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Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?

SPB-Cooperator 30 Sep 13 - 11:23 AM
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Banjo-Flower 30 Sep 13 - 03:06 PM
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Bill D 30 Sep 13 - 08:53 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 13 - 12:35 AM
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Will Fly 01 Oct 13 - 04:15 AM
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Will Fly 01 Oct 13 - 05:43 AM
Will Fly 01 Oct 13 - 05:46 AM
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Banjo-Flower 01 Oct 13 - 06:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 Oct 13 - 08:06 AM
Lighter 01 Oct 13 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Oct 13 - 08:28 AM
Banjo-Flower 01 Oct 13 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Peter 01 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Oct 13 - 08:50 AM
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bubblyrat 01 Oct 13 - 08:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Oct 13 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 01 Oct 13 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Oct 13 - 09:15 AM
Banjo-Flower 01 Oct 13 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 01 Oct 13 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Derrick 01 Oct 13 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 01 Oct 13 - 09:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 Oct 13 - 09:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Oct 13 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Oct 13 - 10:04 AM
Banjo-Flower 01 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM
alex s 01 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 01 Oct 13 - 12:36 PM
Lighter 01 Oct 13 - 01:04 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 01 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM
The Sandman 01 Oct 13 - 01:23 PM
The Sandman 01 Oct 13 - 01:27 PM
The Sandman 01 Oct 13 - 01:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Oct 13 - 02:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 01 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM
Banjo-Flower 01 Oct 13 - 04:10 PM
Lighter 01 Oct 13 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 13 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,mwharrisongs 01 Oct 13 - 11:23 PM
The Sandman 02 Oct 13 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,giovanni 02 Oct 13 - 02:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Oct 13 - 03:56 AM
Jim Martin 02 Oct 13 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 02 Oct 13 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 02 Oct 13 - 05:37 AM
Jim Martin 02 Oct 13 - 05:43 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Oct 13 - 05:51 AM
Jim Martin 02 Oct 13 - 05:58 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Oct 13 - 05:59 AM
Banjo-Flower 02 Oct 13 - 06:25 AM
Alan Day 02 Oct 13 - 06:51 AM
Rumncoke 02 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM
selby 02 Oct 13 - 07:16 AM
Acorn4 02 Oct 13 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM
Lighter 02 Oct 13 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 13 - 08:34 AM
Mr Red 02 Oct 13 - 10:33 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 02 Oct 13 - 11:16 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 13 - 11:33 AM
Lighter 02 Oct 13 - 11:55 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Oct 13 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM
Acorn4 02 Oct 13 - 12:52 PM
Lighter 02 Oct 13 - 01:00 PM
Stringsinger 02 Oct 13 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 13 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 02 Oct 13 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Nigel Parry 02 Oct 13 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,SteveT 03 Oct 13 - 04:39 AM
Rob Naylor 03 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM
Jim Martin 03 Oct 13 - 06:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Oct 13 - 06:53 AM
Lighter 03 Oct 13 - 07:55 AM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM
SPB-Cooperator 03 Oct 13 - 09:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Oct 13 - 09:51 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 03 Oct 13 - 10:59 AM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 13 - 11:31 AM
Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 13 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 03 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM
Lighter 03 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 13 - 02:12 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Oct 13 - 03:33 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 04 Oct 13 - 07:22 AM
Rumncoke 04 Oct 13 - 07:54 AM
Lighter 04 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 04 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM
Lighter 04 Oct 13 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Oct 13 - 11:34 AM
SPB-Cooperator 04 Oct 13 - 12:06 PM
Lighter 04 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 04 Oct 13 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,giovanni 04 Oct 13 - 03:58 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 04 Oct 13 - 07:56 PM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 05 Oct 13 - 05:49 AM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 06:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 13 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 05 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 13 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 05 Oct 13 - 07:23 AM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 07:31 AM
Lighter 05 Oct 13 - 08:07 AM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 05 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 13 - 11:57 AM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 05 Oct 13 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Mick G 05 Oct 13 - 12:42 PM
Manitas_at_home 05 Oct 13 - 12:49 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM
Rumncoke 05 Oct 13 - 05:56 PM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 06 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM
Andrez 06 Oct 13 - 06:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 06 Oct 13 - 07:40 AM
Lighter 06 Oct 13 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 06 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 06 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 13 - 11:18 AM
Eldergirl 06 Oct 13 - 11:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Oct 13 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 06 Oct 13 - 12:00 PM
Lighter 06 Oct 13 - 12:06 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Oct 13 - 12:55 PM
Lighter 06 Oct 13 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 06 Oct 13 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 06 Oct 13 - 02:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 06 Oct 13 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 04:39 AM
Eldergirl 07 Oct 13 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 05:14 AM
Eldergirl 07 Oct 13 - 06:37 AM
Vic Smith 07 Oct 13 - 06:59 AM
SPB-Cooperator 07 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 08:17 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 07 Oct 13 - 08:18 AM
Brian Peters 07 Oct 13 - 09:07 AM
Eldergirl 07 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 13 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 10:05 AM
Lighter 07 Oct 13 - 11:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Oct 13 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Oct 13 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 11:33 AM
Lighter 07 Oct 13 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 11:44 AM
Brian Peters 07 Oct 13 - 11:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Oct 13 - 12:02 PM
johncharles 07 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,geoff woolfe 07 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 13 - 12:31 PM
Lighter 07 Oct 13 - 12:57 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Oct 13 - 01:10 PM
Eldergirl 07 Oct 13 - 09:21 PM
GUEST 08 Oct 13 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Oct 13 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM
Brian Peters 08 Oct 13 - 09:05 AM
Vic Smith 08 Oct 13 - 09:24 AM
Lighter 08 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,chris 08 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 08 Oct 13 - 10:57 AM
Brian Peters 08 Oct 13 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 08 Oct 13 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,CS 08 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Oct 13 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,eldergirl on another computer 08 Oct 13 - 08:48 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 13 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 09 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM
Will Fly 09 Oct 13 - 05:19 AM
Brian Peters 09 Oct 13 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,eldergirl on another computer 09 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 09 Oct 13 - 06:03 AM
Eldergirl 09 Oct 13 - 09:35 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 10 Oct 13 - 08:34 AM
Lighter 10 Oct 13 - 09:25 AM
Vic Smith 11 Oct 13 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 13 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Oct 13 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 11 Oct 13 - 03:39 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 12 Oct 13 - 03:44 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 13 - 07:57 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 13 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 13 Oct 13 - 08:36 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 13 - 11:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Oct 13 - 01:57 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 13 - 03:20 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 13 - 03:58 AM
