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'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?

Lizzie Cornish 1 10 May 09 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Me Me Me Me Me 10 May 09 - 11:32 AM
treewind 10 May 09 - 11:36 AM
Spleen Cringe 10 May 09 - 11:51 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 10 May 09 - 11:57 AM
Musket 10 May 09 - 11:59 AM
Spleen Cringe 10 May 09 - 12:14 PM
SteveMansfield 10 May 09 - 12:17 PM
SteveMansfield 10 May 09 - 12:18 PM
Marje 10 May 09 - 01:29 PM
Emma B 10 May 09 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Me Me Me Me Me 10 May 09 - 01:54 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 10 May 09 - 03:20 PM
Jim Carroll 10 May 09 - 03:20 PM
Richard Bridge 10 May 09 - 03:26 PM
Jim Carroll 10 May 09 - 05:37 PM
Peace 10 May 09 - 05:41 PM
Musket 10 May 09 - 05:48 PM
Jim Carroll 10 May 09 - 07:03 PM
Folknacious 10 May 09 - 07:06 PM
Gurney 10 May 09 - 07:07 PM
Jack Campin 10 May 09 - 08:51 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 03:52 AM
Jack Campin 11 May 09 - 05:03 AM
treewind 11 May 09 - 05:46 AM
SteveMansfield 11 May 09 - 06:08 AM
Tim Leaning 11 May 09 - 08:15 AM
Musket 11 May 09 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 11 May 09 - 11:47 AM
High Hopes (inactive) 11 May 09 - 12:00 PM
Spleen Cringe 11 May 09 - 12:33 PM
The Sandman 11 May 09 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,glueman 11 May 09 - 12:44 PM
Marje 11 May 09 - 12:52 PM
The Sandman 11 May 09 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Herr Wurzel 11 May 09 - 12:56 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 12:57 PM
The Sandman 11 May 09 - 01:02 PM
Jayto 11 May 09 - 01:28 PM
Jim Carroll 11 May 09 - 01:28 PM
Emma B 11 May 09 - 01:30 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 01:35 PM
Musket 11 May 09 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 09 - 02:08 PM
Emma B 11 May 09 - 02:10 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 02:14 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 09 - 02:28 PM
Jim Carroll 11 May 09 - 02:34 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 02:54 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 03:04 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 03:18 PM
Jim Carroll 11 May 09 - 03:21 PM
Frozen Gin (inactive) 11 May 09 - 03:26 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 03:29 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 03:31 PM
Jack Campin 11 May 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Jon 11 May 09 - 04:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 09 - 06:23 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 06:35 PM
Tootler 11 May 09 - 06:38 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 06:59 PM
treewind 12 May 09 - 04:04 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 May 09 - 04:22 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 09 - 04:27 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,Smedley 12 May 09 - 06:48 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 May 09 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 12 May 09 - 07:40 AM
VirginiaTam 12 May 09 - 07:58 AM
Marje 12 May 09 - 08:36 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 08:40 AM
VirginiaTam 12 May 09 - 08:58 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 May 09 - 09:31 AM
Phil Edwards 12 May 09 - 09:44 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 May 09 - 10:30 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 May 09 - 10:38 AM
Tim Leaning 12 May 09 - 03:48 PM
Spleen Cringe 12 May 09 - 04:10 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 04:22 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 May 09 - 04:28 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 May 09 - 04:34 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 04:50 PM
Frozen Gin (inactive) 12 May 09 - 04:51 PM
VirginiaTam 12 May 09 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Jon 12 May 09 - 05:35 PM
Tim Leaning 13 May 09 - 12:28 AM
Spleen Cringe 13 May 09 - 02:39 AM
Smedley 13 May 09 - 05:19 AM
Tim Leaning 13 May 09 - 05:37 AM
Diva 13 May 09 - 06:05 AM
Phil Edwards 13 May 09 - 07:11 AM
Tim Leaning 13 May 09 - 10:40 AM
Tim Leaning 13 May 09 - 10:57 AM
Stringsinger 13 May 09 - 11:17 AM
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Subject: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:26 AM

Thinking about a post in the EFDSS thread, where someone spoke about how the media is starting to take "us" seriously, and the music being 'ours', as in 'our music'....I was wondering how this happened?

HOW did a music that was sung by any Tom, Dick or Harriet, once upon a time, become so fenced in, so protected, so 'OURS'?

Music belongs to EVERYONE, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Me Me Me Me Me
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:32 AM

no, its all mine !!!!

all of it,

I own the lot !!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: treewind
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:36 AM

If it hadn't been for the people whose work is kept in the VW memorial library and similar, it wouldn't by ANYBODY's music because most of it would have vanished without trace.

Would that be better?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:51 AM

"Ours" can mean "belonging to all of us"... but in practice in this case it probably means "belonging to all of us who actually give a shit". The "and therefore denied to you/them/everyone else" part is merely an implication you've decided to read into the really rather inclusive use of the second person plural.

On a hiding to nothing with this one. And what Anahata said.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:57 AM

"If it hadn't been for the people whose work is kept in the VW memorial library and similar, it wouldn't by ANYBODY's music because most of it would have vanished without trace."


But, er...the songs were being handed down 'as a natural process' via families, people who lived in the villages, travelled through them etc.

How can you possibly state that those songs would have 'vanished' if they hadn't been 'collected'...?

Surely that's just supposition.

(in or out of the 9th person plural)


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Musket
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:59 AM

Watch out...

Try saying it is the music of everybody, (folk?) and you get people reckoning that

1. You have to be of the working classes, whatever the heck that means these days.
2. They expand further by saying you have to have affinity of a struggle of the poor against the rich.
3. Some nonsense about a definition from the '50s and don't make my mistake and try to ask why that definition is relevant...

I suppose it is our music in that we are anybody listening to it. I love all sorts of music but don't feel I am intruding if I enjoy something that is normally enjoyed by people who look and act differently to me.

Many mudcatters in The USA must be very bemused by the labelling and vitriolic waffle coming out of UK "purists" on these threads.

