Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


What is a traditional singer?

Related threads:
Popfolk? (19)
What isn't folk (88)
What is a Folk Song? (229)
Still wondering what's folk these days? (145)
What makes a new song a folk song? (1710)
Does Folk Exist? (709)
Definition of folk song (137)
Here comes that bloody horse - again! (23)
Is the 1954 definition, open to improvement? (105)
Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition? (133)
So what is *Traditional* Folk Music? (409)
'Folk.' OK...1954. What's 'country?' (17)
Folklore: Define English Trad Music (150)
What is Folk Music? This is... (120)
What is Zydeco? (74)
Traditional singer definition (360)
Is traditional song finished? (621)
1954 and All That - defining folk music (994)
BS: It ain't folk if ? (28)
No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? (176)
What defines a traditional song? (160) (closed)
Folklore: Are 'What is Folk?' Threads Finished? (79)
How did Folk Song start? (57)
Traditional? (63)
Should folk songs be sung in folk clubs? (129)
What is The Tradition? (296) (closed)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (177)
What is Blues? (80)
What is filk? (47)
What makes it a Folk Song? (404)
Article in Guardian:folk songs & pop junk & racism (30)
Does any other music require a committee (152)
Folk Music Tradition, what is it? (29)
Trad Song (36)
What do you consider Folk? (113)
Definition of Acoustic Music (52)
definition of a ballad (197)
Threads on the meaning of Folk (106)
Does it matter what music is called? (451)
What IS Folk Music? (132)
It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do? (169)
Giving Talk on Folk Music (24)
What is Skiffle? (22)
Folklore: Folk, Pop, Trad or what? (19)
Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers? (124)
Folklore: What Is Folk? (60)
Is it really Folk? (105)
What is a kid's song? (51)
Folk Rush in Where Mudcat Fears To Go (10)
A new definition of Folk? (34)
What is Folk? IN SONG. (20)
New Input Into 'WHAT IS FOLK?' (7)
What Is More Insular Than Folk Music? (33)
What is Folk Rock? (39)
'What is folk?' and cultural differences (24)
What is a folk song, version 3.0 (32)
What is Muzak? (19)
What is a folk song? Version 2.0 (59)
FILK: what is it? (18)
What is a Folksinger? (51)
BS: What is folk music? (69) (closed)
What is improvisation ? (21)
What is a Grange Song? (26)


Faye Roche 16 Mar 09 - 09:44 AM
melodeonboy 16 Mar 09 - 10:01 AM
Leadfingers 16 Mar 09 - 10:02 AM
Spleen Cringe 16 Mar 09 - 10:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 10:08 AM
Faye Roche 16 Mar 09 - 10:09 AM
Sugwash 16 Mar 09 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Mar 09 - 10:18 AM
The Sandman 16 Mar 09 - 10:30 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Mar 09 - 10:30 AM
BobKnight 16 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 09 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,Will Fly, on the hoof 16 Mar 09 - 10:53 AM
Azizi 16 Mar 09 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,James H 16 Mar 09 - 11:00 AM
Gibb Sahib 16 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,James H 16 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Mar 09 - 11:21 AM
meself 16 Mar 09 - 11:22 AM
Sleepy Rosie 16 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM
Ebbie 16 Mar 09 - 12:02 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 16 Mar 09 - 12:04 PM
Azizi 16 Mar 09 - 12:22 PM
Azizi 16 Mar 09 - 12:28 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,James H 16 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM
Azizi 16 Mar 09 - 12:54 PM
VirginiaTam 16 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM
Folkiedave 16 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM
John P 16 Mar 09 - 01:08 PM
The Sandman 16 Mar 09 - 01:31 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 09 - 01:33 PM
Marje 16 Mar 09 - 02:08 PM
John P 16 Mar 09 - 03:10 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Mar 09 - 03:14 PM
TheSnail 16 Mar 09 - 03:23 PM
Sleepy Rosie 16 Mar 09 - 03:30 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Mar 09 - 03:43 PM
Sleepy Rosie 16 Mar 09 - 03:53 PM
Sugwash 16 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,PeterC 16 Mar 09 - 05:25 PM
Phil Edwards 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM
JWB 16 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 16 Mar 09 - 05:55 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 16 Mar 09 - 06:06 PM
Phil Edwards 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 PM
RTim 16 Mar 09 - 07:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM
Stringsinger 17 Mar 09 - 01:23 PM
TheSnail 17 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM
JohnB 17 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,glueman 17 Mar 09 - 04:20 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 17 Mar 09 - 07:41 PM
mg 18 Mar 09 - 05:14 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 18 Mar 09 - 06:57 PM
Bonzo3legs 19 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM
mg 19 Mar 09 - 12:01 PM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 09 - 01:01 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 19 Mar 09 - 07:22 PM
John P 19 Mar 09 - 10:24 PM
Tangledwood 20 Mar 09 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 20 Mar 09 - 10:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 09 - 11:37 AM
Phil Edwards 20 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 09 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 23 Mar 09 - 03:16 PM
Diva 07 May 09 - 05:40 PM
Herga Kitty 07 May 09 - 05:53 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 07 May 09 - 05:57 PM
Herga Kitty 07 May 09 - 06:11 PM
Diva 07 May 09 - 06:13 PM
The Sandman 07 May 09 - 06:25 PM
Diva 07 May 09 - 06:36 PM
Herga Kitty 07 May 09 - 06:40 PM
Diva 07 May 09 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 May 09 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,glueman 08 May 09 - 05:31 AM
Brian Peters 08 May 09 - 09:06 AM
Mr Happy 08 May 09 - 09:21 AM
The Sandman 08 May 09 - 09:38 AM
Steve Gardham 08 May 09 - 01:23 PM
Brian Peters 08 May 09 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 08 May 09 - 02:03 PM
Diva 08 May 09 - 08:13 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 May 09 - 09:26 AM
BB 10 May 09 - 09:27 AM
The Sandman 10 May 09 - 01:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 11 May 09 - 05:49 AM
Phil Edwards 11 May 09 - 06:29 AM
Phil Edwards 11 May 09 - 06:32 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 09 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,glueman 11 May 09 - 07:00 AM
The Sandman 11 May 09 - 07:14 AM
Mr Happy 11 May 09 - 08:25 AM
BobKnight 11 May 09 - 08:57 AM
Diva 11 May 09 - 11:02 AM
Diva 11 May 09 - 11:13 AM
Gedi 12 May 09 - 08:13 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 May 09 - 08:26 AM
Stringsinger 12 May 09 - 02:49 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Pat 'the Verse' 13 May 09 - 12:07 PM
Phil Edwards 13 May 09 - 03:19 PM
Eldergirl 09 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 07:14 AM
Tradsinger 10 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM
Eldergirl 10 Jan 14 - 09:36 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:39 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 06:13 AM
Paul Davenport 11 Jan 14 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 07:37 AM
Brian Peters 11 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Jan 14 - 02:52 PM
Brian Peters 11 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 04:09 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 14 - 05:09 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:30 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 02:28 AM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 01:07 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 03:15 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 03:39 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 06:11 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 06:15 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Jan 14 - 12:31 AM
Vic Smith 14 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Can I ever be a real trad singer and what is that?
From: Faye Roche
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 09:44 AM

I got into a conversation the other day about traditional performers of English folk songs.

I'm Australian, as will be immediately apparent when I open my mouth to speak, though I sing without an accent. I sing almost exclusively English songs, with a few Irish and Scots ones as well.

The point being made was that, as an outsider, I could never give a convincing performance of a British song. My take is that, if you haven't heard me speak, you wouldn't know where I come from so what difference does it make?

I can see that I could be skirting around the unpleasant area of racism, so let me say at this point that I have all the delicate over-sensitivity that is common to those of my race- i.e. I don't give a dingo's dangleys what you say about us. So say what you like- I'd be interested in what people think!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:01 AM

"though I sing without an accent"

Eh?????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:02 AM

I see no problem with ANYONE singing English songs , though I am NOT enamoured of people who dont 'sound' right ! Louis Killen's American wife , Sally , certainly sounded fine singing British Folk , as does our own Maryrrf . I am sure that if I 'Faked' an Australian accent to sing , say , Anderson Coast , I would expect a degree of critiism , so I 'do' it in English .
You may well have a problem getting UK Club bookings if you are presenting yourself as a 'Traditional' singer though . The usual term is Revivalist Singer I think .
Good Luck any way


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:07 AM

Bit of copy'n'paste for you.

