The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103574   Message #2112417
Posted By: autolycus
27-Jul-07 - 05:27 AM
Thread Name: Lack of Folk Music on BBC - thoughts
Subject: RE: Lack of Folk Music on BBC - thoughts
I'd be a little careful of criticising the Beeb the way you're proposing Dave, if only cos broadcasters are a sensitive bunch and might just get defensive.

And if they're going to ask thier questions irrespective of what you say, you might try saying what you intend to say rather than tamely answering their questions.

You might even think it worth while racing to your nearest bookshop or library looking for a book on how to handle the media - such do exist.

   Where there's a will there's a way.

   One argument you might try is that the Beeb forever worries about justifying the licence fee. I've long thought their way forward is to go for more programming that cannot be got anywhere else and that is of real quality. Put that way, you're on their side and gently prodding them all at the same time.

Despite that, the Beeb, one of my favourite things in the world, is not quality from first to last. Any folk music is higher quality thatn some of what the Beeb, and other broadcasters, seem happy with.

Jazz is on radio 3 in the afternoon and early evening (Saturdays), so I don't see a reason in principle therefore for folk not getting the same treatment.

Also the arguments about what the listeners expect and what they can take are real red herrings dressed up as bottom-line thoughts. The programmes earlier this year on telly, The Singing Estate and The Choir, both about very unlikely people showing they can take to music outside their experience given encouragement - both series showed another aspect of the debate. As does the Wagner story below.

In any case, part of the Beeb's reason for being is to lead and educate quite as much as to tickle the fickle public's fancy. Some broadcasters have either forgotten that, or are of a nervous disposition.

There could be any munber of ways of getting folk on radio 4 or 2, e.g. a 10-, or 12-, of ??-part history of the folk music tradition; the folk music of the British Isles county by county; the themes of folk music; its place in British Society; folk and town/country problem; folk and the industrial problem; folk music and the Jewish Problem; (I made that one up); 10 influential folk singers; the story of folk music collectors; WHAT IS FOLK MUSIC?; the future of folk music; the use of folk music in the year-long, kingdom-wide, cycle of folk traditions and customs.

Where there's a will, the imagination can readily follow.

As for chattering folk, I've just read elsewhere online about two little boys spotted at a performance of Wagner's Gotterdammerung in Glasgow who silent and attentive throughout. Let's learn from the young.   

Good luck,