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Traditional??

selby 26 Oct 99 - 02:36 PM
Frank Hamilton 26 Oct 99 - 02:48 PM
Fortunato 26 Oct 99 - 03:10 PM
Corwyn 26 Oct 99 - 03:12 PM
JedMarum 26 Oct 99 - 03:20 PM
Frank Hamilton 26 Oct 99 - 03:39 PM
Jack (who is called Jack) 26 Oct 99 - 03:42 PM
Fortunato 26 Oct 99 - 03:50 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Oct 99 - 03:57 PM
Liam's Brother 26 Oct 99 - 04:17 PM
Lesley N. 26 Oct 99 - 04:20 PM
lamarca 26 Oct 99 - 04:54 PM
catspaw49 26 Oct 99 - 05:10 PM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 99 - 09:34 PM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 99 - 09:44 PM
Liam's Brother 26 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM
Bugsy 27 Oct 99 - 01:12 AM
AKS 27 Oct 99 - 05:53 AM
KingBrilliant 27 Oct 99 - 07:19 AM
catspaw49 27 Oct 99 - 10:50 AM
lamarca 27 Oct 99 - 10:52 AM
Rick Fielding 27 Oct 99 - 11:09 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Oct 99 - 11:12 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Oct 99 - 11:19 AM
Art Thieme 27 Oct 99 - 11:51 AM
Mudjack 27 Oct 99 - 11:59 AM
Blackcat2 27 Oct 99 - 01:47 PM
Frank Hamilton 27 Oct 99 - 02:13 PM
Jeri 27 Oct 99 - 04:12 PM
AKS 28 Oct 99 - 05:56 AM
Lady McMoo 28 Oct 99 - 08:06 AM
Lesley N. 28 Oct 99 - 08:18 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 28 Oct 99 - 10:37 AM
AKS 28 Oct 99 - 12:27 PM
selby 28 Oct 99 - 01:42 PM
Lesley N. 28 Oct 99 - 04:06 PM
Joan 28 Oct 99 - 10:08 PM
catspaw49 28 Oct 99 - 10:23 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Oct 99 - 11:02 PM
Bugsy 28 Oct 99 - 11:07 PM
catspaw49 29 Oct 99 - 02:14 AM
Frank Hamilton 29 Oct 99 - 10:12 AM
Joan 29 Oct 99 - 11:36 AM
selby 29 Oct 99 - 01:04 PM
David 29 Oct 99 - 06:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 99 - 07:43 PM
Art Thieme 29 Oct 99 - 10:55 PM
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Subject: Traditional??
From: selby
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 02:36 PM

I have deliberately not searched for previous threads to this question as I sense a lot of new people myself included appearing on MUDCAT. So in the current light of the problems with copywrite. WHAT MAKES A TUNE OR SONG TRADITIONAL? OR IS THERE A TIME SCALE? Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 02:48 PM

A folk song is a variant. It travels through different incarnations. It invariably winds up different than when it started. It's usually not attributable to any singlw author. I think it's possible for a song to travel in tradition quickly but it does take time to emerge in various forms and be perpetuated by people from different cultures or in the same culture. I don't think you can put a time restriction on it. It could take decades, centuries, eras but it's not a written song over night.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Fortunato
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:10 PM

In the past a have use an arbitrary: one generation rule or 30 yrs. Based on the assumption that a song can pass into the oral tradition after one generation. By this definition Hank Williams Jambalaya, now sung all over the world, has become a traditional American song.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Corwyn
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:12 PM

In light of copyright, 26 yrs. I believe is the scale.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:20 PM

chuckle@corwyn. clever and timely comment!

check out this thread, No Joke: Mudcat Under Attack


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:39 PM

No, Jumbalaya is not yet a folk song. It has not gone through variations and been adapted to different cultures or changed in any way. A song by Irving Berlin is played somewhere in the world even today and his song pedegrees go back furthur than 30 years. But these are popular songs because they are attributable to one author, not changed and they are definitely not in the public domain. This doesn't mean, however, that in time they can't become folk songs. But they have to go through the process.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:42 PM

This forum tends to use the words 'Folk' and 'Traditional' synonymously, but I think that's an error.

