The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42171   Message #611340
Posted By: marty D
16-Dec-01 - 10:31 PM
Thread Name: What is a Folklorist? Same as Collector?
Subject: What is a Folklorist? Same as Collector?
I hope nobody thought I was about to ask What is folkmus...? I may not have been in this since the cradle like some here, but I know NEVER to ask THAT question!

I DO have some question tho. What exactly defines a Folklorist? If someone treks thru the woods and mountains collecting old songs, does that MAKE them a folklorist? Does a folklorist have to publish? If they don't, do they just get run over by academics in any discussions about folk songs? Is a University degree in fact neccessary for one to be considered legit?

I know that people like the Lomaxes, and Child were Folklorists but what about Carl Sandburg or even Pete Seeger (I know his father was one)? On Mudcat is Sandy Paton or Wolfgang or Malcolm Douglas or Art Theme or Don Firth a folklorist or are they simply people who know a lot about traditional music?

I started thinking about this after reading the thread about whether a composed song could be a folksong. So are there any definitions that most agree on? Thanks.