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first folk singers

rhythmn 23 Oct 08 - 06:44 PM
lisa null 23 Oct 08 - 06:51 PM
Dead Horse 23 Oct 08 - 07:07 PM
Bill D 23 Oct 08 - 07:10 PM
Acorn4 23 Oct 08 - 07:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Oct 08 - 07:42 PM
Azizi 23 Oct 08 - 08:11 PM
Azizi 23 Oct 08 - 08:19 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Oct 08 - 10:16 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 08 - 11:28 PM
Darowyn 24 Oct 08 - 03:17 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Oct 08 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 24 Oct 08 - 03:52 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 08 - 03:54 AM
Splott Man 24 Oct 08 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Oct 08 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Meggly 24 Oct 08 - 07:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Oct 08 - 08:16 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 08 - 08:22 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 08 - 08:26 AM
Darowyn 24 Oct 08 - 10:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Oct 08 - 10:38 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Oct 08 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 24 Oct 08 - 05:49 PM
Fidjit 25 Oct 08 - 04:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 08 - 05:52 AM
lisa null 27 Oct 08 - 12:19 AM
Azizi 27 Oct 08 - 08:05 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 08 - 08:35 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 08 - 08:38 AM
Charley Noble 27 Oct 08 - 08:53 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 08 - 09:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 08 - 04:17 PM
Stringsinger 27 Oct 08 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Phil 27 Oct 08 - 07:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 08 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Peace 28 Oct 08 - 12:57 AM
Acorn4 28 Oct 08 - 09:28 AM
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Subject: first folk singers
From: rhythmn
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 06:44 PM

Were the early wandering minstrals that carried news from village to village the first folk singers?


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: lisa null
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 06:51 PM

I thik the first folk singers are the gorillas in Afriaca (so famous in Gorillas In the Mist) who sing songs as they pick berries to make the work go better.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Dead Horse
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:07 PM

Whales singing about the great meteorite disaster that killed all their brothers who gave up the sea and became land lubbers.
And the song was called..........(any takers?)


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:10 PM

Richard Dyer-Bennett preferred to call himself a minstrel, and NOT a folk singer. There are subtle differences. I'd guess 'folk singers', that is, folks who sang local songs as part of daily life, were where minstrels got much of their material.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:40 PM

The Amazing Blondel was recorded at the time of the crusades - I suppose there are probably some in the Bible!


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:42 PM

I think lisa is right. Humans were probably singing long before they started talking.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 08:11 PM

I certainly hope that lisa wasn't talking about African people in her 23 Oct 08 - 06:51 PM post.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 08:19 PM

Lisa,

I admit that I've not seen the movie "Gorillas In The Mist".

Are you saying that the gorillas in that film sang songs as they picked berries to make their work go better?


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 10:16 PM

I seem to recall that Sam Hinton was the first to use the trem folksinger.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 11:28 PM

I was using "Gorillas In the Mist" rather sloppily to refer to the gorillas who I think were studied by Diane Fossey and were actually discovered to hum and do something akin to singing while picking berries. The gorillas. Not the people.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Darowyn
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:17 AM

I'm reading a book at the moment called "The Singing Neanderthals".
The author's argument is that music is a holistic mode of communication, as opposed to speech, which is synthetic. Holistic communication is a form of signalling, where the messages conveys an overall piece of information, but are not very flexible as far as variations on meaning are concerned.
Synthetic communication allows for the composition of totally original messages.
To cut a long story short, he suggests that singing is a precursor of language. Since written language comes long after spoken language in history, the music of pre-sapiens homimids must have been passed on by oral tradition- for up to 20000 years in the case of the Neanderthals, they were clearly the first folk singers.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:19 AM

The gorillas had a good bass section but the sopranos were crap.

eric


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:52 AM

Didn't some dingos do a very early version of Wild Rover ???


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:54 AM

Didn't some dingos do a very early version of Wild Rover ???

