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

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


Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)

IanA 05 Apr 10 - 02:42 PM
kendall 05 Apr 10 - 02:46 PM
Midchuck 05 Apr 10 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,woodsie 05 Apr 10 - 02:52 PM
Little Hawk 05 Apr 10 - 03:00 PM
PoppaGator 05 Apr 10 - 03:54 PM
Little Robyn 05 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 10 - 05:04 PM
IanA 05 Apr 10 - 05:33 PM
Little Hawk 05 Apr 10 - 06:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM
Tim Leaning 05 Apr 10 - 07:33 PM
IanA 06 Apr 10 - 11:00 AM
Leadfingers 06 Apr 10 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 06 Apr 10 - 11:14 AM
Rob Naylor 06 Apr 10 - 12:22 PM
Little Hawk 06 Apr 10 - 12:29 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM
IanA 06 Apr 10 - 02:32 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 10 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Songbob 06 Apr 10 - 02:58 PM
Stringsinger 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM
Bernard 06 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM
IanA 06 Apr 10 - 05:28 PM
Bounty Hound 06 Apr 10 - 06:57 PM
mousethief 06 Apr 10 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Apr 10 - 09:14 AM
Bernard 07 Apr 10 - 09:56 AM
buddhuu 07 Apr 10 - 10:03 AM
GUEST, Sminky 07 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM
IanA 07 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM
bubblyrat 07 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Andrew 07 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM
Bernard 07 Apr 10 - 12:47 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Apr 10 - 01:10 PM
Tim Leaning 08 Apr 10 - 04:39 AM
Howard Jones 08 Apr 10 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Apr 10 - 10:12 AM
JohnB 08 Apr 10 - 10:46 AM
Howard Jones 08 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM
IanA 08 Apr 10 - 01:57 PM
The Sandman 08 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM
IanA 08 Apr 10 - 04:57 PM
Melissa 08 Apr 10 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Apr 10 - 05:59 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 10 - 07:31 PM
IanA 09 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM
Bernard 10 Apr 10 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Florian 10 Apr 10 - 10:28 AM
Mavis Enderby 10 Apr 10 - 10:59 AM
Suegorgeous 10 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,CS 10 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM
Bernard 10 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 10 Apr 10 - 09:08 PM
meself 10 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM
meself 10 Apr 10 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,Andrew 11 Apr 10 - 04:13 AM
Bernard 11 Apr 10 - 12:37 PM
Edthefolkie 11 Apr 10 - 02:27 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Apr 10 - 02:53 PM
kendall 11 Apr 10 - 03:33 PM
IanA 12 Apr 10 - 06:05 AM
GUEST, Sminky 12 Apr 10 - 08:47 AM
Bernard 12 Apr 10 - 11:36 AM
meself 12 Apr 10 - 12:49 PM
Edthefolkie 12 Apr 10 - 01:16 PM
Stringsinger 12 Apr 10 - 02:16 PM
IanA 12 Apr 10 - 02:21 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Guitars???
From: IanA
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:42 PM

Listen to the old recordings of folk songs and none of them are accompanied by the guitar. Sometime, somewhere, someone must have made the inspired/ lamentable (delete one) decision that they would be immeasurably improved by strumming along. Who do we thank/ blame (delete one)?

A. Capella Esq.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: kendall
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:46 PM

I like some unaccompanied songs, but too many in a row get tedious. The guitar lends another dimension.It should not, however, overpower the lyrics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: Midchuck
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:50 PM

Make that "...old recordings of English-language folk songs..."

Spanish-speaking countries have always been heavy on guitar.

The instrument got into North American song by drifting up from Mexico. The cliche of the cowboy singing for his herd and strumming a guitar has some truth to it; the early western US cattle business borrowed lot from Mexico.

It spread over the US from there. Probably got back to the British Isles the long way around, I shouldn't wonder.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:52 PM

What old recordings?

Guitars have been accompanying folk singers since well before recording was invented - maybe not your preferred stuff but then again folk is a diverse animal! although some narrow minded people on this site want people to belive that folk is only what THEY say it is!

Playing guitar is what introduces a lot of people to the genre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:00 PM

If you wish to sing accompanied only by instruments used in 1300, Ian...no one is stopping you. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: PoppaGator
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:54 PM

Ian, the "old recordings of folk songs" you've been listening to cannot have been representative of all folk music, nor even (as suggested by Midchuck) of all "English-language" folk music. Unless, of course, you are azmong those who consider the vernacular language of the USA to be something other than English, which is (I suppose) a nearly-legitimate opinion.

Guitar accompaniment of song in the US may be "new" in terms of geological time, but it certainly predates recording technology.

