The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18331   Message #181945
Posted By: Joan
20-Feb-00 - 10:34 PM
Thread Name: Is there a future for traditional music
Subject: RE: Is there a future for traditional music
Singing a folk song in the forest? Not a new idea.

When people sat around their parlors and porches and sang old songs and new made-up songs, maybe played some tunes on fiddle or piano, maybe even danced, it wasn't a show. Nobody paid admission to sit and listen, either. With no TV, no radio, no videos, there used to be nothing around to entertain us but US. People didn't regularly jump into cars and planes and travel, so tunes played and sung in a region pretty much were particular to the families who lived there--and they mostly stayed there, learned by the kids in much the same versions for generations.

Then came radio. And records. Broadcast music could be heard by everybody from one end of the country to the other. Every house had a radio, everybody listened to the "Top 40" hits. The radio standardized music and we all heard the same tunes. My point is, since then, those of us who love the old songs and old ways of playing music, flaunt conventional culture when we seek out something that's possibly difficult to find and somewhat weird by mainstream standards. We have to search for the folkie places and people because folk concerts don't have very high profiles.

Folk Alliances and Folk Societies and festivals are one way of unifying musicians and folk lovers. Local concert series look for ways to attract audiences who pay for the venue and the performer's fee. Pockets of folk people all over the country are struggling to keep the folk clubs going so the songs don't die. I think traditional music has a future only if people keep finding ways of getting together to sing and play.

Holy smoke...who said all that?