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Traditional?

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Brakn 14 Feb 10 - 08:08 PM
Suegorgeous 14 Feb 10 - 08:24 PM
Jeri 14 Feb 10 - 08:27 PM
BobKnight 14 Feb 10 - 08:28 PM
BobKnight 14 Feb 10 - 08:30 PM
Brakn 14 Feb 10 - 08:36 PM
Zimmerman 14 Feb 10 - 08:38 PM
Bert 14 Feb 10 - 08:39 PM
Goose Gander 14 Feb 10 - 08:43 PM
michaelr 14 Feb 10 - 09:00 PM
Brakn 15 Feb 10 - 03:59 AM
doc.tom 15 Feb 10 - 04:20 AM
Goose Gander 15 Feb 10 - 04:25 AM
Suegorgeous 15 Feb 10 - 04:59 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 Feb 10 - 05:04 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Feb 10 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,S O'P (Astray) 15 Feb 10 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,S O'P (Astray) 15 Feb 10 - 05:17 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 Feb 10 - 05:24 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Feb 10 - 05:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 05:43 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Feb 10 - 05:58 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Feb 10 - 06:02 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 10 - 06:04 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Feb 10 - 06:06 AM
Acorn4 15 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 06:25 AM
johnadams 15 Feb 10 - 06:57 AM
Suegorgeous 15 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Feb 10 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,S O'P 15 Feb 10 - 07:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 07:21 AM
glueman 15 Feb 10 - 07:47 AM
greg stephens 15 Feb 10 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Feb 10 - 09:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:13 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:27 AM
bubblyrat 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:36 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 09:39 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 10 - 09:45 AM
michaelr 15 Feb 10 - 11:16 AM
The Sandman 15 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM
theleveller 15 Feb 10 - 11:57 AM
The Sandman 15 Feb 10 - 12:15 PM
Goose Gander 15 Feb 10 - 12:26 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 10 - 12:38 PM
Brakn 15 Feb 10 - 01:33 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Feb 10 - 01:49 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM
MikeL2 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM
Suegorgeous 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM
Bert 15 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM
michaelr 15 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,S O'P (Live from Walford) 15 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 10 - 07:29 PM
Bert 15 Feb 10 - 07:46 PM
EBarnacle 15 Feb 10 - 11:24 PM
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Subject: Traditional?
From: Brakn
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:08 PM

Can a song be called traditional if you know who wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:24 PM

No (in a word).


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:27 PM

Why not?

Seriously, I'm not just causing trouble. I've often wondered what knowing the author has to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:28 PM

Here we go again.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:30 PM

What if some of the people know who it's by, and some don't. Does that make it semi traditional?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Brakn
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:36 PM

This is a semi-serious question.

If the author is known, I would think it's not traditional.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Zimmerman
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:38 PM

Dear Mr Offer,

Please let mine be the last post in this thread.
See What I did there? The Last Post?
Let it die - before priceles bandwidth is expended and before the mad witches and trolls cause me and other innocent bystanders to be carted off to the cardiac unit with hearts that have become too heavy.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Bert
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:39 PM

Yes. Of course it can.

Try this one

The song it comes from is traditional and it is a long standing tradition to make parodies of songs. So where is this one NOT traditional, and why?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 08:43 PM

Yes, a song is traditional not because of where it came from but what happened to it. In a thread on the Irish song 'Skibbereen' we found what might be the original version with an author (Patrick Carpenter) listed, but it's still a traditional song.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:00 PM

There are many songs with known authors that have made it into The Tradition, e.g. "Lone Shanakyle", "The Boys of Barr na Sraide", "Down by the Sally Gardens" etc.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Brakn
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:59 AM

So Dirty Old Town and Spancil Hill are traditional?

"a song is traditional not because of where it came from but what happened to it"

Norwegian Wood?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: doc.tom
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:20 AM

I've always thought 'traditional' was much easier to 'define' than 'folk'. Traditional is what people do with it. You can't separate 'traditional' from its context. Audience expectation - thyat's why a thing can become 'traditional' after only a handful of occasions. (Or, as Terry Pratchett once said in a lecture to the Folklore Society, "I've come to the conclusion that 'traditional' is something you've already done once" - perhaps a little too far!). However:-
Is that particular song traditionally sung in that environment?
It is traditional to put up Christmas trees over Christmas.
It is traditional for the hunt to meet on Boxing Day.
Is Happy Birthday traditionally sung at birthdays?
Is it traditional to sing Flower of Scotland when Scotland playing in the 6 nations (sorry, U.S. - Annual Rugby Football round robin between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France & Italy)?