I find the anti-guitar contingent among eastern-hemisphere folkies to be pretty amusing. My favorite bit of illogical instrumental prejudice: the Irish traddies who accept the Greek bouzouki as an acceptable "Irish" instrument, but who will not countenance the presence of the dreaded, evil, Spanish guitar. (Some might not even let you into the pub with a guitar case, even if you promise not to open it!)

I understand that some folks might hope to prevent the intrusion of pop-music influences by excluding guitar players. They should realize that some bouzouki players might very well present the same danger! (I had hoped to find, and provide, a link to Beth Patterson playing Led Zeppelin or something on her 'zook, but apparently she has been careful to post only legitimate "folk" stuff to her YouTube channel.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM

Blame skiffle - in the 50s.
Suddenly every kid wanted a guitar! And a lot of cheap instruments were suddenly available.
Prior to that we had a variety of instruments - piano, violin, accordion etc as well as a few guitars as backing instruments, and of course, singing unaccompanied.
I think American folkies took to guitar as lead instrument long before the British, especially in the 30s-40s but sometime after the war it really took off in other countries.
The recording industry had a lot to do with it and people sang all types of songs - music hall, hill billy, cowboy, popular etc. Tin pan alley, parlour guitars, availability of printed music all ahd something to do with it.
Then we discovered 'folk' and we all bought guitars so we could sing folksongs and be folksingers!
I blame Pete Seeger.
Luv ya Pete. XXX
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM

I object to the characterisation of all guitar work as "strumming". Even chordwork is not all strumming.

But, let's face it, with most inexperienced singers, an instrument to help the singer stay in tune and in time is a very useful thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:04 PM

Of course a guitar can work as accompaniment to the voice - but some singers seem to use the voice to accompany the guitar - which, to my mind, is not ideal ...

Personally, though, I prefer that banjo for accompanying folk songs - it works for me - not sure why.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:33 PM

I sense several defensive replies here....

I have my own preference/ bias/ prejudice but I'm not being judgemental. I am thinking of recordings made by Vaughan-Williams, Grainger, et al in the early 20th century and I am coming at it from a British perspective.

I nearly always sing unaccompanied but using 'instruments used in 1300' has an appeal. Gemshorn, symphonie and vielle for me.

Martin Carthy certainly used guitar extremely skillfully. When did he first come on the scene? (I'm pretty ignorant) Were there any before him?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:15 PM

Defensive? Naw...just having a little fun, Ian, that's all. ;-) I think those 1300s instruments would be pretty neat to listen to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM

AS someone who spent quite some time in that vein LH, (perhaps 'vain' also maybe), trust me, they are certainly neater to listen to than play.... which is why instruments have constantly been 'modernised' to make them easier to perform expressively with...

.... sackbutt I'll just leave the bladder pipe alone thanks....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM

amazing how they throw the hook out and so many bite ...

every time, never fails ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:33 PM

Fishy Folk eh?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:00 AM

Well done. Archie Fisher was playing in the early 60s, if not the late 50s. He says he was influenced by the Weavers...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:08 AM

There were a number of 78 rpm recordings (usually under the auspices of the EFDSS) od Source singers singing to guitar accompanoment in the late forties/ early fifties .
And the Early collectors were mostly collecting from impoverished elderly singers who couldnt afford ANY instruments !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:14 AM

I bet Burl Ives had more influence in England for accompanying folk songs on guitar than anyone else - early 50s, pre-dated skiffle. Perhaps also more commonly heard than the Weavers in UK.
Derek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:22 PM

Some of the climber Alastair Borthwick's writings mention singing folk-songs in Scottish Youth Hostels to guitar and mouth-organ accompaniment the year the SYHA got going....1932 IIRC. So the guitar had made at least some inroads in the UK well before WW2.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:29 PM

We bite because we opened the page in the first place just idly looking for something to do for a few minutes, Murray.

I call that a symbiotic relationship. ;-) If the "troll" is providing the fish with tasty bait, and the fish suffer no harm in taking it, what's the problem with that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM

Martin Carthy certainly used guitar extremely skillfully. When did he first come on the scene? (I'm pretty ignorant) Were there any before him? ===

Yes, afraid you are, Ian. Answer is late-50s,& there were literally 100s before Martin; he was, as you say, exceptionally skilful, & introduced several new tunings & single-string techniques, &c; but basically he simply jumped on an already rushing bandwagon ~~ long preceded by Burl Ives [far more influential guitar-wise than Seeger]; by the skifflers; by the lady who sang to Cecil Sharp in the Appalachians with guitar accompt in the 20s (one of the few genuine traditional accompd singers); & by Elton Hayes over here, who appeared about same time as early Ives ~~ ("Hayes took up the guitar shortly before World War II when he accepted one as security from a friend who had borrowed 30 shillings. Guitars would cause his later fame, accompanying him while he sang old English folk songs and ballads" [Wikipedia]). Then, also pre-Carthy, there were Henry Morris, the McEwen brothers Rory & Alex, Nancy Whiskey, Robin Hall, Jimmie McGregor, Steve Benbow ... all beat Carthy to it by at least 2 & up to 5 years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:32 PM

"Yes, afraid you are, Ian."