Just to spice up the thread, I will repeat my own hung up sermon....

If it is played in a folk club, it is folk music.

No buts, just accept it.

My credentials for listening and playing it are that I like it, not because I may or may not own a flat cap and take a whippet for a walk.

So... to the question in the thread, how did that happen? A while ago going by some of the comments on these threads. Try prodding them with a stick to get a reaction, I find it rather cathartic...


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 May 09 - 12:14 PM

"How can you possibly state that those songs would have 'vanished' if they hadn't been 'collected'...?"

They did do though, except for in a few isolated pockets. So its not supposition but a description of a process of extinction that actually took place with the arrival of modernity. Amongst the last people in the UK to keep alive the oral tradition were the travellers and with them the tradition died almost overnight with the introduction of portable tellies, or so I've read (c/f Jim Carroll).

If you want to explore this further can I recommend "Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay" by George Ewart Evans? It's a fascinating and beautifully written exploration of a rural community in East Anglia (where Evans lived at the time), written in the mid-fifties. His basic argument was that these communities had remained virtually unchanged from the middle ages to the end of the nineteenth century but that industrialisation, advances in communication, cheap travel etc had changed them beyond recognition in fifty-odd years. The elderly people he talked to (elderly in 1954!) he saw as the last remaining link to a bygone era. My suggestion is that the old singing traditions were part of this bygone era.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 10 May 09 - 12:17 PM

My credentials for listening and playing it are that I like it, not because I may or may not own a flat cap and take a whippet for a walk.
But I *do* own a flat cap, and I'm just back from taking our lurcher for a run and she is 1/4 whippet ... so I'm terribly sorry, Ian, but if we're playing 'Authenticity Police Top Trumps', I'll see your folkist credentials and raise you :)

Apart from that, what Spleen and Anahata said.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 10 May 09 - 12:18 PM

Ah, HTML, I'll get the hang of it one day.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Marje
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:29 PM

I agree with what Spleen Cringe says above: "our" can mean "belonging to us all" [including the person/people being addressed], and I would assume that's most likely what was meant in this instance, just as if they'd said "our National Anthem" or "our climate".

Sometimes it's a pity that English doesn't have two different words for "our" - one for "me and you" and one for "me and another person/people". But since it doesn't, it's wise to consider the options as to which one was meant.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Emma B
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:54 PM

As I read it, in context, the intention certainly appeared inclusive; but I suppose any ambiguity of language is open to people using any quote to replay and justify their own agenda.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Me Me Me Me Me
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:54 PM

..apparently, some old bloke called "Dave"

actually does own most of it !!!!???


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:20 PM

Ok, so if there is no 'our' apart from the collective, nationwide, all encompassing 12th person plurally singular one, then explain what Ian Anderson meant about Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman getting in 'under the radar' as he stated once, a long time back on the BBC board.

Do you think he meant into 'his' world of 'his' music, that being entirely separate and non-welcoming to musicians not deemed to be worthy of being inside the radar?

I don't know...

But...when I see things such as 'the media is starting to take 'us' seriously' then I think 'us' denotes some kind of select club where 'them' aren't allowed, but then I've thought that for a very, very long time.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:20 PM

"vitriolic waffle coming out of UK "purists" on these threads."
For 'purist' please read "a piece of juvenile name calling I have for people who disagree with me so I don't have to tax my brain by thinking of a counter-argument.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:26 PM

Precisely, Jim.

If you (others) only care what music sounds like, please feel free to use any label for your preference - apart from the one that distinguishes folk music in nature from other types, and aligns the terms "folk music" and "folk song" with "folk dance", "folk lore" "folk arts" "folk tales" etc.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 09 - 05:37 PM

Sorry Richard - you'll have to explain - where is the juvenile name calling in your quote? Would appreciate clarification.
The music is 'ours' because nobody else wanted it.
MacColl, Lloyd, Lomax et al took it up, encouraged others to do so, and those who did put it on the map more or less the way they found it - no orchestration, no massed choirs - just a few adaptations to make it acceptable and accesssible - and for a long time it worked.
You don't have to be working class to enjoy it, but its a pretty safe bet that it originated and was perpetuated by the 'lower' classes.
Over the last century our sources for folk songs have mainly been land labourers, small farmers, fishermen, carpenters (like Walter Pardon).
We worked for thirty years with Travellers - the bottom of the social heap, with Irish building workers, rural labourers - they were the people who retained the songs.
It's also a safe bet that it was people like these who made the songs in the first place - who else could paint the realistic pictures of life at sea as in that repertoire, of working on the farms in the North-East of Scotland as portrayed in the bothy songs.... insiders views. Who else could use the vernacular the way it is used in the songs?
Bert Lloyd was probably right when he suggested that one of the reasons that folk songs were anonymous was that the authors were too poor and unimport to be acknowleged.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 09 - 05:41 PM

Makes one proud to be British . . . .


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Musket
Date: 10 May 09 - 05:48 PM

See what I mean?

zzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:03 PM

No - see what I mean?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:06 PM

See - she's trolled you all again!


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Gurney
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:07 PM

In the last 60 years, I've heard exactly three trad-type folksongs outside a folkclub or other gathering of 'folkies,' habitues of places that play 'our' music. One of these we did at school, (The Lincolnshire Poacher) another from an old guy in a pub bar outside the folkclub room (He was surprised anyone else knew John Barleycorn!) and the last from another Dad at a cubscout outing, (Working on the Railway.)

I'd say that what Anahata wrote at 11.36AM was right on the money.

This is not an attack on Lizzie, just my interpretation of the term 'our.'


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 May 09 - 08:51 PM

The only person I know of who uses a phrase like that is Robbie Shepherd (presenter of "Take the Floor" and "The Reel Blend" on Radio Scotland) who says "our kind of music", a phrase I've picked up and used as well.

Speaking for myself, I mean by it that I'd like it to be your kind of music too, and I would be very surprised if Robbie ever meant anything different.

