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


Does any other music require a committee

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)
What is a traditional singer? (136)
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)
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)


glueman 16 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM
Cath 16 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM
Newport Boy 16 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM
Leadfingers 16 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 16 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 10:59 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 11:01 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 11:16 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM
greg stephens 16 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
GUEST 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 12:10 PM
Bill D 16 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 01:20 PM
Wesley S 16 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Apr 09 - 03:44 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM
Goose Gander 16 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:19 PM
Bill D 16 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:28 PM
The Villan 16 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM
Michael S 16 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 16 Apr 09 - 04:51 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Apr 09 - 05:18 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM
Howard Jones 16 Apr 09 - 05:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 06:21 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 06:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 06:56 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM
michaelr 16 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM
M.Ted 16 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM
Will Fly 17 Apr 09 - 03:41 AM
Will Fly 17 Apr 09 - 04:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Apr 09 - 04:11 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 04:30 AM
Darowyn 17 Apr 09 - 04:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Apr 09 - 04:56 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 05:06 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 05:16 AM
Brian Peters 17 Apr 09 - 07:53 AM
Howard Jones 17 Apr 09 - 08:14 AM
Jack Campin 17 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 08:25 AM
Brian Peters 17 Apr 09 - 10:20 AM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 10:49 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 11:47 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 11:59 AM
Darowyn 17 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 12:07 PM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 12:23 PM
TheSnail 17 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 09 - 12:59 PM
The Sandman 17 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 17 Apr 09 - 01:08 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 01:21 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 17 Apr 09 - 01:38 PM
Howard Jones 17 Apr 09 - 02:19 PM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 02:28 PM
Stringsinger 17 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 02:58 PM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 03:22 PM
Jack Campin 17 Apr 09 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) 18 Apr 09 - 04:05 AM
Peace 18 Apr 09 - 04:13 AM
glueman 18 Apr 09 - 04:38 AM
Peace 18 Apr 09 - 04:42 AM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Apr 09 - 05:53 AM
glueman 18 Apr 09 - 06:08 AM
glueman 18 Apr 09 - 06:15 AM
Howard Jones 18 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM
Mr Red 18 Apr 09 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 18 Apr 09 - 09:33 AM
TheSnail 18 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM
Stringsinger 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 12:49 PM
The Sandman 18 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM
Spleen Cringe 18 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM
Reinhard 18 Apr 09 - 02:37 PM
Peace 18 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM
glueman 18 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) 18 Apr 09 - 05:29 PM
Howard Jones 19 Apr 09 - 05:22 AM
DMcG 19 Apr 09 - 05:38 AM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 07:48 AM
DMcG 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
Brian Peters 19 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM
Howard Jones 19 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 10:26 AM
The Sandman 19 Apr 09 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,GUEST, Jas W'sp'n 19 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM
Brian Peters 19 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
greg stephens 19 Apr 09 - 12:01 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 12:19 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 09 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Apr 09 - 12:27 PM
greg stephens 19 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM
Howard Jones 19 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Apr 09 - 02:28 PM
Jack Blandiver 19 Apr 09 - 02:36 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM
Musket 19 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM
Howard Jones 19 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM
michaelr 19 Apr 09 - 03:59 PM
Howard Jones 19 Apr 09 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 19 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM
michaelr 19 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 04:29 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Apr 09 - 04:34 PM
MartinRyan 19 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM
Jeri 19 Apr 09 - 04:46 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 04:49 PM
Jack Campin 19 Apr 09 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Apr 09 - 06:02 PM
glueman 19 Apr 09 - 06:09 PM
John P 20 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM
glueman 20 Apr 09 - 06:05 PM
Jack Blandiver 21 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM
glueman 21 Apr 09 - 03:53 PM
Tootler 21 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Apr 09 - 04:08 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 09 - 04:29 AM
GUEST, Sminky 22 Apr 09 - 05:25 AM
glueman 22 Apr 09 - 05:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Apr 09 - 05:33 AM
GUEST, Sminky 22 Apr 09 - 06:25 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM

Recent 1954 threads have made me wonder if other forms need a top down definition rather than being shaped by the people? Jazz seems to evolve organically and classical embodies early music to modern composers, but folk requires authority from outside to determine it according to some sources.

Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Cath
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM

Don't get me started about committees!
Or democracy for that matter! What's wrong with a good old dictatorship - at least things get done that way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM

Well the trains ran on time under dictators Cath but will folk keep rolling!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Newport Boy
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM

Don't know about jazz these days, but there were bitter arguments between the Trads and Moderns in the 60s (I was a Trad)

Phil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM

I had to apply to 'The Committee' to join a Jazz Club back when ! When I was 'approved' I disovered joint Membership with the local Folk Club !
On enquiring abot the Folk aspect , I was told " Oh we dont have anything to do with THEM !"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM

Don't know about jazz these days, but there were bitter arguments between the Trads and Moderns in the 60s (I was a Trad)

Ah - a "mouldy fig", eh...? Well, you could have been a "dirty bopper", I suppose. I remember those arguments. There was dear old Ken Colyer, bringing back the true Bunk Johnson sound from New Orleans, while Benny Green and Ronnie Scott were bopping away in Gerrard Street.

Wasn't there a Federation of Jazz Clubs somewhere around then as well? Died a death like all such things, as I recall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM

I don't think we have a quorum yet, so we cannot make a decision on the proposition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:59 AM

I've been playing traditional music for 30 years, and I've never seen a committee or any top-down decision making. Maybe if I put out one more album I'll be big enough to be contacted?

What in the world are you talking about? Part of the very nature of traditional music is that it takes place outside of any structured establishment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:01 AM

Was there any attempt to say what jazz 'was' and 'wasn't' in the way 1954 attempted to for folk?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:16 AM

Was there any attempt to say what jazz 'was' and 'wasn't' in the way 1954 attempted to for folk?

Ooh, there were many, many opinions as to what it should be - and hugely inflamed arguments about the rights and wrongs of each style. Wonderful stuff - and hugely comic in hindsight. For example, at the height of West Coast cool in the US, the Californian Lou Watters came out with his very traditional-sounding Yerba Buena Jazz Band - more controversy over that... "revisionist" was a word that was being bandied around, if memory serves.

The great thing about playing jazz in the late 70s, as I did, was that there was a lot going on (certainly in Brighton), and "moderns" would sit in with "traddies" just for the fun of it. But it was a case of "we don't need no stinkin' badges...". No committees.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM

Interesting WF. It's tempting to hope like all such spats, folk differences will be confined to history and traditionalists and progressives will realise they're on the same side.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:24 AM

It might be worth taking a covert peek at some jazz forums - just to see if the old controversies still raise their heads. (I won't mention Derek Bailey. Whoops! I just did - I'll get me coat).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM

Of course there are committees. They just aren't called that.

How else could academics and producers have eliminated all melody and harmony in the course of the 20th Century?

The trend started with 'serious' (symphonic and chamber) music. Instead of melody, we have one note after another. Instead of harmony, we have notes played at the same time for no particular reason. Instead of rhythm, we have a buried beat. Have to have one somehow, so people end at the same time.

Now rock, jazz and country even follow the same rules. Listen to modern country. Do you ever hear a melody? No.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM

In jazz, new styles evolved and then someone came up with a name for them. Folk authorities don't believe in evolution.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

Glueman, as usual, is confusing "folk music" with "the definition of folk music". Music is a group of sounds. Definitions are groups of words. Jazz, folk, and any other music is made by people with instruments(or possibly computers, these days). Committees are generally not involved.
Definitions of jazz, folk etc, however, can certainly be made by committees. Or individual people. You can make up a new definition of folk any day you like.
The word "orange" is not an orange. This needs to be remembered occasionally.And a rose by any other name will smell as sweet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM

Q. How many committees does it take to change Folk Music.

A. CHANGE????????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:10 PM

Thanks for the explanation GS. I was under the impression the 1954 committee actually decided what folk 'was' independently. I didn't realise new definitions were a possibility if individuals found the old ones restrictive or inappropriate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM

There are 'official' definitions of 'antique'... and 47 different opinions of its correctness.
There are subsub definitions of different forms of Rock music...and serious debates as to their value..etc.

Definitions ARE useful for some purposes, such as advertising a CD or concert, but not when like minded people just sit around & make music.

'Folk' & 'trad' used to mean a narrow range of material, now they are just handy short terms for those who are too lazy to make distinctions. As soon as I saw Dylan being called 'traditional', I knew we had lost.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 01:20 PM

As a general observation it seems folk is more split between trad and progressive on a formal level ("the 1954 definition") than other music but not on a practical one - most people having a reasonable expectation of what they'll see/hear under the folk banner.

More a misuse of traditional (Dylan!?!) than folk perhaps. It does seem curious the music 'of the people' even people who no longer exist requires precise boundaries set from outside committees of experts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM

In bluegrass it only takes a committee of one to say "Bill Monroe didn't do it that way".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM

It does seem curious the music 'of the people' even people who no longer exist requires precise boundaries set from outside committees of experts.

Do you really have any experience of this? While there are people (fortunately very few) who want precise boundaries and try to get others to play music according to them, most people who play traditional music would be appalled by any attempt to draw distinct lines. In general, there is music that's traditional and music that's not, but the lines are wavy and imprecise and the gray areas are huge and very subjective. I'm glad to say there's no committee controlling what I play. If one were to try, they'd get a profane earful from me. The four times I've been accosted by the authenticity police have been very unpleasant, since they all chose to make their comments in the middle of a performance. The 1954 definition that seems to have you so exercised is a useful description of a phenomenon, nothing more. I'll keep saying this until you get it: It doesn't have anything to do with the actual playing of music.

That said, I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area. I have heard a singer/songwriter claim to play traditional music because there is a tradition of singers doing self-composed songs with guitar accompaniment. NOT!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:44 PM

I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area.

