The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109312   Message #2285456
Posted By: Les in Chorlton
11-Mar-08 - 01:37 PM
Thread Name: Complex arrangments of traditional music
Subject: RE: Complex arrangments of traditional music
I guess I should have pasted the rest of Diane's post:

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

(a) digital archiving
(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."

The last sentence gives the context to the quote.

I saved Diane's definition, if that's what it is, because it is a good one. I know editing is dangerous but:

"'The tradition' comprises art forms of a ……. group rooted in that community's lore and customs and passed on orally, aurally or by demonstration …….. It has thus belonged collectively to that community…….. ."

It seems to me that what most of the "complex arrangers" have done has little to do with 'the tradition'. Please remember I enjoy a lot of it but that's not the point.

This leads me to another related point:

I, and most of the people who sing 'traditional songs' - songs that come from that tradition described by Diane - are quite unrelated to that tradition.

I grew up in Ellesmere Port. As far as I can tell it had no living tradition. Roy Clinging has made a strong case for songs collected in or related to Cheshire and is worth a good trek to see.

The tradition, if that is the correct word, to which I belong is wrapped up with the Second Folk Song Revival. I think I feel a new thread coming on.