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No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?

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The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:52 PM
michaelr 13 Oct 10 - 09:53 PM
Rapparee 13 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM
Slag 13 Oct 10 - 10:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 10:43 PM
Tim Leaning 13 Oct 10 - 10:52 PM
Crowhugger 13 Oct 10 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Oct 10 - 11:52 PM
Ernest 14 Oct 10 - 01:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 AM
TheSnail 14 Oct 10 - 03:50 AM
giles earle 14 Oct 10 - 03:52 AM
nickp 14 Oct 10 - 03:58 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:37 AM
Nigel Parsons 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:48 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM
Hesk 14 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM
Arthur_itus 14 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM
Ruth Archer 14 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM
Arthur_itus 14 Oct 10 - 07:03 AM
Ruth Archer 14 Oct 10 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Desi C 14 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
The Sandman 14 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM
Old Vermin 14 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:02 AM
olddude 14 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM
Crane Driver 14 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM
Hamish 14 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM
Dave Sutherland 14 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM
Stringsinger 14 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Fydeplayer 14 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM
Tim Leaning 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
Bill D 14 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM
MikeL2 14 Oct 10 - 11:14 AM
Tim Leaning 14 Oct 10 - 11:38 AM
Hesk 14 Oct 10 - 11:54 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 12:41 PM
Tootler 14 Oct 10 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM
Old Vermin 14 Oct 10 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 14 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM
Tim Leaning 14 Oct 10 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,mauvepink 14 Oct 10 - 02:31 PM
Tim Leaning 14 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM
TheSnail 14 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Oct 10 - 03:51 PM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 05:01 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 06:45 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 14 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM
Stringsinger 14 Oct 10 - 09:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 09:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 11:24 PM
Rob Naylor 15 Oct 10 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Oct 10 - 04:12 AM
Arthur_itus 15 Oct 10 - 04:30 AM
buddhuu 15 Oct 10 - 04:45 AM
Slag 15 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM
Hesk 15 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM
curmudgeon 15 Oct 10 - 07:39 AM
Old Vermin 15 Oct 10 - 07:48 AM
Old Vermin 15 Oct 10 - 07:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM
Old Vermin 15 Oct 10 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 15 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM
Genie 15 Oct 10 - 06:53 PM
Tootler 15 Oct 10 - 06:57 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 10 - 07:01 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 10 - 07:02 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 10 - 07:05 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Oct 10 - 07:21 PM
Slag 16 Oct 10 - 02:54 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Oct 10 - 05:03 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Nanny Ogg 16 Oct 10 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Esme WeatherwaxI 16 Oct 10 - 05:21 AM
Tim Leaning 16 Oct 10 - 05:35 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 16 Oct 10 - 06:00 AM
Rob Naylor 16 Oct 10 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Oct 10 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Oct 10 - 09:28 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 16 Oct 10 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Hilary 16 Oct 10 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Oct 10 - 04:00 PM
Tootler 16 Oct 10 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Oct 10 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Oct 10 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Oct 10 - 03:11 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Oct 10 - 04:04 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Oct 10 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Oct 10 - 05:37 PM
Tootler 17 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM
Slag 17 Oct 10 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 10 - 05:06 AM
Tim Leaning 18 Oct 10 - 06:33 AM
Arthur_itus 18 Oct 10 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 18 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Oct 10 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 10 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM
Jack Campin 18 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM
The Sandman 18 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Oct 10 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 10 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM
Tootler 18 Oct 10 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 10 - 04:06 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 10 - 05:48 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM
Rob Naylor 19 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 10 - 06:37 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM
TheSnail 19 Oct 10 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,glueman 19 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,glueman 19 Oct 10 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 19 Oct 10 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM
The Sandman 19 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 19 Oct 10 - 12:31 PM
Goose Gander 19 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM
brezhnev 19 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM
Tim Leaning 19 Oct 10 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,999 19 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,999 19 Oct 10 - 03:29 PM
Tim Leaning 19 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM
Slag 19 Oct 10 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Oct 10 - 05:11 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 10 - 06:22 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Oct 10 - 06:23 PM
Tootler 19 Oct 10 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Oct 10 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Oct 10 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 10 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Oct 10 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 10 - 06:21 AM
Brian Peters 20 Oct 10 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM
Brian Peters 20 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
Will Fly 20 Oct 10 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 10 - 08:55 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 20 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM
Phil Edwards 20 Oct 10 - 06:59 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Oct 10 - 07:23 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Nov 10 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Patsy, pretending to work 16 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM
GUEST 16 Nov 10 - 03:29 PM
Tootler 16 Nov 10 - 06:25 PM
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Subject: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:29 PM

Look guys, we've tried it for ages from the other way, and got nowhere - so, in desperation, I thought using the logical principle like Sherlock Holmes of eliminating all that can NOT possibly be, then maybe we can find the 3 or 4 REAL Folk tunes/Songs we all agree on, we can make progress!

We can then issue an edict on behalf of The Folk Police and all will be well!

The Folk Police is a new band that I will be forming, along the lines of Conrad's thesis of FRED Fookmoosic, to be only performed in vacant fields (Anybody who wants to loan their farm would be welcome!) for free.

Bring your own shovel so you can shit in the hedges. Special Guest artist WAV will be performing his entire repert, refartory, er approved list of poems and songs.

Anybody know a brewery that won't mind if we borrow a few kegs?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:38 PM

The Folk Police:

Mission Statement.

Any song you wish to perform, must be presented to the Committee (me, 3 random passers by and my mate's dog) with no less than 3 A4 pages double spaces (room for comments and dog's muddy paws) od documentation from approved sources such as Wikipedia. When approved, this document must be read out before the item can be performed.

Player capabilities: None necessary. Instruments will be drawn by lot before each item performed. Any singer who can hold a note will be retrained - please bring your own bucket.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:52 PM

Just a quick thought.

Now, I'm serious about this. We don't need mischief making anonymous posters posting under fake names. Please only post if you sincerely want to see improvements in our manufactured culture.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:53 PM

Hey, Townes Van Zant said it best, years ago:

There's only two kinds of music: The blues and zippity-doo-dah.

Let the police chew on that!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM

Well, Mozart's Requiem probably isn't folk music. Nor is JS Bach's stuff.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:13 PM

Kind of reminds me of the C&W song quite a few years back, "He Ain't Country". I had to agree with the artist (who's name escapes me at the moment) and I went one step further and added his name to his list.

But isn't that the point? Each person has to determine what is and what isn't. In so doing, we define ourselves. We have bull's eyes and and a whole lot of agreement. Standard stuff. Then we have the next ring and the next. My target may have many features in common with yours and not so many with the next guy. What the last ring may be is quite arbitrary but it won't be a matter of much agreement except perhaps the opinion of the artist.

Just don't be like the guy who shot his arrow at the side of the barn and then painted the bull's eye around the arrow!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:43 PM

No guys, C& W and Classical - that's not playing fair!

What you have to demonstrate is music that is called 'Folk' but is clearly not.

I'm sitting here in my little room with my little piece of paper ready to make notes. If you can't come up with some sensible suggestions, then I'll just have to use it for the other purpose and then find another piece of paper. I'm running out of corn cobs.

And Slag - just keep the Bull out of the China Shop ok?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:52 PM

No no a thousand times no....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 11:26 PM

Okay who sprung my computer screen into a parallel universe? I could swear someone says they wanna define folk, and using a minus sign yet!


There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 11:52 PM

for starters:

machinistic contemporary long hair music where the instruments are forced to scream, gurgle, scurry, blat or overblow. No melody is allowed. I call this stuff 'ink ank oink.'

Any music where the chord symbols have more than one feature after the chord name. D7 is okay. D7sus4 is not.

Any vocal music (such as a John Rutter alto part) which a musical person has to practice 40 times before mastering.

Any instrument which costs more than an average home. Pipe organ comes to mind.

Sorry, but I won't be around for a while to hear the cheers and huzzahs which are sure to greet this breakthrough. (yeah right)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 01:40 AM

Anything horses sing.....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 AM

Now we're making some philosophical progress, but to satisfy people like Conrad, we need concrete examples of an exclusionary nature.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:50 AM

You want to satisfy Conrad?!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: giles earle
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:52 AM

John Cage's so-famous 4 minutes 33 seconds

Could any folk musician honestly say he/she could sit with an instrument ready in their hands, and not play it, for even one minute 33?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: nickp
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:58 AM

Giles, I could... but I'm only an amateur not a musician *grin*


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM

I've just played Cage's piece as a silent D7sus4 chord on my guitar. Sounded pretty folky - funky even - to me. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM

OK Giles, that's the first definite elimination.

Sorry Will, just because YOU like it (and for that matter can play it by ear), doesn't always make it Real Folk, even if you are trying to bring it into the 'tradition'.

The committee, - well, my mate (the one with the dog) didn't understand it anyway. The first ruling of the committee is that dogs should not be excluded from folk meetings, well, some dogs, my mate can't get a dog sitter anyway.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM

Will, if you get to the net High Brooms "diddley" maybe we could duet on the Cage piece? I'm pretty sure that I've mastered it well enough not to hit any bum notes.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- wNohat IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:37 AM

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! It's OUT O.U.T!!! OUT! The Folk Police have Ruled on it!

Well, I suppose you can play it on your own outside of meetings then....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

"John Cage's so-famous 4 minutes 33 seconds

Could any folk musician honestly say he/she could sit with an instrument ready in their hands, and not play it, for even one minute 33? "

Is there any evidence that any instrument was actually present during that recording?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

Rob - it's a deal. I'll play the first 2'16"" while you get the beers in, then you can take over the next 2'33" while I have a drink. We'll play together for the last second.

Perhaps they'll include this arrangement in the next published edition of "Rise Up Drinking".


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM

I can't add up either.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:48 AM

No! No! Stop! Not Allowed! Go Away!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM

Perhaps they'll include this arrangement in the next published edition of "Rise Up Drinking".

I sometimes have problems "rising up" when I've been drinking!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hesk
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM

Anything that I don't like listening to in a field,
And anything that I don't like listening to in the shed round the back of the pub.
This includes cows and electrical fittings.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:57 AM

FT: The first ruling of the committee is that dogs should not be excluded from folk meetings

I suppose that rules out "Seamus" as being an acceptable song, then:

I was in the kitchen
Seamus (that's the dog) was outside
Well, I was in the kitchen
Seamus, my old hound was outside
Well, you know the sun was sinking slowly
But my hound just sat right down and cried


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM

According to both the Horse Definition and the 1954 Definition, all music is Folk Music, though in the latter case we must pay special attention the words Folk and Community which in terms of a revival mooted entirely in terms of class condecension means the lower uneducated orders of society entirely innocent of the significance of what they did, much less to have had any hand in its creation. Personally, I don't think any music is truly Folk Music, because I don't believe the Folk existed outside of the fevered imaginations of Cecil Sharp and his merry band of cultural pranksters - certainly not in the form they were perceived as existing (and patronised accordingly). It would be easier to talk about Folkie Music, the music not of the Folk, but the Folkies - we Folkies indeed; we disparate band of cultural reprobates who not only derive pleasure from such anachronisic hollerings (however so misbegotton or else acquired) but perceive a contemporary relevance therein over and above mere preservation, God Forbid.

As for 4'33", it was never so much about silence as it was about deep listening, especially in the context of a concert hall. One reads of Cage spending time in the anechoic chamber of Harvard University and experiencing the sounds of his own nervous system - this much, and more, features in the WIKI entry for a piece which is frequently used by Mudcatters to express their wide-eyed bafflement on the nature of such music. Personally, I find Bob Dylan more baffling than John Cage, and would opt for even the most uneventful rendition of 4'33" than having to sit though anyone singing Mr Tambourine Man, but there you go. Of course there is that special circumstance when during a performance of 4'33" a busker pitches up nearby and proceeds to sing Mr Tambourine Man and thus, unwittingly, becomes part of the piece itself as peceived by that particular audience.