MartinRyan 14 Oct 13 - 04:29 AM
The Sandman 14 Oct 13 - 04:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Tim Hague 14 Oct 13 - 07:09 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 13 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,CS 14 Oct 13 - 08:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 13 - 09:12 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Oct 13 - 09:38 AM
MartinRyan 14 Oct 13 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 14 Oct 13 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 14 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 10:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,CS 14 Oct 13 - 10:18 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 13 - 10:30 AM
Lighter 14 Oct 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,grumpy 14 Oct 13 - 01:42 PM
GUEST 14 Oct 13 - 03:10 PM
selby 14 Oct 13 - 03:34 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 13 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,alan Squires 14 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 14 Oct 13 - 04:22 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 13 - 04:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Oct 13 - 05:17 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Oct 13 - 05:56 PM
Lighter 14 Oct 13 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 13 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 05:51 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 15 Oct 13 - 07:08 AM
Will Fly 15 Oct 13 - 07:10 AM
Mr Happy 15 Oct 13 - 07:20 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 13 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Phil E 15 Oct 13 - 08:25 AM
Will Fly 15 Oct 13 - 09:09 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 09:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 10:21 AM
Mr Happy 15 Oct 13 - 10:46 AM
Lighter 15 Oct 13 - 11:11 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 13 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,CS 15 Oct 13 - 11:18 AM
Will Fly 15 Oct 13 - 11:21 AM
Lighter 15 Oct 13 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,CS 15 Oct 13 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 11:53 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 11:57 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 13 - 11:58 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 13 - 12:04 PM
Lighter 15 Oct 13 - 12:38 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 12:51 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 01:15 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 13 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM
Lighter 15 Oct 13 - 03:02 PM
Lighter 15 Oct 13 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 15 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 13 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 15 Oct 13 - 04:07 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 15 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 13 - 05:13 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Oct 13 - 06:41 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Oct 13 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,big al whittle 16 Oct 13 - 01:50 AM
Will Fly 16 Oct 13 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 03:49 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 13 - 03:52 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Oct 13 - 04:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 05:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 06:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 08:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 08:31 AM
Vic Smith 16 Oct 13 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 08:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,CS 16 Oct 13 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 09:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 09:25 AM
Lighter 16 Oct 13 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 09:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 09:39 AM
selby 16 Oct 13 - 10:06 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 13 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 10:22 AM
Lighter 16 Oct 13 - 10:29 AM
GUEST 16 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,CS 16 Oct 13 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Oct 13 - 11:15 AM
Suzy Sock Puppet 16 Oct 13 - 01:05 PM
Lighter 16 Oct 13 - 01:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 16 Oct 13 - 01:30 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 16 Oct 13 - 01:40 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 13 - 03:17 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Oct 13 - 09:13 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 13 - 02:33 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM
The Sandman 17 Oct 13 - 08:45 AM
Lighter 17 Oct 13 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 17 Oct 13 - 11:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Gourmet 18 Oct 13 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 18 Oct 13 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,eldergirl on another computer 18 Oct 13 - 06:33 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 13 - 02:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Oct 13 - 03:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Oct 13 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 19 Oct 13 - 05:13 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 13 - 05:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Oct 13 - 05:28 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Oct 13 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 24 Oct 13 - 07:55 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Oct 13 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 24 Oct 13 - 09:30 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Oct 13 - 10:30 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 13 - 01:49 PM
SPB-Cooperator 25 Oct 13 - 04:26 AM
MartinRyan 25 Oct 13 - 04:40 AM
Will Fly 25 Oct 13 - 04:50 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 13 - 05:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 05:18 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 05:44 AM
Brian Peters 25 Oct 13 - 06:37 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 06:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 Oct 13 - 06:51 AM
Phil Edwards 25 Oct 13 - 06:57 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 07:03 AM
Brian Peters 25 Oct 13 - 07:04 AM
Will Fly 25 Oct 13 - 07:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 07:22 AM
Brian Peters 25 Oct 13 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 25 Oct 13 - 07:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 07:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 07:58 AM
Brian Peters 25 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM
Lighter 25 Oct 13 - 10:26 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Oct 13 - 11:12 AM
Lighter 25 Oct 13 - 04:52 PM
The Sandman 26 Oct 13 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 26 Oct 13 - 03:04 PM
Phil Edwards 26 Oct 13 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Wally Macnow 26 Oct 13 - 06:10 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Oct 13 - 08:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 13 - 12:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 13 - 04:21 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 05:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 13 - 06:54 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 13 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 13 - 08:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 13 - 09:16 AM
Bobert 27 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,CS 27 Oct 13 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,CS 27 Oct 13 - 10:20 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 13 - 10:25 AM
Bobert 27 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 10:58 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 11:06 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 13 - 11:23 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 11:40 AM
Phil Edwards 27 Oct 13 - 11:51 AM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 12:00 PM
Phil Edwards 27 Oct 13 - 12:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 13 - 12:32 PM
Will Fly 27 Oct 13 - 12:38 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 13 - 12:44 PM
The Sandman 27 Oct 13 - 01:15 PM
Jack Blandiver 27 Oct 13 - 02:27 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 13 - 07:13 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 13 - 04:27 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Oct 13 - 04:45 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 13 - 05:58 AM
Jack Campin 28 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM
Will Fly 28 Oct 13 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Rahere 28 Oct 13 - 12:49 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 13 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 28 Oct 13 - 02:45 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Oct 13 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 28 Oct 13 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Rahere 28 Oct 13 - 03:49 PM
GUEST 28 Oct 13 - 04:47 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 13 - 04:50 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 13 - 05:25 AM
Lighter 13 Nov 13 - 03:42 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Nov 13 - 03:54 PM
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Subject: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 11:23 AM

Hopefully this isn't too controversial a question.