Would that include the International Council For Traditional Music, formerly the International Folk Music Council (who came up with 1954 Definition in the first place) whose aims are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries? Or do Popular, Classical, and Urban musics fall within your reasonable grey areas?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM

As I said, I'm interested to know whether other music relies so heavily on a committee, or any external authority for a definition. I don't know the answer but I'm learning.

"It's tempting to hope like all such spats, folk differences will be confined to history and traditionalists and progressives will realise they're on the same side."
The above sums up my personal position but the original question still interests me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM

Oh great, let's close the 1954 thread and continue the fracas over here on this thread . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM

I avoided putting 1954 in the title to avoid attracting the usual culprits and get fresh opinions. The jazz buffs were particularly enlightening and enlightened.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:19 PM

Just to add, anyone spreading love and understanding is welcome to pitch in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM

Oh, I DO hope that "love & understanding" is done in Mixylodian with the original hug & kiss style!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:28 PM

I think Joe Offer once remarked "you (folkies) eat your young, that's what you do". Most apposite. The L&U bit was to avoid juvenile predation if at all possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM

Music is music. You either like it or you don't.

It doesn't matter if its traditional or not. It doesn't matter what genre it is.

If you like it, you go and see it or listen to it.

You don't need committees for that.

Its your choice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM

I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?

Folk clubs do mostly have rather visible committees, compared with the institutions that put events on in other genres like classical, pop and jazz. Those tend to have more authoritarian structures - they're either capitalist enterprises or else grouplets set up to operate a bank account for charitable or governmental funding.

By contrast, the folk scene (in the UK, at least) tends to use structures inherited from socialist political movements, whose holy writ has always been Roberts's Rules of Order. It does at least make some effort at democratic organizational form, if not always very enthusiastically. A rock promoter or opera company will do nothing of the sort - everything runs according to the Führerprinzip.

Leeneia's remarks about 20th century art music are preposterous. I'll reply about that later.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Michael S
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM

I have neither posted to nor read the recent 1954 thread. If I'm repeating stuff hashed out there, I'm sorry. I like the fact that these definitional debates (and that's what this is) go on and on, because I think that serves to remind us of first principles. I usually avoid them, however, precisely because they go on and on. The 1954 discussion is now just shy of 1000 posts.

The problem here is that glueman seems (to me) to assume that the 1954 definition attempted to describe some particular sort of sound. Should a committee do that, he asks, or should folk music be "shaped by the people?" That's not what the '54 definition attempted to do. Instead, as others have pointed out in other threads, it attempted to define a process and it characterized as "folk music" any music that arose as a result of that process.

The definition can (but doesn't necessarily always) fit music that we characterize as blues, or polka, or conjunto, or other things unknown to me that arise out of, for example, African cultures, or eastern European cultures. What's important, however, is that the proponents of the '54 definition were interested in the fruits of that process, no matter what they sounded like. It's not a definition of some stylistic genre, and no one was trying to contain, or even describe, a style. The definers were interested in certain group processes, as they related to music.

Of course, we know the phrase "folk music" was caught up in popular culture and, for many people, it has come to mean a certain sound. That doesn't bother me and we can (and do) argue about what that sound is. I know of no committee that's sought to define it. (Well, maybe the people who award "folk" grammys.) For historical reasons, both the process and the "contemporary folk sound" (god help me) have gotten bound together, but they really are different.

-Cheers,
-Michael Scully


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:51 PM

to all
# You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM

"I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?"

It was both Jack and I suspect they may be linked. For instance it might be the very homespun character you attribute to folk performance that leads it to require a higher authority, as though folkiness may leak away if not kept in harness.

On Michael Scully's point I think in practice it is a sound and a definition for reasons explored elsewhere. The tradition is inextricably linked to traditional instuments and types of performance that aren't desribed AFAIA in 1954. The motivation may not be to create that link or those modes but they certainly exist and I discern no rush to book metal/dance/classical bands performing traditional pieces. We're back to the small scale club committees reinforcing those suppositions in a virtual/vicious (depending on your pov) circle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM

Horses again I see.

Out of here too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:18 PM

Compare:

"On an average night in our FOLK Club we might hear Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Musical Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad."

with:

"On an average night in our JAZZ Club we might hear Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Musical Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad."

I wonder if the organisers, committee or audience of a Jazz club would be happy with such 'eclecticism'? Somehow, I suspect not ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM

BTW Captain, while I appreciate the thought, discussions don't have to resemble Hieronymus Bosch landscapes. People can say 'I believe your're mistaken Carruthers old bean but a decent cove to be sure.' Unless you know something about folkies I don't...?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:56 PM

I suspect any form of music which is subject to formal study has something similar to the ICMT. The ICMT is an academic body dedicated to the study of folk music - the events on its website are conferences, study groups etc, there is not a single performance listed.

For a subject to be studied it must first be defined. That is why the 1954 definition was made. The sound of "1954 folk" will differ from culture to culture.

For those non-academic performers or audience who take an interest in what distinguishes folk/traditional music the 1954 definition provides a succinct, if perhaps imperfect, summary. That's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM

(I won't mention Derek Bailey. Whoops! I just did - I'll get me coat).

I absolutely love Derek Bailey - easily my favourite guitarist of all time. Way back in the day it seemed the Free Improvisation Scene spent more time theorising than playing. Once, the magazine MUSICS ran a feature in which various improvising musicians were asked: What happens to time and the awareness of time during improvisation? thus prompting various answers some running to several pages of intense philosophy. Ever the pragmatist, Derek's reply was: The ticks turn into tocks and the tocks turn into ticks. On another occasion (I forget the question) his published reply was Whatever happened to the 'I just play, man!' man?. A lovely man who played beautiful, beautiful music.

For those who don't know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XE2N4mxeRw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM

"I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?"

It was both Jack and I suspect they may be linked. For instance it might be the very homespun character you attribute to folk performance that leads it to require a higher authority, as though folkiness may leak away if not kept in harness.


I was saying the exact opposite - folk organizations tend to be more democratic than those that run the pop, rock, jazz and art music scenes. The high-end promoters of the pop and opera businesses make Genghis Khan look like an anarchist, and jazz is basically the Mafia with different weapons in the black cases.

Feed a pop entrepreneur's ego after midnight and you end up with a Phil Spector. The folk scene hasn't produced anybody like that. Just lots of very dull meetings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:21 PM

I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area. (me)

Would that include the International Council For Traditional Music, formerly the International Folk Music Council (who came up with 1954 Definition in the first place) whose aims are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries? Or do Popular, Classical, and Urban musics fall within your reasonable grey areas? (Sinister Supporter)


I don't give a rat's ass about the ICFTM or their goals, other than being glad that someone is studying and talking about music. Popular, classical, and urban music aren't traditional folk music. Does anyone actually think they are?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:37 PM

I could be wrong Jack but we may be agreeing. Back in the 70s I started out in a rock band, a blues rock band in fact, nothing big but an experience I found extraordinarily limiting. I later joined another rock band and we cut a couple of records with some members of the band going on to have considerable chart success. Right through this process the idea that there were any boundaries to what one could play in style or material was extraordinary. In fact on a psychological level we were processed like sausages from the moment we tuned into pop music radio as kids.

Even so a committee deciding what a music's background should be called seems peculiar. I'm suggesting in a roundabout way that the sinister overseeing eye of the record company and concert impressarios might be replaced on a kind of committee level by peer approval and a heightened sense of what is and isn't right, a self-policing, standards association if you will that attempts to bring a theoretical framework into practical performance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM

The music doesn't require an authoritative definition. It's a subset of individuals who participate in the music who require a definition. They aren't the music, they're just people who play it, sing it, or listen to it. They require authoritative sources not for edification, but to validate and corroborate the opinions they already hold. Nevermind that, in most cases, an equally authoritative source can be found to validate and corroborate any other opinion on the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:56 PM

Just for the record, SS, my ironic remark about mentioning Derek Bailey was merely to pick out one figure on the jazz scene as an example of someone who does seem to polarise opinion pretty quickly into opposing camps. :-) No particularly negative or positive opinion intended on my part.

If people should ask "what is jazz?", I don't think there'd be many who would use Derek as a standard example of the genre...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM

. . . individuals who participate in the music who require a definition . . . They require authoritative sources not for edification, but to validate and corroborate the opinions they already hold.

Who are these people that have some need for an authoritative source that I keep hearing about? Do they really need an authority to know what to play or how to play it? Do they really need to have their opinions vetted by some outside authority? I've never actually played music with anyone for whom this is true. Do they really exist?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM

Wow, I just had my first (and second) taste of Derek Bailey. The man can't be serious? "Favorite guitarist of all time" - you can't be serious?

You're both having us on, aren't you?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM

This is a circular discussion for the simple reason that neither glueman nor sinister supporter know much about the study of ethnomusicology, which is an academic discipline that studies the relationship between music and culture, and which is what the ITCM is about.

One of the things that neither seem to understand is that the organization does not decide what is or isn't folk/tradtional music. The members of the organization are independent of the organization, and they chose the areas that they study on their own--though often in connection with an academic institution.

If there is a committee, it is the sort of academic committee that degree candidates choose to oversee their studies. If, for instance, you were studying at, say, UCLA, and wanted to do your dissertation on the the introduction of the fiddle into the dance music of Greek expatriate communities in North Jersey, you'd take it up with your committee.

If you were at Indiana University, and wanted to study the relationship between Puerto Rican break dancing and African-American rap, you'd try to persuade a few of the professors that it was a valid ethnomusicological topic, and, if they went for it, maybe a few years later, you'd present a paper at the ICTM conference.