*

Talking of Mr Tambourine Man, I read the other day that Joe 'Habao' Texidor passed three years ago, October 2007. In terms of both the 1954 Definition and No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? I wonder what 'catters make of this?

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - I Say A Little Prayer - Live 1969 - featuring Joe Habao Texidor (tambourine & vocal)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM

This is my understanding of the pure folk music
Quote
The term, which originated in the 19th century, has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by word of mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers.
Unquote

Therefore based on that, what isn't folk gets a bit easier.

This is an example of a song that many people believe to be traditional, but isn't as it was written in the 1960's and the person who wrote it is still alive and a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly. However this song is as good as any traditonal song. It was recorded live in March 2010 by Mudcatter Sooz, at Faldingworth Live and a great job she did of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-yzh8bO6PM

It's quite strange, but a few weeks ago at a local singaround that I Mc'ed, John Conolly came along and I asked him to finish off the evening with Fiddlers Green. He explained all about the song etc and then sang it.
A woman sitting next to me, who was Irish, was singing along, who to my knowledge, was not really a folky. Afterwards, I asked her how she knew the song. She said that she and her family sang the song often and until this evening, had always thought it was traditional and had no clue to the origins. It came as a big shock to her, to be sitting in front of the person who wrote it and was singing it.

Is that the sort of thing you are looking for Foulestroupe?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM

Arthur: Had the same thing at a singaround last week. A young, very Nationalistic lad of Irish extraction was there, and very proud of the fact that he "only plays trad Irish music". He proceeded to regale us with Fiddler's Green and was most put out (not to say disbelieving) when I told him it was written by a bloke from Grimsby who's not only still alive, but regularly performing!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM

Not sure what happened there, but whilst I rather die than be called a 'Catter', I have to thank Suibhne for the link to the Roland Kirk youtube clip.

Quite, quite wonderful.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM

*an aside*

And a really entertaining performer he is.

When I introduced John Conolly at a concert at Whitby this year as the man who wrote Fiddler's Green, the first thing he said, after sound-checking with a bit of The Punch and Judy Man (the sound check itself earned a ripple of applause) was, "Right, I'm not singing that. Or Fiddler's Green."

And he was true to his word! Fair play. Must be dispiriting to have people always turning up to hear just two songs!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:03 AM

Ruth

John has such a wide variety of funny and serious songs and is a true entertainer. I don't think people go just to hear Fiddlers Green. I know I don't. However many do enjoy it if he does it.

John on the singaround, did a few songs written by Bill Meek and himself. They were really good. He has a new Cd out of him and Bill and has done a few concerts based around those songs.

That is the good thing about John, he always varies his concerts.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:23 AM

At a festival like Whitby where you're doing several sets, you've got to! I thought he was great - first time I've seen him live and his songs were lovely but he was thoroughly entertaining to boot.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

For me anything after 1976 that's been in the charts ain folk music, quite a lot of it isn't really music, full stop. And of course now I'm sure many of you will post examples of music since 78 that is Worthy but I doubt it. Perhaps the definition should be - any song that is sung in music clubs 30 or more years after it's time?

Desi C


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM

Cliff Richard,Dick Miles[the last good bye one].


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM

Suibhne Astray - would it be OK to send your marvellous piece beginning "According to both the Horse Definition and the 1954 Definition, all music is Folk Music" etc to Private Eye?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:02 AM

Shorry, guysh, I got a bit exchited there before. But it'sh all right, me and my mate - he'sh da dog, no I mean, he'sh got da dag, were trying out some biersh for the nexsh meeting. Had about a doshen glasshesh, and boy, did it aroush my Mus-hic!

I don't have any problemsh rishing up after I been drinking!

......

Sorry about that fell asleep for a while there, all right now. Git that out of my system - I'll get it cleaned up later...

Look, this thread seems to have got a bit out of control.

We've had a few good suggestions, but I don't think you've been serious enough, except for that obviously over educated Sublime Ashtray guy back there a bit. Obviously he's too educated and serious for us, so Fred will con him into singing all 57 verses of that Kiddie Poem Collection thing he does all the time - The Ravens cry Fowl, or something - while we all sneak out the back.

Now if you don't all behave, I'll have to start banging my gavel!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: olddude
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM

There is only two types of music silly people, let me learn ya as my granddad use to say. There is:

1) Hillbilly
2) Western

no other music exists, it was all a dream you had


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM

Are you defining music regarding its source or its style? Songs of an impeccably 1954 folk origin may cease to be folk (for me) when sung by a classical tenor with piano accompaniment, or by a rock band with electric guitars. A song whose origin doesn't meet the 1954 definition but is sung in a more 'traditional' style, may be more acceptable (to me) as 'folk' by a stylistic definition.

Definitions are tools, and you use different tools for different jobs (at least, most of us do). One definition may be a tool to define the field of study for academic research into texts and melody lines, and concentrates on the origins of the material, another may be more concerned with what the performance sounds like.

I like (but don't claim as my own) the definition that 'if you can't carry all your gear from the car to the venue in just one trip, it's not folk music'. One thing I don't do, is claim that my definition has to be, or should be, accepted by anyone else. I really don't care that much.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hamish
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM

Dark matter. A mobile phone. A formula 1 racing car. Beef Wellington. Gravitational waves. None of these are folk music.

Whereas the Milky Way, an Aldis lamp, a bicycle, pie and mash, oceanic waves are all folk music.

Okay?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM

I suspect that the Roland Kirk clip is from the "Supershow" performance of that year? These days it has become an (unjustified) much maligned concert but I thought it consisted of some of the top names in Rock and Blues all playing at their peak.
None of it is folk music (except a bit of Buddy Guy if you consider the Blues to be a folk form as I do) however.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

It is indeed from Supershow; I've got the DVD somewhere - buy it HERE.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM

Oh Dear, I think Hamish has spent too much time Walking About Vaguely ...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM

Now look here, Mr Ashtray, advertising is not allowed - performers are not supposed to make money, you are supposed to give the stuff away for free as per the Conrad Thesis - but if you give us a small voluntary donation, we can just keep all that under the table. If you park your car over there, we'll even glue on a few complimentary doll's heads and bottle tops.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM

1. Symphonic orchestral music
2. Sophisticated modern jazz
3. Atonal music ala Schoenberg
4. Highly developed composed music through the ages including Musica Antiqua
5. Theremin music
6. Anything by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and George Gershwin and the old Broadway show writers. These tunes could never have been written communally in aural tradition.
7. Big Bill Broonzy's dictum about horses misses the point. The role of some individuals in composing music are not duplicable in a folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Fydeplayer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM

For me its a style of music not its date - those great storys about Fiddlers Green show that. If we applied Desi C rule of thirty years we exclude - Keith Marsden, Dave Webber, Tony O'Neil, Jez Lowe and some stuff what I wrote!. We can't be Victorian farm workers, north sea herring fisherman or railway navvies from where folk music sprang. Sure people still farm and I have heard many wonderful songs about the land and changing seasons in a style called folk. My local club which states '38 years of the tradition' certainly retains a strong connection with 'historic' songs but allows and encourages new 'folk style' writing.

Do the Folk Police do gigs? or do they have a residency at a club?

Jack the Knife, Won't get Fooled again and Reelin in the Years are not...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

Aldis sell some good lamps.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

Good work, Stringsinger.

I second the point about an instrument which costs more than a house.

I heard somewhere that a Lyon and Healy pedal harp costs $50,000 and it costs $450 to string it. I have fine instruments that cost less than the strings.

This may be a wild rumor. I looked on their site, but they don't give the cost of the instruments. Maybe pedal harps are priced like cars - it depends how tough a bargainer you are.

Now, when Judy Collins did the song with whales in it, were the whales doing folk music?
========
I enjoyed all y'all's posts on John Cage.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM

Rag Mop...

R-A-G-G M-O-P-P....rag mop... ya da da da de-de...rag mop...

'nuff said...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: MikeL2
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 11:14 AM

Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor - PM
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM

<" He proceeded to regale us with Fiddler's Green and was most put out (not to say disbelieving) when I told him it was written by a bloke from Grimsby who's not only still alive, but regularly performing! ">

Hi

I must be Irish.....it was sung by The Dubliners !!!!!! lol

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 11:38 AM

Nothing Dub can be folk.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hesk
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 11:54 AM

Hello Foolestroupe,

I see that you have diagnosed Hamish as having a dose of "Walking About Vaquely".
I thought I was the only one who had that particular illness. It is so good to know that I am not alone.
It is very hard carrying the burden of knowing the difference between Folk and Non Folk, and yet having to keep it a secret, that the only recourse is to do the above.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM

Someone will probably sing "Autumn Leaves" tonight: that's not folk, unless...maybe a nice wee finger-picking accompaniment??
Pachelbel's Canon - not folk but that chord progression re-appears in 100's of "folk songs".

And Trad Irish - Tom Paxton also has had his "Last Thing on my mind" given this accolade.
And Eric Bogle was pronounced dead long before his time, when Tony Blair said that his favourite song was "No Man's Land (Green Fields of France) - written by a First World War soldier", as Eric loved to tell us at his concerts!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 12:41 PM

This isn't folk either - but isn't it great?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 12:50 PM

There's always this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXa9tXcMhXQ

or this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF68OyTlP4E

or even this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DDEl7JnWvo&feature=related


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM

I was on the bus today and it went past a Conservative Club (Northern variety - probably not the same as a Conservative Club in Surrey - but Tory b.....ds all the same!). They were advertising a forthcoming evening featuring a 'Beatles Tribute Band' (a concept which leaves me feeling a trifle queasy). I bet if you were unlucky enough to attend that event you wouldn't hear much folk music!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 01:26 PM

Stringsinger "4. Highly developed composed music through the ages including Musica Antiqua"

So how about the fragment of Mozart that evolved into Michael Turner's Waltz, somewhat extending its presence by so doing?

Other tunes? Tunes people can whistle, even. The RAF March past - the number of people who could whistle that. And, literally, the other side of the 78. The Dam Busters March. Written by Eric Coates before his commission for the film. Orchestral. Used as mouth music by football crowds and by bright young things in drinking games.

Colonel Bogey? Composed by Kenneth Alford [Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts] in 1914. Very much in the oral tradition as a tune. As for the various words....

As for the couple of internal sales ladies who used to hum or la the theme from The Great Escape on Friday afternoons.

'Folk' in this context is merely a semantic label, anyway.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

How can it be music of the lower classes? I like it and I am about as high class as you can get outside of a palace...

If the thread must continue, then take the word folk out and ask what is music? My responsible adult is a bell ringer, and they class that in their minds as being music. Think it through, their "methods" are either steeped in history or written by a bloke yesterday and have more than a "ring" of tradition about them. But.. be buggered if I would call it folk music...

Folk music is what ever drifts into your head when you hear the term I suppose. So, for me, it is blokes with beards and sandals, women with ethnic skirts and issues, and somewhere along the line, blokes like me who have a nostalgic sense of recapturing a youth spent in upstairs of pubs with candles on the tables, and who are grateful for the attention when people clap as we sing songs about something we have never experienced...

Bloody good fun though, all the same.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM

Ooh, did someone mention John Connolly? Now that's got me remembering back to Otley Folk Festival a few years back...I had such a great evening..and of course, The Duncan McFarlane Band were there too...