Having just got back from a holiday in Ireland, I couldn't help but notice that traditional Irish music is heavily promoted by the tourist industry - and it can be heard in gift shops, extensively in pubs, particularly in Dublin and Galway, and on street corners.

Back in London - traditional music is largely ignored, and if a visitor wants to hear traditional music in London he/she has to go to great lengths to find it.

Why, particularly in London, do we make our traditions so hard to find? Is it because the 'public' do not like to listen to English folk music as opposed to Irish? Are English singers so bad??

When I was in the Shanty Crew we could hold the attention of a large number of visitors to St Katherines Dock (yonks ago), and when we sang each month on the Cutty Sark, visitors would stop and listen - we once had a party of French schoolkids sitting on the hatch cover listening to an entire set - and joining in.


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 11:32 AM

For what you are about to receive, may the Lord make you truly thankful...


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 11:36 AM

I am not sure you should take the Irish tourist industry appropriating music as a commodity to be sold as a sign of the health of traditional music.

If you look however at the number of young people enthusiastically taking up and playing traditional music and using it in a social context, then you're probably looking at a better indicator. Which will indeed show you things are looking healthy enough for another while yet.


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 11:48 AM

I agree. We should start at heathrow.

The customs men should be dressed as pearly kings and queens and greet everyone newly arrived to a chheery 'WOTHCHER COCK!'

And maybe a few choruses of Knocked 'em in Old Kent Road.

That would cheer things up.


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 12:10 PM

Simple... a lot of Irish music is fast, exciting and loud, and appeals (for listening especially) to folks who are not necessarily aware of its history. It also features 'tunes' to dance and clap to more often.

At the Smithsonian Folk Festival in Washington, D.C. for a number of years after highlighting Ireland and Lousiana, they tried each year to plan themes which would justify having either Irish or Cajun music... sometimes both! They would take food, workers, crafts, ...whatever... and sneak some degree of Cajun or Irish into it because it always drew crowds of folks who liked to dance and clap along.

*I* happen to like English & Scottish traditional music better, but it takes more ... ummm... 'awareness' to get the words and significance. I am lucky to live in a area where we DO have a decent selection of all sorts... but even here, Irish pubs get the big crowds.


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 12:17 PM

"clap along"? Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 12:27 PM

Yes, Martin that and 'loud and fast?'


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 12:47 PM

I don't believe that, Bill. We had the discussion on here not too many weeks back about all folk being classed as Irish by the unknowing. There are plenty of English and Scottish tunes that are 'fast, exciting and loud', if that is what people really want. Trouble is then then assume it is Irish! I, for one, have never been a fan of Irish music for the very reasons you say people like it and I am sure I am not that unusual!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM

I `ad that Pat O`Donovan in my cab the other day. `e `ad a ginormous silver cup in `is arms and was polishing it with the back of `is shamrock coloured shirt.
`e said, "To be sure Jimmy boy, will you be taking me up to the Kilburn High road? We`ll be celebrating our victory tonight, I tell you".
I said, "What victory is that Pat? Rugby, shinti, `ockey, Gaelic football or what?".
`e said , "Not at all. It`s the Irish Music Championship. We played more notes in more keys, faster than any of the other bands. They told us it was a world record!!"


Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 01:23 PM

Teach the kids. Teach the kids. Teach the kids.

Do what they do at Raploch, with concertinas.

But you have to teach them before they hit puberty. Once you do that, you're done.

So teach the kids. Teach the kids. Teach the kids.


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 02:37 PM

Do you think Riverdance has something to do with it? It certainly made Irish dance and song known worldwide. I can't think of an equivalent English folk type of show. ('Morrisdance'?!)


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 03:06 PM

I can't think of an equivalent English folk type of show. ('Morrisdance'?!)

Try Lock in

gerry


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 03:06 PM

"There are plenty of English and Scottish tunes that are 'fast, exciting and loud', ..."

yes, of course... but it is a matter of perception. Irish...(well, at least over here)... makes a point of it. I have been to *sessions* where no one sings and you are simply lost if you can't keep up.
Sorry Martin, but in many faux (or even real) Irish bars, fast & loud and clapping are the point. The band may play something slower for a change of pace... just to relax a bit and let the waiters hear to take more drink orders.

In my 35 years in the folk community of Greater Wash DC, it was MUCH harder to find Irish songs and slow airs than the hard, driving jigs & reels...etc. The bands, on their part, know what sells to certain crowds. They may know all sorts, but I guess one just has to know where to go to hear them bother with airs & songs.
(We used to have a big Irish festival where one could, with care, choose to NOT hear just the fast & loud, but I'm not sure it still runs.)


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 03:31 PM

Could it be that music has moved on, the under-40s are busy with their new devices and couldn't care less? (text me and forget it).


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 03:44 PM

Bill D

I agree completely - much (not all) of such Irish music as is aimed at tourists (and at not a few others who should know better!) is too fast, too loud and lacks any subtlety. The point is that in Ireland (and in other countries where there are enough players who know different) there is another, quite different scene within which the music operates. The "tourist" form (and, tangentially, the extreme virtuoso form of some artistes) is not the core product - and some of those who experience it DO manage to find their way through the bubbles... So, in a way, we're back to GUESTRev Bayes' dictum - Teach the kids, teach the kids, teach the kids.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 08:22 PM

Not an opinion - just a suggested point of discussion:

Maybe the old stuff is more popular in Ireland because Ireland has no new stuff that's very interesting to anyone there. (?)

It's much more difficult to teach people to really like the old traditions when there are many new fads close at hand. Perhaps others are just more "connected" to other distractions that aren't known/interesting to a more "closed" Irish culture?