As far as folk clubs go, if you were the Greek fiddle person, you might take your "informant", a Macedonian fiddler who now lives in Hackensack, around to play for international folk dance groups, and bring his daughter along to sing a few of the old Smyrnaic/Rebetic laments, maybe appearing at a few folk clubs and folksong societies,
or maybe not, and complaining that they only want to hear navel-gazing singer/songwriters and such things.

The thing is, the only dances and clubs that you'd collect music from would be the Greek ex-pats in North Jersey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 03:41 AM

Wow, I just had my first (and second) taste of Derek Bailey. The man can't be serious? "Favorite guitarist of all time" - you can't be serious?

You're both having us on, aren't you?


I didn't say Derek was my "favourite guitarist of all time" - that was SS's opinion. I merely said that Derek is an example of a jazz musician who either gets hated or revered - polarises opinion, in fact. Derek was an accomplished guitarist who chose a musical route that went beyond what many musicians - even avant-garde jazz musicians - would tolerate. I've listened to Derek Bailey several times, sometimes striving to make sense of what he was at, sometimes just letting the sound flow. I didn't make any sense of it, but I thought I should give the man a listen. It does one good to open one's ears now and then... :-)

So if the rhetorical question, "What is jazz?" is asked, there's a wide musical spectrum from Bunk Johnson to Derek Bailey - and all sorts of opinions and answers to that question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:09 AM

I don't listen to much jazz these days and, when I do, I tend to revert to my heroes of the '20s and '30s - Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti, Bix, etc. - rather than anything else. However, the aspect of jazz that differentiates it from traditional music (and many other forms) is that its improvisational base can be all-embracing. There are endless debates about what is "folk" or what isn't "folk", but any tune from any genre can theoretically be raw material for jazz. I'm not saying there can't be an improvisatory nature to traditional music, or blues for that matter but - unlike those two types of music (for example) - the jazz improvisor can draw on the world's music. Whether that same improvisor makes anything of it is another question, and I can recall endless post-gig drunken debates in after-hours pub sessions about the relative merits of this and that musician, session, gig, record, etc.

However, I rarely recall debates about the relevance or otherwise of the raw material. Many bands did, of course, stick to their chosen style and repertoire, but the baseline of tunes could be very wide.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:11 AM

I don't think there'd be many who would use Derek as a standard example of the genre...

Jazz is a broad camp, especially in terms of history, tradition and diversification. I came to Free Improviation around about the same time I was getting into Folk & to me they two sides of a similar sort of coin: chamberish, grubby, fiercely non-commercial minority sports wherein admirable political principles were tempered by an inclusiveness that appealled to my adolescent outsider instincts. As a 15-year-old I could happily watch Derek Bailey one night and Martin Carthy the next (as occasionally happened) and even now I might often sing a Traditional Ballad with an accompaniment inspired by Derek's playing - check out The Wife of Ushers Well, currently track #5 on my myspace page.

neither glueman nor sinister supporter know much about the study of ethnomusicology,

Believe you me, I know well enough about the study of ethnomusicology - just as I feel some small appreciation of the discipline might help various non-academic Folkies out their particular box and maybe provide some much needed objectivism. My mentioning of the aims of the ICTM was to show a broader academic base for a notion of Traditional Music than many folkies would allow, or yet appreciate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:30 AM

I was hoping to avoid another hack at '54 but since people insist others simply don't understand it seems unavoidable. BTW I may well not understand but I'll show my working out so you can see how I got to the wrong answer.

The various Mudcat threads say 1954 is folk in the sense it defines the tradition. If it isn't in the ballads and broadsheets it can't be folk because it isn't continuing the tradition of change and adaptation. Clearly there's a link between IFMC 54 and now because performing musicians and singers regard it as a source even if the council/committee had no intention of it being a musical performance template(which IMO is unclear).

There's various pleas and procrastination as to the extent 1954 is relevant to what goes on in the name of folk from absolutist borders to 54 having absolutely no relevance to folk today but clearly the conclusions of that committee still resonate.
The question is do other forms of music have institutional bodies that have left their mark so deeply on what's actually played now?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Darowyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:56 AM

I suppose that it's possible that the various "Hall of Fame" organisations may have some influence on the perception of what styles or artists are included in their genre. I have observed some of the, sometimes bitter, arguments involved in the nomination and selection of inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame, and one thing is clear, that the selection criteria do change over time. Perhaps it's just that the older generation, with their preferences, do die off and are replaced by younger successors. I cannot imagine that Kelly Clarkson (an American Idol winner) would have been a candidate twenty years ago, had her songs been around then. Be assured, that with or without a committee definition, the 'Trad' Country fans and the 'Nu Country' people manage to squabble and flame each other on their boards with an equal virulence to anything you'll see on Mudcat.
I've noticed a little bit of "Trad" versus the rest at the Upton Jazz festival too.
It seems to go along with any musical genre that involves overarching lifestyle choices. In other words, if you have to "dress up like a folkie, with a beermug on your belt" (from a satirical song I wrote when I used to go to folk clubs), or wear a trad jazz waistcoat, or high heeled boots and a big belt buckle, then you are likely to become very defensive about the music that you base those lifestyle choices upon. Young people have been killed for dressing like Goths.
If you can call upon the authority of a committee to justify your style preferences.... are you going to miss the chance?
Cheers
Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:56 AM

More to the point Glueman - what was the band you were in? And which band did it spawn? Forgive me for asking this, but I'm only human after all...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:06 AM

I'll sidestep that question SS because few on here will have heard of them, though most will know one or two individuals from subsequent work and in truth it's pretty irrelevant to the discussion.
Safe to say I was the one continually pushing us out of the pop rock groove into experimentation, folk, austerity, modernism, mad production and ensuring we remained well outside the mainstream to the frustration of all, except myself.

Plus is was bleedin years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:16 AM

Excellent point Darowyn. As a modest fan of country music nu and old I can't tell the difference between Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss and the old skool except hair styles! On such details can a genre pivot.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:53 AM

Well, I've been playing traditional songs for a fair old time now, and I did think I knew a bit about the subject, but I must admit that I'd never been aware of these so-called stone tablets called '1954' until the topic came up on Mudcat a year or so ago. Having now acquainted myself with the definition the ICTM came up with all those years ago, I'm baffled as to why some people seem to feel so threatened by it. It's a good and well-researched attempt at describing a cultural phenomenon now all but extinct in Western societies. Not any kind of a prescription for the (then non-existent) folk club movement.

As to folk clubs and festivals, which again I've been involved with for many years, these have - in the past at least - almost always been run by individuals or small groups, generally without profit, to provide a platform for the kind of music those people are enthusiastic about. That might be exclusively or predominantly traditional, or contemporary, it might be a bit of both, or it might be an eclectic mixture of music of many kinds. It tends to evolve as people with different musical tastes become involved with the organization. The notion that these varied musical policies might have been 'decided from above' is something I find laughable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:14 AM

I agree with Brian 100%.

I just don't get the idea that the 1954 Definition, let alone some committee, exercises a huge influence over what goes on. Where is the evidence for this?

I first came across the 1954 definition about 40 years ago, in Bert Lloyd's "Folk Song in England". I don't recall it making a big impression, it simply set out more formally what I already knew in more general terms, and understood sufficiently for my purposes. I don't think I ever thought about it again until very recently, when I began to get involved in Mudcat. Other than on here, I've never got into a discussion about it or consciously used it to decide whether I should add a song to my repertoire (my only criteria for that are that I like the song and feel I can do it justice).

It seems to crop up regularly on here, but only because people are repeatedly asking (explicitly or implicitly) the question, "What is folk?" and the 1954 definition is one of the answers - some would say the most important answer, but its not the only one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

The competitive forms of Scottish music have always had committees, right back to the first-ever piping competition in Falkirk in 1782. The Mod has probably had the widest influence; not many Gaelic singers manage to escape entirely from both the style and repertoire it's been defining since the 1880s.

The commonest present Scottish danceband lineup (a weirdly unbalanced one, with one fiddle, two accordions and backline) has been promoted by fiddle & accordion club competitions for about 30 years now - without them it would surely have died an unlamented death long ago. Box & fiddle club committee members are not easy to distinguish from old-style trade union bureaucrats.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:25 AM

It may be down to the insistence in some quarters that 1954 'is' folk, so what's played under the banner had better fit '54 or it isn't folk, with the various non sequiters and intellectual dead ends that view suggests.

It would be interesting to know whether any club or festival committees take a blind bit of notice of the definition when booking acts. Or has it served its purpose and we've moved on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 10:20 AM

> the insistence in some quarters that 1954 'is' folk <

I don't recall ever seeing one of these endless Mudcat threads about definitions being started by a 1954 defender telling us that all folk venues should present traditional material, or that all singers should be vetted for their adherence to 1954 criteria. What I have seen is a lot of threads instigated by people who *don't* believe in 1954 - or, I suspect, in any kind of definition at all - challenging the concept. At which point those who find 1954 intellectually coherent feel obliged to defend it.

> It would be interesting to know whether any club or festival committees take a blind bit of notice of the definition when booking acts. Or has it served its purpose and we've moved on. <

They don't - that was precisely my and Howard's point. But then, that was never 'its purpose' in the first place; its actual purpose remains valid. Anyway, you lot have already put the '1954' thread to bed. What this thread is supposed to be about - and what I would like to know is: where is the evidence that anything is 'decided from above'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 10:49 AM

I'm with Brian on the laughable nature of the premise of this thread.


Glueman, you say: I was hoping to avoid another hack at '54 . . .

Bullpucky. You started this thread to have another hack at '54. You said in your OP: . . . folk requires authority from outside to determine it according to some sources. Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?

Accusing anyone of requiring an outside authority to decide what to play - or even to arrive at their personal definition of folk - is taking a hack at '54, whether you realize it or not.