Traditional has an element of endurance over time in association with an identifiable social group. For example, my family traditionally goes to my Grandparents house for christmas.

On the other hand, folk doesn't necessarily have to meet a temporal standard, just some minimal level of association with a social group, and a general lack of formality. A mountain storyteller can make up a new tale and tell it to some children, and its probably fair to call it a folk-tale at the moment of its creation. On the other hand, it would not be fair to call Huckleberry Finn or Moby Dick folk tales, no matter how long those tales are retold. They are formal works of fine art, written for publication.

Of course there's an arbitrary element to any definitions of this kind. I'm reminded of a comment of a classmate back in the 1970's. There are two kinds of food in the world. Rich peoples food, which is called GOURMET, and poor peoples food, which is called ETHNIC.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Fortunato
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:50 PM

Jambalya is not a folk song yet, perhaps, although variants have occured in that words have altered and new verses have been written. I have not heard variants in melody.

But has it passed into American oral tradition? Yes, I think so.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 03:57 PM

If I'm in a room with Sandy or Dick and I'm singing "So Long It's Been Good To Know You" and someone asked whether it was a folk song, I'd say no..and explain why. If I was in a different kind of venue...I'd say: "sure", cause the explanation would probably bore people. In both cases I'd hope they enjoyed the song.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 04:17 PM

Don't forget Public Domain, used often when an author is known, no copyright was ever sought for the work and the author is deceased.

I use Folk and Traditional synonomously because that is the academic usage. Using Folk-styled instead of Folk would allow people all the wiggle room they need to call "Blowing in the Wind," for example, a folk song.

To continue with Frank Hamilton has said above, a real folk song comes from the community. Anyone in the community can say, "Yes. That's part of the life around here." If the song goes, for example, from Scotland to Vermont, it changes enroute and becomes at least as much about Vermont as Scotland.

I struggle with the expresssion Contemporary Folk Song (which I hear a lot nowadays) because

a. contemporary folk songs are rarely the expression of what we can realistically call a Community. They are most often written by people outside of the Community the song is supposed to be from.

b. sing a contemporary folk song and someone will tell you you have the words wrong.

c. most of the time, they don't sound like real folk songs, they sound like pop songs.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Lesley N.
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 04:20 PM

It is faulty to use the same criteria for "traditional" in today's world as for centuries past. The literacy rate was lower, printed sources of music were scarce, musical notation was not on printed sources, etc., etc., etc. Music was passed by oral tradition because there was no other possiblity.

Nowadays we have printed music and copyrighted music and a greater number of people are literate. Most musicians know how to read music and most are aware of copyright laws. Hence modern tunes will probably not tend to develop variations at the rate earlier tunes did.

In the same manner I think it is faulty to say that a tune is not traditional/folk if there is a known author. Is Ye Roast Beef of Old England less traditional because we know Leveridge wrote it? Is it less of a folk tune? Surely many songs we consider traditional started out as formal publications.

But, of course, I am not an academic and I'm far less of a folk scholar than most. And so I won't offer my own definition - I think it's a pretty subjective term!

Martin Neff has an interesting page on "what is folk" here (http://www.coe.ufl.edu/courses/EdTech/Vault/Folk/Definition.htm).


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: lamarca
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 04:54 PM

Here we go agaain! here's a wonderful compilation that Alice made of some of the discussions on "What is folk?" or "What is traditional?" that we've had on the Mudcat over the past few years...

Read and enjoy, but please don't refresh all the older threads simultaneously, lest people looking for songs and tunes get swamped out...


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 05:10 PM

Oh thank you Brother Rick!!!!!!

Second, thanks lamarca for the link, but may I offer the suggestion that the current group of "combatants" not refresh any of the suckers. Just read and enjoy and post your opinions here for posterity. Geeziz, it ain't even been a month has it???? I can see your point selby, but this dead horse is starting to decay a bit. Read the old, post the new here and remember:

"You can drag a dead horse to the river, but he won't be drinkin' jackshit."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 09:34 PM

Selby,

Listen to Frank Hamilton here and you won't go wrong. I agree with him.