Look, I confessed voluntarily, OK? No need to rub it in. I seek enlightenment - can you imagine Socrates saying to Plato: "Look here, dumb cluck...."? I'm going away now, to sulk in a corner and, possibly, consume a worm or two. You'll all be sorry when I'm dead. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:36 PM

☹ ☹ ☹   Sorry Ian. Seriously, tho ~~ what you think wiki for? Easy enuf to google wiki m carthy & every ???? will be answered...

Enjoy your worms, mind. 〠


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:58 PM

The earliest American recordings of folksongs in their "native" environment included a large number of COMMERCIAL recordings of country musicians, often accompanied by banjo and fiddle, but sometimes by guitar. This is America, not Britain. These recordings were accomplished starting around 1925, and, in much larger numbers, post-1927, till the Depression cut the number way down.

Now, those early recordings also included a number of guitar players, of which the black outnumbered the white, but nonetheless there were many white guitar players by this time. Chief among these was Maybelle Carter, of the (original) Carter Family, who became country music stars, and whose influence included using guitar to accompany folksongs. So the connection of folksong and guitar predates the early country music industry (Maybelle and all the other players discovered in 1927 certainly already played that way, so the use predated those first recordings.

So, sometime between Colonial American beginnings and "modern" times, guitar-accompanied folksinging developed. In the US, the main period for this was most likely 1870-1900, when guitar (and mandolin and banjo) ensembles were popular for "parlor" music. Mandolin orchestras and banjo bands flourished; most colleges had several of each, and sheet music by the truckload was sold for home use. And mixed in with those other instruments was the use of the guitar. Decent home instruments were available, from Martin to Washburn to B&J and a hundred or more other makers (Gibson was a late-comer, in 1896, I think).

So home-made music often featured guitar accompaniment. And home-made music was religious, popular, patriotic, maudlin, comic, classical, old favorites and new-made ditties, racist, topical, and all other manner of song. Many the song that we think of as "an old folk song" was actually a 19th-Century composition intended for popularity, which passed into "popular use," and became a "folk" song. The truly ancient songs, like the collection of ballads Francis James Child was amassing, surely were at least occasionally sung in a parlor or porch, and, I'm sure, in a small number of cases, accompanied by a guitar.

And once the guitar-accompanied "old" song pattern was established, it can't have been much of a leap to have one of the old 'uns get "guitarized" just like the latest parlor song. If the Carters sang "Gypsy Davy," as they did, then why not someone playing chords or arpeggios behind "The Death of Queen Jane?" In some parts of the country, this would have been anathema; the guitar wasn't common, or was relegated to use by black players. In other parts of the country, the guitar was a regular parlor instrument, lying on the piano, perhaps bedecked with a fancy cloth strap; in these areas, "Queen Jane" was probably pretty much unknown. But in the country as a whole, there must have been areas, pockets, or at least adventuresome individuals who would have combined them.

And if you think that American "country" music ISN'T "folksong," just look over the songs recorded by the pioneering companies in the late 1920s. Essentially, every possible song was "fair game," and the penchant for old, established songs, such as ballads, among "country" artists, meant that no difference was made by them in their approach to their material.


Bob


Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM

Carl Sandburg gave recitals of folk songs with guitar accompaniment in the Twenties.
He may have been the first person in America to bill himself as a "folk singer".

Singing and playing with guitar goes back to Renaissance Spain using the Vihuela, a predecessor of the guitar.

I would imagine there were troubadours who sang a kind of folk music in those days
with guitar or vihuela accompaniment although the vihuela was considered a "court" instrument rather than one played by the "folk".

Burl Ives, Carl Sandburg and early country singers used guitar as accompaniment.
Richard Dyer-Bennet concertized with classical style accompaniments as did William Clausen.

I think it's popularity in the US came from Mexico and was picked up by American cowboys.

Blues players such as Blind Lemon Jefferson found it convenient as a "street" instrument, particularly the metal bodied Nationals.

For many UK and Irish ballads, though, they were unaccompanied.

I don't know when it came in but African "High Life" and other forms of popular music used guitar. I don't know when that started.

The Folk Revival with the guitar can be attributed first to Woody Guthrie, Southern fingerpicking by such as Hobart Smith, the use of the steel-strung guitar rather than nylon or gut strings, blues players and Leadbelly on the twelve string. Josh White popularized the blues style of playing in New York although there had already been recordings made by blues musicians which Josh listened to. Skiffle and Lonnie Donnegan came in later modeled after the "Jug Band" music from the Afro-American recordings.

The guitar was popular in New Orleans traditional jazz music before the tenor or plectrum banjo.