From the old, now defuncted BBC board..from (cripes) FIVE years back! Not sure who wrote this, but they seemed to have had almost as good a time as I did! ;0)

>>>>Nah then...Otley Folk Festival
Messages 1 - 20 of 20
< Previous 1 Next >

Message 1 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

So why didn't you all tell me about Otley Festival then? Come on…why have you all been keeping it quiet from me?

I…well….how do I convey to you what Otley Folk Festival is about?

OK…here we go then. Happiness….that's what Otley is about…laughter, twinkly eyes, Yorkshire accents …and friendliness. Oh! Everyone is SO friendly, I've never know anything like it!….and Yorkshire Fish and Chips!

Mmmmmm….do you know they serve you tea as part of your meal in Yorkshire….and the sweet lady who brings it to you, smiles from ear to ear and they charge half of what they charge down here…and your plate is piled high with food.. AND they still have tomato sauce and vinegar in….bottles! Eee champion! No messy bits of plastic wrappers that put your BP up and make you go and not only that but Yorkshire people talk to you in the restaurant! Yup!! Champion champion!! And they laugh and giggle and say things like "Eee you know where you are with fish'n'chips and then everyone chortles together….Oh it was a great meal…great company! Eee…it were champion!

So…Saturday evening started in the wine bar…well…actually I thought it was the wine bar, but it turned out to be…..Otley Folk Club! ME….in a Folk Club! And it wasn't scary…it really wasn't! I think I was told it was a wine bar so I wouldn't run away….

Anyway, we got there at 7.30pm, having driven for nearly 6 hours all the way up from The Isle of Wight… and then…. We were met by a 'House Full' sign! Can you believe it? I mean 6 hours in the car and the ONLY thing that kept me from experiencing Extreme Cabin Fever was the thought of seeing The Duncan McFarlane Electric Band at the end of it….and then a 'House Full' sign appears….but luckily for us four people came out and we were able to go in. This was extremely fortunate as I was about ready to commit some truly dreadful deed, in order to get in, and could see myself spending the next few years in Holloway Prison if we'd been left outside. But The Gods were smiling on us, so we went in and found a small corner to literally squeeze into. Eee…it were reet 'ot in there!

Cont.

Message 2 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

Cont…..Robin Garside and John Connolly were on when we arrived… they were just about to sing' Punch and Judy Man' John was telling us how he wrote it….on his Honeymoon…well…they were at Sidmouth Festival at the time so that was perfectly OK …..and instantly I was home…back in Sidmouth…yet standing in Yorkshire…isn't that weird….and it was a song all about summers from way back ."…Mr Punch and Judy man, time flows like the yellow sand., bring me back the childhood land of summers long ago…." And we were all singing along and then John told us all about…..Cleethorpes…Eee what a reet fine place! I've got to go there one day…apparently they have a Latin Quarter…and haddock and morris men…which all sounds disturbingly exotic to me.

And they sang 'The Banks of Green Willow' and I came over all 'traditional' again….Diane would have been proud of me! And there were songs about Sewage Works, which had us doubled up with giggles…you SO wouldn't believe where that man kept his sandwiches (!) and 'Fiddlers Green' and John was telling us all about how he wrote the song and how many things had been named after it…. Oh…..they were just wonderful….. "…just tell me old shipmates I'm taking a trip mates and I'll see you someday in Fiddlers Green…"

And then Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman were on….all the way from Devon to Yorkshire….same as us, except for our slight diversion via the IOW. Poor things just managed to get on stage in time as they'd shut their keys in the car at the last moment….with all their instruments.still inside. Talk about a stressful way to start a gig, but they did us all proud and Kathryn has such a beautiful voice, rich and expressive…never seen them on their own before and you're really aware of what a great guitarist Sean is when there are just the two of them and of course Kathyrn's a Yorkshire Lass as well. Well…they sang us songs about Joe Peel and William Corder…(he wasn't a nice lad really was he, let's face it) and then 'Rosie Anne' came on and you suddenly realised that perhaps William was quite a splendid chap compared to Rosie's brother John! What is it with all these men? Ay up!.. I'll bet they weren't Yorkshire Men…and The Granite Mill really pounded along with Sean's playing….I'm so glad we got to see them at long last….altogether now…..they were reet….champion!

Cont....

Message 3 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

..Well…it was 11pm by now and I'm normally tucked up by this time, but 11pm at Otley Festival was just the beginning of the night….trust me….for at 11pm the Duncan McFarlane Band were introduced and the whole of Otley just lit up without having to use the National Grid!

Straight into The Twohey Step but this time…unlike at Sidmouth….the whole room knew what was going to happen after those first quiet initial bars and the cheers went up when the band exploded into their wild instrumental. And once again, we're all jigging around…I'm right next to a very nice Steward…(A Yorkshire Man!)…and we're bouncing around together…we ended up sharing my apple sweets, so friendly oop North!....Well….the room got hotter and hotter and the music got better and better and boy do they know how to WHOOP OOP there! Champion Whoopers in Yorkshire. Ay! And when Duncan and his band sang 'The Woodshed Boys' everyone knew the words….they were on home ground here and it showed, mind you….those tables should have been taken out…The DMcF Electric Band are like The Oysterband….No Tables Allowed…too much dancing to do…AND there were loads of young people in there too!

I don't know what to say about this band really. I mean they did 23 songs. TWENTY THREE songs! And all of them get you moving around, even if you don't mean to…there were people coming around from the wine bar, once they heard them playing and well…I keep telling you all about this band, but seeing them in Otley was the best thing we ever did! We've never driven so far to see a band before….my friend 'Steward' was most impressed.

Well, this time we got to hear them singing Richard Thompson's 'Misunderstood' and The Oysterband's 'Time Of Her Own'….and we rocked, sorry…folked….to the amazing 'Jigalo' and all the time people trying to get in through the 'No Entry' door, but Steward wasn't 'avin' any of it! So they just had to stay on the other side of the door and listen. A brilliant night….and to think it was all in a folk club!

Sunday in this lovely little Yorkshire town….where they have REAL shops! Individual shops….not just big names like we have down here. Their High Street looks SO different to some down here in The West Country…and everywhere you go people smile right into you…they don't just smile with their mouths, they use their eyes to smile in Otley.

In the Civic Hall a great craft fair going on…and a wonderful place to eat with cakes that you remembered as a child. Home made ones, coconut, raspberry, chocolate to die for….specially if you're diabetic like me…but I was OK because I had thoughts of John Tams to keep me going as everyone around me bit deep into their cakes. AND…Otley is the home of 'Brian Pickles Lawnmowers' made famous by Phil Beer and Deb Sandland who collapse into fits of giggles everytime they tell you about that shop sign at their gigs.

Cont....

Message 4 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

But before John Tams, there was another man that I'd so wanted to see…..his name was George Papavgeris….although some of you Mudcatters may know him as 'El Greko'…..I'd been over to his site before and had found there a modern day poet, a man of great insight and deep thoughtfulness and now…here he was, right in front of us on the stage. And George started right away with a song that literally enveloped us all called 'Friends Like These' …..and then he said "This is my first Northern Festival ever…and I was a bit surprised that in the distance of about 200 yards I collected about 3 'Hellos' and about 4 'How are you's? and I knew then that I was not in London."

You see? It's not just me…Otley is a Magical Place..Yorkshire is a Magical Place. All week-end it was like that, wherever you went, whoever you spoke to. We saw the people from our Fish and Chip meal about four times and each time it was like greeting old friends.

Anyway….back to George. He sang us songs about his father taking him to the fair as a child and you could reach out and touch the happiness that he felt. Then he told us that when his wife suggested he write a song of the sea, but a Greek sea song, he found that there weren't really any 'shanty' songs as such in Greece, but on doing a little research he found out about the Greek 'Sponge Divers'. About 1860 when diving suits were first invented it was a huge boom to the Sponge Divers as they could take their time walking around on the seabed, but what they didn't know was that they were at serious risk from 'the bends' and over the next 50 years half of the Greek Sponge Divers were either killed or seriously maimed from damage due to 'the bends' and the Standard Diving Tables of 1911 are based on the statistics of the Greek Divers. Then George's words came out….a desperate father's words as he begs his son not to go diving…..

"…You're best friend now walks on crutches and his brother cannot not speak and your cousin and my nephew, in the churchyard lies asleep …..and I want my son around me and grandchildren on my knee…Please .Johnny don't go walking with the fishes…jobs on shore are a plenty if you wish it, but this year don't go diving, leave the sponge just where it's meant to be. Johnny don't go walking in the sea……"

I could listen to George for hours and hours. His brand new song 'Any Town' deserves a thread entirely to itself, which I'll do later..Superb! His songs take you to so many places and teach you so much. His voice is strong yet gentle….go and see him and you will be astounded.

Cont..

Message 5 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

And then it was time for John Tams and Barry Coope…except this time I didn't know what was in store for me as I don't know their music very well…so I sat there and watched as Barry and John sat down, got comfy with us all….."How grand it is to be here" said John and then we were launched into 'Lay Me Low' which was actually their encore….(well time was precious, loads of acts to see and they wanted to make sure they had one!) and that was it…I was hooked, as Barry sang the words of an old Shaker prayer and John played the harmonica beautifully. It's their humour and gentleness again that contribute so much to their performance. And we had 'Amelia' from The Reckoning which as John explained is a rare sea song from …Switzerland! Go and see him and you'll hear how it came about. Well…he versed us in the chorus and you get the feeling that John enjoys us singing along with him as much as we enjoy the joining in..an absolutely gorgeous man!

And he waffles…he does…he darts from one subject to another and it's so entertaining, he keeps you right in the palm of his hand without seemingly even trying. 'Amelia' is a beautiful song and John's voice just seems to glide right around you and Barry's blends perfectly. Then he told us the story of his family, a mining family, as was Barry's and how he grew up with 11 pits around his village and he sighed as he says that there are probably less then 11 in the entire country now…and he went on to tell us the story behind 'Hearts Of Coal' which is about his Grandad, Harry Stone, who we were told, by the time he'd got to John's age had been dead 20 years. He's full of little throw away lines like that, which at first make you laugh, but later come back to you and bring the awfulness of the situation home. But it's also about the closing down of the mines and the loss of community that went with it. He wrote it whilst in Russia ….distance home etc.'crystallising' his mind….and the strike was going downhill.

My children sat there learning so much from him and they talked about the miners often on the way home…he's a natural teacher, a man who just draws you right in with his stories and his pictures and brings it all to life. Do you know…he said that everytime he buys a new guitar he knows that there is a song inside it…stuck in there somewhere, that he just has to bring out…isn't that lovely! And he talked and sang of friendships and relationships, of miners and wars…of homesickness and the physical pain it causes and he makes you laugh and wipe a tear away. Barry and John are just perfect together.

Cont.....

Message 6 - posted by U1702831 (U1702831) , Sep 21, 2005

And then he told us about a new Radio 2 programme coming out in March 2006, which follows in the footsteps of The Radio Ballads of Ewan MacColl and Charles Parker. A team of writers including amongst others, Karine Polwart, Richard Thompson, Kate Rusby and himself, and they are getting together to write new ballads based on interviewing people about their skills, trades and different problems. They cover HIV, the Irish troubles, shipbuilding, fox-hunting and the steel industry to name a few. John sang about 'cobbling' in the steel mills and my children learnt yet more…

And he told us a wonderful poem about war, as he couldn't bear to sing anything from Sharpe at the moment, with everything that was going on in the world right now….and he spoke of dreamers and how important they are at present….and you could feel the sorrow and the frustration coming out from him…..then finally we all sang 'Rolling Home' together…and as we sang more strongly….John and Barry just quietly got up and left the stage and the song to us…..then we got softer, softer…." Rolling home, when we go rolling home...."