The idea that the oral tradition is a process---one which songs must go through as they move from person to person via recordings or radio or "mouth to mouth"------all, wherein, the songs might be learned incompletely so the hearer must create what can't be remembered and therefore changed. These are folksongs. They've gone through the process and become a part of the oral tadition as a result of having endured through the time that took---and beyond...

Many today use the folk scene (and the Folk Alliance) as a springboard to Nashville and pop success. The songs they make are not folksongs, no matter what anyone here (or there) tries to tall you.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 09:44 PM

Paw & Lamarca & all,

I'll respond WHENEVER any new person wants to know the truth of it!!! It's the very least I can do to be true to the topic and to myself. Sorry if you're tired of hearing it or of smelling the carcass

Art


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 10:31 PM

Give 'em hell, Art.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Bugsy
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 01:12 AM

With regard to music becoming Public Domain. (out of Copyright) the last time I worked on the problem it was 50 years. Some European Countries were 25 years but they seem to be conforming to the 50 year idea too. There was talk of making it 100 years, in order to get more Copyright Royalties from Classical music now considered Public Domain.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: AKS
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 05:53 AM

Hi, this thread seems have started twice. Here's what I wrote on the other about an hour ago:

The kernel of the international agreement on copyright is this: the copyright is 'on' as long as the author lives PLUS seventy (70) years after that. Then the 'object' of cr becomes 'free'. So, a lot of music that we consider as 'traditional' is not at all free of copyright, and - put the opposite way - a lot of 'free' music is not at all traditional. Even though the copyright is a positive thing from the author's point of view, the period of protection has become too long, thinks I!

AKS from Joensuu, Finland


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 07:19 AM

I think that what Rick says about different answers for different audience is at the core of the controversy. The aim of communication is to pass information, and when we communicate we are encoding an idea, which is then decoded by the 'reciever'. So, the way in which we use language (or any medium for communication) will generally be chosen such that we aim for the closest possible decoding at the other end. Hence what we mean may vary with the recipient. The same actual word may be used in a variety of contexts & situations to convey different (or differently flavoured) information. So, even if we come up with an absolute definite final definition for the term 'folk', I doubt if that will change the actual usage of the term. You have to pay attention to what the 'decoder' understands by the term as well as to what you yourself understand it to mean. Very often communication is just a best approximation end-to-end. That's what I reckon, anyway.

Kris

Kris


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 10:50 AM

If you didn't respond, it wouldn't be you Art. But we get into so much damn pigeonholing here that it gets bizarre. I don't disagree with your definition, or Sandy's or Frank's of countless others......But I keep wondering why this keeps coming up more and more? Is it just new folks joining in or are we somehow so locked up in this thing that we can never let it go?

Rick made an excellent point in saying the person you're talking with makes a difference. I think too that referring to "folk" to most people brings up something we'd refer to as "folk-like" and that's the point of all these pigeonholing definition threads. I know that when I say the word to Karen, or when I'm talking around here that I'M using two different definitions.

Maybe we need FLAKE music......"Folk Like And Kinda' Enjoyable".....But then would we have to describe folk-like and enjoyable?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: lamarca
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 10:52 AM

Art - No disagreement with you or your response. I only wanted to link to the previous discussions of this topic for those interested, but ask that they make any responses to this thread, and not revive the older ones, too.

It's an important topic, and one that needs exploration and thought. I'm tired of having to wade through the "Folk", "Country", "Bluegrass", "Blues" and "International" bins at my local record store, trying to figure out where the young guy in CDs has decided to file the latest Lomax collection of source recordings...


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 11:09 AM

Ok, we're at a ball game, and the person in the next seat says "hey, that Babe Ruth guy was the greatest ball player who ever lived." I can either say "yeah, you got it," and we both go back to enjoying the game, or I can launch into an explanation of why I'd rather have Roberto Alomar on my team over the Babe, IF the right field fence was 380 feet away. Or that the babe had Gehrig batting behind him (AND Meusel batting behind HIM) so he saw a lot better pitches than Ted Williams did....etc. etc. I'd lose him, and we'd both miss the game.
I wrote a parody of a traditional sea song a few years ago called "Off to School No More". If I'm playing to an audience who are familiar with the original, (and the details of each verse) they laugh their heads off. If the audience wouldn't know A.L. Lloyd from Harold Lloyd, it's just long and tedious and NOT funny at all. Believe me, I learned that from experience. I love to subvert people into real folk music, but my way is to do it incrementally.
Good thread!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 11:12 AM

Here, again, are links to on-line copyright resources:

Benedict O'Mahoney's web site (http://www.benedict.com).

