The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97052   Message #1904376
Posted By: The Borchester Echo
09-Dec-06 - 07:24 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers?
Subject: RE: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers?
I tried a definition in Another Place citing three factors which have altered irrevocably the nature of the traditional process. No-one argued against it and some even liked it:

OK, try again with greater precision (though more words):

'The tradition' comprises art forms of a distinctive national, ethnic or social group rooted in that community's lore and customs and passed on orally, aurally or by demonstration rather than by written/recorded or formal didactic means. It has thus belonged collectively to that community, rather than to individuals or the state, and tells the history of the people from their common experience.

In the case of music, its platform has been predominantly the informal social gathering, the workplace or the home rather than the theatrical stage or concert hall, and pieces tended to be known by what or who they were about rather than by composer. This is not, of course, to say that trad musicians have not borrowed and adapted from formal composers or from other cultures. Obviously they have, and do, which is why the tradition continues to evolve.

However, three factors in the current revival are forcing ever more rapid and inexorable changes:

(a) digital archiving, obviously, as mentioned
(b) writing, consciously, 'in the tradition' and registering the result with MCPS/PRS
(c) population mobility resulting in monumental cross cultural influence and collaboration.

It will, thus, never be the same again. 'The tradition' will remain that static body of information that has been quite literally passed down before the irrevocably altered times put an end to the centuries-old process (cue Richard Thompson . . . ). What is NOT traditional, by definition, is a recently composition of known origin. Even if you call it The White Hare.

NB No reference works were harmed (or even consulted) in the concoction of this definition.