The banjo and fiddle seemed to be the instruments of choice in Appalachian songs.

The country music of the Twenties by Jimmy Rodgers and the Carters due to Ralph Peer in Atlanta and Bristol Tennesee influenced the use of guitar accompaniment for folk songs.

I think it's safe to say that the guitar had a checkered history in the accompaniment of what we think of as folk songs. (Without opening up that can of worms).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM

Consider that wandering minstrels in medieval England are often depicted playing the lute... apparently they travelled their area as something of a 'musical newspaper'...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:28 PM

I think most mediaeval iconography depicts minstrels using a harp rather than a lute. Lutes are extremely delicate and temperamental instruments highly unsuited to the road and a million miles away from the guitar. Mind (he said grudgingly) you may have a pointlet - the cittern (a sort of renaissance bouzouki) was hung up in barber shops so that 17th century customers could busk a version of 'Ye Owle & Ye Pussyecatte' while they were waiting their turn.

MtheGM - I do look at Wiki but I would never rely on it.

Songbob - I cannot, in my wildest nightmares, imagine Child ballads sung to a guitar accompaniment. I reckon the rot set in with the GIs - overpaid, oversexed, overguitared and over here.

Stringsinger - I go with your vision of singers improvising with citoles, citterns or vihuelas but more likely the easier and sturdier citterns. However, in Englandshire, this tradition had been long dead by the time Burl Ives reared his beaming, eccentrically-bearded head.

I'm left wondering when the review was written which said: "You'll never believe this, but Joe Soap sang 'John Barleycorn' and accompanied himself on the 'guitar'- an instrument with six strings, popular in foreign parts".

These worms are OK fried in breadcrumbs with tabasco sauce...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:57 PM

The late Tim Hart (Steeleye Span) was once asked about using electric instruments to accompany traditional folk song.

His response was that at the time they were first written/performed, they would have been sung unaccompanied if no instruments were available, or accompanied with whatever was available at the time.

The use of guitars, (acoustic or electric) and other instruments, squeezeboxes, fiddles, banjo, whatever is merely continuing this process.

I think Tim Hart showed in that statement a great understanding of the tradition and faultless logic. Long may our tradition be kept going in this fashion!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:18 PM

IanA: Songbob - I cannot, in my wildest nightmares, imagine Child ballads sung to a guitar accompaniment.

Most have been. Oh you mean "back then". This is nothing but prejudice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:14 AM

We know that Thomas Moore's poems were set to music and sung by ladies using guitar accompaniment as far back as the late 1700's.

Is 220 years long enough to establish a tradition?

People were probably doing it before then, because the guitar is an adaptable, accessible instrument.
==========

Asking when people started playing chords on guitar is like asking when people started tying their shoelaces. It's an act so natural that nobody comments on it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:56 AM

Professor Child was American... it's surprising how many people assume him to have been English.

I'm English, and sing a number of Child ballads to guitar accompaniment... 'Queen Eleanor's Confession' and 'The Golden Vanity' to name but two.

Waspish criticism of someone else's personal preferences is rather perplexing. Is it not acceptable to air an opinion, but arrogant to try to impose that opinion upon someone else?

An odd parallel to this thread is the fact that most fair organs now use MIDI to control the pallets rather than the pneumatic keys or 'keyless' systems.

Some purists are horrified at the thought, but fair organs have always been at the cutting edge of whatever technology was available, and it really makes little (if any) difference to the sound because people have used equipment to transcribe the old card books to MIDI made from old key frames, microswitches and MIDI bits from Maplin...!

Bizarrely, some organ operators actually have a card book on display as if it's running the organ even though MIDI is really doing the job...

So Tim Hart (courtesy of Bounty Hound) has a valid point IMHO.

As for my reference to lute-playing minstrels... yes, they also played harp, hurdy-gurdy, viol, rebec - in fact, as Tim Hart suggested, any instrument that came to hand. I've read it on t'internet, so it must be true...!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: buddhuu
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:03 AM

With or without troll intent in the OP, I find the discussion interesting.

I tend to see logic in BountyHound's retelling of Tim Hart's wisdom. My own personal preference is for light accompaniment with acoustic instruments, but I can see validity in the use-what's-to-hand thing.

Certainly it seems unlikely that the traditional songs' writers lost sleep worrying that instruments of the future may somehow ruin their work.

As I say, I personally draw the line according to the powercut-in-a-field test. If you can play it in a powercut, or in the middle of a field, then it may just be ok.

This mostly eliminates electric guitars, synths and DJ decks... ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM

Ben Franklin was known to play guitar, as was Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France and, if you believe the Milwaukee Journal, so was Emperor Nero (though he was famous for a different instrument).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM

As I said before - I sense some defensive postings here. If you look at my opening post, there is no preference expressed at all - it was an honest question and I'm still not clear as to when the guitar became widely accepted in the British folk scene. Elton Hayes doesn't exactly 'do it' for me. Nor do I see Moore's poetry set to music as 'folk music'.