Places outside "folkie" gatherings where I've heard traditional songs: occasional parties (anybody know the bawdy version of "The Bonny Lass of Fyvie" that rhymes "come down the stair" with "I'll grab your pubic hair"?), gatherings of football fans, a drunk on a bus singing "The Worms Crawl In", quite a few kids doing playground rhymes, and the most haunting one of my life, my ex-girlfriend (now hopelessly psychotic) singing the whole of "The Bonnie Hoose o Airlie" in the middle of the night, sound asleep, with no recollection of doing it the next morning.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:52 AM

Perhaps I should clarify. When I said "Precisely, Jim" above, I meant that Jim was precisely right in what he said.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:03 AM

Of the two people who started the aggro in this thread, I know where Lizzie is coming from but I have no idea what sort of bug Ian Mather has got up his arse. Somebody else who thinks there must be an anti-English leftie conspiracy preventing Show of Hands from getting the Nobel Prize? What does Ian actually LIKE?

I've been listening to some of the Free Reed reissues lately, like their Old Swan Band CDs. I don't listen to a lot of English music, but the Old Swan Band *is* my kind of thing. That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: treewind
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:46 AM

"That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English"
Hurrah! a perfect description of Ethel's Cats (sorry - new band, no sound clips available yet)

I digress, but the original hypothesis of the thread wasn't going anywhere much...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:08 AM

That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English.

By pure coincidence we were playing a friend's birthday party ceilidh on Saturday just gone, and her son sat in on tuba for a few numbers. Absolutely fantastic driving bass sound - I wonder if we could persuade his day job (one of the Guards regimental bands) to lend him to us permanently :)


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:15 AM

Hi Lizzie :-)


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Musket
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:44 AM

Ian likes all sorts of music.

Precisely the point...

There is no such thing as "our music" but there may be groups of friends or business concerns that gather around a culture, be it a type of music.

It both worries me and makes me laugh at the same time hearing people being precious about such things. The person who started this thread posed an excellent question.

The answer, whatever it may be, could be why younger artistes are using folk techniques but have decided the normal folk music haunts of many a year have become too cliquy, too old and set in their ways, and too irrelevant.

Good grief, that somebody should dictate to a willing buddy musician what they can or cannot do. Likewise, that somebody on stage should dictate to their audience.

It is a folk song because I heard it played in a folk club.
It is a folk club because it says so on the poster.

Live with it.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:47 AM

"It is a folk song because I heard it played in a folk club. It is a folk club because it says so on the poster."
Rubbish!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:00 PM

Actually it's an old geezer up in The Lake District, named Eustace, who owns all the music, and he's threatening a law suit against the EFDSS if they don't drop, in his words, "their stupid London-centric claims"
He's had a bit of education has young Eustace!


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:33 PM

Ian, I think you're having a seperate discussion! Read the quote Lizzie was complaining about. She was inferring an exclusiveness that was clearly not intended. You're going off on one about definitions of folk. Most people on the thread are saying the music is there for anyone who wants it. Is that really so problematic?

By-the-by, your reasoning appears flawed. The logic of it is that if it's not in a folk club it's not folk. Don't think so...


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:41 PM

That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqwtu3xPzU
BACK IN 1981 yours truly DickMiles,jez lowe,Sue Miles


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:44 PM

I agree, brass umph and a wheezebox is a fantastic sound.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Marje
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:52 PM

I rather like the use of "our music". Once when I sang a traditional song at a club, someone who's more into modern, recently composed songs asked me "Whose song is that?" - expecting me to name a recording artist or a composer. But I said something like, "It's no one's - or everyone's. It's yours, mine, ours." - which seemed to be a new concept to him.

Modern commercial music is often closely linked with one person (often the performer rather than the composer). I like the way that in traditional music, most of us (and that includes all of you if you like, okay?) feel that we have a right to make a song our own and interpret it as we wish. So rather than saying, "This is a Martin Carthy/Kate Rusby song," we will focus on the song rather than on a particular singer or arrangement. (Although of course if the song is not traditional but was written by Kate Rusby, it's courteous to say so.) We make the music "ours" in a way that doesn't often happen in most other genre of music.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:53 PM

Ok, so if there is no 'our' apart from the collective, nationwide, all encompassing 12th person plurally singular one, then explain what Ian Anderson meant about Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman getting in 'under the radar' as he stated once, a long time back on the BBC board.
no idea,but then why should Ian Anderson saying something a long while ago ,be given any more importance than anybody else.
Ian Anderson is the Editor of Folk Roots,why should his opinion be any more important than the editor of any other roots /folk magazine,he is not some sort of Guru.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Herr Wurzel
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:56 PM

"That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English."

.. or German !!!??


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:57 PM

Could someone please explain to me why the 1959 definition is the only acceptable definition? Who was the authority? Was it a single person or a collective?

I don't want reams just the Cliff note version, please.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:02 PM

excellent post, Marje,
traditional music is ours,it belongs to everybody.
whereas YESTERDAY is a Macartney song,The Game Of AllFours is not a Kate Rusby song,it is traditional,and some of us were singing it before she was born,and some were singing it before I was born.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jayto
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:28 PM

I refer to the folk music I do as ours becuase it is. Most of the songs I do have roots and origins in my state. They are songs that tell a story about events and people tht would have otherwise been forgotten. I really don;t care about definitions or any of that. I don't even care if folk music lovers consider me folk. In my opinion it is folk if it tells of events and people that you would not otherwise hear about. Normal people and places that were captured in time by being put in a song. I wrote a song about my cousin dying in a coal mine explosion along with 10 other men. If you were to try to look up about the explosion (if anyone besides local knew about it) you wouldnt find much. the memory of them will be preserved as long as the song is heard. I know it is not a big stamp but it the memory will at least be preserved for a while longer. I did my part. Alot of old songs are the same the writer was just doing thier part saying hey we were here and this happened. Oral tradition set to music. That is why I will say ours or mine when I speak of it. It came from my people telling about my region my family past and present. My community past and present. It was not written to find a clever hook that might hit the pop charts. It was regular people simply saying hey we were here. I feel that attachment and it is really personal. A deep historic and sometimes blood connection to the events and people mentioned in them. In modern times every song I write is a reference to some local person, legend, or event. I dont always point them out but they are there. I know if I do it alot of the old songs are the same. They may not always point out the source by name but they are based off real life from yrs ago. Events not covered in history books and news coverage. they are the closest thing to sitting down and having a conversation with generations that have passed yrs ago as we are going to be able to have. You hear those generations speak when we hear thier songs.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:28 PM