Clearly there's a link between IFMC 54 and now because performing musicians and singers regard it as a source.

The question is do other forms of music have institutional bodies that have left their mark so deeply on what's actually played now?


I keep asking this and no one answers: Who are these traditional music people that need an academic definition to tell them what to play and how to play it? Which folk festivals program music according to 1954, rather than the tastes and interests of the organizers? Bee-dubya-ell, perhaps you could chime in as well?

It seems to go along with any musical genre that involves overarching lifestyle choices. In other words, if you have to "dress up like a folkie, with a beermug on your belt". . . If you can call upon the authority of a committee to justify your style preferences.... are you going to miss the chance?

SS, you're joking, right? In thirty years of playing traditional folk music I've never seen anything like this. Costumed performers are doing some sort of recreation activity. It really doesn't have anything to do with the music. Or is this an honest assessment of what you think players of traditional music are like?

Given the negativity toward 1954 I'm seeing here, with broad statements being made describing, in a completely unsupported way, a mind-set that no one has actually seen, I have to conclude that SS and Glueman are having conversations within their heads that aren't actually taking place in the outside world. C'mon gentlemen, support what you are saying with something real, or get off it. How many people have to tell you that 1954 is nothing more than a useful description of a social phenomenon before you stop thinking it matters in any way to anyone's life or music making?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM

"or that all singers should be vetted for their adherence to 1954 criteria"

I absolutely agree with that statement. I've never heard that in the thousands of posts either. It seems there is a definite sense of what folk is and clubs and festival committees override it as irrelevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 11:47 AM

"You started this thread to have another hack at '54." John P

On the contrary. I had no idea about the Scottish piping festivals and was only barely aware of the strength of feeling in the trad-modern jazz debates, neither of which would have emerged under a 1954 title.
Have another read of my original question. If people see it as an affront they might examine 'why?' Please try to follow the 'love and understanding' request yesterday and see if your post furthers those objectives.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 11:59 AM

"SS, you're joking, right?" John P

It wasn't SS posting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Darowyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM

John P,
Have you never been to a Folk event and noticed that there are distinctly folkie modes of dress? or styles of hair and beard?
Trad Jazz fans do often wear waistcoats covered in badges, Country Fans do wear cowboy boots, western shirts and even sometimes, holsters.
I'm not talking about costumed performers, but the attending audience. It should be clear that people are making a bigger committment to a particular lifestyle than merely supporting a preferred genre of music.
I don't wear a powdered wig to go to a Bach concert, or evening dress for Lizst!
It is very understandable that people who have incorporated a particular musical genre closely into their self image, are going to see an attack on their music as an attack on their very selves, and will use any supporting evidence for their definition as a vital part of their defensive argument. Lovers of traditional folk have the 1954 definition- of course they will think that it is important, and will refer to it constantly.
On the other hand, there are those who have noticed that the stereotypical folkie can hold the wider movement up to ridicule (The same applies to the other Pariah genres, Trad Jazz, Goth and Country etc.)
In order to sustain their wider definition, it becomes important to marginalise the trad group in the quest for wider public acclaim. One strategy is to ridicule as obsolete a definition arrived at by a previous generation.
Logically the process of marginalisation ought, in this view, to result in a Borg-like assimilation.
I've said it before- this argument cannot be settled by rational debate. It means too much at a much more fundamental human level.
Cheers
Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:07 PM

It seems there is a definite sense of what folk is . . .

There is? I think one thing that everyone here can agree on is that there isn't a definite sense of what folk is.

. . . and festival committees override it as irrelevant.

I assume you're referring to 1954, or any idea of an academic definition, when you say "override it". Overriding something requires a decision, that someone actually know about it and think about it. In all my years of playing music, organizing concerts, serving on folk music committees, and attending and putting on festivals, no one I know has used anything other than their own tastes, or what they think would be good for their festival or club, to make any decisions.

Really, where is the evidence that anything is decided from above? Continuing to make the same unsupported statement over and over again isn't going to convince anyone that your idea for this thread isn't based on a false premise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:23 PM

"Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?" - part of my original question.

On the basis of attending festivals I'd say folk was entirely self regulating in an organic way. Balladeers and bands with electric guitars doing folk-rock rub along prefectly well, as do bright eyed audience members with gnarly gentlemen with Santa Claus beards. I can only recall seeing one fight at a folk event and suspect it was a domestic; fear and loathing is notable by its absence.

For clubs I can't speak, but if some Mudcat posts are a guide 1954 defined tradition is nearer to the surface as a booking policy, though it seems other clubs follow a wider folk-acoustic-roots-world music agenda. The main part of the question asks whether other kinds of music have formal frameworks that in any way efect what's played. It seems they do and I'm interested to know of others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM

glueman

Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?

It is self-regulating. Next question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM

"SS, you're joking, right?" John P

It wasn't SS posting.


Right, sorry, it was Dave, who goes on to say:

Have you never been to a Folk event and noticed that there are distinctly folkie modes of dress? or styles of hair and beard?

Well, sure. Most groups of people have a mode of dress that they tend to prefer. Business people wear suits. Surfers like to be tan.

It should be clear that people are making a bigger committment to a particular lifestyle than merely supporting a preferred genre of music.

You've lost me here. Preferring a particular style of non-costume dress automatically means that someone is making a big commitment to a particular lifestyle? Can you offer any support for that statement?

I don't wear a powdered wig to go to a Bach concert, or evening dress for Lizst!

Whew, I'm glad. I don't either. And I often show up at folk festivals in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

It is very understandable that people who have incorporated a particular musical genre closely into their self image, are going to see an attack on their music as an attack on their very selves, and will use any supporting evidence for their definition as a vital part of their defensive argument. Lovers of traditional folk have the 1954 definition- of course they will think that it is important, and will refer to it constantly.

Again, you are making an assumption that I don't see supported by any evidence in the real world. I'm a lover of traditional music who never heard of 1954 before a couple of weeks ago. I do think that traditional music is part of my very self, but I feel the same way about the blues and about playing drums. I certainly don't need to go to any definition to defend my tastes in music - or dress, for that matter. No one I know actually refers to 1954 in any way.

On the other hand, there are those who have noticed that the stereotypical folkie can hold the wider movement up to ridicule

Who? Where? Ridicule? When? What did they say? Are you suggesting that anyone who doesn't think modern composed songs ought to be called folk music is ridiculing anyone? Isn't it possible that they are just arguing over the definition of a word? Besides, every traddy I know who actually cares about such things (a very small group) gave up on trying to contain the use of the word folk decades ago. Everyone just plays the music they like, and calls it by the best name they can come up with. And somehow manages to get along with everyone else.

In order to sustain their wider definition, it becomes important to marginalise the trad group in the quest for wider public acclaim. One strategy is to ridicule as obsolete a definition arrived at by a previous generation.

Well, OK, I've seen some of that here, although I'm not sure about the quest for wider public acclaim. I've never seen it in the real world. Everyone just plays the music they like, and calls it by the best name they can come up with.

I've said it before- this argument cannot be settled by rational debate. It means too much at a much more fundamental human level.

If you are talking about agreeing on "what is folk?", I agree. If you're talking about investigating whether or not anything about folk music is decided from above, I think we all know the answer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:59 PM

Can someone tell me why it's the English that are willing to have these endless "What is folk music" discussions? I think it is silly beyond belief myself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM

Wesley,Iagree with you,but Iam English


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM

John P, fully entitled to your opinion as you are, please remember not everyone necessarily shares it. Who? What? When? Where? approaches can come across as aggressive and imply the poster is lying. People's experience differs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM

I'm not saying that there are no sensible English people - but when I see a thread of this sort that goes over 50 posts - and there are tons of them - you can be assured that the bulk of the posts are from our English members and "guests".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:08 PM

you can be assured that the bulk of the posts are from our English members and "guests"

You know the answer to that, don't look or contribute, and you've obviously done both...

Life's A Riot Between The Wars


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

"You know the answer to that, don't look or contribute, and you've obviously done both..."

Wow - That's a novel solution - I don't think that concept have EVER been offered at the Mudcat before. Thanks. But actually - every time I feel like I'm getting my OCD out of whack these threads make me feel better right away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:21 PM

"Can someone tell me why it's the English that are willing to have these endless "What is folk music" discussions? I think it is silly beyond belief myself."

I can't answer your question Wesley but I've a few ideas. Folk, perhaps more than most music forms, has mature players and audience (with some notable exceptions) who may have decided long ago what folk is and what their own preferences are. At a half century old I come into the mature category but folk has always been a private vice, 35 years of listening to what friends would describe as 'your auld shyte'.

Having followed my nose and the sleevenotes to Topic records as to what was what I was astonished - properly astonished that is - to find definitions raised such ire on Mudcat; somewhere between comic and sad. Not all of us have 'enjoyed' decades of civilised debate to work out what's behind the uncivilised stuff hereabouts. My first post a year ago was dived upon as the work of some mad man with an agenda, when it was one of complete naivety.
I'm still learning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:38 PM


Oh it probably has, but what with the world's current penchant for sound bites etc and short attention spans....

These threads are rather like a car wreck, you REALLY don't want to look, but you know you want to, and it really buggers the flow of commuters in the rush hour


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:19 PM

"Lovers of traditional folk have the 1954 definition- of course they will think that it is important, and will refer to it constantly."

In more than 40 years of involvement in folk music, as audience and performer, I have never once heard anyone refer to it. The only reason it keeps getting referred to on here is because of the constant discussions about "what is folk?", to which this is inevitably one of the answers.

What I find most surreal about this debate is that the people who seem most keen to drag 1954 into the discussion are the ones who most disputing its validity. So can we please get one thing sorted,: it does not, and never did, have anything to do with what gets performed at folk clubs and festivals.   