Professor Dennis Karjala's web site (http://www.public.asu.edu/~dkarjala).

The Public Domain Information Project (http://www.pdinfo.com).

Copyright's Commons (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cc).

The Eldred v. Reno website, describing the constitutional challenge to the recently-passed Copyright Term Extension Act, (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/eldredvreno/index.html).

Terry Carrol's Copyright Resource Page (http://www.aimnet.com/~carroll/copyright/faq-home.html).

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org).

Harvey Reid's Essay on some musical performance licensing issues (http://www.woodpecker.com/articles/royalty-politics.html).

T.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 11:19 AM

Here is a better link to Copyright's Commons (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cc/cc.html).

T.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 11:51 AM

No offense intended by my latest folks. None at all. But in spite of all the other threads on the topic, we get new queries over and over. When I see one o' those, I just want to let those not knowing the history in on where we get our opinions. It's not out of the blue. It's from good people---fine real folksingers who took the time to hold onto the artifacts and pass them along because they said something basic about humanity---or just told a good story. It's the rather lovely looseness of the entire process---the aspects that have made it a treasure hunt---that have enhanced the search for me. In spite of professors--who I respect greatly--and us revivalists to an extent also---the songs and tales and bits of jokes and medicine lore have stayed joyously aloof in their meandering journeys. It's as if Woody or Little Walter or Jack Elliott or Mac McClintock or Aunt Molly Jackson or Emery DeNoyer or Blind Lemon were, with all their wildness and unpredictability, human manifestations of the lovely randomness of the process. I love it! I enjoy how so many of us have, without any other credibility other than we liked the music, been able (with loving help from our compatriots and friends) managed to alchemically make a living of sorts from what we cared most about by singing into the wind. There was no real product other than that. Talk about supernatural occurances right in front of our eyes...

It gives me goose bumps.

Art

S'paw, I love the idea of "FLAKESONGS". I'm gonna use that as soon as I can. Wish I'd thought of it. Seems true on so many levels... I can see it now: Folksong and Flakesong as a wonderful title for a book! Thank you!!!

Art


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Mudjack
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 11:59 AM

FOLK MUSIC was best defined by Leadbelly.When you sing songs to folks, that's folk music. Perhaps simplified but makes sense to me.More often than not stops the all time argument of; "What is folk music"?
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Blackcat2
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 01:47 PM

Definitions, Smefinitions

When someone asks about a song - or I tell about it, I give the author, if known, the approx. age, if known, and the general location of its creation or the homeland of the author, if known. i.e. "Lord Nelson: Tommy Makem, late 1960's, Ireland"

Most of the time people only want to hear what they expect to hear. Much of what I sing is Irish, but tons of it is from all over the world and most people just assume it's all Irish. They tend to assume I'm Irish, as well, though I'm a U.S.er with English and German heritage. I just LIKE Celtic music (though I like oom-pah music too!)


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 02:13 PM

I think that if you know who wrote the song and it has remained in tact and unchanged through the years, it is not a folk song. It hasn't undergone the process.

I think that this thread will keep coming up for the following reasons: 1. People will always want to know what the difference is between any old song and a folk song. 2. There is a reason why these songs persist in the way that they do. Change and adaptability. 3. People are confused when they hear popular music being written today and called "folk". They deserve a better explanation as to why it's not. 4. Traditional folk singers have their own audience and appreciators and they often don't overlap with the general audience for art songs, pop songs, show songs or pseudo-folk type songs. 5. There is something in the dynamic of this music that you can feel and it just plain feels different than other forms of music.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 04:12 PM

So what if the song is relatively modern and copyrighted, and what if there are several versions of the song because folks were unaware of the author? Examples:
"Dark Island" - but although there are several sets of words, I haven't heard of variants.
"Wild Mountain Thyme" - although this may just be one individual's misremembering of The Braes of Balquidder, it still has variants.
Hamish Henderson's "51st Highland Division's Farewell to Sicily" - there is the one the way he wrote it (in Scots) and an anglicised version. I know there are others, I just can't think of them at the moment.
Of course, this is probably a stupid question, because that's how songs get into oral tradition. People forget who wrote them and that there's a "correct" way to sing them.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: AKS
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:56 AM

In the end, Jeri, it is the OWNER of the copyright whose busines it is to decide, whether there'd only be 'the correct' one or whether 'arrangements' should be possible. The permission to arrange can be of more or less general type or a separate application is needed for any new arr.