Virginia
"Could someone please explain to me why the 1959 definition is the only acceptable definition? Who was the authority? Was it a single person or a collective?"
A collective of people already working in the field of song who based it on research work that they were involved in andwhich had been in hand since the beginning of the century. This included research by Sharp and Karpeles, Grainger, Kidson, Hammond and Gardiner and others. It would have also included the collecting project carried out by the BBC in Britain (1950-54).
This was discussed fairly comprehensively on a recent thread (I think you took part).
"It is a folk song because I heard it played in a folk club. It is a folk club because it says so on the poster."
Two reasons why this Humpty Dumpty "Words mean what I want them to mean" 'definition' makes no sense.
1. Sinister supporter knocked it on the head fairly comprehensively with his own club's definition on the above thread:
"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. We once had a floor singer who, in his own words, sang his own composition which he introduced with the Zen-like "...this is a folk song about rock 'n' roll..."."
2. Folk is probably the most the most comprehensively and extensively researched and documented musical form; still being researched and documented under the widely accepted banner 'folk', as is its fellow disciplines folklore, folk music, folkdance, folktale and folk custom.
Until all these terms are re-defined the old definition remains firmly in place - live with it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Emma B
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:30 PM

Beautifully expressed Jayto


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:35 PM

Except that it's 1954.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Musket
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:01 PM

Mmmm I just read somewhere above that if I reckon (as I do) that if it is played in a folk club it is folk, then apparently if it isn't played in a folk club, then it isn't folk.

Luckily, I didn't say that. Rather sill put down really.

All I am doing here is sharing the concerns of Lizzie Cornish in the original post.

Jim Carroll says that definitions are there so live with them.

No.

Shan't.

So there.



I have a great respect for the songs, the fun and the friendship I have amassed over the years. I also note the steady demise of a wonderful culture here in The UK. The problem is, I have been going to clubs since a teenager in the late '70s and STILL if I visit a local club, I can easily find myself the youngest one there.

In the meantime, we are told to live with 1959 definitions, be careful what we sing, try and put a song in some compartment or other and wear gloves when handling it..

ZZZZZZZZ

Our music indeed...

Who the hell are "we"??

I must be "them" then. Oh, that's all right then.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:08 PM

"the labelling and vitriolic waffle"

For example when people throw out comments like "the labelling and vitriolic waffle"...


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Emma B
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:10 PM

'In the meantime, we are told to live with 1959 definitions,
be careful what we sing, try and put a song in some compartment or other and wear gloves when handling it..'

Really?

Did I miss those last instructions?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:14 PM

RB - Pardon me for getting the date wrong. Sorry about that I am very definitly numerically challenged as you have been witness to more than once.

Mr. Carroll - in spite of your invitation (in another thread) to call you Jim I will continue to addrss you formally because your tone to me is nothing like friendly or helpful. The "live iwth it" comment was unkind.

I was not attempting to be snide or sarcastic. There is so much in these threads that I cannot follow the arguments. Especially when I get into them late and my brain cannot engage at night after work. Maybe it is age, maybe grief, maybe hangover from chemo. I never was clever. All my understanding has been hard won.

And I want to understand exactly what the contention is about. And I want clear definition from a legitimate authority. I am not especially bright. I do need the facts and history spoon fed to me, without having to wade through the bullshit most which appears to divide people with a common interest into camps. I get tired and give up trying to pull meaning from the threads.

I would have preferred a link to the actual definition and historical reference to the principal contributors to that definition. No snide remarks or patronising, pleaxe. Then upon reading and interpretting for myself I will come to my own conclusions. So I will google the apporpriate date (thank you RB) and see what I can find out and decide for myself.

I don't want to cause friction. That is the last thing on what little mind I have left.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:28 PM

Always love reading your posts Jayto: Composed from the heart and fired straight from the hip.
That's what makes them folk then.... *smile*

And,

Ditto Virginia Tam's very sensible question regards legitimate provinance and demonstration of 1954 definition as above. Is there any chance of a Dawin/Freud theory masquerading as Scientific Gospel being purveyed here?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:34 PM

"because your tone to me is nothing like friendly or helpful."
Sorry Virginia - it was not my intention to be either unfriendly or unhelpful to you - any more than I am sure it was not yours to me when you called me a 'woolly jumper' and told me not to express my reservations as they were 'devisive' (pretty sure it was you, but if I am wrong about that - apologies in anticipation and I take it all back).
These arguments inevitably become fraught and passionate, which I always take to be an indication of the importance in which they are held by those participating.
Can I second Emma B's admiration of Jayto's excellent posting.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:54 PM

Definition and related discussions follow. NB I nowadays disagree with Sharp's conclusion that a folk snog MUST be anonymous. Rather I think that the adoption and modification by transmission is the key.

It also seems to me that the 1954 (or "Karpeles") definition is really obviusly corect if you think about the relation of the expression "folk song" to the other "folk arts" as I listed in more detail above.

"Folk Song in England

In 1954 the International Folk Music Council adopted this definition:—

"Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission.

The factors that shape the tradition are:
(i)         Continuity which links the present with the past:
(ii)        Variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or group:
(iii)        Selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.

The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from the rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular music and art music, and it can likewise be applied to the music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.

The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready—made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the refashioning and recreation of the music by the community that gives its folk character.