It may be useful to say that this is my first posting on this forum and I have no knowledge of any funny stuff which may have happened before. Any suggestion of 'trolling' is very wide of the mark. I think it is true to say that the guitar was not a popular instrument in the 19th century either for classical or traditional genres. My understanding is that the ukulele was brought to Britain by whalers and other mariners - I wonder whether some forebitters might have seen a guitar accompaniment. Tricky keeping gut strings in tune in a marine environment though...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM

I suspect that Alex Campbell and some of his Scottish contemporaries may well have pre-dated Mr Carthy,although probably not by that much.Personally,I was more familiar ,at the age of about 8,with the likes of Messrs Hayes,Ives,Grant,Hall,and McGregor,because they were seen & heard via the media of TV & Radio,and Martin was not !
    I have long been of the opinion that the guitar is a very versatile instrument,well-suited to use by "folk" singers and others,and was only relatively less well known before ,say,the 1940s due to a chronic lack of supply,and the expense of obtaining such an instrument in the first place ; home- made hammered dulcimers and fiddles were one (quite common,I believe) option,but complex luthiery was almost certainly beyond the wit of even the most accomplished of 19th C English or US carpenters ( other than Mr Martin & Mr Gibson,of course , but would the average working-class Joe have been able to afford one of their offerings ?? --- No !! ).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM

One of the earliest guitar players in the Eltham area of London was the great Dave Kenningham. He can still be heard playing at The Blackheath Rugby Club every Wednesday.

In the old days they used quills and stuff for plectums - I've lost mine!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM

IanA ~~ agree Wiki not to be uncritically relied on: but if it sez M Carthy was born 1941, I guess you could believe that much?!

Go on enjoying the Diet of Worms ...

`Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 12:47 PM

I believe the simplest answer is probably the right one - guitars are portable, plentiful and relatively straightforward for a beginner to achieve acceptable results quickly.

Other instruments are also available...

My first foray into folk was playing flute in an Irish trio at college, circa 1968... I was already able to play guitar, so that followed, then the 5-string banjo, and mandolin, and accordion, and Anglo concertina, and English concertina, etc., etc!!

To put it in perspective, I learned to play guitar by strumming along to the Shadows, Beatles and Stones, and painstakingly working out the lead guitar bits. I think the turning point was hearing someone play 'The Streets of London' fingerstyle then seeing Bob Axford playing Ragtime... I put down the plectrum there and then!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 01:10 PM

The daughter of The Vicar Of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith, 1766, sings for guests, with her father's encouragement, to accompaniment of a guitar. So altho he a poor clergyman, an instrument was affordable and socially welcome for such a purpose mid-C18.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 04:39 AM

SO how many Ballads did this prof Child write then?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:06 AM

My impression is that the guitar came into the British folk revival via America, where it was an established folk instrument. The 1950s revival was initially strongly influenced by American folk and blues, which turned into a realisation that there were British traditions to explore too (of course, there were some who had always pursued British music).

Whilst it is true that English traditional singers mostly performed unaccompanied, there were exceptions - Bob Roberts, who accompanied himself on melodeon comes to mind. Until rock-and-roll, the guitar did not have a high profile in popular music, so it is unsurprising that it wasn't taken up by many traditional musicians. However there were a few - Fred Devo (son in law of the Norfolk melodeon player and singer Percy Brown), and of course Peerie Willie Johnson in Shetland. I also have an old folk magazine with an even older photo of an Orkney guitarist playing with a steel.

Rightly or wrongly, the guitar is now an established instrument in British folk music, and a British style of playing have been developed to reflect the characteristics of that music. Whether or not you like it is a matter of personal taste. As for Child Ballads, plenty of guitarists have managed to produce some superb versions with guitar accompaniment - Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and Brian Peters to name but a few.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:12 AM

I have to disagree, Howard. The guitar was important in music before rock and roll. The music it was in was country music.
(Not to be mistaken for modern so-called Country.)

Here's a link to a video where two elderly brothers talk about how they started playing fiddle and guitar in Georgia in 1932.

Gosh, they are a couple of charmers. I warn you, you have to concentrate to understand them, what with their accents and the rather poor recording equipment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeMCLU4Pbn0

"Times was hard then. I knew a man got married just to get the rice."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: JohnB
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:46 AM

Dec 24th 1818 "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht" was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr's guitar.
Or so says various internet sources, bloody singer songwriters I'd rather hear a Guitar/Child Ballad or two from the sources mentioned above by Howard Jones.
JohnB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM

Leenia, I was referring to the situation in the UK, as was the OP. In America, I agree the guitar was much more prominent. However I doubt whether the styles of music you're referring to were heard much in the UK except by a few enthusiasts. It's true that by the 1940s the guitar was starting to come more to the fore in jazz, but it was the 1950s, when rock and roll, skiffle and the folk revival all came along at roughly the same time, that suddenly everyone was playing guitar.