And here is the trap: many of the most profitable copyrights of the century - I think even of the folkie stuff - are not owned by the original author any more, for a reason or another (c.f. the most famous Lennon-McCartney music is 'owned' by Michael Jackson - and that is not the MJ who writes books about beer!).

Some of these second hand owners (being big companies or such) may be quite jealous about their (undeniable) right to make money with their 'property', even if the original author would rather see his/her 'product' to be PD od trad (which again would be his/her right to do had he only the cr).

IMO, the present 70 years cr protection period after author's death is rather long and should at least not cover any second hand copyright owner.

AKS, Joensuu Finland


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:06 AM

Does it really matter?

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Lesley N.
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:18 AM

Does it matter? Here's one of the posts to a thread I was involved in on uk.music.folk.

"I'm thinking in particular at this moment of one of our greatest folk balladeers, one of our feistyist national commentators, Harri Webb, who throughout his life insisted that people should take his words and sing them, spread his message, perpetuate them.., for brilliant words they are. Unfortunately, before his death, Harri assigned his rights to former Welsh Arts Council literary director Meic Stephens. The inspiring, courageous, angry verses of Harri Webb have now virtually disappeared from circulation under the weight of the demands for payment should any performer carry out Harri's wishes."

--
Mick Tems & Pat Smith: Calennig/Celfyddydau Mari Arts/


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 10:37 AM

Ways in which copyright owners can user their rights to interfere with the creative process are touched on in this piece by Gail Russel Chaddock.

Some of these issues were also discussed in a UK context by Richard Morrison in a comment published in the Times of London. I can't get a blue clicky thingy straight to it. You need to go to the London Times website here,, click on "Back Issues", and following the instructions, bring up the back issue for May 17, 1997. Then click on "Arts" and bring up the Arts section. The Article by Morrison is "Week in the Arts: Richard Morrison--Touched by Lunacy Beyond the Grave".

The compulsory license mechanism for recorded music places somewhat of a check on arbitrary actions by the rightsholder. But public domain status is the best way to guarantee complete creative freedom.

T.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: AKS
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 12:27 PM

Not much, mcmoo, not much for an individual. But for those who work in the 'ed biz' (as Tom Lehrer once called it), for example, it is a constant pain in the hind part of the trunk: masses of brilliant learning material are out of reach because of cr.

Another aspect is this: Have you ever thought what kind of copyright owner might be behind the attack on Mudcat? Some folkie type singersongwriter perhaps? BG

AKS from Joensuu, Finland


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: selby
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 01:42 PM

I see from some of the comments that some of the established mudcatters are sick of this discusion / argument At the start of the thread I stated that I hadnot looked to see if there where any threads and that a lot of new people had signed on recently. In my humble opinion by the very nature of mudcat things will reappear constantly as the global cafe grows and events take place. I am sure things that have been discussed time and time again will reappear therefore i think a good word is TOLERANCE Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Lesley N.
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 04:06 PM

Actually this thread has gone in a bit of a different direction - T's stuff is very informative and I don't recall it elsewhere (which doesn't mean it isn't there!!)

I just reread my last post and I think I sounded pretty severe - didn't mean it like that at all. I'm one of those souls who always looks in on the "what is folk/traditional" and "copyright" threads and don't mind it being rehashed at all.


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Joan
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 10:08 PM

Here's another question:

Are we also considering the source of the singer's material when you label it and him/her traditional or not?

Included in my concerts are an eclectic mix of "old" songs--music hall ditties, hankie soakers, songs documenting history or struggle which have composers duly noted. I may sing a song or two that I've written that have the sound of age, but that's because I set out to make 'em that way.