Pray the thread doesn't drift into 'folk'!

Tom


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:25 AM

Dirty Old Town - not folk processed, not traditional.

Norwegian Wood - not folk processed, not traditional.

Anyone who sings either learned it from a recording, or from someone who learned it from a recording. No regional variants that I know of; not that there ever couldn't be, but everyone knows the 'correct' words and tune for each because both are single source songs.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:59 AM

Bob - ha ha! :)

(Also laughing, though rather mirthlessly, at Bert)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:04 AM

Ah yes, but......haven't some people smuggled their own songs into the traditional pool, without others knowing..and they've been sung quite happily as 'traditional' songs?

Rules are made to be broken....


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:08 AM

I try not to get to involved in such discussions. All I know is that I like learning these really old songs that were around before the industrial revolution changed Western society, and the record industry came along. They evoke echoes of another world that is now long gone, like folk tales do compared to modern media and publishing.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,S O'P (Astray)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:12 AM

Can a song be called traditional if you know who wrote it?

Yes.

A Tradition is the idiom from which any given song is derived. No song ever defines its own idiom, so, therefore, all songs are traditional. All songs are the products of a tradition - be it Child Ballad #32 or Eat Yourself Fitter by The Fall or In this Trembling Shadow by John Dowland. All songs are the product of a creative process whereby the individual song-writer is drawing on the conventions of an ever evolving collective tradition. By making a song they are contributing directly to that tradition. All music is, therefore, Traditional Music - even F*lk Songs, not because they came about by some supernatural F*lk Process, but because they too were made as part of a traditional idiom by people who understood the craft of that idiom and could make, and re-make, songs accordingly. Amazingly (to Mudcat Pseudo-Traddies) this is still happening - people are still making songs as part of ever-evolving musical traditions. Now isn't that something?

The problem here is that Traddies & Folkies (relatively recent mutations of the human species) obsess over a limited canon of songs & their variants which are known as Traditional Folk Songs not because because of the way they came into being, but because of the way they were hungrily plundered from their natural habitats & made the subjects of an essentially bourgeois psuedo-science (laughing called The Folk Revival) which contaminated the actual traditions it claimed to be representing with its expectations and demands of what Folk Songs must be. Whilst in the Folk World circles ever decreased - and will continue to do so - in the real world, true musical traditions thrive.

The only Tradition that matters is the one that began when human beings first started making & singing songs. This tradition is alive and well 50,000 years down the line; this tradition is true Folk Music; and, it would seem, it is this tradition that is represented by the International Council of Traditional Music (formerly the International Folk Music Council) the aims which 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.

So, again, yes; a thousand times yes.

S O'P (presently astray)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,S O'P (Astray)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:17 AM

They evoke echoes of another world that is now long gone, like folk tales do compared to modern media and publishing.

A bit like the Hovis advert then?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:24 AM

"The only Tradition that matters is the one that began when human beings first started making & singing songs. This tradition is alive and well 50,000 years down the line; this tradition is true Folk Music; and, it would seem, it is this tradition that is represented by the International Council of Traditional Music (formerly the International Folk Music Council) the aims which 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.

So, again, yes; a thousand times yes."


Cripes! Let's put SoP in charge at Cecil Sharply House, IMMEDIATELY! The place may start to liven up a bit then. :0)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:38 AM

"A bit like the Hovis advert then?"

Yeah, just like it! Love all that cosy brown bread, incest, infanticide and blood and gore and stuff (I'm learning Child Owlet & Greenwood Side at the mo')


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:43 AM

A Tradition is the idiom from which any given song is derived. No song ever defines its own idiom, so, therefore, all songs are traditional.

I would disagree, I'm afraid, SOP. A tradition - not just in music, is not defined unless it has persisted across a set period of time. Trees at Christmas, for instance, were not traditional in the UK until well after they were introcudced by Prince Albert. A song is th esame - It cannot be considered traditional until it has become part of the tradition of that culture.

