The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111033   Message #2345934
Posted By: Jim Carroll
21-May-08 - 07:44 AM
Thread Name: Money v Folk
Subject: RE: Money v Folk
Thanks for the lesson in Irish history and economics - much appreciated.
You put up a reference to a page which illustrates for me where money has had a devastating effect on traditional music.
Of course, you might also have mentioned the folk boom of the sixties, the aftershocks of which are still showing up on our Richter Scale.
I am not arguing that nobody should make money from folk music (proper or ersatz) - I am saying that making money the main object of the exercise has damaged and will continue to damage the music. Put it in the hands of the businessmen (sorry Tom) and they will turn it into a product to be marketed and exploited.
Kennedy, by turning the fruits of his labours into a financially driven cottage industry undid much of the good achieved by the 1950s
collecting programme.
Anybody who has worked at collecting knows what a minefield it can become if money is part of the equation.
Make traditional music part of 'cutural tourism' in the way Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann has in the past and it will be 'Darby O Gilled' as sure as the Pope's a Catholic.
The way that the original questioner set out his or her question is full of imponderables, but the main points for me are:
"Should anyone be making money out of Folk?" - no reason why not - with qualifications
"Would Folk survive without professional singers and musicians?" It would be a very sad state of affairs if it couldn't.
Do folkies want to have their music recognised by the general public. That's what it's been about for me from the year dot.
Folk music, in its proper sense, is, as the Topic set rightly puts it, "The Voice of The People". As well as being a wonderful entertainment it is a vital, and largely undocumented part of our cultural and social history; a voice of people who, it has always been assumed, have no voice. Squander it and you silence that voice.
Jim Carroll