…..and I knew I'd found two more performers who care deeply about others

And finally the Duncan McFarlane…Acoustic… Band this time…..upstairs in The Red Lion…in a room that was such a mixture….black ceiling to show off the chandeliers and the sparkling silver' ballroom' ball and around the walls were Andy Warhol prints of Marilyn Monroe in various colours….but it was what was going on inside the room that mattered. All over the settees and the chairs people were jam-packed, but relaxed and we had a gentler, slowed down version of the night before, far more intimate, but every bit as enjoyable…..and once again….the whole room knew all the words and we had such a sing-song, and the DMcF Band know how to draw everyone in, ….and well….it felt like one big family gathering.

When we sang 'The Mist Covered Mountains' well…that just about finished me off completely…it's a swaying song isn't it?...."Ho ro soon shall I see them, see them oh see them…ho ro soon shall I see them, the mist covered mountains of home……" and they sang it so gently…well we all did actually….but suddenly I didn't want to see the mist covered 'mountains' of Sidmouth anymore…..I was away in the 'mist covered 'mountains' of Yorkshire…and I didn't want to go home…..and sitting here now, typing this…and listening to the song again on the 'Acoustic'CD….I'm right back there in that funny little room filled with warmth……

"…..and they'll give me a welcome, the warmest on earth…so loving and kind, full of music and mirth, in the sweet sounding language of home….Ho ro….soon shall I see them….the mist covered mountains of …"….Otley….


So…what does Otley Folk Festival mean to me? Well, I guess it has to be..friendliness…..open arms…real smiles and a real welcome.

Ay up....it's cold oop North!

No…..it's warm, Welcoming And Warm……….Ho Ro…..

Champion!<<<<



Of course, NONE of the above are Folk...Ooh dear me, no...   ;0)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:20 PM

whats tha blathering on about woman?
You should avoid strong beverages ,wrap up in a nice cardi and listen to
yer Jim Reeves records..
Ahm off t'pub.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:31 PM

"All music if folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song."
Louis Armstrong

Interesting thread that looks at the same question differently.

Folk music is what you want it to be. I think it is very individual but I do tend to side with Mr Armstrong

mp


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM

Now folk music is old stuff .
Nobody knows who wrote it.
and it has been changed by its passage through the various orifices and digits of performers through the ages.

It may be more to your preference than other sorts of music,however that does not render the other music liable to be referred to as shite.

You see we all agree.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM

I think you may come to regret saying that,mauvepink.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:51 PM

Easy answer is stuff I don't like is Not Folk Music. I agree with Leena above, that if it's pretending to be pop or jazz, than it's not folk.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 05:01 PM

Will: This isn't folk either - but isn't it great?

Normally I loathe tap, and big bands don't do a lot for me either, but yes, that WAS great!!!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:45 PM

Now wait on, you guys are so helpful, but you are just confusing me and my mate and his dog. Well, the dog's always a bit confused, being a 3 year old lab pup (they never grow up, just older, like folkies).

Look, I say thru my tears, all we want is just 3 or 4 approved tunes we all agree on so we can learn them by listening to scratchy old 78s - LPs would be too modern, and so not Real Folk, the committee has ruled by Fiat - no Morris Drivers allowed! - and play them without the dots. 3 or 4 is enough, as we can't keep more than 3 or 4 tunes in our heads at once, especially after all that bier we have to force ourselves to quaff, in proper folkie style.

We've already voted to buy the tankards and funny hats and the little matching waistcoats and leather pantsfaded jeans (amended committee motion I missed - must have fallen asleep). We're planning to visit a local session, and when no one is looking, borrow a few random instruments we don't know how to play, just to get started.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM

I'm reasonably certain an avocado sandwich is NOT folk music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM

I was right about the Autumn Leaves (see 12.04)!
But no finger-picking, just some very good jazz piano!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:20 PM

MauvePink, I humbly beg to differ on your source for that quote. It was not Louis Armstrong who made the "horses" remark. It was the Georgia/Chicago blues musician Big Bill Broonzy.
I don't know how the quote got attributed to Louis but it ain't right.

Old Vermin, an argument could be made that much of the Court music of the Antiqua derived from the music of the Trouveres (early wandering troubadours). Some of it may have been pretty close to a folk tradition although I take your point about it being highly specialized for royalty.

Autumn Leaves, music by Jacques Prevert, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

An avocado sandwich might be folk music if devoured by a noisily chewing and famished
folk singer. :)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:22 PM

Now I have been inspired to play the avocado sandwich - sounds a bit disgusting though ...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 11:24 PM

Sadly, I've just remembered that 'Autumn Leaves' was one of the pieces I learnt by heart on the piano when little, so I could probably play it on the accordion without the dots ....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 03:09 AM

This isn't Folk Music, but it might be appropriate for Conrad:

Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:12 AM

"Interesting thread that looks at the same question differently."

Same old answers though!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:30 AM

I can't make out if this is meant to be a serious thread or more as humerous banter.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: buddhuu
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:45 AM

Stringsinger: It was not Louis Armstrong who made the "horses" remark. It was the Georgia/Chicago blues musician Big Bill Broonzy.
I don't know how the quote got attributed to Louis but it ain't right.


A bit of research suggests that may have been both, although the remarks were phrased rather differenty. Broonzy's quip was in response to a question from Studs Terkel during a broadcast. The Armstrong version, which is the closest in form to that usually quoted by people, is attributed by Oxford Dictionary of Quotations to a 1971 edition of the New York Times.

If that's the case, then Mr A gets credit for the oft-quoted version, but Big Bill must get credit as the likely originator of the concept as he had been dead for some years by the time Louis piped up.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM

My how this thread has grown since I last peeked into Mellow Manor to see how the inmates were getting along. I just brought Ferdinand along to demonstrate Bulls can be quite folksy when pursuing thoughts of flowers and such.

Have you never studied logic ft? You can't define via negativa, at least not in a definitive way. Too broad, a virtually endless category starting with AAA insurance, aardvarks and such and ending up somewhere near Zzyzyx mineral springs (with apologies to the late Curtis Springer).

Folk is a four letter word that begins with "F" and ends with a "K" but don't draw any hasty conclusions from that! Even if it feels good while you are doing it.

You'd be much farther along if you stipulated what "Folk" is in the world of music. Set up the parameters. Drive in the pikes of the pale. Declare "No Man's Land" and arm your warriors with kazoos. Take no prisoners. That way we shall all know what Folk music is as well as what it's not and there shall be great fear. Now ft, gather your army.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hesk
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM

This is an amusing thread and most of the posts are in the same spirit.
Perhaps the funniest ones are those which have taken it seriously.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM

"Have you never studied logic ft? "

At High School and at University - pre-requisite subject for Computer Science! Logic table, Venn Diagrams, etc...


"You can't define via negative, at least not in a definitive way."

You missed the whole point - countless such threads have tried and failed! Some even got nasty!


"You'd be much farther along if you stipulated what "Folk" is in the world of music"

You think The Fooles Troupe would fool around with as touchy a subject as that? - if you want positive definitions, Joe Offer has kindly linked almost all of the previous threads that tried to define "F*** Music" in a positive way! read away - I did - and I got wiser than that!


So, According to the dictates of Sir Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes), "When you have eliminated the impossible, what remains, no matter how improbable, must be the answer!"


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:39 AM

"what IS NOT folk music?" - any piece of music with a legitimate copyright. As long as it's private property, it does not belong to the people - Tom


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:48 AM

@: Arthur_itus 'I can't make out if this is meant to be a serious thread or more as humerous banter.'

Both, sometimes simultaneously. Taken seriously with a light heart and a healthy dash of surrealism.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:55 AM

Curmudgeon - is your 'property' argument about copyright not somewhat legalistic?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:05 AM

QUOTE
"what IS NOT folk music?" - any piece of music with a legitimate copyright. As long as it's private property, it does not belong to the people - Tom
UNQUOTE

Hmmmm ...When you have eliminated the impossible...

Looks like we might have made a sensible start ....

.... and I bet you all thought I was joking, didn't you?

Now, moving on ....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 11:19 AM

and going forward


with our backs to the wall


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM

Folk Rock?
Blue Suede Shoes


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM

Whichever of them, Broonzy or Satch, originated the 'horse' argument, it has become a bit of folklore in its own right. I agree with Bert Lloyd, however, who always described it as "a dreary axiom". Mauvepink, my dear, have you ever seen a horse in a black tutu perform 32 fouettés? No? Ah, then; so Swan Lake is a folk dance, is it?

Oh, come on...

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:53 PM

Stringsinger [[ ...
6. Anything by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and George Gershwin and the old Broadway show writers. These tunes could never have been written communally in aural tradition.]]

Beg to differ - slightly. I think Gershwin's "Summertime" tune could have been conjured up in aural tradition (is it any more complex than "Greensleeves?"). And I think Jerry Bock did a great job of making such tunes as "L'Chaim!" and "Sunrise, Sunset" sound like they evolved in aural tradition.   Composers often borrow and bend tunes from folk or write tunes with similar chord progressions.    But when a full orchestra plays "Greensleeves" it ceases to be "folk," I'd say.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:57 PM

...especially after all that bier we have to force ourselves to quaff, in proper folkie style.

Please; no cross references to other threads. It's just not on don't you know.

By 'eck, doesn't our Lizzie go on a bit?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:01 PM

"But when a full orchestra plays "Greensleeves" it ceases to be "folk," I'd say. "

Now the committee is arguing amongst itself - perhaps we should cut back on the amount of 'bier' we compulsory consume to liberate our muse-hic! At least then the discussions might be more friendly and perhaps even coherent.... the dog's buggered off for the moment - think he can smell a lady friend down the road, must be what all that dogfighting noise is outside ...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:02 PM

"no cross references to other threads"

Oi! Who died and made YOU chairman of MY committee?!!!!!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:05 PM

this is not folk music
http://www.dickmiles.com
but this is http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=oSgmfxQrwJ4

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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:21 PM

Sorry, that dogfight outside was a bunch of drunken bearded tankard waving funny hat & waistcoat wearing folkies (not OUR type really!) wanting to get into to our meeting, but when asked "OK. What is Folk Music" ....

The dog was just sitting there with a big grin, tongue and tail wagging, loving it all....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 02:54 AM

Sir, would that be the same Conan Doyle who wrote"...mediocrity recognizes nothing but itself. Talent instantly recognizes genius!"? You may, indeed, be on to something!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 05:03 AM

I tell you what's brought a big smile to my face, the fRoots and Mumford & Sons 'fiasco'.

Now, only a short while back they were all apoplectic about Mumford & Sons being labelled 'folk'....Steam was coming out of their ears left right and centre, snidey comments about their musical skills and knowledge abounded...and they were most definitely being shouted down as NOT FOLK!! with those exclamation marks flying through the air.

But then....the band did a Radio 1 'live' gig..where they 'chose' the venue to be.....wait for it....CECIL SHARP HOUSE.

Well!! Stone the crows, eh!! Who'd a thought it! LOL

So now, Mumford & Sons ARE FOLK and they're the new heroes for bringing Cecil Sharply House MORE publicity with their one gig than that place has had for years! (Great move, lads!) The audience were described, patronisingly I thought, as being 'fairly intelligent'....Gosh, who'd a thought that either, a 'fairly intelligent' bunch of people who follow such a band...Wow, wonders will never cease eh?   ;0)

Anyways ups, here's Ian's report on the gig, taken from the fRoots board, which I'm sure is quiet at present because all its posters are out busily tracking down their 'We LOVE Mumford & Sons!' T shirts and associated paraphanelia...

>>>Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:38 am    Post subject:   

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

Well . . . first of all I had a 20 minute natter with Andy Parfitt, head of Radio 1, who seemed genuinely interested in what was going on and the building in which it was taking place. The sight of a full Radio 1 stage rig, lighting, branding etc in the Kennedy Hall was pretty impressive too.