So can someone, ideally the OP, explain just who are these higher authorities and which clubs or festivals they are supposedly influencing, and above all how they exercise that influence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:28 PM

You might be better asking the person whose quote you refer to HJ.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM

Folk is a branch of show business when it appears on a platform. Critics often get into the act whether they know anything or not. Jazz is usually assessed by the musicians who play it as to how good it is. Then there becomes the war of commerciality vis a vis content such as the Kenny G. and Pat Metheny controversy.

The committee is often just the audience who will dictate interest even in trad folk circles.
There's the large buzz and the small buzz depending on the appeal of the performer.

Critics do play a role in evaluating what an audience thinks about a performer but over the long haul, the audience accepts or rejects that which they hear. Sometimes it takes time
for an audience to catch up to the performer. A lot has to do with timing.

There is the PR of the performer which is in every branch of music including the rarified atmosphere of the traditional folk performer. I think that those who have studied folkmusic for any length of time can come up with names that the folk audiences have never heard about.

All music seems to require a buzz coming from audience and critics to some degree.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:58 PM

John P, fully entitled to your opinion as you are, please remember not everyone necessarily shares it. Who? What? When? Where? approaches can come across as aggressive and imply the poster is lying. People's experience differs.

Right, sorry. I'll try harder to avoid sounding confrontational. The questions are merely more of me trying to get people to support statements about phenomena that I've never experienced in all my years in the traditional music community, except for a few run-ins with demented authenticity police -- who probably aren't bothering anyone except other trad players anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 03:22 PM

The main part of the question asks whether other kinds of music have formal frameworks that in any way effect what's played.

No. Lots of arguments about "what is jazz?", "what is early music?", or "what is country?", but these arguments, as far as I can tell, don't have any effect on what actually gets played. Nor do arguments about "what is folk?" have any effect on the playing of folk music. The only very tangential connection might be that a specific club or festival organizer might well book mostly music from one side or the other of such an argument, but it's not because of the argument. It's because that's the music the organizer likes and/or thinks the audience will like. These debates really don't have any effect on the actual playing of music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:51 PM

Of course there are committees. They just aren't called that.

How else could academics and producers have eliminated all melody and harmony in the course of the 20th Century?


The paranoid conspiracy theory of 20th century musical aesthetics has much the same dynamic as "the Folk Police are persecuting me" so beloved of singer-songwriters.

Perhaps you would care to name some names, saying exactly WHO you're complaining about, and for doing WHAT?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray)
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:05 AM

"the Folk Police are persecuting me" so beloved of singer-songwriters.

More likely the Folk Police will prosecute you for singing traditional material in a way that doesn't meet their particular criteria as to what constitutes acceptable traditional performance - like a certain uber-traddy on this forum who once dismissed my own singing of a traditional ballad as being somehow akin to bad pop music. Still smarting? Fecking right I am. I do my utmost to encourage anyone singing traditional material in whatever way they like, but always refer them back to the traditional singers (rather than revival stylists, which is a different issue) by way of reverence and NOT so they might impersonate them. I believe in Pure Drops and Pure Sources, but what people do after that is entirely up to them. Still, its a cranky old curmudgeonly world is Folk.

Last night at my Morpeth Gathering singaround we had 11 singers and an even mix of traditional & original material in an atmosphere of jovial conviviality by a huge baronial fireplace from 1656. I touched the ancient wood, feeling for the musical echoes of the last 350 years...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Peace
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:13 AM

"Don't get me started about committees!"

'A camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:38 AM

One of the things I was trying to discover was the extent to which committees formal, informal, small, large, designated and expedient determine what is performed. Looming large in Mudcattery is '54 - if almost nowhere else - but more interesting (to me) is the functioning of lower level but more influential groups who decide what goes.

There may be an insidious, tentacled, illuminati style folk conspiracy reaching into every village hall but it's more likely boundaries are decided by 'taste makers', the larger than life personalities with which folk music abounds who get to say what happens. These are the people who decide whether something is acceptable or improper in the name of folk and it would be interesting to know what their criteria are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Peace
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:42 AM

"These are the people who decide whether something is acceptable or improper in the name of folk and it would be interesting to know what their criteria are."

We have a similar agency in Canada. Here, they are called censors. They have a few written criteria and they are heavily influenced by their individual opinions.

Always beware of stupid people in groups.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:49 AM

Glueman and those of his ilk continue to miss the point, as ever. Like Brian Peters and others, I recently became aware of this date 1954 because of of people banging on against it around Mudcat.I have been playing folk music professionally(and socially) since the early 60's, and nobody has ever come to me brandishing a bit of paper with 1954 on it trying to say what, or how I should play. Of course folk music doesn't need a committee, and nobody has ever said it should. You may well need committees, or universities, or learned journals, to study things. But "things" don't need the committees. Ph D students study elephants. Elephants didn't need Ph D students to eveolve, evolution took care of that. This simple point contunues to elude the "anti-1954" brigade we keep seeing here.
People will continue to decide what they do and don't like, whatever Glueman and others may say. The 1954 defintion is an interesting attempt to give a name to music that arises out of certain social conditions. You may think that music needsd a name, or you may not. You may think the word used should be "folk" (as did the dreaded "committee"). Alternatively, you may, as many do, suggest that the word used nowadays should be "traditional", as "folk" has now started to be used to describe quite different sorts of music. YOu might, again, decide to think up a completely new word to describe communally evolved music. Up to you. It is unlikely, however, to effect how music eveolves in society.
As an attempt to analyse what "1954" means to me, I looked at how we sort our record collection at home. (Not very efficiently, mainly, there are CDs lying about everywhere). Broadly speaking, I do keep "classical" separate from "folk", but I certainly do not keep 1954 "folk" separate from singer-songwriter "folk". We tend to work along nationalistic/ethnic lines, I notice. The American folk seems to be largely separate from the British folk, and the British folk tends to be partly separate, and partly mingled with Irish.Africa is spearate, but northern Africa is with Kurdish and Arab. Much like real life in fact. Anyway, traditional song seems to be cheek by jowl with singer-songwriter and rock, on my shelves anyway. George Formby seems to be next to Vaughan Williams, not sure why.
Anyway, I would just like to extend the usual challenges(so far unanswered on a thousand threads). Who, and where, are the so-called folk-police who tell us how we are supposed to play folk songs? They've never come knocking on my door. And, for those who say singer-songwriters should be included within the "folk" definition: how, exactly, do you decide which song-writers are folk and which aren't? What are your criteria? Do you have a committee to help you? Did it have a date when it met? Come on, Glueman and Sinister Supporters etc. Give us the gen.
And, one last request. Maybe 1954 is a term that could be laid to rest for a while(or more properly, reinstated as the year when Lonnie Donegan recorded Rock Island Line, a fact of more significance to the current folk scene than any definitions of folk).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 05:53 AM

I have a feeling that the following quote from Brian Peters is central to these 'what-is-folk' threads:

"I don't recall ever seeing one of these endless Mudcat threads about definitions being started by a 1954 defender telling us that all folk venues should present traditional material, or that all singers should be vetted for their adherence to 1954 criteria. What I have seen is a lot of threads instigated by people who *don't* believe in 1954 - or, I suspect, in any kind of definition at all - challenging the concept. At which point those who find 1954 intellectually coherent feel obliged to defend it."

I also suspect that those who believe that, 'anything-goes-in-a-folk-club' and are 'anti-1954',are, at heart, somewhat insecure in their choices - they have a need for those choices to be sanctioned by 'higher authority'. They confuse the 'higher authority' of the 1954 committee with the 'arbiters of cool' whose authority seems to prevail in the world of popular music. If people like 'glueman' and 'Sinister Supporter' are as 'free thinking' as they claim to be then they shouldn't need to rely on 'higher authority' for their choices! And, as Brian Peters makes clear above, no-one is forcing them to make different choices.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:08 AM

We've established beyond reasonable doubt that the 1954 definitions have absolutely nothing to do with the performance of folk today. The question then is, how is it decided upon and who makes those decisions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:15 AM

"Glueman and those of his ilk continue to miss the point, as ever"

Greg, can I suggest that packaging me in that way reveals very little? I have no ilk, belong to no clubs, play only in front of family or friends and no agenda beyond a liking for folk music. I'm not trying to get any music under the wire, I'd just like to know where the wire is, what it looks like and who decides.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM

The decisions are made by the performers and by the people who book them, or allow them to sing in their clubs. People vote with their feet, and naturally gravitate to the events where the music matches their tastes.

The musical style of an individual event may be dictated by the preferences of the organiser, or it may evolve out of the preferences of the regulars. There's no overriding authority dictating what can and cannot go on - if there were, we might not have recently spent nearly 1000 posts arguing over the meaning and boundaries of "folk".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 09:21 AM

The word "orange" is not an orange. This needs to be remembered occasionally. Thankyou Greg. Mind you - when I go to a Boat Band gig (or Bayou Seco for that matter) I know I can expect Polkas, Waltzes, Cajun onestep, twostep, Mamou, and I am sure if we asked we would get maybe bourees and mazurkas. Now which label should we hang for that?

But having said that - if I didn't know the Boat Band - I would like a "label" to hang on the music. The expectation is part of the entertainment. I may have danced French all last night and want a change. Those labels have to be close enough to fullfill the expectations. If for no other reason than I pack leather soled shoes for French and trainers for EC and Cajun. If you are a musician going to a session, similar expectations apply to instruments. I am sure concert-goers have similar expectations even if they are less physical.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 09:33 AM

"or more properly, (1954 should be) reinstated as the year when Lonnie Donegan recorded Rock Island Line, a fact of more significance to the current folk scene than any definitions of folk."

Just in case anyone missed it the first time round...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM

greg stephens

how, exactly, do you decide which song-writers are folk and which aren't?