No


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Splott Man
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:55 AM

I thought it was Derek Brimstone.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 04:11 AM

Birds?


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 07:07 AM

That really depends on your definition of Folk music. I've just read a really interesting book about the origins of 'Folk music' which confirmed a feeling I'd had that the term is really a construct of our modern musical tastes and philosophical ideals.

If you think 'Folk music' is music that is transmitted orally and socially, and practised by the common people in their everyday lives and in social gatheringsthen the first folk singers were probably the Neandertals as explained above. On the other hand if you think it is defined by the body of music commonly held as 'traditional' by folk club practioners today then it is a construct of the enlightenment and the first folk singers were those collecting, and preparing for performance, popular songs of the day.

I blame Rouseau myself.

(The book was, by the way, The Invention of Folk Music by Mathew Gelbert; a thoroughly good book, if cluttered a little by post-modernism. I would recommend getting it from the library however as, like all good academic text books, it is rather expensive.)


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 08:16 AM

The Amazing Blondel was recorded at the time of the crusades

That's a recording I'd love to hear! Otherwise, it would appear they're still going strong - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LPs0gr5zbII

Seriously, the first true Folk Singer must have been John Jacon Niles - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bpaAeqBhwrM - or some such, given that Folk Music didn't exist until was defined 1954, so before that time they must have been doing somethin' else...


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 08:22 AM

"The Amazing Blondel was recorded at the time of the crusades"

Weren't they still The Dimples then? Or Methuselah? Or was it Gospel Garden? LOL!


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 08:26 AM

"Otherwise, it would appear they're still going strong"

Sadly, not as much as they were. Dunno why not - maybe illness, disillusionment and other more interesting activities have finally taken their toll?

I played support for them a couple of times in the late 90's, they were superb.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Darowyn
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 10:12 AM

The Amazing Blondel were photographed in Scunthorpe Museum- on a bed with a great Dane (dog!).
Blondel the historical personage was a royally patronised, therefore professional musician in the court of Richard the Lionheart. He may have been a strolling player, but was more of a singer/songwriter than a Folkie. I am not aware of any studio sessions he did, though he is said to have broadcast his songs (acoustically) outside a number of dungeon windows- which makes him a precursor of Johnny Cash with his Folsom Prison and San Quentin gigs.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 10:38 AM

That they were - and here's The Proof! The Great Dane also featured on the cover of Fantasia Lindum, the location of which was Shibden Hall, Lincolnshire (where else?) to which they returned many years later for the cover of the sublime Restoration.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 11:39 AM

Folk music is the product of a culture---somebody else's culture. If it's you'r own culture, it's just music.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 05:49 PM

Ah, the genesis of the "oral tradition." Who knows when the first humans found that there was entertainment value in shared song? Putting local news to music and spreading it from village to village was known to have occurred in England in the middle ages, and probably long before; perhaps on the continent as well. It may date to the Cro Magnon people and....

The other question to ask is, when did someone start calling it "folk music?" There have been compilations of historical ballads, but I can't recall the first reference using the word "folk" in the title. Perhaps one of you musical biblio-tekkies out there can assist.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 04:12 AM

try this
or one of these
Always thought the troubadours of France an interesting theme
Chas


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 05:52 AM

The Troubadours were aristocratic poets with aristocratic patronage, so hardly folk musicians. Although for his famous estampie Calenda Maia Rambaut de Vaqeruias (1150-1207) describes how the melody came from two rustic fiddlers he once jamming on the theme by way of a musical joust. An early instance of a traditional music being collected in the field perhaps? Or just some colourfully bogus provenance from a wily storyteller? I believe it was Rambaut who once hid in a wardrobe to spy on the wife of one of his patrons, getting more than he bargained for when she came in stark naked and proceeded to attack the elaborate furnishings with her husband's sword.

When I recorded Kalenda Maia with the medieval duo Misericordia for their CD Robins M'aime (1999), our rendering bore all these elements in mind, with my medieval fiddle part (actually 13th century crowd, or crwth) played with suitably pastoral verve and the whole thing swinging along like the above mentioned burlesque swordplay!