I found it all pretty hard to fault (not that I should have been trying to). It was for and played to an audience who have a completely different set of references and almost certainly none of mine, which probably applies to presenting DJ Zane Lowe too. However, you couldn't dispute his real enthusiasm for what he was fronting, and Cecil Sharp House probably got more appreciative plugs in the 3 hours of this show then it's had in the entire lifetime of Radio 1. You could say it was worth it for that alone.

So: from here it's down to personal tastes which aren't really relevant. I found Laura Marling perfectly acceptable but indistinguishable from loads of other current singer/ songwriters over the past two or three decades. Decent voice, average playing, not much stage presence, hard to figure out why her among all the others but may her good luck continue. Bombay Bicycle Club were much the same too, though they did have a reasonably engagingly nerdy/cute front man. Nothing to either dislike or inspire, really.

By this time I was beginning to realise that the general vibe of all this scene is fairly retro: no barriers are being pushed at, no horses being frightened - oddly, there's a lot more of an interesting innovative edge among current performers of traditionally based music and its connected circles. Sorry to mention Emily Portman and Ruth Theodore again in this thread, but I found myself thinking that tonight's audience would probably consider what they do extremely weird and left field by comparison.

Couldn't work out what the Maccabees were doing there. An OK mainstream indie rock band. None of the boxes ticked at all that make lazy mainstream hacks say "folk" (no acoustic instruments, banjos, accordeons, just 3 electric guitars, bass, drums and some shoegazing).

I warmed to the Mumfords, and not just because it was made clear they'd chosen CSH and were proud to be there. Their songs aren't that notable on first live encounter but their audience knew them off by heart. They delivered it well, with that strong confidence that bands often have by the time they've graduated to owning guitar techies. They seemed likeable blokes, harmonised well in that US soft rock/West Coasty way, and generally came across more like a UK pub scene band from the Burritos era than the 25-years-on Boothill Foot Tappers which I'd anticipated - and none the worse for that. They did do one genuinely thrilling number with brass section, cello and the keyboard player switched to accordeon, where they actually began to sound English in a slightly Home Service/ Tams-y way.

The encore of Dolly's Jolene with Ms Marling on vocal duties seemed oddly serious and non-ironic . . .

As a PS, their fans seemed a decent, fairly educated bunch: from conversations overheard I can quite easily imagine some of them picking up on the tangents that may lead in our direction.

No harm done then!"<<<<<<



Taken from here..

I'm not sure what is NOT folk, as the title asks, but I know that 'what is NOT good manners' is to look down on bands and their audiences as being kinda halfwits, who really wouldn't understand certain traditional singers if they fell over them. And for me, it's that patronising, pseudo-intellectual, looking down their noses, aren't we sooooo clever! attitude that has really put me off so much traditional folk music and some of the very musicians who perform it.

Great shame.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM

"Mumford & Sons ARE FOLK"

.... but they write their own stuff? So that'll be copyright then? Damn....

Wait on, do they get paid? Do they give away their CDs for free?

Aggghhhhh....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Nanny Ogg
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 05:17 AM

It's only a folk song.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Esme WeatherwaxI
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 05:21 AM

I knows all about folk songs. Hah! You think your'e listenin to a nice song about... about cuckoos and fiddlers and nightingales and whatnot, and then it turns out to be about .... about something else entirely. You can't trust folk songs. They always sneak up on you!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 05:35 AM

Conan Doyle who wrote"...mediocrity recognizes nothing but itself. Talent instantly recognizes genius!"? You may, indeed, be on to something!

No one knows what else the great man had to say because just at that moment a fairy flew in the window and with a girlish giggle he was off on another adventure....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 06:00 AM

That made me chuckle, Tim.. :0) x


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 08:24 AM

What's with all these "witchy" guests suddenly posting, then? We only need Magrat Garlick to post and we have 3 of a kind!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 08:35 AM

My contention is that Folk is not so much a matter of Contehnt but Context - thus whilst all music isn't necessarily Folk Music, all music can be Folk Music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 09:28 AM

"I'm not sure what is NOT folk, as the title asks, but I know that 'what is NOT good manners' is to look down on bands and their audiences as being kinda halfwits, who really wouldn't understand certain traditional singers if they fell over them. And for me, it's that patronising, pseudo-intellectual, looking down their noses, aren't we sooooo clever! attitude that has really put me off so much traditional folk music and some of the very musicians who perform it."

Funny that! It's exactly that sort of exclusivity which is one of the things that attracts me to folk music. But then I've always despised fashion of any sort. And "patronising" is too weak and wishy-washy a word, Lizzie. How about 'contemptuous'?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 09:36 AM

"How about 'contemptuous'?"

Don't hold back now Shimrod, why not say what you really mean?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 03:18 PM

I actually wrote a high school paper about what folk music was. I came to the conclusion that it is music that represents or can tell someone about your culture. But I'm not sure if I agree with that definition anymore. I think now that folk isn't a genre like the way that art music or pop music are not genres. They have genres within them. That's why folk music has been so hard to define. We've been defining it the wrong way.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 04:00 PM

Ultimately the entire concept of Folk Music is at fault, predicated as it was on seriously flawed grounds born entirely class condescension. We have asked Does Folk exist? On the evidence gathered thus far, the answer must be not on your nelly. If we get rid of this Folk nonsense and think of the myriad of musical traditions (and of traditional musics) people have mistaken for Folk then maybe we might get somewhere.

On the other hand, the reality of Folk Music in 2010 is the very broad church (however so sparsely populated at times!) examplified by the plethora of musical styles discussed and celebrated here on Mudcat, and in the sessions, folk clubs and festivals throughout the English Speaking World and beyond. Thus might an experimental traddy like myself happily, and respectfully, shake hands with a popular singer-songwriter like George Papavgeris in the certain knowledge that we are all part of the international come-all-ye of the Folk Community which, if it's about anything at all, is about the people - the Folk if you will - celebrating a very diverse unity.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 07:08 PM

Oi! Who died and made YOU chairman of MY committee?!!!!!

All I have to say is:


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 04:35 AM

Hi CS,

Let's just say that anti-intellectualism and inverse snobbery make me 'hoppity-wild'!!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 04:50 AM

The bogus intellectualism of the Folk Revival is born of the snobbery & class condescension on which the whole thing was predicated anyway. Folk is less a music than it is an psuedo-academic fantasy-taxonomy fabricated by the bourgeousie to ensure their version of things remains the correct one. That's what should be getting you hoppity-wild, Shimrod.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 10:40 AM

"Folk is less a music than it is an psuedo-academic fantasy-taxonomy fabricated by the bourgeousie to ensure their version of things remains the correct one."

Ah! The good old Dave Harker/'Fakelore' hypothesis. That bourgeous- academic, Socialist Worker fake has an awful lot to answer for!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 03:11 PM

Dunno, Shim - haven't managed to track a copy down as yet; I reach my own conclusions from the available evidence. I'm reading The Imagined Village just now which just confirms it; depressing stuff all in all. You still got your copy of Fakesong?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 04:04 PM

There's nothing fake about Dave Harker. He had the courage of his convictions. It is a great pity that he over-politicised his thesis but I don't see anybody here denying any of the points he made in relation to the 'fake' aspects. I'm ready to lock horns with anybody who wants to pick up on any of his 'fake' points.

Suibhne, you're welcome to borrow my copy if it helps. Have you checked online to see which of your nearest libraries has a copy?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 05:14 PM

My view of Dave Harker's book was summed up in my review of it ~~ "Two cheers from the Ranks of Tuscany".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 05:37 PM

According to an appendix in Harker's book (Open University Press, 1985) his parents were suitably 'horny-handed' sons and daughters of toil. But his father built up a, "firm of speculative builders which never employed more than a dozen or so other workers." Harker won a scholarship to grammar school and then went to Cambridge. At one stage he was, I believe, a lecturer at Manchester Polytechnic (bourgeois and academic??). He hoped that his book would be judged (favourably) by his comrades in the Gorton Branch of the SWP. Gorton is a suburb of East Manchester - it is not very leafy - I suspect that, in the 1980s, Mr Harker may have actually lived somewhere a bit leafier.

Perhaps these facts might add a bit of perspective when considering the merits of a book which, I have always believed, seriously distorted views of folk music and folk song collectors. Then again ... perhaps not ...?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM

"I'm ready to lock horns with anybody who wants to pick up on any of his 'fake' points"

then I suggest you start here

I leave you to draw your own conclusions from it.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 07:07 PM

As the GREAT, SIR Conan Doyle wrote so wisely, so many years ago "The game is afoot!" And to which that GREAT Folk Balladeeress, Nancy Sinatra sang, "These boots IS made for walking!"


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:06 AM

Tootler, thank you for giving a link to Chris Bearman's masterly demolition of Harker's critique of Cecil Sharp. To quote from Bearman's paper:

"It is Harker, not Sharp, who deliberately ignored the significance of the singers' testimony when it conflicted with his own values and assumptions, and who suppressed the overwhelming body of evidence which did not favour his thesis."

Harker was/is(?) a Trotskyite who 'argued' from an extreme political position. Bearman suggests that Harker's critique of Sharp was equivalent to a member of the British Far Right criticising the Communist Manifesto. His thesis seems to have been based on the idea that the bourgeoisie appropriated and distorted the 'Workers'" music and then fudged the evidence to support it.

Suibhe, by all means read 'Fakelore', if you can get your hands on a copy, but you MUST read Bearman's paper as well. I suspect that the assertions that you often make, such as: "Folk is less a music than it is an psuedo-academic fantasy-taxonomy fabricated by the bourgeousie to ensure their version of things remains the correct one" may ultimately owe something to Harker's book - but just be aware that Chris Bearman has shown that much of 'Fakelore' is a fake!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 06:33 AM

Anything that needs such a tedious litany of statistics and pedants to argue over them is folk music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 06:49 AM

This is not folk, but is as good as morris dancing :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT56YizyR2o


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM

I just wrote a ballad about having lover's balls for a good looking lady.

I decided it wasn't folk.

if I sing it at a folk club next week, (as I intend,) will it then become folk? Or... if my mate who sings in working mens's clubs sings it this weekend, does that mean it isn't folk?

I wish this dilemma would folk off.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM

That sort of thing is a real TRADITION at weddings these days - the bride and groom getting coached for weeks in advance so they might astonish their guests. Great stuff indeed. Traditional, but not Folk, thank God!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 09:14 AM

Now F'troupe is saying " all we want is just 3 or 4 approved tunes."

Here you go:

1. Any ballad collected by Cecil Sharp. The more murders, the better.

2. Any Irish slow air.

3. Any Scottish jig or reel.

4. On Top of Old Smokey.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 09:57 AM

I'm a fake too because I keep referring to Dave Harker's book as 'Fakelore' - when, in fact, it should be 'Fakesong' - silly me! I suppose that my vision must have been clouded by the red mist which descends whenever I'm reminded of that wretched volume!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM

Yo Shim - go steady on the old Folk Fundamentalism there. Folk Fundamentalists are worse than the Folk Police because all the Folk Police do is enforce the civil law in the best interests of everyone. The Folk Fundamentalist, on the other hand, is willing to die for his righteous cause which is neither civil nor legal but based on the prophet Cecil Sharp being guided to discover the Golden Tablets by the angel Moroni -

Er - hold on a minute - I'm having that old Joseph Smith / Cecil Sharp thing again. It always happens when faced with the more Orthodox Elements of the Revival, replete (as it is) with Righteous Religiosity and a call for the burning of books (or the masterly demolition of them) & the dastardly heretics that dared write them.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM

Chris Bearman's masterly demolition of Harker's critique of Cecil Sharp

Bearman being the prat who tried to get Malcolm Taylor sacked as EFDSS librarian?