However I only offered that as a possible explanation why the guitar hardly featured among traditional musicians in the UK. The only British guitarist I've heard play who came from, and played within, a living musical tradition was the Shetlander 'Peerie' Willie Johnson, and his guitar style seemed to derive more from jazz rhythm guitar than from American folk/old-time/country/bluegrass styles.

Folk revival guitarists, on the other hand, were originally influenced by American folk and blues styles, and often played American material, until they began to develop a more distinctively British style more suited to British music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 01:57 PM

Peerie Willie was a law unto himself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM

your comment is debatable Howard,
Folk revival guitarists, on the other hand, were originally influenced by American folk and blues styles, and often played American material, until they began to develop a more distinctively British style more suited to British music.
I would say that is too much of a genearlisation,certain songs are quite well suited to american styles,for example the leaving of liverpool works very well in carter thumb melody style,in standard tuning.
there is no such thing as a,British style on the guitar,if you are referring to other tunings,other than standard let me remind you that they are used in american banjo picking,dgdgcd, dgcgcd,and others even dadgad,which of course is not originally british but brought to england by davy graham via morocco.
british guitar style is not something pure but has its origins in several different roots.
many of the exponents of so called british guitar music[ eg martin simpson]have been influenced by american music,even Martin Carthyto some extent,influenced by davy graham[moroccan dadgad]and big bill broonzy.
there is no such thing as a british style,there are anumber of distinctly diferent styles within british music NIC JONES [Quite different from Carthy or Simpson[other than that they dont use standard tuning].
really it depends upon the song,as to how it should be accompanied of course child ballds can be accompanied on any instrument including the guitar,its not the instrument but the skill of the accompanist,however,I do believe that it is easier to sing them well unacompanied,for the simple reason that the singer has only one thing to concentrate on [the interpretation of the song]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 04:57 PM

"however,I do believe that it is easier to sing them well unacompanied,for the simple reason that the singer has only one thing to concentrate on [the interpretation of the song]"

My feeling exactly. I have to confess, though, that my conclusions may be coloured by the fact that I can't play the guitar for toffee.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Melissa
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 05:28 PM

(thanks for that video, leeneia!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 05:59 PM

You're very welcome, Melissa.

As for the guitar discussion, musical stlyles have been sloshing across the pond for at least 200 years. Not just forth, but back, too.

For example, I was bemused to find tunes in Welsh which had been adapted from minstrel shows.

For those new to the Mudcat, 'styles sloshing across the pond' means 'styles being borrowed, adapted, and sent back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean.'

And a transponder is not a electrical device, it is a person on the other side of the Atlantic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:31 PM

Well, its not just guitars but simple stringed instruments that can be easially played... There are drawings from the American Civil War of simple stringed instruments using cigar boxes as sound boxes being played in various camps... The guitar is a logical choice in that it is has a fuller sound than a violin, mandolin or banjo so "folk music" being what it is there is really no other instrument that would have been as universally appealing than a guitar...

MO, of course...

B~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM

A thoughtlet - can we link the introduction of the guitar as an acceptable accompaniment for folk music to the rise of the 'folk club'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 08:33 AM

It could well be linked to the rise of the folk club, but to what extent would probably be difficult to prove. Certainly it is still the predominant instrument on a Singers' Night at our club (We average over twenty singers). Coming in second would be the unaccompanied singer, with the odd one or two choosing other instruments.


"however,I do believe that it is easier to sing them well unacompanied,for the simple reason that the singer has only one thing to concentrate on [the interpretation of the song]"

Rather a sweeping generalisation...

Yes, it may well hold good for those who are less than comfortable playing an instrument - such as those who ask for 'the chords to...'. If you're really comfortable with the instrument, you can play seemingly without having to think about it.

It may also be valid for those who are not comfortable playing and singing at the same time.

However, I feel that there is a significant number of us who are both comfortable with our instruments AND with singing whilst playing.

Those of us in the latter category often do not even need to work out an accompaniment in advance, as we can easily sing whilst the accompaniment works itself out independantly. Okay, that's probably not how it actually happens, but that's how it feels.

I've never found an accompaniment (guitar, banjo, mandolin, accordion, English and Anglo concertina) hinders my interpretation and expression of a song, in fact it often helps - the two become one.

That said, there are songs I sing unaccompanied, simply because I prefer the song that way. Similarly, there are songs which I will accompany with one instrument in preference to the others, because that's how it 'sounds right' to me.