John


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Subject: RE: Where are we going wrong?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 08:53 PM

The last couple of Getaways, we have had a guy come from the West coast of the US who does wonderful trad Irish songs. Someone IS trying to teach the kids... but you can't hold a gun on them to get them to pay attention.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:35 AM

One should stop confusing traditional music woth commercial pop renditions of traditional tunes....Irish, English or American.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:11 AM

Why? That's the point of folk music, it is modified in the transmission, not pickled in aspic.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:15 AM

traditional Irish music is heavily promoted by the tourist industry - and it can be heard in gift shops, extensively in pubs, particularly in Dublin and Galway, and on street corners

Then perhaps we're doing something right. The thought of all that sort of music - or any other sort of music, for that matter - constantly blasting out all round me down here in Sussex, makes me shudder. That's not music - it's muzak. Eventually it becomes cliché.

Contrary to what many still think, the fact that a certain genre of music is not constantly in the public ear is not an indicator of it's death. All types of music have their devotees who keep it alive and nurtured, even if it's away from the public much of the time. Take 1950s rock'n roll for example. Hardly ever in the public awareness (and the recent repeat of "Rock'n Roll Britannia" on BBC4 is pure coincidence!), but alive and jiving in clubs every weekend all over the country.

So, in my view, there's nothing to go wrong. The music just is, and will remain so regardless of fluctuating public fads and fancies.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:25 AM

In a gift shop in Blarney they were playing a video of a Clannad concert.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:27 AM

People can do what ever they want with any kind of music and it will still be around for someone else to perform in some other way. Most folks songs and tunes are faily simple and for most of us don't benifit from endless repeats.

A couple of exceptions? Hearing songs with odd tunes and strange stories sung in small acoustic spaces and dancing to country dance tunes with other people who enjoy doing the same.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:38 AM

One of my points was the lack of promotion and/or sign posting of traditional music particulalry in London. I'll admit that if I had heard one more rendition of Whiskey in the Jar I would have probably run out in the street screaming!!
Whether or not what is being played is truly representative of traditional Irish music is another issue... but the majority of what I heard were traditional tunes and songs. And it was accessible, and folk music is part of the overall visitor experience.
In London, unless a visiter is a hard-core folky and knows where to look, traditional/folk song an music is outside of the visitor package.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:51 AM

Maybe you're looking at a chicken and egg situation. The Irish tourist industry had no interest in music until it dawned on them a lot of people came to Ireland looking for a 'genuine music experience' (whatever that is). It has since become part of the marketing. Recently I read an article about Tourism Ireland (formerly Bord Failte) in which they put forward a new strategy should be adopted, not promoting Ireland with the same old stale images (their words) of Guinness, thatched cottages and diddly-ay (again, their words).


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 05:43 AM

Mmm... this is the sort of thing the tourist industries go for:

France: Berets, the Eiffel Tower, striped jerseys, onions, garlic, accordions

Germany: Sausage, lederhosen, oompah bands, lager, Tyrolean hats with feathers

England: Morris dancing, London buses, the Union Jack, bowler hats, postboxes, cricket

Wales: Singing, rugby, women in tall hats and shawls, lava bread

Switzerland: Cuckoo clocks (Austrian of course), yodelling, alpenhorns, William Tell

Scotland: Bagpipes, kilts, tartan generally, malt whisky, shortbread, tweeds

Ireland: Guinness, diddley-diddley music, blarney, green

Etc., etc. Add your own bits and stir until bored. Clichés and stereotypes to pull in the tourist Euro, pound, dollar, yen.

I couldn't care less if the music that I cared about (whatever that might be) failed to be associated with all this nonsense.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 05:46 AM

SPB C - forgot to add: I can quite understand your view that English traditional music could be promoted in a more positive way by the powers that be. I think where we differ is that you might care about that - and I don't.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 05:47 AM

I'm with Will here!

Will, last-time-but-one when I made it to The Bull, on the way out, a young couple (20s) started talking to me. They'd just come from Brighton for a meal, but had been so transfixed by the session that they stayed for the whole thing. They asked me: "is that what they call folk music then?"

I said some of it was, some of it wasn't, and that it was a mixture of all kinds of tunes and songs from traditional folk through blues and music-hall to quite recent, but that since we were "folk" and playing it, you could say so. :-)

They were amazed at the quality and range of music played by bunch of people in a pub. I reckon that it's better for a young couple like that to "find their way" to folk serendipitously rather than have it forced on them as "traditional cultcha" in NT shops, tourist offices etc.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 06:20 AM

"They'd just come from Brighton for a meal, but had been so transfixed by the session that they stayed for the whole thing. "

would they have done that if it had been in a dingy upstairs/back room surrounded by people shushing them all the time

I think not

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:06 AM

Intrestin upstairs/back room surrounded by people giving performers a chance all the time

I think ............ who knows - it worked for hundreds of thousands of people for 40 or 50 years


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:16 AM

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste, knowledge, or sophistication of the public.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:28 AM

Peter got it right: mass tourism is a function of the clichés rampant in the countries where the tourists come from. As we saw on another thread about tourism to Ireland, that country has a special romantic image abroad, deeply rooted in history, and quite distinct from England.

Really good music is rarely for the crowd.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:33 AM

"Intrestin upstairs/back room surrounded by people giving performers a chance all the time

I think ............ who knows - it worked for hundreds of thousands of people for 40 or 50 years"

and where was it before then?

In the bar with Joe Public and his mates

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM

surrounded by people shushing them all the time

Why is observing the same standards in a folk concert as in a musical, opera, ballet, theatre etc such a problem?

If I have paid to listen to an act, be it Martin Carthy or the ENO then that's what I want to hear not Gerry "Banjo Flower" blathering over the top of the performance.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:50 AM

As for Will's list, I am quite sure that most international tourists have never heard of Morris dancing. The same applies even to musicians.

If I were to organize a weekend trip to London for mass tourists, and it had to include a concert, a Britpop band would be the safest choice. Nevertheless, "special interest" tours with English folk music can be successful: make a good mixture of authenticity and fun; explain the jokes in slow and clear English if necessary.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:54 AM

Bar music is great, Gerry, and I really enjoy 'open' sessions. One of my favourites is at Swinton Folk Club (plug, plug) October 19 this year - All day session and sing in the bar.