No thanks.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM

I have not read Dave Harkers Book, I am too busy singing songs and playing music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:31 PM

I know nothing about Chris Bearman, but I've read his two papers on Harker & Sharp and can't see much wrong with them. To my mind he goes wrong on Left politics - he seems to think there's such a thing as The Marxist Interpretation, and that the fact that Dave Harker is in the SWP axiomatically means he has nothing useful to say about Sharp. But what he says about Harker's (mis-)reading of Sharp strikes me as valid & useful.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:41 PM

"It always happens when faced with the more Orthodox Elements of the Revival, replete (as it is) with Righteous Religiosity and a call for the burning of books (or the masterly demolition of them) & the dastardly heretics that dared write them."

Suibhne - haven't I told you a million, billion times never to exaggerate? And I haven't burned my copy of 'Fakesong' - nor am I urging anyone else to. But, it seems to me, that Harker is the 'fundamentalist' and Bearman the objective scholar (I vaguely recall hearing somewhere something about some sort of dispute with Malcolm Taylor - but I don't know the details and suggest that it isn't relevant to this discussion).

So, I urge you again to seek out a copy of 'Fakesong' (you could make me an offer on mine, possibly?) but when you've finished it (and finished slavering over its conclusions) I strongly urge you to read Chris Bearman's paper as well. You can talk the talk, Suibhne, but can you walk the walk?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM

Hi, Schweik.

I congratulate you on your dismissal of Chris Bearman's masterly demolition of Harker's critique of Cecil Sharp.

And now, back to my dulcimer. Did you know one can play 'Once in Love with Amy' on a dulcimer in DAA?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 07:22 PM

I keep referring to Dave Harker's book as 'Fakelore' - Freudian slip maybe?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:06 AM

"I keep referring to Dave Harker's book as 'Fakelore' - Freudian slip maybe?"

It's more likely to be senile decay, Tootler!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM

Jack Campin

Bearman being the prat who tried to get Malcolm Taylor sacked as EFDSS librarian?

I found this intriguing so did a bit of Googling and came up with this - An Open Letter (Posts appear in reverse order. Scroll down to Bearman's letter.)

Despite knowing some of the protagonists personally, I had no idea that these erudite versions of Mudcat squabbling were going on.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:48 AM

A copy of Fakesong has been sighted, though it's not, as yet, within reach - so, in the offing as it were. No doubt by the time it hoves to I'll be finished The Imagined Village and ready for some light relief, though just this morning I was struck by the term oikotypical which appeals to me greatly.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM

Oh dear. Bearman vs Harker seems to have been a bit like 1066 and all that's Roundheads and Cavaliers - Right but Repulsive vs Wrong but Wromantic. And it really didn't help that Bearman seemed to want to turn it into Bearman vs the World.

Still, if you wipe off the froth and overstatement, the actual points Bearman was making seem pretty solid, viz. (a) there's no evidence of C# having fascist leanings, and (ii) Rolf Gardiner wasn't involved in setting up the Morris Ring, whereas people with left-wing views were. And these points do matter, because the idea that there was something dodgy and blood-and-soil-ish about the first folksong revival has become received wisdom. We're perpetually disavowing something that probably never existed.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM

the idea that there was something dodgy and blood-and-soil-ish about the first folksong revival has become received wisdom.

Dodgy is an understatement; it was cultural plunder & imperialistic paternalism at its very worst.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM

JC: Bearman being the prat who tried to get Malcolm Taylor sacked as EFDSS librarian?
No thanks.


So you're going to dismiss without even looking at it a paper critical of Harker just because the author produced an intemperate rant about a BBC programme and a Telegraph article?

People can be personally unappealing yet still produce good research, and Taylor himself has described some of Bearman's work as "the best in the field".

I read both the open letter and the paper and while the open letter was definitely a bit infantile, the paper criticising Harker's work seemed pretty robust. But since you refuse to read it because you consider Bearman a "prat", I guess you'll never know.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:37 AM

"Dodgy is an understatement; it was cultural plunder & imperialistic paternalism at its very worst."

More exageration, Suibhne! Exaggeration piled on exaggeration on top of exaggeration. A bit of evidence for your wild assertions might be nice. Still, I suppose that if you keep repeating nonsense - eventually someone, a bit short on critical faculties, may decide that you are talking sense.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM

OK, the idea that it was cultural plunder & imperialistic paternalism at its very worst has become received wisdom. Doesn't mean it's true.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:09 AM

GUEST at 19 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM was me.

Who keeps eating my cookie?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM

An academic reconstruction of carefuly seleted elements of a perceived traditional culture motivated according by the ideological absolutes of one man with friends in high places is bound to be a bit wobbly, Shim - hardly an objective methodology anyway, especially given its various fruits. Ultimately I think I'm with GSS on this one, I just wish I could break this habit of reading academic books on Folklore, Song & Music which, excellent though they invaiably are, invariably leave me feeling depressed and ill at ease with the whole thing. Could be one to add to my list of New Year Resolutions...

Of course having my annual Virance Inconvenience doesn't help matters, which kicks of ME flashbacks whilst without the wind howls with rain and hail lashing the windows making it sorely tempting to draw the curtains and immerse myself in comething vintage & horrible by way of DVD entertainment. Or maybe I'll put some of that Cox & Larner documentary up on YouTube for the whole world to enjoy?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:20 AM

Just listened to the Peggy Seeger programme on the wireless. There wasn't much folk but it was steeped in folk revival, the stance, the sound, the politics. She came close to regret when describing her and MacColl attitude's to folk as uncompromising, perhaps arrogant (if I paraphrased her correctly without listening again).
The more I read and listen the less idea I have what what Folk is, or even if it exists, while becoming increasingly certain about the mores of the revival cult.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:23 AM

Cult sounds perjorative, I probably mean genre plus beliefs, so whatever word sums that combination up best.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:44 AM

Cecil Sharp, a malign grin on his face, strutted into the Conservatoire. He twirled his moustache, doffed his cape and flung his top hat at the hat stand - it missed but was soon picked up by the servile, 'hat-flunky'.

He lowered himself into an armchair and snapped his fingers for another white-jacketed flunky to bring him his favourite tipple - scotch and pauper's blood on the rocks.

Algernon Beastly-Smythe, who was seated in another armchair and reading the Times, looked over his newspaper and said, "What ho, Cecil, you're looking pleased with y'self - what's afoot?"

Cecil said, "Morning, Algie! Y'know how we're always looking for new ways to be beastly to the poor?"

"Oh gosh, rath-err!", said Algie.

"Well I've just come up with a jolly spiffing new scheme", said Cecil.

"Oh do tell!", said Algie.

"Well", said Cecil, "have you ever been to Somerset?"

"Hmmm, Let me think" said Algie, "I might once have shot a peasant in Huish Episcopi ... not sure ...?"

"Well, anyway", said Cecil "I hear that the yokels down there habitually sing lots of old songs ... and I'm going to steal 'em!!"

"What an absolutely marvellous wheeze", said Algie, "why it'll be cultural plunder & imperialistic paternalism at its very worst!"

"Just what I thought!", said Cecil.

"Do it, Cecil!", said Algie "my, you're a cad and no mistake!!"

Their loud, braying laughter echoed through the Conservatoire - punctuated only by the screams of the hat-flunky who they tormented by way of celebration.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 10:30 AM

Way to go, Shimrod.

You've gotta love the Mudcat. Where else do people use 'doff'?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM

I probably mean genre plus beliefs, so whatever word sums that combination up best.

Cult?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

Where does one really go with this?

Maybe my own fave would be something around for 100 years everyone has learned.

Maybe we can go for sounds we identify, eg to me the Boat Band is classic English dance music, Shaskeen have the good Irish Cayley sound and Jimmy Shand is I'd think everyone's idea of a New Year's Eve in Scotland.

Maybe we can't though. some things sound "foreign" to me and I don't buy the word formula writing ideas.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM

excuse me for publishing bearmans letter.An Open Letter to:
The Chief Executive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (2nd draft)

Dear Madam,

This is an open letter of protest - it will also be published on the Musical Traditions website - about the untruths and disinformation recently fed to the media by your employee Malcolm Taylor, with regard to the radio programme The Seeds of Love broadcast on 26 August and to the article It's time to try Morris Dancing published in the Sunday Telegraph on 10 August.

The major theme of the radio programme was that folk music represented a 'working class' cultural tradition which was appropriated by Cecil Sharp and transferred to another class or classes. The Times's summary of the programme (T2, 26 August, p.29) asked: 'Did he [Sharp] misappropriate a working class culture or reclaim a vanishing tradition? Malcolm Taylor finds out'.

Malcolm Taylor did no such thing, because he only examined one side of the question and ignored the only relevant research, which happens to be my own. In 2000 I published Who were the Folk? The Demography of Cecil Sharp's Somerset Folk Singers (Historical Journal Vol.43 No.3). In that essay I showed that about 30 per cent of Sharp's singers were not 'working class' according to dictionary definitions, and that social mobility operated among them as among any other group of people. Since then, I have extended my researches to cover the work of other folk song collectors and have shown that the main influence on the social composition of folk singers was collecting methods. For example, more than half Sabine Baring-Gould's sources in Devon and Cornwall were not 'working class'. I presented these conclusions in my paper Towards the Social History of Folk Music, given at the conference of the International Ballad Commission at the University of Texas, and to the recent English Folk Song - Cecil Sharp in Context conference.

This is not a matter of two equally valid points of view depending on the same research base. The fact is that I am the only person to have applied large-scale biographical and demographic methods to this question, while the persons allowed to present their views on the programme were relying on assumptions and suppositions which I challenged and discredited. These assumptions and suppositions were politically motivated. The allegation that folk music represents a specifically 'working class' cultural form allows Marxist scholarship to claim the subject for its own and to apply a set of ready-made concepts which derive from their political and cultural theory, such as the doctrines of 'expropriation', the 'invented tradition', and the theory of cultural 'hegemony'. The person most responsible for this interpretation, and for applying it to the work of Cecil Sharp, is David Harker. In Who were the Folk? I began a demolition of Harker's analysis which I completed in Cecil Sharp in Somerset: Some Reflections on the Work of David Harker, in Folklore Vol.113 No.1 (2002). The 'debate' for which Taylor was responsible did not merely ignore my research; it also repeated discredited material.

In both the radio programme and the Sunday Telegraph article, associations were made between Cecil Sharp and the Nazi party, and between the morris dance movement and fascism in more general terms. In the programme, the association was made by V A F Gammon. In the article, the idea appeared to have been fed to the Sunday Telegraph's reporter by Taylor himself. I will deal with Gammon's association presently. The Sunday Telegraph alleged that Sharp had 'leanings towards fascism' which depended partly on guilt by association (because Sharp was an enthusiast of Wagner) and partly on a false quotation. The article alleged that Sharp insisted 'that folk song was a pure. Aryan 'race-product''. Taylor should be forced either to show that Sharp used those words in conjunction with one another, as the article printed them, or to write to the Sunday Telegraph and publish a true quotation with a retraction and an apology. He should also be forced to state precisely what he means by the allegation that Sharp has 'leanings towards fascism' and justify them by direct reference to Sharp's life and work, or acknowledge that the allegation is utterly baseless and publish an apology and retraction.