Song Links
A Celebration of English Traditional Songs and Their Australian Variants
Various Artists
Fellside Recordings FECD176D (2 CD, UK, 2003)


'Song Links' is a project that was conceived when Martin Wyndham-Read realised that certain Australian traditional songs were related to those of the British Isles. The history of Australia is of course tied to that of the British Isles, and with so many people having come from there to Australia, voluntarily or involuntarily, many of their songs have inevitably travelled with them. Often these songs would have been the only source of solace to the convicts, early settlers, migrants, or goldrushers. It could be, for instance, that a Sussex shepherd, transported for some petty crime, took with him the knowledge of the Bonny Bunch Of Roses-O, and sang it to others. Over time, the words altered as they were passed along orally and people forgot or mentally re-wrote certain parts, so that for instance the phrase "beaten by the drifting snow" has become replaced by "overpowered by grief and woe"; but the basic structure of the song has remained the same. Such a combination of differences and common elements makes the comparison between Australian versions of these songs and their counterparts from the British Isles a fascinating study.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:08 AM

One of my favourite books of Traditional English Song is Volume One of Meredith & Anderson's Folk Songs of Australia & the Men & Women Who Sang Them (NSWUP 1985) - I dare say Volume Two would be nice too, but until it turns up... The version of The Derby Ram I sing is from this book, and I live 125 miles away from Derby!

The English (Speaking) Folksong Tradition has gone forth with English Speaking settlers, criminals, pioneers and emigrants into the Americas and the Antipodes where it feeds back to Blighty with a glad and hearty resonance. I sing Child Ballads from the Ozarks, and Irish Songs from the Outback; that is the nature of English Speaking Traditional Song.

Otherwise, might we make a distinction here between a Traditional Singer and a Singer of Traditional songs? Or does that sort of thing not matter anymore?

Where's WAV when you need him? I'm sure he'd have plenty say about this one!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Faye Roche
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:09 AM

"Eh?????"

I mean that when I sing there is no indication from the sound of my voice of where I originate from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Sugwash
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:17 AM

Faye, if you love the songs, sing the songs, I don't give a ram's rude bits where you come from. You can get into trouble on this forum using the T and the F word, but please ignore any such nonsense, we Poms delight in whinging, as you must know. Good luck with the singing, I hope to hear you some day.

Andy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:18 AM

"I can see that I could be skirting around the unpleasant area of racism, so let me say at this point that I have all the delicate over-sensitivity that is common to those of my race- i.e. I don't give a dingo's dangleys what you say about us. So say what you like- I'd be interested in what people think!"

Actually, speaking as an Englishman, I think that this may be a bit over-sensitive. I've never had the good fortune to visit Australia but I've met plenty of Australians in my time and formed the impression of a nation of likeable, good-humoured people. I recall being invited to a Bangkok hotel once where a load of Aussies were watching their football final on a giant TV screen. The whole event was hilarious (I was laughing with them, not at them, I should hasten to add!). Even the inevitable piss-taking at the expense 'Poms' was very light-hearted and I certainly wasn't offended by it.

So, if you want to sing English folk songs, Faye, go right ahead - after all if you're of British descent they're part of your heritage too. If you ever come to the UK, and sing in one of the clubs that I attend, I promise to listen to you with interest and respect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:30 AM

Faye,sing what you like,in my opinion being a traditional singer,or being a singer of traditional songs matters little [where is Jim Carroll],what matters is to treat your songs and singing with respect,to practise your songs regularly,and to love what youare singing,if you do this it will be reflected in your singing.some good traditional singers worth listening to are WalterPardon,HarryCox,PhilTanner[superb].
there are a couple of good ones left alive today,Jeff Wesley, Bob Lewis.
if the definition of a traditional singer is one who learns songs orally ,from a community,then that makes anybody a traditional singer who learns traditional songs, orally from you tube .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:30 AM

I second everyone who's said (in so many words) if it feels good, do it - if the song speaks to you, sing it.

But I'm not sure about...

I mean that when I sing there is no indication from the sound of my voice of where I originate from.

...this. I'd much rather hear someone sing English songs in their own Australian accent than have no indication where they were from. My vowel sounds when I'm singing are the same as when I'm speaking, or at least I hope they are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: BobKnight
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM

I know of one man here in Aberdeen who sings "Bothy Ballads," like a native, but turns out to be an American. You'd never know when he's singing that he's not from Aberdeenshire. So, go ahead and do what you want - there are too many artificial barriers in trad/folk already.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:52 AM

Trevor Lucas? Eric Bogle? Both excellent - who gives a rat's arse. Sing up and sing well - that's all that matters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Will Fly, on the hoof
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:53 AM

'Twas me above...

(I'll get me cookie).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:00 AM

Faye Roche=-with regard to your main point-I believe that a person should not be prohibited from singing a song because he or she is not from the population of people who composed that song. That said, I believe that some songs are likely to be performed more authentically (which is to say the way its composer/s wrote them to be performed) if they are sung by an individual from the same population as the composer or by a group that is comprised of (or mostly comprised of) people from the same population as the songs composer/s. For example, I would much prefer to hear a Black gospel song sung by a Black choir (in a "non-concert style") rather than a White choir singing that song.

Furthermore, I also think that every traditional song does not need to be sung in public performances. I'm specifically thinking about the American songs which contain offensive dialect and "coon" references. (I do understand that this isn't the kind of English traditional song you were referring to).

Also, Faye Roche, as an aside from the main point of your post, it appears from your comment that you are using the word "race" the way people in the United States use "nationality". Also it appears that your use of the word "racism" is how we ("UnitedStaters") would refer to folks who are are biased against people living in a particular country for no other reason than the fact that they are from that country. I'm not sure what single term that would be.

I'm curious-is this a standard way that the terms "race" and "racism" are used in Australia? And (this question is directed to folks from the UK) are those terms used that way in the UK?

Also, (I'm asking this because I really don't know) what population of people does the word "Pom" refer to. Is it a derogatory term?

Thanks in advance for your responses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,James H
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:00 AM

seconded, Pip! I'd always far rather hear people's own accent in their singing too, otherwise to me it feels like they are putting on something fake - presumably either to be a faithful copy of the CD they learned the song off or to sing 'in the accent of' wherever the song comes from. Not sure why you would want to do that? - regional accents vary so much and just because a song was collected in a particular place at a particular time it doesn't mean it wasn't song elsewhere and elsewhen by people with other accents. Trying to faithfully recreate an accent is surely only one step away from also trying to faithfully recreate costume and instrumentation too, and before you know it you've joined a historical re-enactment society...

If I learned an american song or a scottish song (I am english with a not strongly regional but more northern than southern accent) I would feel I was taking the piss to start putting on an american or scottish accent - besides the fact that I am not good enough at accents anyhow to get it right - and anyhow, surely if accent is the key then it would be just as inappropriate to sing a song from Maine with a Texan accent or a song from the Outer Hebrides with a Glaswegian accent as it would be to sing either in my own voice?

All that said, Faye, it's your performance, of songs you have chosen, and if you want to sing them in any accent you damn well please, that is up to you!

Originally, you said The point being made was that, as an outsider, I could never give a convincing performance of a British song. My take is that, if you haven't heard me speak, you wouldn't know where I come from so what difference does it make?

I would query the word 'convincing' - what did the person you were talking to mean by that? If they meant 'sing it and sound like you're english' then if you're good at accents then yes you can - although if you are doing a bit of chat between songs, then it'd quickly become apparent that you were singing in a different accent to your speaking voice... if they meant 'sing it (english accent or not) and make your audience believe in it as a song' then of course you can, no person or region or country 'owns' traditional material and you can pretty much always find a way of performing it from the heart that will speak to your audience regardless of accent or country of birth or anything else. Of course if your song is long the lines of 'I'm a jolly englishman, look at how english I am' then I suppose it might be quite funny delivered by somebody who wasn't english but even so you might be choosing to go for the comedy angle... :)

Final point from me - there are PLENTY of performers out there who do, to my mind, deliver very convincing performances of english songs while blatantly not being english themsleves - James Fagan and Mudcat's own George Papavgeris are two who spring to mind. And, amusingly, Nancy Kerr who is from NE England but has spent a lot of time in Australia now has a distinct aussie twang to her speaking voice and performs both Australian material and her native English in her own, to my mind perfectly convincing, accent, which has hints of both australian and geordie...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:14 AM

A singer of traditional songs versus a traditional singer?

A traditional mailman?

Tradition is a practice, repeated over time with some sense of continuity. People are not "traditional" per se, though they may engage in traditional practices.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,James H
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM

Azizi - yes in the UK plenty of people talk about race & racism as regarding nationality rather than skin colour or ethnic group. I do myself - the logic being that prejudice and discrimination to do with where people come from or are perceived to have 'originally' come from are no different whether it is being aimed predominantly at skin colour or face shape or accent or name or whatever (in the UK in recent years some areas have had big influxes of Polish immigrants, and there have been some issues of abuse towards them that are every bit as racist as abuse towards, say, Pakistani or African immigrants).

And, English people are referred to as 'Poms' or 'Pommies' by Australians. I don't know why but I bet somebody better informed than me will come along and tell us in a little while...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:21 AM

Interesting site:

http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: meself
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:22 AM

"and before you know it you've joined a historical re-enactment society... "

And next, you commit a murder that you perhaps think very little of at the time, then progress to petty theft, from there to lying and cheating, next the vice of intemperance, and soon you find yourself sunk into the pit of procrastination and Sabbath-breaking ... !