However, the upstairs and back rooms provide a vital function, as Les says, where people can go and hear music without listening to the barman play Sunshine of your Love on E flat cash register and smokey bacon maracas (Thanks Mr Wedlock). In addition, without the folk 'concert rooms' for want of a better description, how would you propose to charge the audience so you can pay the artist? They are also rarely dingy these days.

I think that at times we are our own worse enemies by perpetuating the myth of the dingy back room and being shushed by Arran sweatered folkies :-) If that is how we portray it, is it any wonder that people are reluctant to go?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 08:57 AM

Sorry to wander off thread a bit ,but can anyone tell me the name of the theme tune to the 1950s TV series "Para Handy" ( with Duncan MaCrae / Roddy MacMillan ) ?? I can play it on guitar ,but can't remember what it's called ! Incidentally , this is one of the many tunes / songs that influenced me as a ten-year-old at the time ; where have all these gone to today ?? Do modern schoolchildren get "exposed" to Westering Home / Strawberry Fair / The Ash Grove /Widdecombe Fair et al in this day & age ?? Teach Your Children ( Well !!) .


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:04 AM

Looks like it could be just called the Para Handy theme song according to Folk Tune Finder. It is in G and 6/8 time :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:14 AM

"In the bar with Joe Public and his mates" - who may now be interested in other stuff than folk music, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:15 AM

Yes but the folktune finder leads you to a tune called Manus Lunny's Terracotta Plower Pop (yes that was correct, Ps and all), which was written by Phil Cunningham.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:19 AM

"Why is observing the same standards in a folk concert as in a musical, opera, ballet, theatre etc such a problem?

If I have paid to listen to an act, be it Martin Carthy or the ENO then that's what I want to hear not Gerry "Banjo Flower" blathering over the top of the performance.

Guest Peter

Where did I mention Folk Concerts or paid performers?
My initial post was a response to Rob Naylors experience with the young couple who came across the music by chance not by going to a concert or paid performer event


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:20 AM

By the way, saying "teach the children" is all very well, by if my lad is anything to go by, most of 'em would turn their noses up at their parents' old punk and grunge albums and even their new albums by hip young indie gunslingers, let alone folk music. Most young kids want chart pop, not what their parents and grandparents are listening to. And fair play to them for that - it's exactly the same as what I wanted at that age. Those who don't are an exception and a minority.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM

I think there you have the difference between Ireland and England. In Ireland children have the same appetite for modern pop and what have you but they (or at least a healthily sizeable number of them) are also quite happy to play/sing traditional at the same time. They're not mutually exclusive (at least not for all anyway) because traditional music has a wider social context in which it is perfectly fine to play/listen/dance to it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:41 AM

To come across a session if you have never encountered folk music and song before is a good way to become aware of the genre.
If you are really interested you would find out where you can encounter more of it.
By visiting a folk club you would then decide which approach to the music you preffered ie the formal concert folk club, or the informal session.
Either way you have found a new interest.
The club versus session arguement is no diffent to the catholic v protestant arguement, which ever you preffer you are still a folk fan or a Christian.
A little less intolerance is required, folk music is what ever you like it to be.
Some people seem to think their prefference is the only true way


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:42 AM

That's probably true, Peter. The only kids I know in Manchester who are learning to play traditional music are kids with Irish heritage. It seems they are largely doing it becuase their parents make them. That's not to say some of them don't enjoy it and excel at it, but it seems to be rooted in their parents' desire to maintain a sense of cultural identity rather than anything about a deep love of Irish traditional music for its own sake. It's simply one of the things you do, like sending your kids to a Catholic school or attending mass...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:48 AM

Mmmmmmm true enough Mr Cringe. Speaking of nothing in particular, songs this Wednesday in The Beech M21 9EG and a Ceilidh at The Irish Club this Friday - will you be joining us or possible dragging your family for a dance?

Les


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:55 AM

No, sorry Gerry but I think you are being a bit disingenuous when you say Where did I mention Folk Concerts or paid performers?
My initial post was a response to Rob Naylors experience with the young couple who came across the music by chance not by going to a concert or paid performer event


Your actual phrase was

would they have done that if it had been in a dingy upstairs/back room surrounded by people shushing them all the time

Which I have read over and over and I can interpret it no other way than your description of a typical folk club. I do apologise if that is not what you meant but would appreciate your interpretation if it isn't.

This young couple only came across the music because it was not in a concert, be it a 'dingy back room' or the O2 arena. Had it have been an exclusive event they would have never heard it. So, as I said before, open events are great. But they are not better or worse than concerts, just different.

Peters' point about children being happy listening and dancing to traditional music comes into play here. Why are they not happy doing so in England? Maybe it is because someone has told them that folk music is all in dingy back rooms surrounded by people shushing them all the time :-) Like I said earlier, we are our own worst enemies at times.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 10:04 AM

That's probably true, Peter. The only kids I know in Manchester who are learning to play traditional music are kids with Irish heritage. It seems they are largely doing it becuase their parents make them.


There is ofcourse an element of cultural identity and all that (probably stronger outside Ireland than in the country, although I wouldn't discount it there either). But would it be enough to sustain it? Fact is that young people, teenagers early twenties go out to play music, do gigs, dance meet the opposite sex, form friendships and relation and have a great time at it. And it's perfectly normal to play at school events, dance a few sets at weddings or other events. That's context and meaning, that's what is sustaining it into the future.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM

Hi Dave Rob Naylors Post said Session not Folk club (Do they serve people meals in a folk Club?)I think Guest Peter would be even more offended if he could not hear the music above the rattle of cutlery

Gerry

who seems to have the knack of confusing other people as well as himself

Long live the open session


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: alex s
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM

I agree with Will re muzac - I've just come back from Dublin where almost every pub in the Temple Bar area was blasting out "Trad" nonstop. Can't tell you how many times I heard "Fields of Athenry"....