'Conclusions', by Cecil Sharp~

A folk song is always anonymous.
Modal melodies, set to secular words, are nearly always of folk origin.
Song tunes in the minor mode are either composed tunes, or folk airs that have suffered corruption.
Folk tunes do not modulate.
Folk melodies are non—harmonic: that is to say, they have been fashioned by those in whom the harmonic sense is undeveloped. This is shown:—

a.        in the use of non—harmonic passing notes.
b.        in a certain vagueness of tonality, especially in the opening phrases of modal tunes.
c.        in the use of flattened seventh, after the manner of a leading note, in the final cadence of modal airs.
d.        in the difficulty of harmonizing a folk tune.
e.        Folk melodies often contain bars of irregular length.
f.        Prevalence of five and seven time-measures in folk airs.

In giving evidence in 1835, Francis Place reported that ballads sung about the streets during his youth could not be adequately described in present company. 'I have given you in writing words of some common ballads which you would not think fit to have uttered here. At that time the songs were of the most indecent kind: they were publicly sung and sold in the streets and markets: no one would mention them in any society now!



Another consideration.

"The mind of the folk singer is occupied exclusively with the words, with the clearness of which he will allow nothing to interfere. Consequently, he but rarely sings more than one note to a syllable and will often. interpolate a syllable of his own rather than break this rule.

"O abroad as I was wordelkin'
I was walking all alone
When I heard a couple tordelkin'
As they walked all along"



The Greek/Mediaeval/Folk Song Modes ~

The scales on which many English folk tunes are based are not the same as those with which we arc familiar through classical music.
The Greeks were the earliest musical grammarians in Europe and laid the foundation of the scientific system which was to be, in a modified form, our inheritance for plainsong and folk song.

        There were seven Greek Modes        (The white notes on a piano).
Dorian (Plato considered this the strongest)        D to D
Phrygian.        E to E
Lydian        F to F
Mixolydian        G to G
Aeolian        A to A
Locrian        B to B
lonian (our major modeNodus lascivus)        C to C

"Sumer is a--cumen in", our oldest Mss is in the Ionian Mode.

English folk tunes are most frequently found cast in the Dorian, Phrygian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Ionian modes. Occasionally in the minor: Cecil Sharp wrote: "The majority of our English -folk times, say two~thirds, are in the major mode. The remaining third is fairly evenly divided between the Mixolydian, Dorian and Aeolian modes, with, perhaps, a preponderance in favour of the Mixolydian,

The pitch of the mode may of course be varied, the relationship of the notes being constant.



The Pentatonic_Scale

The pentatonic scale (five notes to the octave) is widely distributed in folk music and is found in the traditional music of many oriental countries. We also know that it was practiced in ancient times in China and Greece. It is common in Scotland and Ireland.

In its most common form it possesses no semitones, the intervals between the notes consisting of whole tones and one—and—a—half tones. It can be played on the black notes of a piano, or on the white notes, omitting B and B.

According to the relative position of the tonic, there are five pentatonic modes, though some scholars prefer to regard them as segments of the same scale.

English songs also show a number of Hexatonic (six—notes) tunes, usually with the sixth missing.

Sharp held the theory that the present seven—note diatonic scale is a development from the pentatonic scale,




Ballads

"'Therefore,' while each ballad will he idiosyncratic, it will not be an expression of the personality of individuals, but of a collective sympathy: and the fundamental characteristic of popular ballads is therefore the absence of subjectivity and self—consciousness. Though they do not ~"write themselves" as Grimm has said - though a man and not a people has composed them, still the author counts for nothing, and it is not by mere accident, but with the best reason, that they have come down to us anonymously." Child.

Romantic Ballads        Child Waters, The Gypsy Laddie, The Maid Freed from the Gallows.

Tragic Ballads        The Two sisters, Lord Randal, Barbara Allan.

Historical Ballads        Sir Patric Spens, Mary Hamilton, Queen Jane, The Hunting of the Cheviot.

The Outlaw Ballads        Robin and the Three Squires, Johnnie Cock.

Supernatural Ballads        Lady Isobel and the Elf—Knight, The Unquiet Grave, The Demon Lover, The Wife of Usher's Well.

Humorous Ballads        Our Goodman, The Farmer's Curst Wife,





Conventional Elements

Conventional_diction        cerbain archaisms not found in common parlance — a song about lords and ladies will use "steed", "morrow," etc.

.Conventional Epithet        "milk—white steed," "Lily—white hand," "Fair Margaret."

Conventional Phrase        Tears "blind the eye," blood 'trickling down the knee."

Commonplace        e.g., the rose—briar stanza.

They buried her in the old churchyard (epithet)
They buried him in the choir
Out of her grave grew a red, red rose (epithet)
And out of his a green briar. -

Opening/Ending Formula         "As I walked out one Nay morning,"
        'It fell upon a..        
        "Come all you young fellows and listen to me.





"Voice and ear are left at a loss what to do with the ballad until supplied with the tune it was written to go with…. Unsung, it stays half—lacking.'

Robert Frost (the bloke from whose lecture I nicked this)."


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:04 PM

You know what... I apologised to you specifically for those flippant comments even though they were not directed specifiically at you.

They were general (what I wrongly thought clever and humorous) comments about applying limits which could potentially kill the very thing we all feel so passionate about.

What more do you want?

I am going to stand by my belief that this devisiveness will frighten people away. It is frighteing to me.

By the way. My name is Tam and I would like to go on record that I have supported you in other threads and been slammed by you for doing so,


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:18 PM

Thank you Richard. I have found some other bits of info in my googling.

for it is the refashioning and recreation of the music by the community that gives its folk character

So along the way, Rennaiasance and Romantic and popular music composers have been taking bits of "folk" melodies and lyrics and the rehashing the folk stories born of historical lifestyles and events, and refashioning them.