(Apologies to Thomas DeQuincey).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM

Captain Birdseye: "if the definition of a traditional singer is one who learns songs orally ,from a community,then that makes anybody a traditional singer who learns traditional songs, orally from you tube ."

What an interesting point Cap'n...
Not one that I have an opinion on, but I'd be curious to hear other's responses to that idea.

Azizi: "I believe that some songs are likely to be performed more authentically (which is to say the way its composer/s wrote them to be performed) if they are sung by an individual from the same population as the composer or by a group that is comprised of (or mostly comprised of) people from the same population as the songs composer/s. For example, I would much prefer to hear a Black gospel song sung by a Black choir (in a "non-concert style") rather than a White choir singing that song."

Your feeling that a song aught to ideally remain sung within the context of the source of that song, raises some quite curious questions for me. You speak of 'population' in your first statement, then by example cite prefering to hear gospel sung by a 'Black choir' than a 'White choir'. In this instance, you are singling out 'race' as the definitive 'population', but imagine say a non-religious London Black youth choir, would that 'Black choir' be acceptable? Or would the absence of the initial religious and National human context (or 'population') make this Black choirs singing less appropriate. Also compare a white Christian American choirs singing of gospel to the non-religious British Black choir? Who's singing of gospel would be more 'authentic'?

I'm not trying to be awkward or contrary btw. I'm just curious about your thoughts. Especially as if one were to extrapolate from your statement, then one might say that a singer of Traditional English songs, who comes from a comfortable Middle-class background, aught not to sing songs that arose from tough Working-class industrial sources and so forth.
Where does one draw the line? And what are the demarcation points?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:02 PM

This discussion brings to mind a country-western group that toured Washington/Oregon/California and Nevada in the 60s and 70s. They were good, they were fun and there was an extra element: They were all Chinese.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:04 PM

This thread has a disturbingly familiar ring to it....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:22 PM

GUEST,James H, thanks for your responses to my question.

Sleepy Rosie, my comments were not about what is "acceptable" to me and certainly were not about what is or should be acceptable to others. I can not speak to what "should be" acceptable to any other person.

My comment was about the authenticity in style & performance of a song with "authenticity" being defined by me (and not for anyone else) as "the way [the songs' composer/s] wrote them to be performed".

I believe that many African Americans gospel and secular songs the way we do because of socialization. I don't believe that we sing soulfully because of something innate that comes with the skin color or something in our blood. In other words, I believe that just like any other population, African Americans are taught through our direct experiences {in church, at home, at social gatherings etc) and through our indirect experiences (television, radio, movies, internet etc) to value and to imitate/perform certain types of singing, and certain types of instrumental music, and certain types of voices, and certain types of movements (or non-movements as the case may be).

Beyond viewing a few YouTube videos, I know very little about how Black choirs the UK sing. In those videos it appears that those choirs are vocally & stylistically the same as African Americans choirs. If that is the case for Black British choirs across economic lines (with "Black" here meaning persons of some Black African descent)-and again, I know too little about those populations to say that it is indeed the case-then I would postulate that it's so because they have been socialized to value (prefer) that particular music approach/style/sound the same as we (African Americans) have.

My point was/is that I think it would be much less likely for a person or people who have not been socialized to approach (interprete/sing/play/respond to) a gospel (or a Blues or an R&B) song the same way as most Black people have (been socialized to do so) to sing the song the way its Black composers wrote it to be sung-with some range for individual interpretation (what hip-hoppers refer to "putting your own flava to the mix" and what is also referred to as "owning the song".

I should expand what I just wrote to say "its [the songs] "Black composers or its White composers" since as you well know many "Black American" R&B songs were composer by White people. Imo, these people were or became immersed in Black cultures and produced a sound or sound that met the aesthetic senses of African Americans. That still speaks to my point about "socialization".

Mind you, I'm not saying that I believe that people who are unfamiliar with a culture can't "authentically" sing songs from that culture. It just seems to me that it would be much more difficult for them to sing those songs authentically than if they had more than a passing familarity with that culture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:28 PM

Excuse my typo. Let me try again:

I believe that many African Americans gospel and secular sing the way we do because of socialization.

http://www.answers.com/topic/socialization gives this definition of "socialization":

"(psychology) The process whereby a child learns to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM

Anyone fancy a pint?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,James H
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM

you're welcome Azizi.

out of interest, since no other explanation for Pom has turned up yet, I've dug up the following:

according to wikipedia, Pom or Pommy as slang for English person was historically quite derogatory but these days is now largely used in a 'playful or affectionate' sense. Origin of the term is uncertain – maybe from red pom-poms worn on British naval uniform hats, maybe a contraction of 'pomegranate', itself either extinct rhyming slang for 'immigrant' or relating to sunburn among fair skinned brits turning their skin the colour of pomegranates. But, lots of other theories too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:54 PM

Let me add another point for clarification. I am not saying that all Black singers (with "Black" here meaning of some Blacdk African descent} sing the same.

For instance, I love listening to the drumming and other percussion on (Nigerian) Olatunji's Baba Olatunji & his Drums of Passion- Akiwowo album.

But I don't like the high vocal range he and his singers sometimes use. That high range is found to some extent in this video but is found even more so in other songs from that album. This may be because of a Middle Eastern influence to Nigeria's music, but I know too little about this music to say. And I have had the same reaction to some Ethiopian music and Moroccan music that I've heard. The singers' voices are too high pitched for my aesthetic taste (that aesthetic taste being the result of my socialization).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM

Singing trad English songs without an accent.

Odetta sang many traditional English, Scots, Irish songs beautifully, without applying a native British accent to the songs. She laid her own polished style on every piece she did. As she had a classically trained voice, she was able to render the trad Brit songs without a US southern drawl or a northern California accent.
However, she did apply appropriate American accents to the American pieces. The bluesy songs were done with deep south accent. Songs like Going for a Ride in the Car Car and Historical Bum, she applied a hillbilly accent to. So it is possible to sing with or without a distinct accent. In fact it I think it is easier to sing without an accent than it is to speak without one.

I think you should sing what you enjoy singing Faye. Lay on your own style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM

Impossible to define in those terms.

I sing what everyone regards as tradtional songs which I have learnt orally and I have been doing it for 35 years.

One of our regulars is a well-known singer who anyone would call a revival singer who has learnt the same songs orally over the past couple of years.

I am a crap singer - he is a brilliant singer.

Which would you prefer to listen to?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: John P
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:08 PM

I'm an American who has been doing traditional English songs for many years. Here's a concept: since the dominant culture in America (and in Australia) is English in origin, English songs are as much my tradition as they are an English person's. It's the only tradition I have that goes back more than a few hundred years.

I could maybe call a person's music "more traditional" if they grew up in the English countryside, learning songs from their grandma and others in the village, and if they didn't learn any other music from any other source, especially not from books, CDs, or listening to Martin Carthy. Does such a creature actually exist?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:31 PM

sinister supporter,I am just having a pint,a pale pleasant home brewed lager,just the thing for a sunny evening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 01:33 PM

So if I started to sing Elizabethan madrigals I would presumably automatically become an Elizabethan?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Marje
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 02:08 PM

Regarding accents: there's no such thing as speaking - or singing - without an accent. People will tend to disregard an accent that's their own one, or close to it, but it's an accent nevertheless. You can't not have one, any more than you can not have a skin colour.

In England, "Received Pronunciation" is the accent that's most universally heard and understood. It has its origins in the south and south-east of England, but it is widespread outside those areas and it's the one most likely to be used when English is taught as a second language. This means it's no longer just a regional accent, but it's still an accent, and it stands out more and more as an accent as you go further from the southern counties towards more northern and western areas of the UK (or, of course, to the US or other English-speaking countries overseas).

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: John P
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:10 PM

No Jim. If you started singing Elizabethan madrigals, you'd be a person singing Elizabethan madrigals. How in the world would you presume to automatically become Elizabethan?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:14 PM

Folk singing aside, the majority of people who sing in England sing with a contrived American accent! Oh and some of them get paid enormous amounts of money for doing so.

Sing 'em how the hell you want, BUT SING 'EM. If your audience don't like it they'll vote with their feet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:23 PM

Have a listen to this http://www.myspace.com/maggiesand

I'll be back later.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:30 PM

"Folk singing aside, the majority of people who sing in England sing with a contrived American accent! "

Any contrived accent sounds just awful to me! Whatever the song and whoever the singer. But most especially when I've accidentally done it myself.

I learned one or two Irish songs off recordings by Irish singers, and it took recording myself and listening back to actually hear that I was accidentilly slipping into odd Irish accenting at moments.
And it sounded absolutely crap! Needless to say, that one has gone on my 'watch for that' list.

"Sing in your own voice", was one of the first ever pieces of advice I was given regards singing traditional songs. Friends who have heard me singing, commented that I "sound like no-one else", which is I think a good thing because it means that I've taken that bit of advice to heart and have learned to sing in the voice that is fully natural to me without picking up much noticable 'colouration' from those I'm learning songs from.

