The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97052   Message #1904625
Posted By: GUEST
09-Dec-06 - 12:49 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers?
Subject: RE: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers?
Nice one to think about.
It should be said from the outset that the terms 'folk' and 'traditional' in relation to song and music are not as ill-defined or 'fuzzy' as many would have us believe. The ITMC definition still stands as far as I know; I am not aware of any re-definition having taken place. The Funk and Wagnall Standard Dictionary of Folklore devotes 16 double columned pages to a definition of folk song, fairly clearly laid out.
I could go to a couple of hundred books on my shelf where the terms are used without ambiguity, so they can be said to be well documented.
It may well be that a re-definition is necessary; A L Lloyd suggested as much in the last pages of his book Folk Song In England; but any re-definition must take into consideration existing definitions.
I believe there are a number of reasons why some people would wish to abandon the terms, some of them already touched on by Shimrod.
I am one of the people who believe that the tradition, when applied to song and story, is dead. For me, a continuing tradition requires three essential elements; creative composition, general acceptance by a community (no - I don't count a folk club as being a community) and transmission both within and outside that community.
Countess Richard's definition, to some extent, includes elements of the existing definition of tradition, certainly as it relates to the community.
Unless I have missed something, people no longer create, communities no longer accept and members of the communities no longer pass on - we have become passive recipients rather than creators.
I would like to be proved wrong, but I believe the best we can do is accept where we stand and recognise that we are borrowers from a tradition rather than part of one.
Jim Carroll