The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158878   Message #3890510
Posted By: Steve Gardham
26-Nov-17 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: folk process: tune evolution?
Subject: RE: folk process: tune evolution?
I spend a lot of time looking at the evolutions of particular songs and song families. I've never looked on using that word as any qualitative description as a researcher. I accept that one meaning of 'evolution' implies improvement, but 'improvement' is most often an opinion. One man's improvement can be another man's degeneration.

On a more personal aesthetic level generally I see the evolution in oral tradition as an improvement, if that's not a contradiction. The songs I choose to sing are generally those that have spent many generations in oral tradition and I wouldn't dream of adding to them from a broadside unless in extreme cases where a broadside version actually makes more sense.