I'd encourage anyone else to take the above advice seriously too, because, it not only adds 'truth' to your song (IMO), but also compells a 'trust' in oneself that you have exactly the voice you need, to do sing this song your own way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM

Sorry John P
A senior moment - you're right of course - didn't read the thread
Sorry,
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:43 PM

Okay so you're English let's say and you like a ballad that comes from Scotland only and desperate to give it a go, and why not????

You have several options.
1) Attempt the Scottish words and the accent.
2) Keep the Scottish pronunciations but sing the rest in your own accent.
3) Attempt a wholesale Anglicising.
4) Don't do it.

Personally I don't give a damn as long as you give it your best shot.
I've heard all of the first 3 and if the resultant sound is pleasing I'm happy to listen and take what I can from the performance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 03:53 PM

"You have several options.
1) Attempt the Scottish words and the accent.
2) Keep the Scottish pronunciations but sing the rest in your own accent.
3) Attempt a wholesale Anglicising.
4) Don't do it."

Err, personally I like number two over and above any other option, both to listen to and to attempt for myself.
Dialiect, or regional nuances in language, isn't quite the same as accent and doesn't IMO feel as 'faked'. But yes, of course it's all down to individual preference, of both the singer and the listener.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Sugwash
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM

"...maybe from red pom-poms worn on British naval uniform hats..."

Far be it for me to contradict an organ of verity such as Wikipedia, but to my certain knowledge the Royal Navy has never had red (or indeed any other colour) pompoms on their caps (never hats). That particular fashion statement belongs to the French navy.

Another theory, although there's a school of thought against it, is that it derives from POM — property of (her/his) majesty — which was printed on the back of the convicts clothing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:25 PM

I think I know what The Snail is going to come back with. I won't spoil it for him but I have just finished reviewing Maggie Sand's CD, and I can sum the review up in one word: BUY!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM

The word 'radar' was coined in 1941, 'sonar' in 1943. Offhand I can't think of any attested acronyms entering the language before those two. Acronymic explanations have been proposed for any number of odd bits of slang, but in every case that I know of the slang term was in use before anyone thought of the acronym (or 'backronym'). People sometimes cite the seventeenth-century 'CABAL' as an exception, but it's an example of something quite different - a set of initials fitted to an existing word, not a new word generated from a set of initials.

Accents?

1) If possible, use your own.
2) If the vocabulary used means that the song sounds silly in your accent (or doesn't rhyme), see if you can fix it with a few small tweaks. I can't define 'a few' (or 'small'), except to say that you should be trying to change the song as much as necessary but as little as possible.
3) If that doesn't work, sing something else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: JWB
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM

Re "pom"

My mate Kevin, from Adelaide, told me pohm (his spelling) comes from Prisoner Of Her Majesty, which was stenciled on convicts clothes as Sugwash says. True or not (and Kevin is a spectacular liar), I like this explanation because of the subtle twist built into it: once Australia set up shop as an independent nation, they could laugh at the Brits who were, still, Prisoners Of Her Majesty.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 05:55 PM

would listening to Ewan McColl related musicks make one a left winger? *LOL*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 06:06 PM

Strewth, Faye - now look what you started...
OK, for what it's worth, I'm a traditional singer, in that I have songs passed on to me orally by my (traveller) mother and grandmother, which they had from their grandmothers. I've also learned many other songs from oral transmission. I've learned many more songs from books, archives, libraries etc., and I try to avoid learning them from other peoples' recordings, because I want to sound like me, no matter how good Martin Carthy may sound. I also love the bothy ballads, and take option 2 of Steve Gardham's selection, adding the word "necessary" to Scottish pronunciations.
That said, it makes no difference; I don't trade on it, it's just there. I sing, therefore I am...go and do likewise.
And I think Poms had something to do with apples, or having no father, or both.
KYBTTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 07:14 PM

My mate Kevin, from Adelaide, told me pohm (his spelling) comes from Prisoner Of Her Majesty

Actually, "pom" is an abbreviation - it's short for "pommie bastard".

Anyway... According to the OED, "pommie" is short for "pomegranate". In the 19th century, recent settlers were nicknamed "Jimmy Grants" (= "immigrants"). "Pomegranate" - or "pommy grant" - first appears around 1910, either as an alternative to "Jimmy Grant" or possibly to distinguish a new wave of English migrants from the established "Jimmy Grants".

It sounds far-fetched, but if you think about the way slang develops in families & workplaces you can see it's got the ring of truth. That's one way language develops - people make up stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: RTim
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 07:26 PM

Hey Who Cares - Just Sing!!

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

Rule #1: Sing whatever you fucking like.

Rule #2: ...er...

Rule #3: That's it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 01:23 PM

I think from a folklorist standpoint, the traditional singer evolves from a community that is isolated so that a particular stylistic approach to a song is taken. I don't think of a traditional folksinger as being musically eclectic. The style comes from this community usually handed down generationally affecting vocal style, phrasing and aesthetic values regarding vocal tone and ornamentation.

I don't think everyone can be a traditional singer but everyone can sing their songs.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM

For want of any other response...

I think Maggie Sand makes a wonderful job of putting over traditional English songs. She is Mexican. I gather English is her third language after Spanish and French.

Love the song and it will work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: JohnB
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM

I bet you EVERYTHING you sing is not totally Traditional.
Every "Trad" singer I have heard invariably does something that was written in recent living memory, by them or by other great "traditional style" writers.
So! do your own thing in your own way, if people like it and pay to listen to you (or at least don't throw things), you are doing something right.
JohnB.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 04:20 PM

'What is a traditional singer?'

Someone who sings 'what is folk' songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 07:41 PM

JohnB - damn right it isn't. Come to that, why should it be? Too much culture ends up in museums that way. People have been going into sense of humour failure for many years over this and similar issues. There are those where I live still clinging to the memories of long defunct purist clubs without it ever occurring to them to wonder why the club is long defunct.
An example - collector notes a song, warts and all from old body in Dorset workhouse. Being meticulous, the collector takes it down exactly as sung, jumbled verses, duff notes and all. Academic comes along and seeks to explain the strange tonality as myxolidian (or myxomatosis for all I know), and revivalist singer in "traditional" club sings the bloody thing exactly as noted down, with a narrative that makes no sense, strange accidentals in the music and dialect words and pronunciations that he doesn't understand. Who's the fool now?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: mg
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 05:14 PM

Well, me probably. I would not attempt to sing in dialect, but would keep a few words etc....to me narratives do not have to make sense, (that is part of the fun..singing something that we have absolutely no idea what it is..like being a doffing mistress or letting your davit tackle fall etc.) and dialect words are fine. I tend toward keeping to the original whatever it is and hate deliberate "folk processing" unless there is something that absolutely must go, such as hateful words etc. More than anything else I hate when genders are switched around on purpose..oh I am a girlie girl and I can't sing this song without making it from a female perspective..wrong..you can. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 06:57 PM

Glad we cleared that up, then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM

"I'm an American who has been doing traditional English songs for many years. Here's a concept: since the dominant culture in America (and in Australia) is English in origin"

Not in South America or Central America, I think you'll find that it's Spanish and native indian!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: mg
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 12:01 PM

What about French and Portugese? And here..the dominant language is English but we certainly have had huge German and Scandinavian populations historically. Is Wisconsin part of America? mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 01:01 PM

> Who's the fool now? <

Someone who thinks we should switch all those lovely modal melodies back to boring old major (sorry, ionian)?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 07:22 PM

Try to be patient with an old man, Brian. The point I was failing to make is that the songs that have come down to us are frequently a long way from the "originals", either by the natural processes of oral transmission, duff transcription, sheer laziness or misconception. The older tonalities are indeed lovely; the perpetuation of frankly eccentric variations brought about by a collector writing down what he heard from an oldster losing the tune is less so. It's a thin line to tread - Beethoven suffered from the reverse of it when copyists altered a crashing discord because "he surely didn't mean that..." Same goes for words that don't make sense. When the song was written, the odds are it would have made perfect sense as the person making the song would have been likely to be involved in the subject or narrative. As to hateful words which "absolutely must go", they are part of the song, and a lesson in how we regarded our fellow man at the time, perhaps even a warning to us now. I would sooner not sing the song than Bowdlerise it or wilfully cause offence. To be honest though, I think it's disrespectful to your audience to sing things you frankly don't understand, especially when you can find out what a doffing mistress did in about five minutes on Google.
I enjoy researching the songs and music (no shit, Sherlock), others have no time for it - it's my passion, but it ain't the end of the world. Mind you, I did draw the line when somebody asked me how I was spelling skillimarinkidoorium...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: John P
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 10:24 PM

Sorry, when I wrote "American" I meant "a person from the United States". I'm not usually so lazy. I wasn't trying to say that there aren't any other cultures flourishing in the United States. Heavens, I'm falling headlong into the Seattle Scando community even as we speak. I was just saying that the dominant culture, language, and laws -- and a lot of our folk traditions -- are British in origin. More importantly for our purposes, many of the songs and rhymes I learned as a kid started in England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 06:18 AM

"What is a traditional singer?"