The association of morris dancing with fascism rests on the allegation of the 'supposedly brownshirt sympathies of prominent figures in the morris-dance revival'. Once again, Taylor should be forced to provide adequate evidence, or to publish an apology and retraction. In this case it would be necessary to prove that 'prominent figures' in the revival - i.e., more than one - either had actually founded organisations or had a major role in their organisation, and had direct links or publicly expressed support for the Nazi party's private army. (This is what the allegation implies). Needless to say, no such proof can be provided: in fact, the assertion rests on allegations made by Georgina Boyes, first in her book The Imagined Village and then in her own contribution to her edited collection Step Change, that Rolf Gardiner was the indirect founder or motivating spirit behind the Morris Ring. Boyes has never been able to produce any evidence for this allegation and it has been refuted again and again, most notably by actual participants in the foundation of the Ring such as Walter Abson. They have shown, not only that Gardiner did not take any part, but that some of the organisers had entirely different political affiliations, such as the Marxist allegiance of Joseph Needham. Indeed, the Editor of the Folk Music Journal recently drew attention to the fact that Boyes had no evidence whatsoever for her allegation and had ignored the many refutations of her association of Gardiner with the Ring, and concluded that: 'it is rare to find a published work which so misrepresents the source material' (Folk Music Journal, Vol.8 No.2, p.369). This is one more instance in which Taylor not only ignored the most authoritative research, but repeated discredited material.

I am a social historian, and if there really was any evidence that Cecil Sharp had 'leanings towards fascism', or that the morris dance revival had drawn on 'supposedly brownshirt sympathies', I would be the first to want them brought to public attention and discussion. Likewise, Taylor, Gammon, and Boyes are entitled to their opinions and are free to express them, within the limits set by scholarly principles and the presumption of innocence. But 'Fascist' and 'Nazi' are common words of abuse, and to accuse a person or a movement of such sympathies is highly perjorative. The very strongest evidence, therefore, is required before such allegations should be made, and in this case the 'evidence' is non-existent or has been disproved in public debate - it is noteworthy, incidentally, that Gammon has never presented any evidence beyond his bare statement that Sharp had ideas in common with the Nazis, and that Boyes has never attempted to answer her critics about Gardiner's supposed influence on the Morris Ring: instead, she has simply repeated her baseless allegations. It follows, I think, that these allegations cannot be made through any intention to engage in serious debate about Cecil Sharp's work and the legacy he left us; rather, the intention of this smearing and mud-slinging seems to be the silencing of Sharp; to shut him up, to deny him a hearing by associating him with political ideas which are not tolerated in the modern world. Taylor, Gammon, and Boyes seem to have despaired of demolishing Sharp's reputation by discrediting his work, and instead attack him on irrelevant personal grounds

There is a further dimension to this question. If it is acceptable to attack a person through the political principles and ideas with which they are associated (even in the most indirect and loose way, as shown by the manner in which Taylor, Gammon, and Boyes have attacked Sharp and the morris dance movement), should not their own political affiliations and sympathies be public knowledge and open to such guilt by association? Gammon's motive for associating Sharp with the Nazi party appears to be the importance he attaches to ideas, and the propensity of ideas for causing human suffering. The first time he made this association was in 1988, in a book review. The relevant passage reads:

    I admire Sharp and his work, but in a different context such ideas formed a cornerstone of a regime that perpetrated untold human suffering, misery, torture, and genocide. Ideas are important. (Folk Music Journal Vol.5, No.4, p.497)

Those words were written the year before the Berlin Wall fell and the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe collapsed with it. Since then, the opening-up of various archives has exposed the full horror of the Leninist and Stalinist regimes, even (one hopes) to those who had denied their crimes before. We know now that where Hitler slew his millions, Lenin and Stalin slew their tens of millions. It is as ridiculous and unfair to blame the ideas of Karl Marx for this untold slaughter as it is to blame the ideas of 'German romanticism' for the Holocaust, but, if people like Gammon and Boyes choose to sling mud through far-fetched political associations, it is fair to point out that a lot of mud can be slung back at them.

Please note that I am not actually saying that Gammon and Boyes are Marxists, but the links between them and Marxist ideas are far, far stronger and more plain than those between Sharp and the Nazis, or those between the morris dance revival and fascism. As I have already pointed out, the starting point for their discredited interpretations is the work of David Harker, a self-declared Trotskyite (Fakesong [1985] pp.256-257). In the course of a whole article devoted to Harker's work in 1986, Gammon described it his treatment of Cecil Sharp and the early folksong movement as 'the beginning of serious scholarly work in this area' (History Workshop Journal No.21, p.147). In his own PhD thesis, he declared himself uncertain whether or not it was a Marxist work. It has be said that, in a letter to the Musical Traditions website earlier this year, Georgina Boyes denied that Harker was the starting-point for her own work, but in a reply (published on the same website) I showed how one of her attacks on Cecil Sharp was clearly derived from Harker and challenged her either to deny this, or produce the independent research on which it was based. And, in any case, it would be an exceptionally innocent and politically unaware reader who did not notice the ideological direction of The Imagined Village. If it is fair to associate Cecil Sharp and morris dancing with fascism and the Nazis through common ideas, and to point out how these ideas were responsible for untold suffering, genocide, etc, it is fair to point out that Gammon and Boyes share Marxist ideas which, at a similar remove, were also responsible for untold suffering, genocide, etc.

These are not solely academic questions. In the Sunday Telegraph article, the reporter alleged that 'an echo of potentially dark associations does survive in the name of Sharp's enduring legacy, the English ... Folk Dance and Song Society', and that the Society's mission statement ('to put English traditions into the hearts and minds of the people of Britain') 'doesn't sound good ... in Blairite Britain'. There is nothing intrinsically 'dark' or disgraceful about England or English traditions: it is only these trumped-up, unprovable, and discredited associations with political causes which make them so, made by people whose own political associations will not bear examination - as I have pointed out. It is foolish to assume that sensational stories about fascist associations do not have repercussions among those who might otherwise consider becoming EFDSS members, or among the great and good who may make important decisions about your funding. In these circumstances, it is utter folly and suicidal stupidity for the EFDSS to allow such politicised smearing and mud-slinging to be perpetrated and assisted by its own staff such as Taylor. Wise birds do not foul their own nests, but that is exactly what you have done by allowing Taylor to make such untrue, stupid, and irresponsible statements. He, and you have brought the folk music movement into disrepute for the sake of your own self-importance and notoriety.

If I was a member of the EFDSS, I would call on you to sack Taylor and submit your own resignation. Like very many others, I am not a member because I have no confidence in an organisation so badly led, and which offers so little value for money. I would restrict my protest to this letter if I had any confidence that you and your organisation would actually do something about it, such as restrict Taylor's access to the media, but I know from past experience that your organisation's reaction to protests about abuses perpetrated by its staff is to allow those responsible to lie their way out of trouble. I am therefore taking the only action open to me, and withdrawing my copyright work from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library as a token of my anger and disgust.

Yours faithfully,

C J Bearman - 5.9.03
Cecil Sharp was a socialist and an ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE FABIAN SOCIETY, so I find it odd that he is described as FASCIST by any body


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 12:31 PM

however I am surprised that he suggests Lenin slew millions, he died in 1924., I am sure he[Bearman] is mistaken on this point


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM

If it's sung by a horse in a Designated Un-Folk Context, then it's probably not folk (unless it is).

And don't track any mud und manure into the house, please.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: brezhnev
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM

Very Good, Shimrod. Here's a more modern one:

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

Viktor Vinogradov, the Soviet delegate, grim determination set on his jaw, strides in to the 1959 International Folk Music Council conference bar in the former royal palace in Bucharest.

Mihai Pop, his Romanian host, seated in an armchair reading Izvestiya, looks up, stands to attention and says "Greetings, Comrade. What's afoot?"

"Greetings Comrade delegate Pop," says Vinogradov. "What's afoot? 12 inches! Ha! Ha!...Now, y'know that speech you're going to read to the conference tomorrow about new folk...?"

"Oh gosh, rath-err!", says Pop.

"Well I have it here in my bag."

"Oh do tell what it says!" says Pop.

"Later, you buffoon! You only have to read it", snaps Vinogradov. "Now, have you been to the Maxim Gorky Collective Farm no 18 outside Stalin City?"

"Why, of course, Your Folkiness" says Pop, "There is no finer example of collectivisation in the whole of Romania. Following your most excellent instructions, workers and peasants have spontaneously set up a cultural palace there, created a folk orchestra in the national style and moved the maypole from the village square to the entrance of the people's grain silos..."

"That is good", says Vinogradov "I hear from First Secretary Dragoi that emissaries from the Folk Institute have been collecting folk songs there."

"It is so, Your Folkship," says Pop. "And in line with your most traditional instructions they are all spontaneous folk creations of the collective, portraying the new conception of labour and the people's artistic vision, thoughts and aspirations under the new social relations brought about by the liberation from capitalism...and sung in the manly and vigorous national style by the 50-piece V. I. Lenin Rolling-Stock Manufacturing Works Traditional Folk Orchestra of Moldavia."

"So, none of that archaic melancholy, I trust?" asks Vinogradov.

"No, Your Most Traditionalness," says Pop. "As per your most folkworthy instructions the people have abandoned all those elements of traditional song which are not consistent with their constant yearning for progress. The songs recorded in the collectivised field include 'As I went out one morning on my tractor', 'When the cuckoo calls me to over-achieve The Five Year Plan', 'The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh'..."

"And are they all in the oral tradition?" asks Vinogradov.

"Most assuredly, Your Folkworthiness," says Pop. "In line with your instructions, they are being handed down from generation to generation even as we speak."

"Excellent," says Vinogradov. "Now, let me introduce you to the alternate comrade delegates representing the progressive discographic companies of London and New York. I think we might make a sale here."


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 03:17 PM

Sorry but all the fun has gone from this thread for me.
I will add it to the list.
1) Folk Music
2)Stonehenge
3) this thread.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM

I expect the majority of posters are from the UK. So rather than venture an opinion I will say with no trepidation at all that bread sticks are NOT folk music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 03:29 PM

Sorry, Tim. I'd not seen your post when I wrote mine. Great minds . . . .


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM

I have agrape mind... That's about the size of it...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:48 PM

Ok ft, I got it. Here is your definitive answer, the necessary and sufficient for knowing what is not folk music:

                      EVERYTHING ELSE

You're welcome.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:11 PM

LOL so on the last night of the proms the can be certain that the classical Arefusa(?sp) is not really a take on the Princess Royal.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:21 PM

I don't think sufficient appreciation has been expressed [indeed, none] to GSS for his service in reproducing Mr Bearman's important letter here. Thank you, Dick. I did not previously know Bearman's work, until I read his Folk Music Journal article above, & now this letter to EFDSS executive. Without purporting doctrinairely to take sides in the dispute, I think it obvious that he is serious scholar and researcher, whose depoliticising work could do much to restore the balance to this [what many people, incl me, have long regarded as] grossly over-politicised field, in which too many avowed Marxists [Seeger, MacColl, Lloyd, Gammon, Harker...] have for too long carried their own agenda to far too great an extent.

I should like, for a moment, to turn around the thread title to read "What is folk music not?'; to which I will, purely, or anyhow mainly, as a debate-inducer, suggest the answer "It is not Primarily Political."

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:22 PM

Yes, MtheGM, I agree with you - thank you GSS. Although I would describe myself as a bit of a lefty I have long felt that Left Wing ideology has tended to obscure our understanding of trad. music, rather than illuminate it.

The more I read of Bearman's work, the more I sympathise with it and him. I particularly sympathise with his brave attempts to rescue Cecil Sharp's reputation from the unjustified smears of the likes of Harker. I note the involvement of Vic Gammon's name in this controversy. Nevertheless, VG has written a very interesting essay on Sharp in his introduction to the EFDSS publication, 'Still Growing: English Traditional Songs from the Cecil Sharp Collection'(2003). I would suggest that this is another essential read if you're in any way interested in Cecil Sharp and the Victorian/Edwardian folk song collectors.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:23 PM

Just to confuse matters further, I'm a Marxist - now that I've said it once, I'm even an avowed Marxist! But my sympathies are almost entirely with Bearman, because on balance I think he's more or less correct. The tone of that letter is a bit extreme, but I think it reflects the frustration of someone who had identified actual errors in a respected work, only to find that it carried on being respected - albeit with occasional nods to his critical work, as if he was simply expressing an alternative point of view.