Going back to the Christmas theme, Slade's Christmas song could now be considered part of the Christmas tradition and, therefore, a traditional song in that circumstance. Please note that I am not saying it is folk song - That is an entirely different argument.

To say that all songs are traditional is using the same argument as all songs are folk songs - If you beleive either then it is fine by me, as long as you don't expect me to believe the same.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:58 AM

Fay Hield did a great Child Owlet at Cheltenham FF yesterday, Crowsister. Have you heard her yet?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:02 AM

"Have you heard her yet?"

No, I haven't. But if I remember right, she sent me some helpful emails last year when I very first started dabbling in trad. songs.

Otherwise loving Child Owlet.. what piece of work that Lady Erskine is!


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:04 AM

"a song is traditional not because of where it came from but what happened to it"
There - you've answered your own question.
Anonimity is a tendency rather than a defining factor. The act of being accepted, taken up, transmitted and adapted is what makes it traditional.
Having said that, a knowledge of authorship implies the song going into print, which militates to a great degree against the above happening. James Hogg's mother said it all a couple of centuries ago.
"Please let mine be the last post in this thread."
Please do not be put off by those who obviously have no interest in this subject. There are a number of extremely interesting and inspritional threads going at present on this forum; this has all the makings of being one of them.
Please invite the begrudgers who don't wish to take part to join the 'What key does a toilet flush in?' thread and leave us to ours.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:06 AM

She's great, Crowsister. Look for her trio touring this summer - there's also a CD coming out soon.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM

A sore point - ask John Connolly or Jez Lowe!


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:25 AM

I remeber Richard grainger telling us that he was told 'The Whitby Whaler' was a traditional song from the area as well:-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: johnadams
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:57 AM

Roger Watson told me that at one National Festival, someone sang his song 'Watercress-O', announcing it as a Lancashire traditional song. Amused and curious, Roger asked him later where he got the song from and was told to eff off and find his own material.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM

Jim

So by those criteria you'd call She moved through the fair a traditional song, then? somehow that feels wrong to me.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:00 AM

No, as I've detailed here, whereas in poetry we use "anon" for unknown author pieces, in music we use "trad."


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,S O'P
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:12 AM

A tradition - not just in music, is not defined unless it has persisted across a set period of time

How long exactly?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:21 AM

How long exactly?

It varies dependant on circumstance I think. Something like the Christmas traditions I was quoting could be ascimilated pretty quickly because they are pretty trivial and limited to a small time of year. Going to the same place for half a dozen times can often be described as traditional because it applies to a tiny number of people. Yet when are talking of the traditions of an entire country or culture I think it will take an awful lot longer.

It is the 'how long is peice of string?' question I am afraid. The answer can only ever be 'It depends...'

DeG


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: glueman
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:47 AM

If we knew who wrote the song it wouldn't allow the taxonomist/guru/pub entertainer to put his own name on the collection/performance and you'd have a warring discourse of authorship.
It's safer to sing unknown material and feel the power of the collector speaking through his prophets.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 08:05 AM

Of course a song can be traditional and of known authorship. Otherwise we have a ludicrous situation where a song which has been traditional for centuries can suddenly be reclassified as untraditional because an assiduous researcher in the Britisah Library finds out who wrote it in 1656. I appreciate other people can use whatever definition they like, but I would say that a definition is useless if you have to switch classifications in the circumstances I have just outlined.
Surely Bob Knight earlier nailed it in one by writing"What if some of the people know who it's by, and some don't". As he points out, if trad=unknown authorship, then the portion of the population who know the author are quite right to say the song is not trad, and the other half are right to say it is. So where does that leave you?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:03 AM

I call music traditional if it's like this:

The average person can sing it (or play it, if it's dance music) - no huge jumps, no crazy intervals, reasonable range.
It has melody.
It has rhythm and rhyme.
The chords to it are not 'algebra.'
    examples of traditional: A, E, D, Bm D7
    example of algebra: Dm7sus6
It has a familiar form: ABBA, AABA, or stanza-refrain

There may be other factors, but that's a start. To me, 'traditional' is not defined by who wrote it, but by the nature of the music.