One born before 1954?



"Re "pom"

My mate Kevin, from Adelaide, told me pohm (his spelling) comes from Prisoner Of Her Majesty, which was stenciled on convicts clothes as Sugwash says. True or not (and Kevin is a spectacular liar), I like this explanation because of the subtle twist built into it: once Australia set up shop as an independent nation, they could laugh at the Brits who were, still, Prisoners Of Her Majesty.

Jerry "


That's the explanation that seems most credible to me though the pomegranate one also gets an airing. Think it would have been HIS Majesty though.

Azizi - I was born in UK, now naturalised Aussie, so an ex-Pom. I've never regarded it as a derogatory term and have only had it used as such against me once - by a kid at school 40 years ago. (I got my own back a few years later, actually by not doing anything but that's another story).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 10:41 AM

`elp. Some rotten swine `as `alf inched my post! If anyone finds my story about a bloke I knew called Fred `oo taught trad signing up at that EFDSS, give us a shout. I `ad security cameras fitted to the cab the other day but they `aven`t worked. It`s a sad day when a fella `as to `unt around for `is bits and pieces `cos of some light-fingered punter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 11:37 AM

I find that singing through the mouth is very traditional. Although talking through the arse is a getting there...

:D (eG)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM

Well, there is your actual contemporary evidence for 'pommy grant', and there's sod-all evidence for 'POHM'. But it's up to you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 01:26 PM

"Pommy. A newcomer from Britain. from England: Australian: C. 20. OED. Sup. records it at 1916, but it was current before the Great War. Origin obscure; possibly a corruption of TOMMY IMPORTED by Australian soldiers returning the Boer War (1899-1902). Or perhaps Pomeranian, a very 'superior' sort of dog. It may also have developed from GRANT thus: Jimmy Grant > granate > pomegranate > pommy."

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:16 PM

>> Try to be patient with an old man, Brian. The point I was failing to make is that the songs that have come down to us are frequently a long way from the "originals", either by the natural processes of oral transmission, duff transcription, sheer laziness or misconception. <<

Quite so, VB. The songs as notated are mere snapshots of an ever-changing reality, and sometimes not even very accurate ones. But my impression is that revivalists have always been more likely to fill out sketchy texts, than to preserve them unaltered for the sake of 'authenticity'. As for the tunes, there is a real debate to be had about dealing with old MS material: whether or not you 'correct' apparent errors in notation, which itself carries the risk of rationalizing interesting old tunes according to modern sensibilities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 07 May 09 - 05:40 PM

Very interesting thread. And we need the labels because?   I am throughly confused now because according to a previous definition I am both a traditional singer because I have songs in my repetoire that have come to me from the oral tradition while also being a singer of traditional song.

And while I'm here can I just say a big thank you to Brian Peters who came very kindly to the traditional singing workshop I was attempting to run on Sunday and allowed himself to be used as a combination of powerpoint, reference book and working example. It made it much more fun for our singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 May 09 - 05:53 PM

Ho, hum.

According to Alan Rose's review in the Living Tradition of a recording I made about 10 years ago (including a John Warner song), I am not a folksinger but someone who sings folk songs.

And I love singing Kitty Kane and Anderson's Coast too!

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 07 May 09 - 05:57 PM

Kitty I read that review and thought, you're in good company, Martin Carthy doesn't consider himself a folk singer either, he considers himself a singer of traditional songs.

Keep singing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:11 PM

Rifleman - yes, well, that figures because Martin Carthy arrived on the folk scene after singing as a chorister. I just sang in school choirs and fell into singing folksongs and improvising harmonies when a friend took me along to my local folk club when I was in my O-level year.

And I am still singing and running song sessions for other people who want to sing, eg at Chippenham (later this month) and Sidmouth (in August) festivals!

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:13 PM

As I recall neither does Heather Heywood and we know how good she is!!!!!! I sometimes think the need for labels is a harking back to the Victorians who loved to have every thing put into catagories, all very neat and tidy but real life isn;t like that. The most important thing for me is that we keep singing the songs and acknowledging the sources


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:25 PM

1.Someone who doesnt write his own material.
2.someone who doesnt sound like Peter Pears.
3.Someone who doesnt sound like either Barry Manilow or George Melly.
4.someone who doesnt use heavy metal type guitar accompaniment.
so style comes in to it,and also material.
what is debatable as regards labelling is how the material was learned.
many feel it has to be learned aurally in an unbroken chain from members of a community.
so where does that leave singers who have learned aurally from you tube,are they traditional singers or are they only traditional singers if they have learned the song from a recording of a source singer such as Phil Tanner,or do they have to learn a song from an existing traditional singer such as Bob Lewis,and are they they then disqualified from being a traditional singer,unless they learned it in his physical presence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:36 PM

Style is also important. I am laid back to the point of being comatose but that just how I sing sometimes, especially with ballads, you are telling a story, I suppose its a sort of less is more approach

As for the learning of songs, well, we are so lucky now to have so many at ways at our disposal but the most personal and the nicest, I have found is directly from another singer. I have songs I have collected from another singer, because I;ve liked them (the songs) they became personal to me and to sing them is to honour the person you got them from


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:40 PM

Ah, Diva, that takes us on a whole new track.... sometimes you hear a singer, and then pick up from their version who they learnt it from! (Eg Sheath and Knife - June Tabor, Tony Rose)

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:45 PM

absolutely Kitty.......mine came from Cy Laurie and he got it from McColl and then you know you are an anorak when you start collecting other versions


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 May 09 - 05:04 AM

"I just sang in school choirs and fell into singing folksongs and improvising harmonies ..."

A typical British Traditional Singer would probably not 'improvise harmonies' - unless, of course, he was a member of the Copper Family.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 08 May 09 - 05:31 AM

They seek him here, they seek him there but can't find the noble savage anywhere. So they imagine how he'd sound if he existed and all agree to do the same. As long as nobody squeals, it kinda works.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 May 09 - 09:06 AM

I was going to stay out of this thread in order to avoid being sucked into yet another Battle of 1954 slugfest (any attempt to define 'traditional' is going to cover a lot of the same ground as defining 'folk'), but I thought I'd like to say hello to Diva. I won't break her cover, since she chooses a nom de plume on this forum, but she is an excellent singer well worth hearing, and it was a pleasure to join her workshop.

Diva wrote: "And we need the labels because?   I am throughly confused now because according to a previous definition I am both a traditional singer because I have songs in my repetoire that have come to me from the oral tradition while also being a singer of traditional song".

I'd say that we don't need labels in order to *sing*, but they are helpful in discussing concepts and history. To me the 'Folk Revival' of the 1950s onwards was and is a very different beast (self-conscious, largely middle class, partly commercial) from the community-based song transmission that once existed in parallel with (but largely separated from) it, that is now pretty well defunct - in England, at least.

In a former era there were plenty of opportunites - at family get-togethers, in pubs, in workplaces - for ordinary people to sing. Those are now gone, so for a singer like Diva who has learned part of her repertoire through her family (and could fairly claim to be a 'traditional singer' if she so desired) the best places to go in 2009 to sing, to hear songs, and to meet people with the same interests, are going to be mostly folk clubs and festivals. Same goes for traditional singers like the late Fred Jordan (a festival regular), and also Jeff Wesley, a frequent visitor to his local folk club in Northampton, whose repertoire includes an Appalachian version of 'The Devil's Nine Questions' that he probably did not learn from local farmworkers.

My Gran and various other family members in Wales sang a version of 'Cosher Bailey's Engine' ('Did you ever see....?'), which learned people classify as a folk song. Does that make me a 'traditional singer'? Does it heck! I got interested in the music via commercial folk-rock bands, and learned my repertoire from recordings and books. I'm happy to be a singer of old songs, but prefer to keep 'traditional singer' for the likes of Phil Tanner or Lizzie Higgins.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 May 09 - 09:21 AM

What is a traditional singer?

I feel the question to be somewhat ambiguous, & therefore needs some breakdown to define specifics, thus:

What is a traditional singer?

- Someone who traditionally sings?

What is a traditional singer?

- Someone who sings in a traditional style?


What is a traditional singer?

- Someone who sings items deemed by third parties to be traditional?


What is a traditional singer?

- Someone who is expected to sing because they do it habitually?


What is a traditional singer?

- Someone who sings,generally without instrumental accompaniment?

**********

There's probably more ways of disambiguating the question, but just now no more spring to mind.