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: lisa null
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 12:19 AM

Azizi suggested I share this link to research done on gorillas that seem to do a certain amount of community singing. The first time I read about this was in the NY Times, maybe around the early 1970s, about gorillas singing while gathering berries. Since then researchers have continued recording songlike patterns among other primate groups including orangutangs and gibbons, but it is the gorilla story I encountered first. I'm attaching a url to some stuff on primates and song:

http://www.zoosemiotics.helsinki.fi/zm/music_and_primates.htm

I don't know whether people in Asia or Africa or living in close proximity to Gorillas or other primates think of this sort of communication as song. It would be nice to find out what other cultural groups think of as song and whether they think of the sounds other living beings make as being in definitional continuity with the songs humans sing. I think some of the Siberian and Inuit people do. I do. Hope this clarifies what i was trying to say and why.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:05 AM

Thanks Lisa

I appreciate your clarification. Here's the hyperlink to the website address that you posted.

http://www.zoosemiotics.helsinki.fi/zm/music_and_primates.htm
-snip-

That subject is fascinating, and reminds me of information that I read from some source or the other about the communication of dolphins, porpoises, and whales. Here's an excerpt from an online article that I found about that subject:

"Cetaceans produce a variety of sounds. Baleen whales moan, grunt, chirp, whistle, and click to communicate; these sounds are made by the larynx. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) "sing" for up to 40 minutes at a time, presumably to attract females. Low-pitched moans produced by some baleen whales may be the loudest sounds produced by any animal; they carry underwater for hundreds of kilometers. Odontocetes communicate with whistles; these sounds are most likely produced by opening and closing nasal plugs. Odonotocetes also use clicks for echolocation, to navigate and to find food"...

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:EMTcg4ssshoJ:animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Cetacea.html+porpoise

-snip-

Thanks again, Lisa for alerting me and others to this topic. I agree that in the broad sense of the term, living beings such as birds, whales, and gorillas probably do pre-date humans as the first "folk singers,"

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:35 AM

I agree that in the broad sense of the term, living beings such as birds, whales, and gorillas probably do pre-date humans as the first "folk singers,"


What about horses?


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:38 AM

There's an interesting section in Oliver Sach's book "Musicophilia" which deals very briefly with research in to the question of whether non-human forms of life can truly improvise or invent music - or whether such music, however complex it might appear, is "hardwired" into the brain of the animal, bird, etc. I don't have the book to hand at the moment but the question of animals as "musicians" is fairly complex.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:53 AM

What was Cecil Sharp collecting, way back in the early 1900's, if they weren't folk songs?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 09:01 AM

They were probably folk songs, Charley, except that the original question (which has got slightly off-topic) was: Who were the first folk singers? Which goes back to the old questions of who originated a song, how did it change, how did it spread, etc., etc...


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 04:17 PM

monkeys, whales, French aristocrats, Cetaceans....yes, but you would actually give one a booking.

perhaps a support gig.......


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 04:53 PM

Carl Sandburg was one of the first to use the term "Folk singer" in his concert promotion.
This would be in the 20's.

The term has been mentioned before as originating in Germany. "Volksleider" was
used but whether was a designation for one who sang this I don't know.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 07:31 PM

There is no folk process, there is no evolution. All folk songs were created on 23 Oct 1893.

By the way, cold sores are transmitted orally. Does that make them folk songs?


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 07:48 PM

This sounds interesting: Songs of the Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince-Hughes.

Not actually about songs as such, it appears, more about the social relationships and emotions of gorillas; and other people too.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 12:57 AM

"Were the early wandering minstrals that carried news from village to village the first folk singers?"

Nope. They were singing topical songs. Folk songs came looooong before that.


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Subject: RE: first folk singers
From: Acorn4
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 09:28 AM

Is the attached the first recorded example of a floorspot?

Caedmon's Song


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