Greg, you made good points.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:13 AM

I think a lot of Sam Cooke's music fits in that criteria, leeneia! Mind you, I think a lot of Sam Cooke's music should be compulsory...

:D


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM

Surely every single facet of this discussion has already been expressed ten times over on other threads.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:27 AM

Does that mean it has become traditional, Steve? :-)

Seriously though - does it matter? I, for one, do not stop enjoy listening to a song becuase I have heard it once, ten times or a thousand times. A discussion is even more interesting because, although it may start off the same, we never know where it will lead us!

DeG


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM

You could always introduce "Flower Of Scotland" as being a "Traditional 20th Century Song", which it is.Similarly,one could argue that Christmas Trees have been used tradionally,since Victorian times,which is also true,as is the tradition,again in the 20th century,of singing "HB2U " on someones' birthday----the fact that we KNOW who wrote both HB2U and FOS is entirely irrelevant. As are those who keep going ON AND ON "AD INFITUM" about the subject ---Does it really matter ?? Not to me !!


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM

I think there are those who would tell us that a song is "traditional" if no horses sing it!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:36 AM

What about ones that go 'no neigh never'?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:39 AM

It's interesting to substitute the question of what is traditional by replacing 'song' with 'art' and comparing views on that

'Folk art' is defined as describing ' a wide range of objects that reflect the craft traditions and traditional social values of various social groups.
These art works from 'common folk' are generally produced by people who have little or no academic artistic training, nor a desire to emulate "fine art". ...'

Additionally, one artist states that -

'in the Artworld ..... "traditional" means Painting, Sculpture, Drawing,Pen and Ink, Printmaking, like that... "nontraditional" would be any kind with little or no past history like "Conceptual","Computer Art""Video Art"

The difference between Traditional and Non-Traditional is simply a matter of following the "trade" rules of an established Art technique or organization or not... Ultimately, all living beings follow a inherent creative process, "tradition" is simply an acknowledgement of the experiences and methodologies of our predecessors and a willingness to preserve their point of view.'

Works for me :)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 09:45 AM

David,
Absolutely, but a very repetitive tradition, almost moribund one might say.

In answer to the OP I know of no definition still accepted by any organisation or credible individual that says that the origins of anything can have any bearing on whether it is part of a tradition or not.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:16 AM

Why ever would one think of "She Moved through the Fair" as not being trad?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM

once upon a time nothing was traditional,years ago somone wrote it,it was passed on orally,it changed,it got added to,it became traditional.
meanwhile everyone died of boredom talking about what defined traditional


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM

Padraic Colum a member of the Gaelic League and the first board of the Abbey Theatre, was also a regular user of the National Library of Ireland where he first met James Joyce and formed a lifelong friendship.

He also collected Irish folk songs, including She Moved Through the Fair in Donegal for which it is has been said Colum wrote most of the words, with the musicologist Herbert Hughes and this version was
published by Boosey & Hawkes in London in 1909 in a work entitled Irish country songs.

These lyrics were later published in Colum's 1922 book Wild earth: and other poems (though the book doesn't mention their traditional origin)

It all depends on your definition of 'traditional' I suppose - and whether you think it really matters.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM

just taking a little by way

Belfast born Herbert Hughes (1882 - 1937), folk song collector and arranger was also editor of Irish Folk Music magazine, music critic of the Daily Telegraph, and father of 'Spike' Hughes, British jazz musician, composer and music journalist.

Probably Hughes's best known song is his setting of Yeats's poem 'Down by the Salley Gardens'


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:57 AM

Doesn't it have to start with walking out one May morning (preferably along Radcliffe Highway)?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 12:15 PM

Yeats was a fascist sympathiser,so it seems,fascists having an interest in traditional music,is not a new phenomenon,it has almost become traditional.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 12:26 PM

Yeah, if it's not the fascists, it's the stalinists. Two sides of the same coin. But I don't blame folk/traditional music for either.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 12:38 PM

Can a song be called traditional if you know who wrote it?

Context?

What are you intending to do with the answer?


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Brakn
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 01:33 PM

It's as simple as this.....