According to one authority, they "should lie within recognisable parameters" although quite what those are remains unclear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM

All music has its own committee often self-appointed. It means absolutely nothing in terms of the quality of the music.

It does, however, affect whether a musician gets a job. Critics can often be damaging in
this respect.

Folk music aficionados have often had an antiquarian bent. It runs into the concept of
"the noble savage" by Rousseau and Dryden. Extra-musical romanticism enters here.

This explains the academic leanings of some of the "folkier-than-thou" crowd.

A music will find its audience regardless of critics, self-style aficionados, in-groups,
and missionaries for "folk".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:49 PM

Glueman says "We've established beyond reasonable doubt that the 1954 definitions have absolutely nothing to do with the performance of folk today". ("We" means Glueman, I take it). Actually I doubt if the 1954 definition had all that much to do with the performance of folk in England in 1954, either. But then, I dont think it was meant to. It was meant to analyse the origins of folk, and how they might differ from classical and popular music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM

Snail,
if i might attempt to provide you with an answer,those songs are ones[written by songwriters] with what we in England ireland scotland wales,call a folk sound,that is they are written in a few modes,the dorian mixolydian aeolian and ionian.
sometimes they are songs of social comment, some times love songs,but musically they generally have boundaries.unlike american folk music they dont generally modulate,but occasionally do[see Alan Smethhurst,but he was influenced by JimmieRodgers] and rarely use diminished chords.
for example not many english scottish irish welsh songwriters use the phrygian mode,which is one of the modes associated with flamenco music[a perfectly valid folk music].
a lot of these songwriters now use open tunings to get a certain sound
most of them are now being written to a formula,a hookline or short chorus,and are resricted to four modes.
of course some of these songs are just pop music with a folk flavour,some of them like Leon Rosselson are very critical of the establishment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 02:30 PM

The Incredible String Band didn't need a committee.

That's all I have to say on the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Reinhard
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 02:37 PM

Wasn't it Supreme Court Justice Potter Steward who ruled out the need for committees: "Hard-core folk music is hard to define but I know it when I hear it."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Peace
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM

My audience is the committee when it comes to my songs. That's it, that's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM

Greg Stevens, I've spent considerable time being raged at in the last week for suggesting '54 has any impact on what folk music is played. Show me where??? they've demanded with multiple question marks. Followed by Who? and How? and any other word that could carry a butcher's hook.
Sooner or later to progress the discussion beyond 'The Definition' I felt duty bound to summarise those apoplexies aimed in my direction and calm nerves. My comment wasn't a sudden splash of enlightenment, it was a summary of everyone elses's annoyance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray)
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 05:29 PM

The Incredible String Band didn't need a committee.

Henry Cow were a committee!

http://media.photobucket.com/image/Henry%20Cow/zklang/NowWillYouJoinHenryCow.jpg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 05:22 AM

OK, let's put the 1954 definition to one side. What gives you the idea that folk music is in any way run by a "committee"?

I'm not talking about the organisation of individual events. Some are run by committees, some are not; the same applies to any genre of music. They all make their own individual decisions what to put on, based on their own preferences and those of their audience, but these are so varied that it should be possible to find something which matches your own tastes. However it is precisely this variety which undermines the idea that there is some higher authority dictating what is and what is not acceptable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 05:38 AM

Actually, I find the concept of the '54 definition extremely liberating, whereas so many posters appear to find it constraining. It's perfectly possible to play any music badly, or in an uninteresting way, or to fluff notes by playing something other than you intended or forget the words. But the key aspect of the '54 reliance on evolution and variation is that you cannot actually play or sing it *wrongly*. So 'the folk police' are to my mind the antithesis of the '54 definition. As any committee would be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM

"What gives you the idea that folk music is in any way run by a "committee"?" - HJ

Folk is mostly decided by big personalities exercising their tastes from available acts rather than committee consensus or academic rigour. Most of the stuff performed wouldn't stand up to a critical definition but everyone knows what to expect and few are disappointed. 1954 acts a gravitational pull, an anchor if you like, without shaping what folk means in its details. There will always be those who believe only the tradition means folk and such people tend to be more vocal than laissez-faire types but outside Mudcat the wider folk world gets by without it.

If people insist on a defining framework all present day performers could accept (and why should they?) it would need to accommodate change and developments beyond historic ones. Defining the spirit of folk music rather than the letter is a notorious difficult thing to pin down. My reading of SS's folk club is what I'd regard as a pub talent night, everything from Glenn Campbell covers to army songs to people showing the three chords they've just learnt on a guitar. In spirit it's undeniably the organic response of working people to make their voices heard - and what could be folkier than that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:48 AM

DMcG you make a very valid point. Where 54 falls down is in the critical detail. I've asked before but nobody's given an explanation to what change is and how it is quantified. My Aunty Dot - a notorious Malaprop - might sing 'Speak Bonnie Bloke' for the Skye boat song: at what point is a song changed so as to lose any similarity with its roots and who decides if it's old or new, folk or comedy?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

Ok, let's try an example - made up, I hasten to add.

Let's suppose I decide to sing a version of "Willie o' Winesbury" (Child 100), to a tune similar to one of the recognised versions, but instead of following the verse 9 from 'B'

"Ne wonder, ne wonder," quoth the king,
"My docter shoud like ye;
Gin ye were a women, as ye're a man,
My bedfellow ye shoud be"

with the king granting permission for him to wed the daughter, I choose to decide to have the king and lover go off in a gay relationship, leaving the daughter bereft. Now, that would be based on a traditional song, but does not correspond to anything in the tradition (as far as I know!). People could be kind and call that a interesting variation; or they could be fume and declare it misses the whole point of the traditional song, or that it is a parody or travesty or a dozen other things. The one thing they cannot do really do is declare it to be wrong. On the other hand, it would not, in my view, actually be a folk song unless other people took it up and started singing that variation.   So I am 'allowed' to make the change, but it is up to other singers to decide whether it actually becomes part of the tradition (which is as near to a committee as we get).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM

> I've asked before but nobody's given an explanation to what change is and how it is quantified. <

This is probably because most of us aren't particularly interested in fine-tuning our idea of what is and is not folk music to that degree. Many of us who love traditional songs cheerfully perform other kinds of material alongside them. In considering the tradition, we acknowledge grey areas that exist because singers from that tradition have been happy to learn songs from books, from the radio or from records ever since the technology became available. Most of us are not actually 'purists', however much that insult is flung around. On the other hand, when a recently-composed piece is shortlisted for a high-profile 'Best Traditional Song' award, then people are going to get hot under the collar about it.

It's worth remembering, glueman, that the folk 'scene' - or, as some still refer to it, 'the revival' - has never really been connected with mass culture. Not even in the way that talent shows, or karaoke, could be said to. It was instigated by certain key individuals as a musical, cultural and political movement, and appealed disproportionately to a highly educated audience - which is why it's always attracted more than its fair share of navel-gazers. With respect to your original question, it could be argued that, back in the 1950s, those instigators did indeed attempt to promote a particular model in terms of repertoire, style and performance venue. The folk club model has survived to this day, but the old edicts on repertoire and style lost their grip pretty quickly, to be replaced by the looser, more disparate arrangements pertaining in most folk venues from the 1970s onwards. Recently, larger, more commercial organizations have increased in significance, so that these days 'folk music' looks more and more like a small branch of a fragmented entertainment industry.

There's no 'committee', though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM

Who are these "big personalities" who "decide" folk?

I can think of a few big names, but their influence doesn't go much beyond the events they promote themselves. Even the biggest folk impresarios control only a tiny fraction of the folk scene, although the events they put on may be among the bigger ones. If you don't like what they put on, there are plenty of alternatives. Of course, it can be a boost to a performer's career to get booked for a prominent festival or concert, but I very much doubt that anyone wields "You'll ever work in this town again" power.

If anyone has "decided" the direction of folk, it is the innovating performers who inspire others to follow them. Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and John Kirpatrick, to name but a few, have helped to develop playing styles and approaches to song accompaniment on their respective instruments that have been widely imitated. But that's a by-product of their own talent and professionalism rather than a deliberate attempt to decide or control folk music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:26 AM

"most of us aren't particularly interested in fine-tuning our idea of what is and is not folk music to that degree" - Brian Peters

That's true and probably the only sensible attitude to take on the subject. However there are those on Mudcat who take an uncompromising stance, the - "1954's the definition, if people are too stupid to understand, screw them" position. I believe if you're going to be that prescriptive your source is going to be both impeccable and served by peerless logic, not bull at a gate didacticism.

HJ, it's not that I don't like what's put on, I do most of the time. My tastes are eclectic; nu-folk youngsters, traditional British recordings of Topic, world music. If there is a split at the heart of folk it's that the high degree of professionalism of name artists has placed folk firmly in the entertainment industry. I'm happy to pay £20 to see such entertainment but SS's craky homespun stuff may be nearer folk's true roots than polished bravura instrumentals by pro's at the town hall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:45 AM

but I very much doubt that anyone wields "You'll ever work in this town again" power.[quote]
funny that , only the other week,Ralph Jordan,shouted at me on this forum,and said I would be unlikely to get any gigs in the south east.
but here I am playing Waltham Abbey,monday april 20,and the star Romney Marsh,april 21.
what a jolly good job,that people dont have that power,yours sincerely humourless,certified asshole,never to work again in the south east, pedant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,GUEST, Jas W'sp'n
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:48 AM

"I'm happy to pay £20 to see such entertainment but SS's cranky homespun stuff may be nearer folk's true roots than polished bravura instrumentals by pro's at the town hall. " - Glueman

Having listened to SS's cranky homespun stuff for half my lifetime, I fully endorse that sentiment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

Howard's point about role models is a good one. I bought a Fylde guitar because Nic Jones played one, and nicked my granddad's collarless shirt out of his wardrobe because Martin Carthy wore one on the cover of 'Crown of Horn'.

