Where is the point in this long message?
There were lots of them and good ones, in your post and all the other posts…… English folk music is presented here in a similar way to classical music. In the sense that 'you should like it'. The conservative approach you refer to is also similar. When someone is singing 'A Farmer's Boy' (a real traditional song), in a club or a session, you are made to feel that you SHOULD know the words to enable you to sing the chorus. Maybe this is just a uniquely English problem and a direct result of our class system?
From its roots in folk music and dance, European classical music has reached an unprecedented level of technical mastery. As with everything this has a good and a not so good side. The advent of notation enabled one person, the composer, to play all of the instruments. Individual differences in playing styles change from being the attraction, as it is in folk music, to being a hindrance to the way the composer or conductor wanted it to sound. As was said above, this uniformity is then encouraged and trained in.
I think that this was when the concept of "a universal language" runs into trouble. When the language was written down. The (folk) music and musicians that did not need to write it down or read it, were despite their mastery of their instruments and form, then considered to be illiterate. Rustic forms of music, only good enough to 'steal' from.
The most notable achievement of musical notation and where this form of written and scored music, starting from the page, is so different from others is in the development of harmony. I feel it was at this point, where the melodies that all of us seem to love and hook on to, were lost in the composer's rather self-indulgent search for ever more complex harmonies. It was at this point that the classical composer and most of the audience parted company. The concept of this music's superiority however, lingered on.
It does not seem to be generally recognised that this European classical music, fine as it is, is just another form of music, not superior just different.
Do you feel, or do you think that you are made to feel, that the music you like or play is inferior to classical or any other form of music?