Does that not mean they are still folk?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:21 PM

"What more do you want?"
Sorry - I seem to have over-reacted again.
I honestly don't remember your apologising and I wouldn't have expected you to do so.
I confess I get more than a little tired of the barrage of name calling that goes along with these threads and I just wish we didn't have to go though it very time and could just discuss things in a freindly, rational manner without the acrimony.
Nowadays my reaction tends to be just that - a reaction, often without thinking, as appears to be the case here.
This morning I found myself having to apologise to Richard Bridge for a similar misunderstanding.
Hope you are able to find yourself more forgiving than I have been.
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Frozen Gin (inactive)
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:26 PM

Having wended my way through more than a few threads, of a similar nature, forgive me if I feel that this particular thread is simply a variation on the What Is Folk Music idea. It appears to me that all the other threads, of a similar nature, have collapsed into name calling and sticking ones tongue out ala playground antics. This one is on its way down the same path.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:29 PM

B*gg*r my grammar skills - my last synapse misfired.

The music produced later which borrows from "folk music" as described in the difinition. Is it still folk or has it become something else?

For example we hear motets and phrases in a number of "classical" compostions that are defined as being borrowed from folk music. So does that make the classical piece folk. Because the folk song has been reshaped and added onto.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:31 PM

Hey Jim

I'll accept yours if you accept mine. Deal?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:22 PM

"That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English."

.. or German !!!??


What German group sounds like the Old Swan Band? Got a YouTube or Spotify link?

German folk groups doing German music are few and far between, and the ones I know of all have a sound based on strings, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies.

Ina Mather (who still hasn't named anything specific that he likes):
Good grief, that somebody should dictate to a willing buddy musician what they can or cannot do.

Add "if they expect to sell any CDs or get an audience", everybody who consumes music dictates to musicians like that all the time. People who run venues just do it by proxy. Are you suggesting that somebody who runs a drum 'n bass night has an obligation to book any sitar player, pipe band or free-jazz group that wants a gig?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:31 PM

Music belongs to EVERYONE, doesn't it?

No. Much is copyrighted.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:23 PM

Maybe it might make for an interesting variant on this theme if the question were changed from "What is Folk Music?" to "What is Folk Music For?"


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:35 PM

That's only for the ones that start "One, two, three for"?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tootler
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:38 PM

"That big sound with a brass instrument in the bass and squeezeboxes on top is absolutely distinctive and could only be English."

.. or German !!!??

What German group sounds like the Old Swan Band?


Maybe Austrian then. I bought a couple of CD's while on Holiday in Austria recently. The description at the top pretty much sums up the sound. The difference with the Old Swan Band is in the nature of the tunes and songs.

The hotel we stayed at put on a Tyrolean evening and the basses on the box player's instrument were pretty much pitched to sound a bit like the oompah sound of a brass bass. All very interesting.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:59 PM

That you see is "their" music. The Gemans had the best oompahs in ze vor until ze Ruschians ifented the T34 oompah...


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: treewind
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:04 AM

"basses on the box player's instrument"
...were probably Helikon basses, popular with Bavarian/Austrian squeezers. Huge reeds with a resonant chamber so they sound like a tuba. I'm SO tempted...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:22 AM

From Richard:

"NB I nowadays disagree with Sharp's conclusion that a folk snog MUST be anonymous."


Whoa!!! That Ol' Cecil! I bet he was having looooads of anonymous folk snogs with Maudie!

Richard, I think that should win a prize for being the best spelling 15th person singularly plurally upside down Freudian whatsit EVER! :0) xx

Folk Snogs.....Mmmmmm....

...and suddenly, this thread took a gigantic leap into a whole newwww direction! :0) :0)


OK, Folk Snogs......

I bags The Gorgeous Oysterband!

Line up, Lads, I's a-comin'...but...I just need to put my teeth in first, I won't be a minute...

LOL :0)


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:27 AM

Virginia (deal - thanks)
"Is it still folk or has it become something else?"
This is MacColl's argument on the subject from the Song Carriers (1965) - it follows Anthony Newley's rocked up version of Strawberry Fair'.
Still makes sense to me

"Is it animal, mineral or vegetable? There are those who consider it to be folk music. It certainly began life as a folk song. Both the words and the tune were conceived in the folk idiom and it has been sung by generations of folk singers. And yet, there are many people who would deny that it is still a folk song when performed in that particular manner. What then, has happened to it? Its utterance has been translated, its idiom changed to that of pop-music It is as if we were to take over a pop song and recast it in a classical mould, and then have it performed by a string orchestra whose natural metier was, say, the Beethoven quartets. Do you think it would still be pop music? Conversely, if we took one of those same quartets and performed it on three electric guitars and bongo drums, would it still be Beethoven? It would not. The imposition of styles and idioms foreign to a particular form results in that form being transformed. It becomes something different. Not necessarily something worse or better, just different.
And yet, many of the young singers of the folk revival have based their singing style on what is called "the pop sound". They would probably argue: "Ah yes I But if only we had traditional singers as expert as those of Azerbaijan, or Spain or Syria'... " Well, it's true that most of our traditional singers are old and well past their prime. It is also true that our traditional singing style is somewhat run down. How could it be otherwise! The dislocation of our traditional way of life by the Industrial Revolution didn't merely result in fewer people singing fewer of the old songs; it also reduced the community status of those singers who did survive the changes in society and, ultimately, it resulted in a decay of style. Nevertheless, the few traditional singers who are still with us can, between them, furnish us with a fairly complete model of English, Irish or Scots traditional singing style. They are certainly much closer to the three singers we have just heard than are the most gifted pop group."

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:48 AM

I think that is a fallacy. "Classical" (as far as I know) and certainly "pop" and the various sub-genres of rock are defined (so far as they are) by style. This was a major problem in drafting "anti-rave" legislation - at one stage "music characterised by repetitive bass rhythms" was cosidered as a definition until it was pointed out that that could catch Ravel's Bolero as well. "Style" is, at the margins, undefinable.

"Folk" is defined by its derivation, and that (if discoverable) is definable. Therefore Newley's "Strawberry Fair" is still a folk song whatever one thinks of the performance.

