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Traditional?

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MaJoC the Filk 26 Jan 23 - 07:42 AM
GUEST, Dan Themsan 26 Jan 23 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Pip Radish as was 25 Jan 23 - 05:52 AM
r.padgett 25 Jan 23 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Rossey 24 Jan 23 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Pip Radish as was 24 Jan 23 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 24 Jan 23 - 02:41 PM
Vic Smith 24 Jan 23 - 06:34 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 23 - 06:31 AM
Stanron 24 Jan 23 - 06:04 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 23 - 05:30 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 23 - 05:27 AM
EBarnacle 15 Feb 10 - 11:24 PM
Bert 15 Feb 10 - 07:46 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 10 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,S O'P (Live from Walford) 15 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM
michaelr 15 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM
Bert 15 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM
Suegorgeous 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM
MikeL2 15 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Feb 10 - 01:49 PM
Brakn 15 Feb 10 - 01:33 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 10 - 12:38 PM
Goose Gander 15 Feb 10 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 15 Feb 10 - 12:15 PM
theleveller 15 Feb 10 - 11:57 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM
The Sandman 15 Feb 10 - 11:20 AM
michaelr 15 Feb 10 - 11:16 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 10 - 09:45 AM
Emma B 15 Feb 10 - 09:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:36 AM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM
bubblyrat 15 Feb 10 - 09:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:27 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Feb 10 - 09:03 AM
greg stephens 15 Feb 10 - 08:05 AM
glueman 15 Feb 10 - 07:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,S O'P 15 Feb 10 - 07:12 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Feb 10 - 07:00 AM
Suegorgeous 15 Feb 10 - 06:58 AM
johnadams 15 Feb 10 - 06:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 10 - 06:25 AM
Acorn4 15 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 07:42 AM

> Scarborough Fair was never Paul Simon's...!

The bit sung in counterpoint along with it (Canticle?) is Paul Simon's composition. I remember hearing a choir singing Scarborough Fair, and using a different counterpoint, specifically to avoid copyright problems.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST, Dan Themsan
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 04:01 AM

Scarborough Fair was never Paul Simon's...!


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,Pip Radish as was
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 05:52 AM

Copyright law where songs are concerned seems to have come to the fore at very much the same time as social singing died out - probably not coincidentally - but there are some overlaps. Jean Ritchie copyrighted "Nottamun Town", partly because she added two or three lines to it but mainly, I think, because if she hadn't somebody else would have done - and it 'belonged' to the Ritchie family at least as much as it belonged to anyone else. Whether that meant she was paid royalties on it I don't know, but I very much doubt Jean considered it to be her song in the sense that "Bridge over Troubled Water" is Paul Simon's. (Perhaps in the sense that "Scarborough Fair" is Paul Simon's...!)


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: r.padgett
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 04:49 AM

So none copyrighted ~ written over 70 years after death of known composer/writer

Has to pass the scrutiny of the copyrighters in order to attract PRS fees

The problem is I think the necessity to fill in the forms to say that the song/music has been performed ~ seem still a lot of confusion and reticence to complete the forms at venues etc

a hornets nest?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:22 PM

There is the modern concept of legal copyright and recording credit which has altered some of the definition of traditional. Many folk songs may be thought of as traditional and even handed down a few generations, but are modern copyright. I found a song my father wrote written in Inverness Scotland in 1963 on the Irish Traditional Music Archive taped session collection being wrongly thought of as trad. when I am the same darned age as the song. In the UK Modern copyright is 70 years after the death of the author/composer, then it can be called traditional. It's like Flower of Scotland or Fields of Athenry etc.. everyone virally knows them down a few generations, but not every member of the public today has now heard the original recorded versions, knows who wrote them, or have seen the sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,Pip Radish as was
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 05:38 PM

Broadly speaking, if a song's been collected from someone who didn't learn it from a record or a printed copy, it's traditional enough for me. The more we know about broadside ballads, in particular, the more we can identify authors for traditional folk songs. It doesn't stop (say) Babes in the Wood being a traditional song, or Master Kilby, or the House Carpenter.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 02:41 PM

I always sang "any old iron". And if anyone tries to give me a willie waught, I#ll swing for him I will.

Incidentally, the whole Cat seems to have slid over to the left...


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:34 AM

Stanron wrote -
"A song like Old Lands Syne is traditionally sung at New Year. "

The song that I prefer to sing on Hogmanay is Auld Lang Syne. In a direct transalation into English would mean Old Long Since but that does not convey the meaning which is more like "old times" or "the olden days" or "The good days of our youth." It may be anonymous to Stavran but surely everyone knows that the words are by Robert Burns.
Today it is normally sung by the big circle holding hands to that anthemic tune and it serves this celebratory function well.....
But that was not Burns' intention which is obvious when it is sung to the contemplative tune that Burns set it to. If you study the full set of lyrics you will hear two old buddies meeting after many years apart and looking back over their lives and enjoying a drink together -
Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

Chorus:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae ran about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun til dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

Chorus

And surely you'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!


Chorus

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne!

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:31 AM

"Auld Lang Syne".


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Stanron
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:04 AM

I wonder if people are confusing traditional with anonymous. A song like Old Lands Syne is traditionally sung at New Year. Singing that song is a tradition, so In my book it is a traditional song. Just because we know who wrote the words does not destroy the tradition.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 05:30 AM

Yep, that's the case. And then it means that when you sing it, you should give credit to the songwriter. That's a nice thing. It won't hurt you at all, and I think it's important to give songwriters credit for their work.


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Subject: RE: Traditional?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 05:27 AM

So if I've not done my research and sing a song for 40 years in the belief that it's traditional & then someone tells me it was written by someone like those mentioned above, it ceases to be traditional?


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 09:13 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Acorn4
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM

A sore point - ask John Connolly or Jez Lowe!


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