I was looking at the wikipedia entry for "Spancil Hill", read the first line ""Spancil Hill" is a traditional Irish folk song" and wondered where such labels come from. Who gives songs such labels and by what rules.

I have never really got into thinking about what is traditional or what is a folk song. A good song is a good song.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 01:49 PM

I don't always agree with Mirriam-Webster, but her is an extract from it: -

"Main Entry: tra·di·tion
Pronunciation: \trə-ˈdi-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradicion, from Latin tradition-, traditio action of handing over, tradition — more at treason
Date: 14th century

1 a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom) b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
2 : the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
3 : cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
4 : characteristic manner, method, or style

— tra·di·tion·al \-ˈdish-nəl, -ˈdi-shə-nəl\ adjective

— tra·di·tion·al·ly adverb

— tra·di·tion·less \-ˈdi-shən-ləs\ adjective"

It will be seen that anonymity is not mentioned.

Likewise, the Karpeles definition of "Folk" (not necessarily the same thing as "traditional" IMHO) does not require anonymity.

""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."


However Sharp in his "Conclusions" set out: -

"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."


I would disagree with him about harmony - it seems to me that folk songs are often very readily harmonisable (as at the Herga) and I would query the necessity for a folk song to be anonymous.



But the word "traditional" is not the word "folk", so although Sharp's view is interesting, it may not be relevant to the present case.

The usual suspects, as usual, deny the existence of the subject matter under discussion, and the idea that the expression "traditional" has no meaning would seem self-servingly suspect. Their motive would appear to be malice rather than to spread comprehension.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM

In the case of this Wikipedia article, the label was unthinking verbiage out of the writer's head, probably created in a 1000-word-per-hour editing binge. It adds no useful information.

In other contexts it does add information, but only when it's clear from that context how to interpret it - sometimes it might be saying something about style, sometimes about intellectual property status. (The "Traditional Reel" is in what most people would think of as a traditional Scottish style, but it's copyrighted to the estate of Donald Macleod since he wrote it).


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM

"I think there are those who would tell us that a song is "traditional" if no horses sing it!"
Which only goes to prove that there are a great many eejits in the world.
"A good song is a good song."
I thought the question was about definition, not taste.
"So by those criteria you'd call She moved through the fair a traditional song, then? somehow that feels wrong to me."
The original of this is claimed to have been Colum's poem, but a quick scout through the Roud index will show that it has gone into varients. Surprisingly Steve appears to have either missed or discounted the beautiful 'Out of The Window' which Paddy Tunney always insisted was the original. I don't know enough about it to confirm this.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: MikeL2
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM

hi michaelr

<" Why ever would one think of "She Moved through the Fair" as not being trad? ">

maybe by some here when it was performed by Camilla Kerslake ??????

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM

Michael

As already mentioned above, because She Moved started its life as a poem written by Padraic Colum.

When I said calling it traditional "feels wrong", what I really meant was, logically I couldn't think of it like that. On the other hand, emotionally it feels very much like a trad song to me (whatever that is) :)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM

Suegorgeous

Glad you laughed at my song even if it was mirthlessly.

However, nobody has yet dared to answer my questions.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM

I'd never heard of Camilla Kerslake, but found her on YouTube. Seems to me she is to English folk what Celtic Woman are to Irish. Not to my taste.

BUT the song is the song, isn't it, regardless of who mangles it? The fact that it has gone into The Tradition, like the others I mentioned, cannot be disputed.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,S O'P (Live from Walford)
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM

The usual suspects, as usual, deny the existence of the subject matter under discussion, and the idea that the expression "traditional" has no meaning would seem self-servingly suspect. Their motive would appear to be malice rather than to spread comprehension.

Here we appear to be moving into realms of Folk Paranoia whereby any questioning of the shibboleths is automatically self-serving and malicious thus justifying yet another barrage of impotent invective from The Boy Bridge.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:29 PM

"So where is this one NOT traditional, and why?"
Maybe because it hasn't passed into the tradition, hasn't gone into variants and is copyrighted by the author, which means it never shall - just a thought.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 07:46 PM

Good points Jim, very true.

I just posted it for fun, to stir the pot a bit, and was disappointed at getting no takers.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:24 PM

Wee Pot Stove
Fiddler's Green
others too numerous to mention


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