Anyone have more?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 May 09 - 09:38 AM

I agree to some extent Brian,I prefer it if people came to see me because they thought I was a good singer,if Ihave to be labelled I would prefer the following description;singer of traditional and contemporary material,who accompanies himself with guitar and concertina.
to me it is not of importance to be described[on folk club leaflets] either as Revival, Source or Traditional.all that matters in these circumstances is the material and the accompanying instruments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 May 09 - 01:23 PM

I am in complete accord with Brian. I learnt many songs from my grandparents, mother and uncles who had markedly different repertoires of traditional songs. However, I came to learn them after I had already become an active participant in the 'Folk Scene'. Indeed it was the 'Folk Scene' that inspired me to revive the family songs. For the vast majority of the people on the British 'Folk Scene'
for the last 50 years 'traditional singer' has always been used to refer to performers who came from a singing community other than the 'Folk Scene' albeit a farming community, fishing community etc.
However, more recently and increasingly I have heard the term 'source singer' used in the same way. Just as the term 'folk song' has evolved to encompass a wider meaning, it appears 'traditional singer' has confused some people (evidence above)and seems to be evolving a wider definition.
Like Brian, I will continue my practice of 40 years or so and continue to call 'source singers' 'traditional singers' and if that confuses anyone, I will expand on it quite happily.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 May 09 - 01:46 PM

Indeed, Steve. However there are problems with 'source singer' as well, in that (a) some enthusiasts for traditional song feel that it reduces singers to mere repositories of repertoire, rather than actual people, and (b) I've already seen the argument advanced in this forum that anyone whose song is learned by another person is by definition a 'source singer'. Seems to me some folk don't like any kind of definitions at all. But however much we pull apart terms like 'folk', 'traditional' or 'source', in the end we still need some way of differentiating Kate Rusby from Queen Caroline Hughes (names chosen at random and non-judgementally) if we're going to discuss the performance of traditional song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 May 09 - 02:03 PM

Steve,thats the problem,it can mean any community,so why not the Internet community?
if someone learns a song via youtube from a source singer,that makes them a traditional singer or source singer.
what is more important is not the labelling, but the performance ,and the absorption and continuity of style,and that people still sing traditional songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 08 May 09 - 08:13 PM

Thank you for the kind words Brian both for my singing and the workshop. I always worry that in workshop situations I am just wittering on. All I know is I love singing these ballads and I love hearing other singers who, like yourself and Tim (Lyons) share this passion for the auld sangs.

But the good thing is these threads make you think! I came to this music initially through Steeleye Span, heard them on the radio then bought the albums which I still have and then moved on to the hardcore unaccompanied singer through my involvement with Kilmarnock Folk Club and I consider myself privelleged in the extreme to have heard so many singers both source and revival over the years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 May 09 - 09:26 AM

I came to this music initially through Steeleye Span... and then moved on to the hardcore unaccompanied singer

With me it's the other way round. Having managed to avoid most UK Folk Rock over the past 40 years, I'm now giving an ear to such things in the spirit of perverse curiosity. I can't say I'm too impressed, but it is informative as to understanding a good deal of what I've heard sung as traditional in folk clubs over the years, be it terms of style, source & vocal affectation. Right now I'm listening to a double CD set compiling Steeleye Span's first three albums - a nice way to pass a cold, rainy, windy afternoon in Fleetwood, but afterwards I'll be reaching for Camembert Electrique as an antidote.

The Captain spoke earlier of the continuity of style. I wonder, whither the provenance of this style? And to what extent can style itself be considered traditional, especially in a post-traditional culture such as our own, where even the term Folk Singer is oft disputed along the lines of the you are not a folk singer; you are a singer of folk songs; there is a difference and we should care about it variety? Elsewhere I argued that Folk Song and Traditional Song were in no way synonymous, and that whilst Folk Song was largely a matter of context, Traditional Song transcends context, and could (and has) made the transition into areas of pop, rock, classical & experimental musics without any loss to its essence which exists irrespective of the stylistic assumptions, or indeed affectations, of Folk Music.

No real point, just in listening to these early Steeleye Span recordings I can maybe see where it all came from. But where's it all heading?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOIW4x3uD28


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: BB
Date: 10 May 09 - 09:27 AM

"whilst Folk Song was largely a matter of context, Traditional Song transcends context, and could (and has) made the transition into areas of pop, rock, classical & experimental musics without any loss to its essence which exists irrespective of the stylistic assumptions, or indeed affectations, of Folk Music."

Interesting - I would have said the absolute opposite, traditional song being defined largely by context, and folk song being used in the many ways you describe above.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:23 PM

"whilst Folk Song was largely a matter of context, Traditional Song transcends context, and could (and has) made the transition into areas of pop, rock, classical & experimental musics without any loss to its essence which exists irrespective of the stylistic assumptions, or indeed affectations, of Folk Music.
I do not agree.in most cases IMO it loses its essence,and that includes Peter Pears singing the water is wide, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention doing their thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:49 AM

I do not agree.in most cases IMO it loses its essence,and that includes Peter Pears singing the water is wide, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention doing their thing.

But what about Peter Bellamy doing his thing, or indeed Dick Miles doing his? I find both approaches deeply appealing (& indeed inspirational) but to what extent this is a manifestation of a traditional style per se, I remain at a loss to say. Certainly, when I listen to traditional singers I'm not picking up much by way of a stylistic consensus, certainly not to the extend the revival would have us believe there ever was such a thing.

A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:29 AM

Jacqui McShee more than Maddy Prior; Shirley Collins more than Anne Briggs. Nic Jones singing Lord Bateman, not Nic Jones singing the Bonny Bunch of Roses. Tony Capstick singing unaccompanied, hitting every bar line. John Kelly's relentless Valiant Sailor.

Keep it simple - keep the tone pure, nail the metre and the beat (not that you can't pull it out of shape sometimes). Then make the words live. The words should be doing something, not just hanging on the melody like wet washing - but the melody should be there underneath.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:32 AM

This is, of course, in reply to SS's question just above, not the OP - in other words, I'm describing what I try to do, no more than that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:52 AM

"A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?"

That's a question I've been asking myself, as I never listened to any folk music until recently - and after I began singing traditional songs. And I've only been singing traditional songs since last Hallowe'en I think. I did know a bit of Pentangle from many years ago, but I couldn't and don't aspire to sound like Jacqui McShee.

Nevertheless, I'm aware of that there is some vocal affectation of sorts in my singing, albeit quite unconsciously adopted. And I've been wondering about why I sing these traditional folk songs in the way I do?

To a degree, the antiquated language alters ones mind-set, and may contribute to a degree of 'theatre' perhaps. Whether one realises it or no it's akin to wearing an historic costume and adopting a 'part'. This has some effect on me I think, and suspect that plays itself out in the way I sing.

One thing that I'm conscious of, rather akin to choral perhaps, is that I like to enunciate the consonants fairly clearly (though not as terribly crisply as choral) - in part because these are stories and each word I feel needs to be clear to the listener. This is an affectation as I wouldn't speak the G in 'lonG' for example, but I would sing it for clarity. Consonants often open and close words - enunciated consonants I think aid the listener to identify each word clearly. They also add a degree of 'percussive rythm' to something sung unaccompanied.

I am also aware of shaping vowel sounds when singing, slightly differently to the way I might speak them, to adapt them for ease of sound production - so I might sing (for e.g. 'Uuhnd' instead of 'aaaaynd' - it's less stressful on the throat and conserves breath. Certain vowels, if I were to sing exactly as spoken, both sound ugly and do not assist one in moving smoothly to the next syllable. So I wouldn't sing "I" as (as an extended note) exactly as I would speak it because it'd sound like braying, but perhaps lean more heavily on the 'eeee' sound (that is usually clipped in speech) so sung it might come out more like Ah'ee.

Any ornamenation picked up has probably been the consequence of listening to recordings made by others, as well as allowing my voice to 'sculpt' the song by itself.

But it's a tough question to answer overall.

All that said, the accent I sing in is my own - I think!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:00 AM

These arguments have only emerged since the middle classes nicked the tradition. Before then there'd have been no need to quibble and the people would have understood.
Now it's just another pissing contest to replace golf club bragging rights but with more hair.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:14 AM

why not Nic Jones singing the Bonny Bunch of roses,I am mystified,please pm me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:25 AM

.......sings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_pop_music??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: BobKnight
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:57 AM

Too many definitions - it's all poop - just sing the bloody songs. I can think of very few people who would pass this measure of who is, or isn't, a traditional singer. All from my home town, Aberdeen. Jeannie Robertson, Stanley Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and from Blairgowrie, Sheila Stewart. There are obviously more throughout the UK, but these are the ones I know who have had the songs passed down orally. Half of those mentioned have passed on, and there were many more I knew of in my youth, Belle Stewart, Alec Stewart,Davie Stewart (The Galoot), my own grandmother, etc, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:02 AM

I am in complete agreement with Hawkerladdie when he says "just sing the bloody songs" but remember Bob, some folk just need the labels and it is SUPPOSED to make it easier to define for the purposes of those who need to clarify where these songs and singers have come from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:13 AM

Mind you I've just been described as a "traditon bearer" I just thought it meant old!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Gedi
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:13 AM

I too am in agreement with Hawker Laddie in "just sing the bloody songs".