More signicantly, my guess is that the popularity of the English concertina - not previously a 'folk' instrument - in the folk revival is to a large degree down to Alistair Anderson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:01 PM

Gluieman still persists in suggesting that the 1954 defintion is something prescriptive that tells people what to do.This is absolutely barmy drivelling nonsense. I can(and do) sing traditional folksongs and tunes. I can(and do) sing newly composed songs and tunes.As can Glueman.There is absolutely nothing, not a word, not a mention, in "1954" that I should not do these things, or that I should do these things. You can do absolutely what you bloody well like, and play whatever music you like. The 1954 defintion makes no suggestions, offers no guidance about this whatever. There is no "committee".
Come on Glueman, don't keep running and hiding. Just point us out the sentence in 1954 that says you are not allowed to sing rock songs, or make up songs about your girl friend being nasty to you, or about being like a rolling stone.
I am in total agreement with Brian Peters on this (as I am on most subjects!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:19 PM

I didn't mean SS's own stuff was cranky, I like it very much indeed, I was referring to the stuff that passes through Fleetwood's folk clubs.
Greg I never rise to posts with 'barmy drivelling nonsense' or 'running and hiding' in them. There's clearly too much anger bottled up to have a reasoned discussion. It's not that 1954 is prescriptive of performance, it's that people on Mudcat insist 1954 is the definition of folk music, giving them a free hand to say whether what people play is or isn't folk. I don't believe one source, especially a 55 year old one gives anyone that authority.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:25 PM

More signicantly, my guess is that the popularity of the English concertina - not previously a 'folk' instrument - in the folk revival is to a large degree down to Alistair Anderson.
no, in my case it was Lou Killen, and Alf Edwards who was using it to accompany songs,
In fact it was Alf Edwards,who used it to accompany BertLLoyd and it was he who introduced it to the folk revival,it was he who I heard first.My parents had all Bert lloyds recordings,they predate Alistairs involvement in the FolkRevival by some years.
another ofAlfs pupils was Peggy Seeger ,who used it on the radio ballads,again some years before Alistairs appearance.
of course Alistair is a fine player,but he appeared in the folk revival after Peggy, Alf and Lou Killen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:27 PM

"However there are those on Mudcat who take an uncompromising stance, the - "1954's the definition, if people are too stupid to understand, screw them" position. I believe if you're going to be that prescriptive your source is going to be both impeccable and served by peerless logic, not bull at a gate didacticism."

Again, I can't help feeling that there's a fair degree of distortion and exaggeration here. I may be wrong but I don't recall anyone calling you "stupid", 'glueman'? Perhaps someone did (and it was wrong of them) but most 'defenders of 1954' on here seem, like me, to find it useful when thinking about the limits of the genre, that's all. I am also (I can't speak for anyone else) of the opinion that it is the only workable definition and no-one has, as yet, come up with anything better. Most of the 'home made definitions', that have featured on here so far, just seem to have been tailored to fit the maker-uppers' preconceptions - the primary preconception being that 'all music is folk music' and that you should be able to sing anything you like in a (British) folk club. A further point is, of course, that in many folk clubs you CAN sing what you like, and no-one is going to stop you!

A deeper question, which you might like to ponder, 'glueman', is why do some people seem to need some sort of 'official sanction' for what they do? And why do they 'throw their toys out of the pram' when that official sanction is not forthcoming? If certain people believe that 'all music is folk music' then those people have to take responsibility for that point of view, wherever it may lead - and not expect some committee to 'rubber-stamp' it for them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM

Glueman: your original question was "is folk self-regulating or decided from above"? My answer is "no, it is not decided from above. You can do what you like".
You also make a very strange assertion in your last post,that you disapprove of people having opinions of what is or isn't folk. Who is it precisely that you wouldn't permit to have opinions? Just people who disagree with you, or does it apply to everybody including yourself? I personally feel free to play whatever I like, and to define folk however I like.I would just like to check whether you would allow me to do this.
Just answer my very simple questions in my last post. It would clarify your postion for us: it is difficult to know what to argue with, as you change so rapidly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:41 PM

I'm trying to follow the logic Shimrod but you may have to help me out. There's little to no exaggeration, those words were pretty much identical to ones I've read expressed on the topic recently. What I'm suggesting is people can't say on the one hand they don't want to delve too deeply into definitions of folk and insist 1954 is definitive on the other. That definition is full of holes, abstractions and generalities that don't hold up if people are going to be completely prescriptive about it.

As for rubber stamping, I require no other sanction than some posters stop upbraiding others about work falling inside or outside tentative definitions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Brian Peters - PM
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

Howard's point about role models is a good one. I bought a Fylde guitar because Nic Jones played one, and nicked my granddad's collarless shirt out of his wardrobe because Martin Carthy wore one on the cover of 'Crown of Horn'.

interesting,I remember The first time I saw Fred Jordan,I had no desire to dress up like him, Bob Lewis in his shepherd smock.,had an even more opposite effect.
when I saw Miriam Backhouse,in a short skirt,I didnt feel it was necesarry to have the same stage gear.
neither did I get a wheatstone aeola because Alistair played one,I got one because they are bloody great to play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM

What was the question Greg?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM

This is one of those "When did you stop beating your wife" sort of questions. It assumes that folk music does require a committee, but fails to produce any evidence to support this assertion.

To repeat the point made ad nauseam on the other thread, the 1954 definition is about defining traditional music for academic study. It never was intended to define what is performed in folk clubs, in Britain or elsewhere, and the committee which created it was not interested in that. If you don't like it as a definition of traditional music, then feel free to come up with another. However the fact that it's been around for 55 years substantially unchanged suggests that it does what it was intended to do.

What doesn't seem to be capable of definition is the wider genre of "folk" as entertainment. If there were an overriding authority then the boundaries could be laid down, as it is it's left to everyone to make up their own mind.

So I ask again, where is the evidence for some committee that's directing folk music?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:28 PM

"That [1954] definition is full of holes, abstractions and generalities that don't hold up ..."

But it isn't! To me, it's a coherent and logical description of how the music evolved.

Of course it's always possible to find exceptions - but I've always found 'exception hunting' to be an intellectually dubious practice. It reminds me of a religious fundamentalist, I met once, who constantly quoted 'research' performed by 'biblical scholars' at the 'University of Hicksville'. These, so-called 'scholars' were continually looking for exceptions and anomalies in the data in the scientific literature. Every time they found one they would cry, "Aha! This proves that the Theory of Evolution is wrong and the Biblical description of Creation must be true!" Of course, it proved no such thing. Every scientific theory is provisional and if enough exceptions and anomalies build up then it may need to be revised. But just rejecting a theory because it just happens not to fit with your preconceptions is not enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:36 PM

Cranky? Homespun? Moi?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM

"This is one of those "When did you stop beating your wife" sort of questions." - HJ

I agree, but viewed from the other side.

"It assumes that folk music does require a committee, but fails to produce any evidence to support this assertion." - HJ

Seriously, read the question:
"folk requires authority from outside to determine it according to some sources."

We've agreed some posters believe 1954 is the basis for deciding what is and what isn't folk. There is sufficient evidence, read every What is Folk thread for some background. Whether those people sit on committees and decide which acts to book based on that provenance is impossible to say and is beside the point anyway.

"Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?"

This is a question, not a statement. The answers are mixed, largely depending on whether posters think 54 has filtered down to booking level. It certainly has to Mudcat opinion level.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM

"To me, it's a coherent and logical description of how the music evolved." - Shimrod

Depends how strongly you hold it. If you think it's a cast iron guarantor of rightness, I'd be worried. As a reflection of one moment in time written by collectors and folklorists with a specific agenda, it's about what you'd expect. More an 'in emergency break glass' concept than an assault weapon to beat the opposition to a pulp.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Musket
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM

I'll carry on calling what I think to be folk, folk.

I will tell anybody who wishes to listen that the most common definition these days is any acoustic music played in pubs (in the UK.)

There are other manyfold definitions, but these are mainly by those who try to make a science out of evolving abstractions.

In fact, they tend to annoy me in the same way as those who rattle on about "real ale" and buy halves, making tasting notes in little books. Whatever floats your boat, but that doesn't stop me giggling.

Sadly, many treat music in this way. Great if it keeps folk clubs going, but don't scratch your heads too much when every year means the average age of those attending goes up by a year.

I tend to vet folk clubs before asking my wife to come with me. Some of the sadder people tend to embarrass me. I enjoy folk for the music, for the laugh and joke with mates and for the nostalgia. Not for the jobsworth committee types, the ones who could with a good wash and those who go through life with a chip on their shoulder. One prat who posts regularly keeps trying to tell me that folk music is exclusively something to do with the struggle of the workers ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM

I'll risk a few questions of my own relating to definitions, more in hope of a reply than expectation.

Who are 'the people'?
Is the folk process on-going or past tense?
What precisely is the folk process?
How many stages of transfer are required for the folk process and who decides?
What are the stages of alteration and transfer, especially at their minimum acceptable level?

It almost seems rude to ask them but they're the ones that are used most to support the definition argument. Opinions will do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM

This is taking the answer to one question and applying it to another.

To the question "What is folk?" the 1954 definition is one answer. If it keeps getting referred to constantly on Mudcat, that is because people are forever asking the question. In the real world, it is a non-issue. It is never mentioned. It has nothing to do with what goes on in clubs, which is decided by the organisers of the clubs.

If by "the music" you mean the academic study of traditional music, then yes, it needs a committee, and conferences, and study groups, and all the accoutrements of any branch of study, musical or otherwise. So the answer to that question is also "yes", since any other form of music which is subject to academic study will be the same.