We're all different, we all have our own likes and dislikes, and the world is a better place for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Florian
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 10:28 AM

The parochial Anglocentrism of certain Mudcat posters becomes quite wearying, especially when combined with a fetish for some elusive notion of 'authenticity'. Britain is merely one outpost of the folk universe; if the use of the guitar was successfully imported from other traditions, what's the point of complaining about its subsequent prevalence? Instruments cannot be disapproved out of existence.

Obviously, accompaniments (on guitar as on any other instrument) can be lazy or monotonous, but that's a different discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 10:59 AM

Well said Guest Florian.

I found this quite interesting for example.

Pete.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM

Any guitarists looking to do folksong accompaniment... I'm still looking for one (in Bristol UK).

Sue


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM

I have honestly wondered 'Why' myself sometimes, when at a Folk Song Session where 90% of the contributors use guitar.

As a relative newbie to traditional folk (but not to rock & pop genres), it was both surprising and a bit of a let down to me to discover guitars everywhere you look as I assumed something a bit different to what I was used to elsewhere.

But was wrong! I grew up with guitars, I even have about five in my own bloody house. I think I was hoping for something a bit different to what I was so used to! No kidding, just stuff I've inherited somehow.

Honestly, bring in the dulcimer, the mandolin, the fiddle, the anything else ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM

I do, I do!!

;o)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 09:08 PM

i have to say that i have never run into traditionalist irish who like the bouzouki and won't allow guitar. my experience is some won't allow any fretted stringed instruments. they do not appear in older irish music, however they have a big part in the revival. the bouzouki does have a celtic provanance of sorts by the way. scotts played the english guitar and other citterns right back to the early renaisance. the bouzouki was a cheap and available instrument that filled that role in the revival along with the portuguese guitar. you'll find as bands got richer the guitarras and bouzoukia were often put aside for luthier made modern citterns to fill that roll. in ireland there were no such instruments of any number but they picked uo the sound, especially after sweeneys men tried bringing the mandolin sound of bluegrass into modern irish.   a return of the american scottish irish rooted tradition back to the homeland. people loved it and hence the double strung fretted instruments took off like crazy.   
however traditionalists were not amused and still will gold sessiuns where you can't play a fretted instrument. me i'n cape breton gaelic, so i don't feel any problem with adding fretted instruments including the guitar. in the trip over the water we lost all the traditional instruments except the fiddle and bagpipes. the early clearances and homesteading was rough so they were mostly illiterate and played little music that couldn't be kept in your head. so i a way the traditionalist singers were un accompanied but only by force, as son as they got the werewith all to get more instrument they played them, guitar and piano were common as they were easily available and complimented the music.

the idea that accapella is more traditional is neo traditionalists trying to make a virtue out of necessity. the musically challenged can't play very well so they say no one did. the real reason they played solo was poverty plain and simple in england and the celtic countries. most people started playing instruments as soon as they could get them. that same neo traditionalist thing led to wierd notions. childe once visited the west coast of ireland in the midst of the gealic revival and said "i found much filigree and orniment but little that you could call music" pure class and ethnic bigotry. he wanted his folk to fit a preconcieved idea and he didn't collect songs that didn't fit it. such as songs of working class rebellion and struggle and songs that were bawdy and i assure you the clts were never as parsimoniuos as the english. in canada helen creighten was similar. she ignored songs of poverty and class revolt in english. she couldn't speak gaelic or french so when she collected the franco-gaelic songs she included the bawdy and revolutionary as she didn't know it was there and her early translators didn't inform her they just collected them separately or didn't translate them. she was trying the find a folk music that reflected her south halifax bourgeoise world view.

those atacking the guitar as non traditional are doing the same thing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: meself
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM

Helen Creighton did great work. And she did not do anything to prevent anyone else going out and finding the songs that she had missed or neglected. Don't blame her if no one could be bothered.

-------------

Speaking of Helen Creighton, these lines are from Jolly Roving Tar (not the sing-along song of the same title), a song she collected:

Oh, many's the pleasant evening my love and I did pass,
With many's the jovial sailor lad and many's the fair, young lass,
With a fiddler sweetly playing, likewise a wild guitar,
I went hand in hand together with my jolly roving tar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: meself
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 10:05 PM

I can't remember where that's published; it's not in Songs & Ballads of NS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 04:13 AM

All the truly GREAT folk legends played Guitar as first choice as accompaniment.

Bob Dylan
Donovan
Woody Guthrie
Phil Ochs
Roy Harper
Richard Thompson
Roger McGuinn.

The cittern, Luet, Bazouki etc are inferior curiosities that floundered in the survival of the fittest.

