make anything sound "Celtic". The more important question is, what did they used to sound like?
    As regards the musical porousness of the Channel, it seems surprisingly impervious really, when you consider it is only 20 miles of water.The north channel between Ireland and Scotland is of comparable width, and that proved no barrier at all to music. Given that we are all pretty much scraping about for many examples beyond Malbrook/Jolly good fellow, it would seem that there hasnt been that much trad music sharing over the recent centuries. The "beer Barrel Polka"(Roll out the Barrel) is not really an example of shared traditional music: it is an astonishingly succesful international pop song, which is a slightly different phenomenon. I would classify that alongside an Iranian guy I met recently, who did a great version of "Imagine". Not an example of longstanding cultural contacts between Liverpool and Teheran.