Accordingly some of, say, Show of Hands' output and some of Seth Lakeman's output is folk and some is not. The latter's "The Setting of the Sun" is marginal in my view as although some of the words resemble the traditional words (if I have them correctly) some do not, there is, I think, at least a whole verse that I had not heard before, and the entire melody, not just the rhythm, is, to my ears, not recognisable as bearing any resemblance to the tune I know.

The reason it is "ours", whatever it is, is that the music of which the speaker was speaking was the music that we do, and appreciate, whatever it is.

If I were a goth, I could validly spak of doom metal as "our music". That would exclude say chavs, emo, and screamo, and many other genres.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Smedley
Date: 12 May 09 - 06:48 AM

I don't want to wade into the "is it folk?" quicksand, but I suspect that not many other genres/styles/traditions of music prompt such regular & heated debates about what 'qualifies' for the label & what does not.

This could be because (a) the borders are so porous and easily 'breached', or (b) because it's a musical arena that excites passionate defenders, or...both of those reasons & a whole lot more besides.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 May 09 - 07:02 AM

As I've detailed here, if we like our world being multicultural, then we like such attitudes; if we like globalisation, then we don't like the use of "'Our' music," (Lizzie) and suchlike.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 12 May 09 - 07:40 AM

Did somebody just fart?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 May 09 - 07:58 AM

Thank you Jim... good to be friends again. And thanks for your take on style changing the song from folk to something else. I appreciate your opinion.

I am still not sure I can agree, because as Richard reinforced above The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready—made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the refashioning and recreation of the music by the community that gives its folk character. It is that refashioning and recreation of the original article that makes me believe it is still folk. Just because a different rhythm or melody or changed/added lyrics have been hung onto it, the kernel is still folk and so makes the entire thing folk.

By the same token, if the following points hold true....

The factors that shape the tradition are:
(i)         Continuity which links the present with the past:
(ii)       Variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or group:
(iii)       Selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.


then folk is still being created, even as we discuss this. Example- popular songs from the mid 20th century are being revived, reshaped by a current community. What is written today (crappy as we may think some of it is) and is popular today will be adapted and reshaped by future community. There will be something in songs written today that apply specifically to this time and yet that future community will make a parallel... and so it goes. I am not thrilled that some day a rap song with lyrics I can barely understand may someday be folk. But the fact remains, if that song has something pertinient to a future community and is remade and carried forward, then it will have undergone the folk process described above. So not folk yet, but by the definition someday will be.

Am I making any sense? I don't express my ideasvery well, I am afraid. Too wordy. Anyway...

When Andie was apprenticing to a bard in the Meidival SCA, she/they made a distinction between what they called period (actual medieval) music and Perioid music
(which included filk and folk which was not necessarily medeival).

Would that there were a definition that would make this kind of distinction between folk and not folk.

I love music. Many different kinds. Part of me wants the tradtional music pure and unmuddied (I doubt very much that I have heard what would be considered by some the genuine article because each singer/performer changes the thing ever so slightly), and the other part of me understands that if the music was not taken by others and changed it might become altogether lost.

It is a damn difficult puzzle.

Blessings and peace too all.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Marje
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:36 AM

Virginia, I think you've put your finger on something qutie important - the fact that in the list of defining characteristics given, the first one (continuity) is often at odds with the 2nd and 3rd ones.

So at one end of the spectrum we get people who value continuity above all, and want the music to be as faithful to its roots as possible, but who thus risk slowly killing it by freezing it as it was at one moment in time; at the other end we get someone who knows little or nothing about the tradtion, but says, "Here's a folk song I've just written," - which can't be true at this stage but just might be one day (although probably not).

Most of us are somewhere in between these extremes, valuing the tradition but wanting to see it continue to evolve or even have a hand in that process ourselves. The extent to which we look backwards or forwards tends to be what underlies many of the arguments we have about what is or isn't a valid form of folk or traditional expression.

All of this makes me aware that the 1954 definition is the best one that anyone's come up with yet. Any song or tune that doesn't comply at all (i.e. has no link with the past, is never varied but always done exactly the same way, and/or is not taken up and shared by the community) simply isn't folk or traditional, however good or enjoyable it may be.

Oh, and to swerve back on to the topic: the 3 points in that definition all contribute to folk being "our" (i.e. everyone's) music.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:40 AM

I don't think that continuity implies stasis.

Apart from that, if I were a praying man, I think I'd cry "Hallelujah", because I think I detect some people seeing the light.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:58 AM

Good thing you aren't a praying man, Richard. I see this is becoming a religion splintered by different interpretations of the Holy definition 1954.

That means unwholesome and dangerous to me.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 May 09 - 09:31 AM

unwholesome and dangerous

That sums this thread up quite tidily, as the old shibboleths are shouted out yet again in the hope of converting the infidels to their shabby, yet somehow universal, truths.

I just love it when Richard (& Jim) come out with stuff like this though:

If you (others) only care what music sounds like, please feel free to use any label for your preference - apart from the one that distinguishes folk music in nature from other types, and aligns the terms "folk music" and "folk song" with "folk dance", "folk lore" "folk arts" "folk tales" etc.

Keep it coming lads!


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 May 09 - 09:44 AM

Example- popular songs from the mid 20th century are being revived, reshaped by a current community. What is written today (crappy as we may think some of it is) and is popular today will be adapted and reshaped by future community.

There's certainly nothing in the 1954 definition to exclude that happening, but I'm not sure that is - and I'm very dubious that it will happen in future. I blame the pianola. (And the gramophone, and the radio, and the TV and the iPod, but I like* to think of them all as different forms of pianola.)

*Not really.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 May 09 - 10:30 AM

Please note Sinister Supporter is now Suibhne O'Piobaireachd. Sorry for the confusion - and the name change.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 May 09 - 10:38 AM

That's okay S., we're getting used to it - must have been about a dozen over the last 12 months...one thing we can rely on.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 12 May 09 - 03:48 PM

Is anyone writing a paper,or producing a thesis on Mudcat threads?
Sorry.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:10 PM

Are you offering, Tim?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:22 PM

Lefthanded Jockstrap suited you much better. Your problem with my cited text is??

