The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18581   Message #186224
Posted By: Uncle_DaveO
28-Feb-00 - 12:22 PM
Thread Name: BS: What isn't Folk?
Subject: RE: BS: What isn't Folk?
This discussion follows on a request--by Art Thieme?-- for a definition of folk song/music. Only after a while did I go back and read his original post, and he words were something like, "What is YOUR definition of a folk song?" (Caps added by me.)

Now this is different from "What is THE definition of a folk song?" Or from "What does 'folk song' mean?" Seems to me that a single definition is impossible, in that the drift of language, the pressures of commerce, the movement of fads and the like have put so many different connotations on the expression "folk song" or "folk music" that without further explanation one can't be sure what is meant by the words any more.

Context may give an implicit explanation of what's meant: A musicoethnologist who talks about "folk music" is not too likely to be misunderstood. A TV producer who talks about "folk music" is probably not talking about the same thing.

Art Thieme(?) asked about "your definition". A personal definition should be distinguished from a prescriptive generic definition.

Dave Oesterreich