The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97052   Message #1905716
Posted By: Folkiedave
10-Dec-06 - 06:18 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers?
Subject: RE: Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-defin
Some discusssion points.

I am certainly not entirely happy with Jim's assertion that the tradition is dead. Cecil Sharp had made much the same belief and that is why he raced around on his bike collecting like mad. Similar assertions were made when the two societies merged in 1931.

And yet fine singer Gordon Hall was a recent discovery and his mother Mab seems to have been missed altogether though she had a vast repetoire of songs. Odcombe carollers were missed until the 1970's. The amazing carol tradition of Glen Rock Pennsylvania (which was carried over from the South Pennines, and has continued over there from 1848 onwards is a discovery from 2000. The traditional carol singing of Kilmore County Wexford is hardly known outside its immediate area except by specialists.

The "bothy" tradition of North East Scotland continues apace and is likely to do so since it is sponsored by Macallan and good for them.
Think what a free glass of whisky would do for folk music audiences in England.

The traditional carols of my own area get more and more crowded with enthusiasts and this week we came up with a carol "rarely sung in the tradition" - well not any more it isn't. It is now sung regularly - well this week at least.

So I do believe that Jim is wrong on this one. They may be only tiny discoveries to be made and we are unlikely to come across another Gordon Hall or Harry Cox but I would hesitate to guarantee it.

The way in which some of the folklorists (Harker re-define folk music is interesting. I think the real focus is to ensure that the myths associated with the background of music, dance, custom and belief is important. Thus you will read about Fire Ceremony of Allendale at New Year signifying the change from the dark nights to the New Year and the coming of the light nights. The only problem with that theory is that we have a record of when it started written about in the local newspaper around 1863. That's when it began!! That myth was exploded by a "new" folklorist, Venetia Newell.

Do other genres of music go through this introspection and if not why not?