But the largest portion of songs I've chosen to learn and sing are traditional. BUT...not from MY tradition or culture, and not orally transmitted from anyone my family. Others have done the tough job of collection and compiling those songs for me. I may treasure them, then pass them on with respect and joy for others to understand and appreciate. Some of us come by our songs via scholars' efforts...are we traditional singers?


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 10:23 PM

Oh hell Keith, I'm tolerant and I'm as happy as anyone that you and a lot of others are adding to the mix. Don't get me wrong, its a valid discussion, but at best it ends invariably with the same agreement to disagree...which is the best thing about the relationships around here. I think I was a little fried because for the past month or so, we've had several threads running concurrently all saying the same thing and basically debating the same point. There is no answer and no agreement, but it IS a fun discussion usually. If I offended you, I'm sorry...but now I'm ready move to a new topic for awhile, like is a frog's ass watertight!*****BG****

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 11:02 PM

We may sing traditional songs, but that doesn't make us traditional singers.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Bugsy
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 11:07 PM

'Spaw, It is until he coughs!

cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 02:14 AM

Damn Bugs.....that's a good point! Had that problem myself a time or two.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 10:12 AM

Joan,

I was watching my Doc Watson video yesterday. He is so much a natural part of his tradition that there's just no diputing that he's who he is because of that tradition. I've learned most of my songs from secondary sources such as books or people who heard it from other people. Only one song I've learned, The Tennesee Blues has been passed down through my step-father. I call myself a "folk revival" singer rather than a traditional folk singer. God knows what my tradition is...it stems from pop music of the forties to maybe some Jewish music from my maternal grandfathers, I don't know. Most of the songs I sing are not part of my traditions so I respectfully carry them forth as you do as an interpreter. I make this distinction because I honor those representatives of these respective traditions or their cultures and feel that they have something quite unique to tell us about our history that can't be found through secondary sources. The best I can do to honor them is to sing their music honestly and as faithfully as I can to the spirit of those traditions. I believe I dishonor this music by attempting to imitate slavishly without the understanding of the music or the song lyrics.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Joan
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:36 AM

Good answer, Frank. I believe the operative phrase you used is "understanding the music." To do that means listening, more listening (live as well as recorded, if you can), and really hearing those songs as sung by those who were born to them. Also agree that the idea is to osmose (is that a word?) the "feel" rather than try to pull off an imitation of someone else's style. Probably doesn't work, anyhow, and diminishes the source.

But traditional or honestly non-trad., I'm happy so many people are singing for the songs. Can't get into too much mischief while making music.

Joan Sprung


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: selby
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 01:04 PM

Catspaw no offence taken just wanted to get back on course. The more I sit and ponder the whole issue the more I get confused perhaps there could be a answer in I wrote it I would like it if posible to become Traditional after say % years thank you very much.BUT after saying that I am fully aware that artists have lost the righjts to their own songs after the songs have become succesful due to contracts etc There is also in the UK a argument between a writer and a puplisher who say that the song the writer wrote is traditional every one seems to aknowledge that the writer wrote it apart from one puplishing house which claims it's traditional therefore doing away with royalties. Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: David
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 06:42 PM

If you can sing it in the bath it's folk music. One you know the words so it's in the oral tradition, it has to be performed accoustically or it could be lethal. And it sounds better with all that natural reverb in the bathroom!


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 07:43 PM

Some people seem irritated that this discussion keeps on coming up again and again, and going through the same set of changes and ending up in the same place

But doesn't that remind you of something else of which you could say the same thing? By which I mean, the songs we like to sing. This discussion is itself TRADITIONAL, and that is a justification for reviving it from time to time.

Or, as with song and music, I'd sooner say "it comes out of the folk tradition". Or out of one of the folk traditions.

Because a song or tune can be as fresh as yesterday, created by someone sitting across the room and come out of a living tradition, and be fitting to take its place in that tradition.

Or a song can have been around for years, and not come out of a folk tradition, and not drifted into it either.

Age hasn't really got anything to do with it, exceot thta it acts as a filter, starining out a lot of poor songs (and sadly, a lot of good omnes as well.

Does this traditional discussion have a chorus?

Kevin


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Subject: RE: Traditional??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 10:55 PM

No chorus. It's a l--o--n--g ballad.......

Art


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