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:36 PM

You can correct me if I'm wrong but I think that at a certain point in their history, the Brits became too sophisticated for their own good. They let their traditional music slip out of vogue. So now you have certain people who really love it and devote themselves to it's legacy. The Irish, on the other hand, have made it a focus of ethnic pride.

That said, popularity, hype if you will, are no measure of worth. At this this point, another rendition of "Whiskey in the Jar" might get a couple of yelps from me as well.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:04 PM

The question "What are we doing wrong?" implies that something is "wrong" and that it's all because of us.

What's wrong, if that's the correct word, is that most people have no interest whatsoever in trad music. They'll dance and keep time if they hear fast trad dance music, but to them it's just more music. Trad? What's that mean?

What it means to some CD reviewers on Amazon.com is music that is "ugly," "boring," and "tuneless."

That's exactly what I think of rap "music." And no one is likely to convince me otherwise.

It works both ways. I'm not sure if that means something is "wrong" or that we (or the hip-hop industry) can alter tastes.

Tastes are largely formed in childhood and early adolescence. So if traditional music and song is to be promoted, it needs to be promoted to twelve-year olds. Almost the only institution capable of doing that is the schools, and their hands are full trying to teach the kids to read and write.

What's more, most people have had pop music of one sort or another blared at them, willy nilly, at least a few times a day since infancy. To them that *is* music, everything else being either an occasional variation (danceable Irish reels) or else some boring kind of noise (trad and even folkie singing, not to mention opera and most classical).

Trad and classical insist that you let yourself be absorbed by the music or the lyrics for real enjoyment. Most people don't have the time or even the desire to be absorbed by something as trivially entertaining as pop music.

Obviously there are exceptions, but this thread is about generalities.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM

I would also say that to the the extent that I have bothered to explore traditional English music, I really like it. I have found it quite beautiful and very often humorous. It has actually changed my attitude towards Britain and the British people which I admit was formerly too negative. I feel that I can see something about the folk soul that transcends the the exploits of the British Empire which has also led me to appreciate certain attributes of Britain in the here and now.

And like Will said, there nothing to go wrong here. The caliber of musician and scholar in this particular area is exceptionally high. It does seem to run in families and more so out of love than pride.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:23 PM

Peter Laban, were you raised in England?
let me tell you we did have folk music in primary school, we sang english folk songs and we danced english, scottish and irish folk dances, and none of it had the competitive feel to it that Comhaltas has managed to encourage.
it is all very well talking about Ireland, Comhaltas has certainly got children playing music,but SOME[not all] of them do it because their parents make them, for the glory of winning competitions,some of them learn a couple of tunes very well on a number of instruments, but have a tiny repertoire, in a style developed purely for winning competitions.This competitive attitude CAN spill over into adulthood
The pipers club has a healthier attitude.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:27 PM

I believe encouraging children to play music in schools is good, but teaching with the aim to win competitions can lead to problems. when i lived in suffolk in the 1980s a local headmaster formed a junior morris side which the children loved, I prefer that approach, make it fun for the children


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:52 PM

I think there you have the difference between Ireland and England. In Ireland children have the same appetite for modern pop and what have you but they (or at least a healthily sizeable number of them) are also quite happy to play/sing traditional at the same time. They're not mutually exclusive (at least not for all anyway) because traditional music has a wider social context in which it is perfectly fine to play/listen/dance to it."
It was like that in england in the sixties, it was perfectly ok to like joan baez,dylan, woody guthrie[folk music]and like jimi hendrix .


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:23 PM

I think we may be at cross purposes then, Gerry! I know that Rob said session which I think was the point - It was an open session and the young couple heard and liked it. Your point, and correct me if I am wrong, is that they would not have heard it if it was in a 'dingy back room', which is quite true. I am not going to fall out about it but all I was saying is you are right in that they would not have heard it but your description of a folk club (dingy room, being shushed) could be part of the problem that folk is not taken up be more people. Yes? If not, let's leave it at that and agree to disagree:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM

BTW - Round here (near Skipton, North Yorkshire) we have a wonderful accordion teacher called Harry who takes all sorts of music, including folk, to people of all ages - Including the kids in primary school. I also believe it is now, yet again, OK to like folk and other music - How else have Bellowhead, Mumford and KT Tunstall etc. become so popular?

Cheers again

D.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM

I was raised in America. In school I was exposed to American folk music. We didn't like it much. We all thought it was hokey and ran home to play the Beatles.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:10 PM

DtG

Thanks for your reply I've read and enjoyed a lot of your posts over the years and think we are probably more in agreement than this thread indicates

i think I touched a few nerves perhaps with my use of the word dingy
which comes from more than one personal experience and this is why I no longer visit formal folk clubs

long may we amicably differ

Gerry
I'm now going to look for my dictionary to find out what"disingenuous"means :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 04:14 PM

> I was raised in America. In school I was exposed to American folk music. ...We all thought it was hokey.

They played it for us too. But *we* all thought songs about cowboys, railroaders, sailors, steel-drivers, and pioneers were refreshingly real after hearing all the slick and repetitive pop songs about looooooove. Rock 'n' roll was just making its appearance, and Walt Disney's fair-dealin', square-shootin', idealistic Davy Crockett (with Fess Parker and a catchy theme song) provided our media role model.

Of course, that was the mid '50s. Ten years later, by the time of the Beatles, the pop "folk scare" (which was barely "folk") was running out of steam, and younger people associated its sweet harmonies not with reality but with square, feel-good entertainment for over-the-hill parents.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 07:25 PM

I think its an image thing........we don't wear kilts, we don't wear cowboy hats, we don't have high kicking ladies with short skirts and black stockings....

We just haven't got a dashing image like these other countries.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,mwharrisongs
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 11:23 PM

Yes, teach the kids. It will not surprise me if, in a generation, the Dallas/Fort Worth area becomes a mecca for Irish trad musicians. We have O'Flaherty's Irish Music Retreat going on annually which draws from around the country, and, we have a children's retreat in the summer and a school of Irish music as well, not to mention the North Texas Irish Festival which is one of the largest in America. The idea is to get the kids interested and give them a place to learn. Certainly, some of them will move along in the world as they get older, but, a fair number will remain and keep the cycle going. Google O'Flaherty's and take a look at the fine line-up of instructors and the wide range of instrument instruction available to a sold out group every year. Yep, teach the kids, and, be sure to "...teach your children well.."