Careful, VT, you were one in whom I thought I detected incipient understanding.

I agree with you PR about the effect of the 1954 definition - and am confident that there will continue to be accretions to folk music. Certainly I know that my daughter's first electric band (Torniquet - for sample of their rock music seek YoungTorniquet in Myspace) wrote a number of electric songs that translated perfectly well into an acoustic gig in a folk club, because I've seen them do it.

If I ever get good enough on guitar (fat chance) I'm going to start folking one of her acoustic songs, "Five Leaf Clover". It's good enough to pass the old grey whistle test.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:28 PM

Your problem with my cited text is??

No problem at all, Richard - like I say, I love it, personal insults & all.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:34 PM

"Our" doesn't mean possession, let alone ownership, although those concepts may give rise to "our". And there's no exclusivity necessarily implied.

Our, at its simplest, means "association"--"our house" (when it's Dad that really owns it); "our crowd" (when it's a growing and shrinking group of human beings, freely mixing, with no formal entry or exit requirements); "our fair city" (when all we do is rent a room there, having moved in last week); "our race", "our generation"--etc., etc., ad nauseam

So it's "our music" because we have some association with it--maybe studying it, maybe singing it in the shower, maybe just preferring to listen to it when we can.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:50 PM

Which insult would that be?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Frozen Gin (inactive)
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:51 PM

"Is anyone writing a paper,or producing a thesis on Mudcat threads?"

Don't encourage those who may want to take part in such an activity, mind you having read various postings around here, I thought several people had already written said theses...never mind.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 May 09 - 05:15 PM

Sorry Richard,

Trying to understand and showing respect for another's interpretation does not make me one of the converted.

After hard learned lessons re indoctrination into devisive belief systems (recovering baptist here) I decline to take a side.

I am still digesting that definition and I am trying to come to grips with why it is so contentious.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 May 09 - 05:35 PM

VT, I think you have expressed some of my difficulties, ie You know the ways you learned something. Another way may feel right, eg. I liked the Pogues or wrong, eg. rap and I don't get on.

You need not want or belive you should stand in the way of approaches, after all, it came to us for free and with no terms, but but you seem to connect better with the way you learned and want others to share that enjoyment?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 May 09 - 12:28 AM

"Are you offering Tim?"

No is one of those things you say or type and hope you are joking.
But you never know.............


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 13 May 09 - 02:39 AM

EEK!


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Smedley
Date: 13 May 09 - 05:19 AM

Theses are written on almost *anything*. I can think of less interesting topics than the palaver in here. Years ago, when I typed up other peoples' essays to supplement my student grant, I recall wading though 10,000 words on mule-breeding in Zambia.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 May 09 - 05:37 AM

Weeelllllll.
Sorry but it does seem to me, as very nonacademic and ill educated individual,that although we need someone who is able and willing to record the old songs,there seems to be little reference in some of the threads,to the enjoyment the performance of the materiel brings to performer and audience alike.
There does to my outsiders eyes seem to be a slight tendency to value the old reclaimed/rediscovered, and music in general, by the amount of research done.
At times it seems that we should not really enjoy this "music of ours",until it has been validated, by what to me, would probably appear a dull and turgid paper or thesis as to its merits.
I am probably wrong but do find some of the points of view expressed sometimes a little elitist and exclusive.
Maybe this is all because of my IQ only being normal and education negligible,but I do notice this tendency in general life and in the workplace.
Having said all that I really enjoy music when |I get chance to hear it,so mustn't grumble eh?


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Diva
Date: 13 May 09 - 06:05 AM

Don't fret Tim about education or lack of it; it has nothing to do with it. What really matters is the continuation of the tradition either by singing and playing and the enjoyment that comes from that. Also from the people like the academics and enthusiasts who realised that the songs tunes and stories needed to be preserved. Sides of the same coin really.

I had a chat with a very wise young lady yesterday, all of 18 years and a folkie, very good musician and singer who just happened to remark that we are always learning....regardless of setting.....she'll go far that lassie


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 May 09 - 07:11 AM

I had a chat with a very wise young lady yesterday, all of 18 years and a folkie, very good musician and singer who just happened to remark that we are always learning

On the other hand, this does remind me of a shopkeeper I overheard once telling someone about a girl who'd applied for a job in the shop -

Well, you haven't got much relevant experience, I said, how long do you think it'd take you to pick up the business? Not long, she said, about six weeks. Six weeks! So I said to her, what would you say if I told you I've been in this business twenty years and I'm still learning? She said, I'd say you must be a very slow learner.

I don't think she got the job.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 May 09 - 10:40 AM

Hmmm try www.cloudstreet.com
Seems we are validated after all.


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 May 09 - 10:57 AM

"I don't think she got the job"
Why?
Because she was truthful
Because she didn't feel the need to lie in order to fit into the world of forelock tuggery that we have allowed the middle classes to make for us since they came into being.
In our world the king goes around naked till the end of the story,because as our kids learn to see we strike out their eyes.If the truth bubbles on their lips we banish them to school to make sure they never utter it out loud.
They learn the art of deafness so they never hear the world around cry out in anguish.
LOl
Nah! only joking.
There aint no wld any more


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Subject: RE: 'Our' Music - How Did That Happen?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 May 09 - 11:17 AM

There is a similarity here in this discussion about what constitutes a tradition of music with that of the study of anthropology. There are those academics who claim that a culture to be studied should not be tampered with. Any outside influence creates a less-than-pure approach to the study of a specific culture. There are other anthropologists who think that
it's OK to become involved in that culture while studying it and become a part of it.

Herskovitz and Sol Tax are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

My view is that if folk music is alive, then people must become a part of it in whatever
way they can and traditional performers are part of the process and should not be placed on some sort of regal folk pedestal. Instead, they should interact with those who are interested in folk music.

Otherwise if it comes down to isolating individual performances based on scholastic
studies which attempt to define and narrow the field, then folk music becomes moribund.

The xenophobic aspects of a folk culture are there but do more damage than good.

Frank


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