I should like, for a moment, to turn around the thread title to read "What is folk music not?'; to which I will, purely, or anyhow mainly, as a debate-inducer, suggest the answer "It is not Primarily Political."

Here's Peter Bellamy, from the clip uploaded by Suibhne recently:

'Songs of political comment have always been part of the tradition. The only thing I would take exception to is the strongly left-wing movement that would like to see that sort of song take over and eradicate non-political folk song - because non-political folk song is the majority of folk song. If you look at the traditional repertoire in detail, for every song that says "Isn't life terrible, let's do something to change it" there are at least twelve that say "Hey, isn't this great down here!"'

I tend to agree.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:56 PM

I think Peter Bellamy has it about right.

There have been a number of threads recently protesting at attempts by the far right to hijack folksong for the purpose of furthering their own political ends, yet here we see what I have long suspected, that the far left have been just as guilty of the same thing and have been at it longer.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:58 PM

These days, I tend to disagree. I'd now rather escape by just playing a tune that only means what I want it to mean,


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 03:55 AM

There seems to be a bit of a consensus emerging here - that's a first!
Perhaps this thread has turned out to be not quite as silly as its title!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 04:25 AM

The politics are born from the class & cultural condesension that typifies the early revival (and upon which it was predicated as an ideology) irrespective of the political leanings of its perpetrators. In this respect, there is just as much class & cultural condescension on the left as there is on the right, which accounts for my general revulsion of political songwriting in general - folk or otherwise, be it Ewan MacColl or Robert Wyatt, both of whom I love in other respects. Whatever Sharp's actual political allegiances may or may not have been, the image that emerges (in The Imagined Village certainly) is that of an authoritarian autocrat hung up on his absolute correctness in matters of the culture of Folk Dance and Song.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 04:47 AM

" ... the image that emerges (in The Imagined Village certainly) is that of an authoritarian autocrat hung up on his absolute correctness in matters of the culture of Folk Dance and Song."

I've noticed, throughout my life, that there's a tendency to confer labels, like "authoritarian autocrat" on people who say or write things that other people don't want to hear. Sharp was a doer and a deep and original thinker - perhaps he found himself in constant conflict with people who had already decided what Folk Dance and Song were and weren't prepared to even consider any evidence which conflicted with their preconceptions.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:21 AM

I doubt the author has those sorts of preconceptions anyway, Shim - everything is sourced and accounted for accordingly and I get the impression (from the Imagined Village thread) that my impressions are a good deal more jaundiced than was her (very worthy & objective) intention. Whatever the apologists might say, Sharp did believe he was doing our National Culture of Folk Song & Dance a sevice by removing it from its unwashed traditional custodians (who barely understood its significance) and placing it into the hands of more accomplished & learned proponents - an attitude that prevails even unto this day. The more I read of C#, the more he reminds me not only of Joseph Smith, but of WAV.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:34 AM

"removing it from its unwashed traditional custodians (who barely understood its significance) and placing it into the hands of more accomplished & learned proponents"

Sharp may indeed have attempted to rebrand folk music for the use of the middle classes, but in what sense did he try to remove it from its traditional custodians?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM

I would have thought that very rebranding was part of its removal; the assumption that he was saving the songs from an invitable extinction if left unremoved was the motivating factor of The Revival. The craft of traditional singers as performers was overlooked given that no attempt was made to replicate traditional performance styles in his musical arrangements of such material or else his advices on how it ought to be performed by singers who were not just going to be Revival Singers of Traditional Songs (as we might tentatively regard ourselves today with due deference to Traditional Singers) but the New Folk. This is an attitude which isn't so very uncommon today, though one would hope, as I say, any Revival Singer would first reference (and reverence) the source which remains, in any case, the pure drop.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

"Removal" means to take away from one place and convey to another. What Sharp did (whatever over-pessimistic ideas he may have had about extinction) was to reproduce the form (or a tarted-up version of it) elsewhere. I don't see how that's stealing. If he'd nicked it, how come all those 'pure drop' singers like the Coppers, Pardon, Jordan, Blaxhall Ship, etc., carried on their singing traditions without any interference from him?

Attempts were made by at least some of the Edwardian collectors to record the subtleties of melodic variation and ornament that were essential to traditional performance style, and of course the more recent Revival, far from overlooking the craft of traditional performers, has celebrated it.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:55 AM

I'm no expert in this area by a long way but, presumably, after the collection and publication process had taken place by Sharp and others, there would have been, for some time, two parallel strands: (a) the continuum of the original singers in their locale - the Coppers being one example of this - and (b) the "tarted-up", arranged versions being introduced into schools and elsewhere.

Perhaps the effect of Sharp et al was to obscure (a) while bringing (b) into prominence - rather than remove (a) altogether.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

Whatever the eventual results, I think his intentions were clear enough i.e. to remove the songs to a safer haven where they would be better served than they would in their natural habitat which he regarded as not only doomed, but degenerate. His ideas on survival confirms this, that he was effectively harvesting songs long overdue from people who were barely capable of singing them, much less appreciating their true value. That he was mistaken in this is by the by; he thought he was right - that in so doing he was creating a new era of our national folk heritage, rather than some volkish fantasy based on an autocratic misinterpretation that to Sharp was absolute fact.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 08:55 AM

I certainly object to the FAR RIGHT trying to hijack folk music.but i would say folk music is not exclusively apolitical, it is political it is also non political, it can be and is both


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

Robert Burns dismounts stiffly from his horse on a dreich Winter's evening, having ridden forty miles through the muddy roads and lanes of Dumfriesshire, and pulls off his boots and sodden top-coat to sit wearily by the fire. Whilst Jean sets before him a bowl of broth, he reaches for a sheet or two of ruled Excise paper and writes a few lines he has been running over in his head for the last hour or so, testing them against the Scots air he wishes to provide with a set of words. Although of his own composition, he feels that they are closer in spirit to the songs of his compeers, the Common People, than the polite words set to that air three-quarters of a century ago by one of Allan Ramsay's "ingenious young gentlemen" in contributing to "The Tea-Table Miscellany" of the 1720s. These words have been sung by other polite ladies and gentlemen gathered around harpsichords in their Palladian villas, built by the Adam family, since their first publication, and he's also heard them sung at country weddings by friends and neighbours in Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Dumfries. After all, he found them first in "The Lark", a cheap collection of words (only) which he pored over incessantly as a youth; neither he nor anyone of his own "order" - the tillers of the land, not the owners - had ever been able to afford a collection printed with both words and musical scores. Not, that is, until James Johnson began publishing "The Scots Musical Museum", with notes struck cheaply on pewter plates rather than engraved, at great expense (everyone recognises how skilled a trade engraving is) on large copperplates. Since 1787, he has been contributing both his knowledge of Scots music, and his unrivalled skill in wedding words to a melody, to this publication; already he has made upwards of two hundred songs, sometimes adapting a line or two he found in David Herd's manuscripts (consulted when in Edinburgh) as well as in Herd's own two volumes of Ancient and Modern Scotish Songs, Heroic Ballads and Pastorals. He is startled out of what he sometimes calls a "poetic reverie" by Jean, who hands him a package from Edinburgh; opening it, he finds the most magnificent quarto edition of music he has ever seen. George Thomson - a violinist, and Chief Clerk to the Government's Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh - has at last published his "Select Collection of Original Scotish Airs", complete with accompaniments by Continental composers, all arranged for the new-farrant Pianoforte and the German Flute, with "opening and concluding symphonies", no less. When approached to provide some new verses, such as might be sung by ladies and gentlemen, Burns had readily agreed, stating only that he would not accept any payment; the common people, after all, had made songs for themselves "time out of mind" without thought of anything other than the love of their music and the approval of their neighbours, and he had done the same for Johnson's publication without thought of payment; even if the ordinary, down-to-earth Johnson could have afforded it, to take money for making songs would be (he grinned as he reflected on his words to Thomson) "downright sodomy of soul". At that very moment, a small sheet of paper fluttered from the pages; a Banker's Draft for £5; the price of one of Thomson's splendid volumes. A few curses followed, and the reflection that one more possession of the Common People was being appropriated by "People of Condition", who thought that everything had a price, or, at least, everything they thought worthy of taking. No doubt, in years to come, a few readers would look back on the effigy of an age, the few, "select" songs that the Polite deemed worthy of performance and publication, while the outwardly unimpressive publications of Herd, and Johnson, and that aggressive wee fellow Ritson from England, would be overlooked or forgotten. Perhaps some scholars would argue over such things as "authenticity" but - and here he sighed - no doubt, in the Imperial state that Britain had become, they would probably confine their arguments to the collecting activities of some gentlemen from England who would, maybe even a century after his own work, take an interest in the field. He lifted his fiddle from the wall and roughly picked out the notes of another air he remembered from childhood....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:59 PM

Here are those















line breaks you sent for...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:23 PM

Having read both books under discussion and now various pieces by Alan Bearman, personally the class-conscious activities of Sharp do not interest me, although Bearman's exposure of Dave Harker's statistics manipulation is somewhat disappointing. Sharp seemingly recorded faithfully all of the material he collected, unlike some who came before him. As I said earlier it is very unfortunate that Dave chose to put such a strong political slant on his expose of all the middle-class interference with the material. BUT the overall book still stands as one of the earliest and most comprehensive, exposing the extensive mediation of antiquarians, collectors etc., some of whom indulged in downright deception, and that's from my own research which backs up a lot of what Dave presents.
To me it matters little what the collectors published as long as the faithfully recorded field notes and manuscripts are left to posterity.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 08:20 AM

Well, that went rather well, after I wasunable to get online for a while....

Maybe that's a hint...

The Indispensable Man

Sometime when you're feeling important,
Sometime when your ego's in bloom,
Sometimes when you take it for granted
You're the best qualified in the room.

Sometimes when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to your wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you'll be missed.

You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you'll find that in no time
It looks quiet the same as before.

The moral in this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself, but remember,
There's no indispensable man.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Patsy, pretending to work
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM

Well I am no expert but what is NOT folk music is easier to answer than what is. As with everything everyone has their own opinion the same as with Rock some people would rate Bon Jovi and others would rate Slipnot as being hard rock and belly-laugh at the thought of Bon Jovi.

My perception of folk especially as far as a festival goes is a damned good enjoyable gig for a fraction of the cost of watching a commercialised band and a good time is had by all. Especially good if it is a struggling local band. I enjoy Maddie Pryor, Irish Celtic bands, the Seekers (old), the Settlers, the Spinners, Pentangle, Faiport Convention etc. I also like Celtic Reggae mixes, can that be counted as folk? To me it is but to others it might be just experimental music. I've noticed that 'new' dreadlocked hippies now embrace some reggae at some of the venues that I have been. It isn't mainstream but can that be classed as a kind of folk or is that urban but then others call urban hip-hop.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 03:29 PM

What is folk music?

Answer 1: A convenient marketing category helping us all find the records we happen to enjoy / prefer to avoid. As with any other genre classification, it has blurred edges but we all know what the term essentially means in this usage.

Answer 2: Music which emerges through the folk process, and hence is "the work of many hands". By this definition, if you know who wrote it, it ain't folk music.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 06:25 PM

Answer 3: Popular music of former times. By this definition you can include material even when you know who wrote it.

I don't claim to be the originator of this definition but I have always liked it for its brevity. Like Answer 1, it has blurred edges - very blurred.


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