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:00 AM

The Scots wear kilts.
The English seem to love Queuing, maybe a few shanties about queuing, or a folk dance that involved Queuing, that might capture the imagination of the English.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 02:45 AM

"I think its an image thing........we don't wear kilts, we don't wear cowboy hats, we don't have high kicking ladies with short skirts and black stockings....We just haven't got a dashing image like these other countries".

But there definitely IS an image - overweight, bearded, silly hair, silly hat, waistcoat, tankard hanging from the belt - (and some of the men are just as bad). Mainstream people just think "bunch of twats".

As for Morris dancing...................

g


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 03:56 AM

"But there definitely IS an image - overweight, bearded, silly hair, silly hat, waistcoat, tankard hanging from the belt - (and some of the men are just as bad). Mainstream people just think "bunch of twats".

As for Morris dancing..................."

Tribes hey?

We went to Scarborough last weekend. Lovely weather. Massed ranks of the English at leisure. Strange collection of uniforms: Bikers, Goths, pensioners(?) all sorts - Folkies? Many of the crowd at Festivals do fit some of the above steriotype. Does it matter?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:27 AM

Apropos the 'Para Handy' theme tune - I may well be wrong, but I don't think Phil Cunningham could've written it because at the time it was on TV, I think he may have been too young!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:31 AM

"the Brits became too sophisticated for their own good." I think the original poster was asking about the lack of folk music in London and maybe England generally. I don't think Scottish folk music has suffered the same so maybe using the word "Brits" is a bit misleading. Saying that I think the way the music was sometimes packaged (ie the likes of White Heather Club) and presented didn't sit well with the younger generation when I was younger but we still knew the songs etc. There is a thriving folk scene her in the Borders (as there will be in many parts of Scotland) with lots of youngsters, mostly girls for some reason, playing fiddle music. I was into punk rock in the late 70s but still knew many Scottish songs from watching and lsitening to the Corries on TV every week. There was no stigma in liking both. Youngsters here still seem to know the songs and happily join in during our pub sessions.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:37 AM

- I may well be wrong, but I don't think Phil Cunningham could've written it because at the time it was on TV, I think he may have been too young!

Exactly, the underlying point was ofcourse the tune linked to wasn't the para handy tune at all but 'Manus Lunny's Terracotta Plower Pop' by Phil Cunningham


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:43 AM

Just realised that the Para Handy I had in mind was in the late 50's/early 60's - didn't realise later series had been made!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auU6Zdkun_I


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:51 AM

Spleen Cringe: Most young kids want chart pop, not what their parents and grandparents are listening to. And fair play to them for that - it's exactly the same as what I wanted at that age. Those who don't are an exception and a minorit.

I disagree with that. "Most kids" grow out of "chart pop" by about the age of 11-12 and graduate onto stuff that their parents and grandparents don't hear on the radio, Same as when I was young.

For example, my parents were well aware of Herman's Hermits and Freddie and The Dreamers, etc, as they were never off the radio. But by 13 I was ignoring them and listening to Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Nice, Buffalo Springfield etc, who were never,or rarely, given any airplay back then. In the same way today, kids listen to bands and artistes that are totally outside their parents' awareness...and in fact the "non-commercial" scene is even more fragmented now with a whole host of websites and magazines (sometimes download only)exposing artistes who are unknown in the mainstream "chart pop" world.

And a lot of those artistes draw inspiration from the 60s and 70s, in the same way that those of the 60s and 70s often drew inspiration from the 40s and 50s, particularly the blues stuff of that era.

People into folk, though, in both eras, are I'll agree, definitely in a minority.

Same as it ever was.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:58 AM

More Clyde nostalgia with the same tune!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP9_cbl5cjY


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:59 AM

DtG: I think we may be at cross purposes then, Gerry! I know that Rob said session which I think was the point - It was an open session and the young couple heard and liked it. Your point, and correct me if I am wrong, is that they would not have heard it if it was in a 'dingy back room', which is quite true.

Yes, that's it exactly...they wouldn't have heard it if it had been in an opulently-decorated bright and cheerful back room, either! Pub sessions and other "open" events are the places you'll see the music exposed to newcomers, not "folk clubs" in back rooms (dingy or otherwise!) which are preaching to the converted.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 06:25 AM

Thanks Rob You've put over the point I was trying to make much better than me

Cheers

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Alan Day
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 06:51 AM

About twenty years ago some pubs were receiving money from the Tourist Board to put on Folk Music.If this was reintroduced (it may still be going on)it needs to be organised,not by selected pubs, but by forward thinking folk enthusiasts,who can put forward our traditional music,song and dance to the general public and UK visitors, to create more interest in our music traditions.
Our Morris Dancers are doing a fine job but we need to expand it.
Al


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM

From what I've experienced, music has to be licensed - turn on a radio in a shop and it needs a licence, singing or playing in a public place has to be licensed.

Mumming, Christmas carols, even a hurried rehearsal in a car park have all been stopped because apparently it needs to be licensed, controlled - stifled.

Perhaps there has grown up the idea that people should not be able to ask for money wihley nihley so all the means to that end should be stamped out, or down as much as possible, even if money is not being asked for just them, but it might be.

Allowing people to learn how to sing, play, dance or carry on in public is obviously regarded as a bad thing and ought not to be allowed.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: selby
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 07:16 AM

I do not think we have gone wrong anywhere and certainly do not need to worry. Look at the numbers of young people at festivals both participating and watching.