I tend naturally to sing songs in the way I learned them (heard them) so therefore I sometimes sing in an accented fashion, not to try to be Scottish or Irish or whatever, but simply because thats how I learned them. Now I'm going to feel *very* self concious about some of the songs I do and that I think will only detract from the song and/or the performance.

I can see how someone who adopts say an American accent and tries to sing everything in that accent might sound silly, but on the other hand, to try and sing say Parcel of Rogues in my native Wiganese would sound downright stupid.

All in all I think I'll just carry on as I was.

cheers
Ged


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:26 AM

In England, and many another land, UNACCOMPANIED is surely the key-word here, me tradies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 May 09 - 02:49 PM

Most of the people who decide what is "traditional" are stringent academics. They stifle
creativity in a performance.

Tradition is what lasts. It also is what changes inevitably.

What many folkies consider traditional today was in the time that it was done non-traditional. Cecil Sharp thought that the five-string banjo was a bowdlerization of folk music. Alan Lomax had his hangups about what was traditional as well.

Many so-called traditional performers have lasted because someone thought them
easy to record which means they must have had some performance skills that they acquired somewhere. These performance skills were not given to all who were called traditional hence we don't know a lot about these traditional artists.

Many popular performers who were these so-called "traditional" performers were not considered traditional by some of the people of their time.

This topic is a "black hole" that requires a lot of semantic sorting-out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 05:10 PM

I am not at all sure that "traditional" has a definition in the sense that "folk" does.

And I fear that the 5 string bajo is the reverse of a bodwerisation. It puts rude bits back in. The Rev. Dr Bowdler's versions of Shakespeare took the rude bits out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Pat 'the Verse'
Date: 13 May 09 - 12:07 PM

A traditional singer is someone who sings songs in a traditional idiom. Traditional does not mean 'Old', as I, and my friends have written songs using traditional airs for modern themes, eg; I used 'She lived beside the Anner' for a song called 'The Seaside Tavern', a song about being barred from a pub for singing at a trad session. I used 'Bye the Hush, My Boys' for a song called 'The Curse of the Mobile Phones' and 'Skibbereen' for a song called 'Isoldes Chapel', on the death of Frank Harte.

'Traditional'generally refers to street ballads, comic verse & sea shanties, whether old or new, so long as the air and singing style remains traditional.

However, in the popular mind, (in Ireland & Irish circles anyway), a ballad singer is usually taken to be someone singing accompanied by guitar or banjo in the style of the Clancy Brothers, Dubliners, Furey Brothers, Wolfe Tones etc. As a result of this phenomenon, most traditional style ballad singers now refer to their singing style as 'traditional', so as to differentiate themselves from the commercial folk singers mentioned. In other English speaking countries, where the folk scene is not as commercially driven, the term 'ballad singer' still means what it always did...someone who sings traditional style ballads, usually unnacompanied.

Confused,? I hope not. Anyone, male or female can beconme a traditional singer. All you have to do is to learn the songs, and it doesn't matter a damn whether you learned them from the 'original singer', at a session, from the radio, or from a CD. The most important thing is to learn the song, and then to sing it. Singing the song brings it to life. Leaving it in the pages of a songbook, or in some dusty acrchive recording only condemns it to death!

In short, learn the songs, and sing them ( use your own accent) and pass them on. that is the essence of The Living, Breathing Tradition of 'Traditional Singing'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 May 09 - 03:19 PM

to try and sing say Parcel of Rogues in my native Wiganese would sound downright stupid

I don't see why. Steeleye Span's version doesn't sound remotely Scottish, but it works. Sincerity's the main thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM

Visit The Old Songs' Home, and take one or two of the residents out for a spin..
Whoever said Just sing the bloody songs, a wee while back, couldn't have put it better.
Cheers me dears,
X el


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM

the style of traditional singers has generally been to sing naturally, this was not the same way as some uk revival singers associated with the critics group and who have on occasions given workshops on head voice chest voice varying tone singing with a smile on the face in the manner of bert lloyd, here is a tradtional singer,harry cox sing a tradtional song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsxG06FMA-Y


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:14 AM

"this was not the same way as some uk revival singers associated with the critics group "
That you Cap's - you really should work on your literacy skills if you wish to remain anonymous
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM

When we are talking about traditional singer versus revival singer, there is a whole grey area. Some "traditional" singers have learnt songs from the folk revival and some "revival" singers have songs that they have learnt from parents, grandparents or from "an old boy in the village". And from the point of view of enjoyment for the singer and his/her audience, it doesn't matter a jot.

However, with my researcher hat on, I try to record song performances that, so far as I can tell, have not been learnt through the revival or through recent media. It makes a difference from the academic point of view and I always ask a singer where he/she learnt the song. This means of course that I am less interested in recording some songs than others. That said, it is instructive to note what the whole repertoire of a singer is, folk songs, music hall, pop songs, the lot, something which collectors in previous generations did not note as they were only after what they considered to be the folk song gems.

Tradsinger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:36 PM

So it's as I suspected; Trad singers sang all the songs they loved because they loved them? And quite possibly because their Grannies taught them as well, of course. ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:39 AM

HERE ISone of the finest the gower nightingale, phil tanner, what a magnificent singerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVT-vdJL4g . note again his straightforward delivery, tuneful singing good breath control gooid diction, he was one of the best


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM

listen to this superb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-C1nc9KXSw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:13 AM

The difference i notice between traditional singers stylistically and some uk revival singers, is the lack of affectation.
I have yet to come across a traditional singer who deliberately sang with a smile on their face all the way through a song.
These ideas were dreamt up and foisted on uk revival singers, by a certain section of the uk folk revival.
To be fair to this group their advice on singing technique to do with warm up vocal exercises, and breath control is very good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:47 AM

"A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?" What????
Surely by now its obvious. As has been stated above, you just sing the song. If I had asked this question of my grandmother, grandfather or other members of my famjly when they were alive I'd have been met with a puzzled stare. Its a question that only a modern 'folkie' would ask.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 07:37 AM

I doubt if traditional singers sat down and consciously copied another singer, they might have unconsciously picked up something from another singer, generally speaking they just sang ,the personality of the singer might come across in the singing, that is why Sam Larner is so different from Walter Pardon. traditional singers did it their own way or as the song goes "i did it my way", one thing they did not do is consciously think about chest voice, head voice, singing with a smile on the face etc, and if people want to sing with a smile on their face or any other[imo] idosyncratic eccentric style,that is their business, as long as they do not go around the revival folk scene saying or giving the impression at workshops that they are singing in the style of traditional singers, or that their way is the only way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM

GSS is right - before the advent of radio, the only 'influences' the old singers would have had were other singers in the area. Of course, if you listen to Grainger's recordings from the various singers from Brigg, you'll find that Joseph Taylor was out on his own stylistically, which shows that individual personality and technical flair have a large part to play too.

Any modern singer, unless they grew up in a cave, will have been surrounded from birth by all kinds of musical styles, particularly pop music which, since the fifties, has usually adopted an American accent. I've met people from outside the folk world who find it hard to sing in any other kind of accent.

"Its a question that only a modern 'folkie' would ask."

Not just folkies, Paul. Singers from all fields are often acutely aware of their role models and influences. The difference is between singing unselfconsciously to pass the time - as your grandmother did - and putting on a performance. Not that some traditional singers weren't putting on performances.

"Just sing the song" is fine, but I don't see any harm in considering how your various influences might affect the way you sing. We have this debate here from time to time about the value for modern performers in listening to 'source singers', the point of which - as far as I'm concerned - is not to go around trying to sound like Sam Larner, but to add some extra colours to your palette. Tim Eriksen sings like a rock musician, but he sounds the way he does because he listened a lot to Appalachian singers too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM

Much earlier than the fifties I think, Brian. My memory goes back to the mid-30s, the all-American crooning-style vocalists of bands like Geraldo, Henry Hall, Joe Loss, Ambrose*; & American-style songs by British writers like Jimmy Kennedy {Red Sails in the Sunset; South of the Border} & when I commented as a child on the accents [I didn't know about the songs so much then], my parents, b 1901 & 1909, assured me they couldn't remember a time when popular singers didn't adopt US accents.