Piano is probably one of the better accompaniment instruments but not suitable for the folky masses becausr of it's size.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 12:37 PM

What about...Tony Rose (English concertina)
John Kirkpatrick (Melodeon, Anglo concertina)
Dave Swarbrick (Fiddle, mandolin)
Alastair Anderson (English Concertina)
Sara Grey (5 string banjo)
I suppose it depends upon your definition of 'truly GREAT folk legend'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 02:27 PM

Samuel Pepys on the guitar...August 5, 1667

"After done with the Duke of York, and coming out through his dressing room, I there spied Signor Francisco tuning his guitar, and Monsieur de Puy, with him who did make him play to me which he did most admirably - so well that I was mightily troubled that all that pains should have been taken upon so bad an instrument"

Mind you a guitar tutor (don't know if it was "Play In A Day" by Albertus Weedonensis) is still preserved among his papers and he mentions "Barbary Allen" in the diary. So he may have get fed up with tuning lutes and taken his guitar, and no doubt Deb Willetts, to the Restoration equivalent of a session.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 02:53 PM

But when Pepys mentions the actress Mrs Knipps' singing of Barbara Allen, he doesn't IIRC, mention what accompt, if any, she used.   I mention again however that, precisely 100 years after that, Goldsmith has a character, the hero's daughter, in his The Vicar Of Wakefield (1766), who frequently sings to the her own guitar accompaniment to universal appreciation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: kendall
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 03:33 PM

I used to wonder how Nero could play an instrument that had not yet been invented. Then it dawned on me, it's a metaphor.

I've heard some singers who could stay on key and in time without an instrument, but folkies are usually not that well trained.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 06:05 AM

Of course, a mid-eighteenth century guitar would not be a guitar as we know it today and I imagine (though I don't know) that Goldsmith's character was not singing 'John Barleycorn'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 08:47 AM

a mid-eighteenth century guitar would not be a guitar as we know it today

Why not? If it had frets, tuning pegs, a neck, a body, and a sound hole, I suspect it would be recognisable as such.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 11:36 AM

Perhaps it might need strings?! Sorry, couldn't resist!

The strings would be gut rather than steel wire (late 19th C), but otherwise pretty much the same I would think.

Okay, the style of performance would be different, too, but that applies to many instruments - woodwind (particularly flute and clarinet) were significantly different prior to the introduction of the Boehm system (mid 19th C).

I reckon I'd be able to play a guitar from circa 1750 without any bother, but the flute or clarinet from that era would be much more of a challenge!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: meself
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 12:49 PM

Folkie: Will I be able to play this circa 1750 guitar without any bother?

Musicologist: Certainly!

Folkie: That's great - I've always wanted to play guitar!

Ba-da-da bing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 01:16 PM

IanA has a point though. I believe the instrument called a guitar in Pepys' era had five strings but that's a century before MgM's Goldsmith reference.

My jokey reference to Sam Pepys going to sessions with Deb was wrong anyway because I don't think his servant Deb Willet (not Willetts) appeared until a year after the guitar reference in the Diary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 02:16 PM

The guitar was known in Spain. The Viheula predates the Cittern which was featured more in Elizabethan music. We don't really know when the guitar came in as an accompaniment
instrument for folk music. And which folk music?

Songs accompanied by stringed instruments were found all over the world. The guitar seems more prevalent in Spanish music. There was also an instrument called the Guitar Double. Leadbelly's twelve string guitar was a later incarnation.

The Andalusian caves employed Spanish Gypsy guitar playing called Flamenco.

When it moved into 1920's country music, it became steel-strung. Influences in ragtime shaped a finger-picking and flat-piick style in Blues and Country. This is what went over to England and was called Skiffle based on Afro-American Jug Bands. Lonnie Donegan popularized Leadbelly's songs.

Ewan McColl, Alan Lomax and Peggy Seeger had a notable influence in the popularity of the guitar in the Folk Revival. So did Jack Elliott who made Woody's songs popular.

A lot of what is called folk music is composed and accompanied.

The point of all of this is that there is no one around today who is able to pinpoint
exactly when the guitar became a folk song accompaniment instrument.

As for traditional ballad singing, only those songs who fell into the category that interested collectors such as Sharp and Child were mostly unaccompanied. Sharp considered the five-string banjo as "bowlderized" in the way that folkies today would consider the electric guitar.

There is no pure style of folksong. There are only historical examples promoted
by musicologists and folklorists with their specific interests and agendas. As a result,
it's really impossible to set a precedent in how a folk song should or shouldn't be accompanied. There is a point, though, that in order to accompany a folk song tastefully with the guitar, some knowledge of performance or background historically is important.

In my opinion, accompaniments should generally be sparse as to not interfere with song but this falls under the definition of "musicianship".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Guitars??? (as folksong accompaniment)
From: IanA
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 02:21 PM

Correct - earlier guitars had nine or ten strings in five courses. The tunings varied widely too. Frets were gut as well as the strings.


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

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


Mudcat time: 23 February 10:46 PM EST

[ Home ]

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