If by "the music" you mean "folk" in the sense of a genre of entertainment, then the answer is "no", it does not require, and does not have, a committee.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 03:59 PM

Ye gods, I'm bored to tears with this whole subject, but I would like to have this explained:

"1954... the year when Lonnie Donegan recorded Rock Island Line, a fact of more significance to the current folk scene"

I've heard the song, it doesn't much sound like folk music to me, more like rockabilly. How on earth is it significant to the folk scene 55 years later?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:09 PM

"Rock Island Line" was skiffle. It was the skiffle craze that led on to the folk revival.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM

I `ad that "Glueman" in my cab the other day. In `is pin stripe whistle and briefcase, `e looked like a pox doctor`s clerk all smellin` of "Old Spice".
`e said, "`ere Jim,could you get me to "The Elephant & Coolie" please, we got a Folk Club committee meeting and I`m chairman. Big decisions tonight".
I said, "What. You gonna put the prices up or something?"
`e said, " Nah, we`ve gotta decide what is and what aint a folk song for our club"
I said, "`ere, they`ve been on about it for ages on that Mudcat and they still aint got anywhere. You`ll be there all night."
`e said, with a laugh, "Yeah. I know but the guvnors` stumping up the refreshments and I wouldn`t miss that for all the tea in China!!

Whaddam I Like??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM

""Rock Island Line" was skiffle. It was the skiffle craze that led on to the folk revival."

Isn't skiffle the about same as rockabilly except with acoustic instruments? In other words, an American hybrid derived from black blues and white Appalachian country music? How exactly is that supposed to have led to the revival of English and Celtic traditional song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:29 PM

Ta all for the contribution. I'm leaving this thread unless anyone requires mon presence on the basis that if the page doesn't open up instantaneously it's gone on too long. Feel free to cast nasturtiums once I've shut the door and if anyone has an answer to those questions, I'm all ears.

Toodle-oo for now.

Yours Gluely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:34 PM

Whether those people sit on committees and decide which acts to book based on that provenance is impossible to say and is beside the point anyway.

If you don't want to talk about committees, don't ask questions about committees.

How many stages of transfer are required for the folk process and who decides?

Required for the folk process to do what? The folk process exists as soon as somebody hears a song and sings it in a changed form. The last time I saw Pete Shelley he stopped What Do I Get? halfway through to tell the audience we were getting it wrong - it's "What do I get? Oh, ohh, what do I get?", not "What do I get? Whoa-ohh, what do I get?" That change was the folk process in action, in a very small way.

Required for the folk process to change one song into another? That's an unanswerable question - a bit like saying "How many grains make a heap?" Everyone who believes there is such a thing as the folk process can nominate songs that have been through the folk process and songs that haven't, and most of the time we'd probably agree on which was which. And then there are borderline cases - we can kick some of those around if you're interested. But I very much doubt that we'll come up with a precise definition of where traditional songs come from, or feel the need of one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM

glueman

I'm leaving this thread unless anyone requires mon presence on the basis that if the page doesn't open up instantaneously it's gone on too long.

If you're looking for instant satisfaction then folk music is definitely the wrong tree up which to be barking!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:46 PM

Hey Sinister, you know you can edit the 'inactive' out of your name: log in and click here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:49 PM

Cool, I nominate The Buzzcock's What Do I Get As a folksong in the finest English tradition.

Be seeing you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 05:16 PM

Isn't skiffle the about same as rockabilly except with acoustic instruments? In other words, an American hybrid derived from black blues and white Appalachian country music? How exactly is that supposed to have led to the revival of English and Celtic traditional song?

History doesn't have to make sense. It's what happened.

In fact skiffle has rather folkier roots than rockabilly, deriving from kinds of music that had far fewer professionals and had much lower entry costs. It was THE moment in the sun for DIY instruments, which have sadly faded from the scene since on both sides of the Atlantic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:02 PM

"Cool, I nominate The Buzzcock's What Do I Get As a folksong in the finest English tradition." - 'glueman'

NOW we find out what this was all about! 'Glueman' wants his favourite punk effusion admitted to The Canon and rubber stamped.

OK, 'glueman' it's a folk song.

Signed: The Committee

THE END


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:09 PM

Mornington Crescent!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM

What I'm suggesting is people can't say on the one hand they don't want to delve too deeply into definitions of folk and insist 1954 is definitive on the other.

Sure we can. There are songs that are clearly traditional and songs that are clearly not. In between is a huge gray area, the size of which is completely subjective. 1954 is only definitive in that it describes a process. It doesn't actually purport to put any specific song in one column or another. Each individual gets to populate their own gray area, although most people don't find that very important.

Who are 'the people'?
The ones who aren't cats or dogs or horses or bugs, I guess.

Is the folk process on-going or past tense?
Ongoing, in my opinion. Others have a different take on that.

What precisely is the folk process?
Read 1954, and then decide for yourself. My own take on it is that changes can be accidental or purposeful. Others have a different take on that.

How many stages of transfer are required for the folk process and who decides?
Unspecified. Doesn't matter. There are no requirements. No one decides, or rather everyone decides for themselves if a given song is traditional. The number of removes from the original isn't important.

What are the stages of alteration and transfer, especially at their minimum acceptable level?
Unspecified. Doesn't matter. There is no minimum acceptable level. No one decides, or rather everyone decides for themselves if a given song is traditional. The types of changes from the original aren't important. Here are some examples:
1. I learned a song twenty years ago. I recently heard the recording I learned it from, and without knowing it I had made slight changes to the lyrics and the mode.
2. I recently learned a new song. I found versions of it in three different sources. I came up with a version that works for me. All the parts came from an old source, but I ended up with a version that never actually existed in the tradition.
3. A young man, 200 years ago, goes to a dance in another town. While walking home the next morning, he finds himself humming a song he heard the night before. He thinks he gets it right, but everyone in his town usually sings things in the dorian mode rather than a straight minor. By the time he gets home, the melody is dorian. He also heard, or remembered, the chorus wrong. They were singing "Every rose grows merry in time" and he thought (he'd been drinking) they were saying "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme".
4. A singer from a village, the one who always gets asked to sing at weddings, learns a new song from another singer who came through town. While practicing it to add it to her repertoire, she decides that a couple of the lines are hard to pronounce clearly. She makes some changes to adapt it to her voice and performance style.

I don't feel any need to define things too closely. To me, traditional music is a different genre of music than contemporary music, one that I happen to like more than most modern music. Personally, I include a tremendous amount of newly composed music in my definition of traditional; music that is indistinguishable from the "real" old traditional music may as well be traditional for my purposes. Others, obviously, have a different take on this.

I'm sure that makes it clear as mud . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 06:05 PM

"Others, obviously, have a different take on this"

Indeed. To be consistent 1954 would have to evolve to the demands of folk, a word here, a phrase there.

"or rather everyone decides for themselves if a given song is traditional"

Now that is sensible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM

1954! Feck! Arse! Folk Process! Girls! That Would Be An Ecumenical Matter! Anything - Anything - but Susan fecking Boyle...

I'm losing the will here lads...

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 03:53 PM

Weird road, good tune. I was hoping to start the Susan Boyle backlash but you beat me to it. Better than Charlotte Church is as far as I'll go. Wonder who'd win a snakebite drinking contest...?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM

I use the section between the A66 and M6 reasonably often. It's a nice run and a reasonably quiet road.

Kirby Steven is a pleasant town with a couple of good tea rooms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:08 AM

Kirby Steven is a pleasant town with a couple of good tea rooms.

Have you noticed it still has a lot of pre-war iron railings still in situ too? It's always fascinated me that - maybe KS was too remote for the war effort propaganda machine.

Otherwise - some fine antique shops (one of which was rumoured to be selling Anne Briggs's bouzouki a few years back), Lish Young Buy-a-Brooms still thronging the church gates in the wee small hours of a Sunday morning; a shop called 2 Ravens which has a choice selection of 2nd-hand books, Green Man merchandise and other Gothic / Pagan / New-Age gew-gaws. There's a chippie called Coast-to-Coast which was a favourite of Wainwright (though I can't say I was overly impressed myself; KS is too far from the sea for decent fish & chips). Frank's Bridge is worth a look - a nice place for a picnic certainly; and one of the sculpted stone benches by the Tourist Info has acquired a reputation as a fertility seat. In the church you can see the Loki Stone - see Here for more - and some fine medieval sculpture. If it's a toilet stop you want though, hang on to Tebay!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:29 AM

Kirby Steven

It's Kirkby Stephen for goodness sake.

In the church you can see the Loki Stone

Mudcat used to have a server called Loki, but that was before your time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 05:25 AM

Read "An Official Guide to Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland" by John Waistell Braithwaite, 1913. He was a relative of mine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 05:31 AM

"too remote for the war effort propaganda machine"

Propaganda indeed. I read that most of the collected railings ended up being dumped in the Thames estuary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 05:33 AM

It's Kirkby Stephen for goodness sake.

Generally on Mudcat people don't point out errors of spelling & grammar, reserving their resolute pedantry for far more important matters. There have been some notable exceptions of course, especially when certain Mudcatters have fallen under the thrall of the ghastly Lynn Truss...

Methinks the spirit of Loki is in our midst!

Otherwise:

In the guise of Sundog, I have just constructed a new piece using the recorder improvisation from yesterday's film soundtrack (see my post of 21 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM) to which I've added the lo-D Doromb improvisation I recorded in the church at Kirkby Stephen on Sunday in the vicinity of the Loki Stone.

Have a listen at: http://www.myspace.com/solusperhelia


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 06:25 AM

Off topic briefly:

There's a memorial in KS Cemetery to the victims of one of the (several) rail disasters on the Settle-Carlisle line.

Anyone know if it's the Hawes accident in 1910 or Ais Gill in 1913?


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: 10 December 10:19 AM EST

[ 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.