~M~

*whose drummer btw was my 1st-cousin-in-law-once-removed Max Bacon, also a noted comedian & singer of comic songs -

http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDgl-R1U9Q

- whom I used occasionally to meet at family children's birthday parties &c.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM

Michael, how about POPULAR music hall singers?Harry Lauder did not sing in an american accent? and then did gracie field or george formby [popular singers both...] sing with american accents, george formby certainly did not. your parents are of definite opinion, I am afraid i disagree
Brian, people are free to sing how they like, what I object to is people providing misinformtion ABOUT THE STYLES OF TRADITIONAL SINGERS it is very clear upon listening to the vast majority of traditional singers from the British Isles,that they did not sing with a smile on the face OR CONCERNED THEMSELVES ABOUT consciously VARYING CHEST AND HEAD VOICES.The vast majority of traditional singers sang in unaffected way they sang naturally without any of the affectations of some members of the uk folk revival.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM

you'll find that Joseph Taylor was out on his own stylistically, which shows that individual personality and technical flair have a large part to play too." they are all out on their own stylistically.
in Taylor was a good singer but in my opinion no better than Phil Tanner, both had tuneful melodious voices good breath control good diction.In fact I marginally prefer,Tanner, to be fair he may have been younger when recorded.
http://www.last.fm/music/Joseph+Taylor/_/Creeping+Jane


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 02:52 PM

The music hall was a different tradition from the dance bands, Dick. It was the dance band singers like Dorothy Carless, Derek Roy, Len Camber, Georgia Lee, Sam Browne, Evelyn Dall, to name a few who come instantly to mind from all my wireless listening from the 30s-40s that I had in mind. And you will note it was dance bands that I listed in my post. All their singers used US accents. Listen to some old records. They were 'popular' i a different sense from Formy & Lauder whom you mention, in that they sang what was called Popular Music [later abbreviated to Pop], rather than in the native Music Hall genre.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM

they are all out on their own stylistically.
...Taylor was a good singer but in my opinion no better than Phil Tanner, both had tuneful melodious voices good breath control good diction.In fact I marginally prefer,Tanner, to be fair he may have been younger when recorded.


Yes, Dick, but my point was (and I was agreeing with you) that Taylor sounded different from the other singers in his own neighbourhood.

As for Taylor vs Tanner, the Gower Nightingale shades it for me too. They were both in their seventies when first recorded.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 04:09 PM

ok michael point taken.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:09 PM

Picking up on Schweik's postings today, there's been a development in voice technique over the last 20 years you don't mention, particularly in the UK: Natural Voice. It'll take you back to your own roots, and that may or may not involve regional accents. And that, I think, is what makes a traditional singer: they are who they are - and are not who they are not. It's something psychological, built when you learn to talk, and doing something else comes over as "just not natural". It's the problem with the horde of mid-Atlantic clones, they're neither one thing nor another. You lose tone, you lose identity, you lose commitment to the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:30 PM

I did not mention it because I dont think about it, i sing in my natural voice, here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCTeQdBFP8, I have been singing like this since 1976 and playing folk clubs all over the british isles for 35 years[and it dont seem a say too long], however academics would call me a singer of traditional songs not a traditional singer, PERSONALLY I JUST SING THE SONGS AND ENJOY THEM AND IGNORE PEOPLE LIKE THAT.
Happy New Year to Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 02:28 AM

"...American accent. I've met people from outside the folk world who find it hard to sing in any other kind of accent." Brian Peters above
.,,.
Indeed. A dear friend of mine who is a gifted singer-songwriter in the pop genre, Marcie Mycroft, is a N Londoner like myself. She has sites in Reverbnation &c, and several youtubes & is really beginning to make the breakthru ~~ approaches from agents, airtime on indie radio channels, fandom on Facebook, Twitter &c. You can find her by googling. I've asked her why she sings with an American accent when her songs are not in any way specifically American in context, and she replies that she just goes into American-accent mode when she sings and has never, from childhood onwards, been able to do otherwise. "It's just," she sez, "the way songs like mine are sung".

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM

A four track EP made the EP charts in 1965 and, after another EP release by Ralph Tuck, and an album The Singing Postman's Year, he was signed to EMI who re-released earlier songs and recorded new items. He made numerous live and promotional performances, including on Top of the Pops,here he is the Singing Postman[ a singer song writer singing a popular song in a norfolk accent.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqmXLkJ8Bwk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM

ray davies singe song writer of the kinks, did not sing in an american accent, herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J3gX47rHGg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:07 PM

here is another michael, ian dury singing billericay dickie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KC7kO6Nwsw withlove from billericay dickie miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 03:15 PM

By the time of those, Dick, the rock revolution had happened and the dance bands of the 20s-30s-40s had completely disappeared, along with the American-crooner-type singing style which went with them. All you are doing is demonstrating that to me of which I was perfectly well aware all along anyhow, thank you; and have nowhere suggested that I wasn't. What motivates this compulsion of yours to contradict or find counter-examples to the indisputable facts I have adduced? I have nowhere claimed this music to have had a unique existence with no other sort of music going on simultaneously. There never has been any such music, as every aspect of this forum exemplifies.

The Singing Postman was one of that band of 'novelty singers' often comic, who always existed in parallel to the dance-band ethos I rubricated -- see the Max Bacon link I gave above for another,earlier, example. He was Jewish-accented, the Postman E Anglian: these performers were often exaggeratedly 'dialect' as part of the shtick.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 03:39 PM

well i thought you might enjoy listening to the clips, I enjoyed revisiting them, but you referred to popsinger song writers and quoted some acquaintance of yours, my refernce to the kinks.. waterloo sunset[hardly rock], ian dury not rock.. singing postman not rock, was to illustrate that an american accent is not necessary to be a popular singer song writer performer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 05:52 PM

Indeed not; but an awful number seem to fall into it. Look again at the thread I have refreshed about mid-Atlantic... Have you checked out the Max Bacon video? I love it -- always did. & not just coz he was a distant relation that I used to meet at childhood kiddie birthday parties!. He was also a pretty good actor: I remember him playing the fat neighbour in the original W End production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM

yes, too many, but not all, joe brown was another who didnt and sang in a cockney accent, or chas and dave?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM

Chas & Dave tended to the 'novelty comic song' genre I mention, I should say; and also came 20 years after the demise of the danceband era, which lasted from 20s-early-50s, and was killed stone dead in 1955 by Bill Hailey & Elvis Presley.

Chas & Dave (often billed as Chas 'n' Dave) are an English pop rock duo, most notable as creators and performers of a musical style labelled "rockney", which mixes "pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll". For a time, "Rockney" was also the name of their record label, and they achieved several British chart hits, their major breakthrough being "Gertcha" in 1979 - Years active         1975–2009, 2011-present - wikipedia

They were explicitly combining R&R with music hall style to achieve the sort of incongruous effect on which any comedy is based. I honestly can't see they have any place in this particular bit of discourse you & I are engaged in, Dick: they were chronologically right out of the period I was talking of; and the fact that their gimmick was to sing a sort of Rock in a non-American accent as a novelty seems to me to emphasise the fact that US pronunciation is very much the norm. Nobody has tried to say that no singer who doesn't sing American can be popular: but I suggest they can't be "Popular" in the specialist sense which that word carries in musical terms, the name "Popular [later 'Pop'] music". The music subsumed under this name, with cap P, is I should assert pretty well always American in pronunciation ~~ perhaps becoz, as Lennon said, it sells more that way?

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:11 PM

anyway we agree it is not necessary any more to be popular or commercial to decide to sing popular songs in a fake American accent in 2014, we do, don@t we? I hve given names of performers who have achieved popularit pre and post 1960s, gracie fields, ray davies, ian dury, all of whom were successful without having to put on a poorly imitated american accent, ray davies and ian dury are/ were also songwriters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:15 PM

here is a quote from ray davies, i think you should pss this on to your friend, michael,
Ray Davies Doesn't Like Being Called an 'English Artist'
by Dave Lifton July 9, 2013 3:17 PM


Although the Kinks have had plenty of success around the world during their long career, they have perpetually been saddled with the tag of being a "quintessentially English" band. In a new interview, frontman Ray Davies admitted that it's been a bit of a burden.

"I feel people call me that when they have nothing to say," he told Ham & High. "I think it's because I've always sung in an English accent. Not mentioning any names, but there are a lot of big artists who sing in this kind of transatlantic drawl."

Davies said that even his record companies have had issues with his vocal stylings, even though they haven't affected his commercial prospects at all, adding, "Back when the Kinks were recording 'Come Dancing,' which was a big hit in the States, the record company actually asked me to sing it in more of an American accent. I just refused."


Read More: Ray Davies Doesn't Like Being Called an 'English Artist' | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ray-davies-english-artist/?trackback=tsmclip


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 12:31 AM

V interesting quote, Dick. Indeed, does it not confirm my view of the matter, that record co's & dealers et al regard the US accent as a sort of sine qua non for Pop, departure from which they think liable to affect sales adversely? Ray stresses that in this case it didn't, but that they feared it would.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM

The outstanding Scots songwriter, Michael Marra had a record deal signed with a major label. They gave him a free hand with the recording but then rejected Michael's final mixes saying that he sounded 'too Scottish'.
Michael pointed out that he was from Dundee, Scotland and not from one of the 12 American settlements that bear that name.
The record company executives said that they loved the songs and arrangements, but could he go and record them again in a 'more accessible' accent.
Michael told them to stuff their recording contract in a place where the sun did not shine and eventually brought out the album Candy Philosophy as an 'own label' release. In my opinion it is the finest album by a British singer/songwriter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 4:07 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.