The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116775   Message #2512144
Posted By: Phil Edwards
10-Dec-08 - 07:31 PM
Thread Name: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
In reply to MadUncleDave, I don't give a monkey's about instrumentation. Your 'secondly's don't strike me as adequate, though - surely many good pop songs would tick all those boxes, without becoming folk songs.

I think the trouble with defining folk is that we routinely mix up three different criteria: where the material's from, what its style is and who's performing it. Actually, only one of these is really problematic. The first two would give you a workable definition: [1]'traditional songs collected in the wild' plus [2]'new and recent songs in the style of traditional material'. The problems start when you add on [3]'new songs sung by folkies'; since folkies are a wide-ranging lot, this means that the style and sound of 'folk' gets defined by material that's not folk[1] or [2].