There is the romantic notion that exists about Ireland. We have a 4 generation Irish friend who insists she is Irish that her daughters do Irish dancing must wear a green shirt when Ireland plays etc etc, but never been to Ireland. She dislikes on point of principle any other folk music. I suspect she is not on her own about this.I think this gives a perception that all is well in Ireland with music I think they are not moving forward like our music has done.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 07:29 AM

Think this is possibly marginally relevant here on the "Fast and loud" theme:-


Worst Irish Band in the World


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM

I don't actually agree with your suggestion that we disagree, Rob, except perhaps in defining what a young kid is! I was thinking of my son, who is 10 and loves chart pop almost indiscriminatorily, if that's a word, and can sing along with all the words. I would like to hope that by the time he gets to 13 or so he will be listening to stuff I neither know or understand, just as I started doing at that age, whilst occasionally mining some of the gems in my collection(!). If he follows the same trajectory as I did, his stance on folk music will probably soften when he hits around forty, but he'll still be partial to a bit of earsplitting rock mayhem...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 08:12 AM

Hilarious.

However, during the '80s I once belonged to the worst Irish band in the world. We *couldn't* play fast, just falteringly and out of synch. Our "sessions" were practice rather than "jam," and we were so bad we could hardly stand to hear ourselves play.

One day a tasteless friend offered us the chance to perform in public. We were predictably awful. Afterward a large, wide-eyed lady approached and said (I swear this is true): "You sound just like the Chieftains!"

It was a whole new perspective. But no, we didn't get any better.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 08:34 AM

How about if we all wore green hats to show we were recycling the old songs? Turning them into compost, as it were.....


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 10:33 AM

When the English public stop laughing at the WORD Morris, then we will have respect for our tradition in music, customs, song, etc.

In Ireland their dance tradition was considered a joke until Michael Flatley turned up and was the leading light of Riverdance. Now they are frightened of winning the Eurovision Song Contest for fear of having to pay his fee for reminding them how exciting their tradtion is.

Amazingly they now regard him as Irish as Molly Malone. He is American and was digging ditches in Chicago when the Dubliners made the call. He had won the World Irish Dancing Championships for about 11 years by then and was pretty good at it.
Lord of the Dance (tune) is an American Shaker Hymn "Simple Gifts", Words by Sydney Carter as English as the come. Molly Malone has no record of existing, the song was first publish in Edinburgh by a Scotsman but has many similarities to an earlier song by an Essex man.

Ireland had a healthy tradition of making their own music, particularly in the rural areas because they didn't have much money. Since they became Celtic Tigers and paid the price of their hubris (as if we didn't see their growth was built on sand! and subsidies - how apt) the tourist industry is the quickest way to recovery and draws on their tradition heavily. But it can!

Every town around the world seems to have an Irish pub - Green seat covers & Guiness being the only proof of validity. Even on Ko Tao in Thailand - so Ewen Macoll songs and varied pop songs are now considered Irish because they are played loudly throughout.

When I play in English sessions I often get some reference to "Irish Music" from the general public. England does not have a singular identity. Ireland has Music and Dance. Belgium has Beer, France has Fromage. Germans have efficient industry, America has Hollywood, Brazil has coffee, we have football we share (not me personally understand) with the world and we are not that good at it!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 11:16 AM

I believe the Industrial Revolution has been responsible for a sea change in the way people think and live and that it accounts for the demise of tradition in general- including music- in every culture that has undergone this shift from agrarian to industrial society. This is what I really mean by "sophisticated". I have condensed into a few sentences here but there is so much one could say on the topic.

In any case, this change occurred earlier and more successfully in Britain than anywhere else in the world. In my mind, this is what accounts for the diminished accessibility of traditional music. To complicate matters, there was a revival in the later part of this sea change which appears to have been dominated by Scots and which was tailored to commercial appeal. It was a very text oriented revival riddled with the poetic license and "better judgement" of song collectors and publishers. It's a fact that nostalgia is seldom an accurate window into the past. IMO, the lack of popularity and hype does not hurt the mission of recovery and restoration at all. In fact, I think it helps it.

I do think it's very important that children be exposed to traditional music as part of their learning about their cultural heritage whatever culture they happen to be from. They don't have to love it but they should at least be aware (whether they regard it as hokey or not). It should have its place in education. I also believe that what has been said here about families is absolutely true. For instance, I am half Ukrainian and my grandma regularly towed me along to church with her. So the sound of Ukrainian hymns, always sung a cappella, is always beautiful to my ears. I know that a lot of other people might find it too solemn and could not sit through it.

And Lighter, I have agree about rap. In fact, I feel sorry for kids who have been led to believe that it is anything approaching that which could be called music. It is angry hateful degrading garbage. It's something much more sinister than can be explained by the usual "generation gap."


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 11:33 AM

I have agree about rap. In fact, I feel sorry for kids who have been led to believe that it is anything approaching that which could be called music. It is angry hateful degrading garbage. It's something much more sinister than can be explained by the usual "generation gap."

This is a gross generalisation. There is plenty of rap music out there that does not fall anywhere near such a lazy sterotype.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 11:55 AM

> There is plenty of rap music out there that does not fall anywhere near such a lazy stereotype.

Quite true.

But there's just as much that does.

Could we say that about any other vastly popular kind of music over the past century (and more)?

Raises interesting questions, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:13 PM

Much MobO and reggae (the bits of them that I like better) do play to a resentful aggressiveness - as a direct result of the oppressiveness of mainstream society. MobO turned to bling where reggae turned to a deeper politicisation. In general, not in every case.

Meanwhile, back on folk, there was no folk music in my prep school (unless you count some horrid part songs we were forced to sing in "music lessons" featuring Miss Barfoot on the piano, and tootling noises on recorders). We were forced to do some semi-folk dances though, like the Dashing White Sergeant, the Eightsome reel, and Stripping the Willow - as well as the waltzes and quicksteps that were supposed to be our passports to polite dances. There was no folk music at my public school either save a very few boys who played it as I think a gesture of insubordination (I learned "the Foggy Dew" that way). Of course since it was the 60s there regrettably was Dylan - but he too was anti-establishment, then.



So I don't think we can entirely blame schoolteachers. I am not wholly clear why the mass media think it fit to make mock of all English traditions, but there is little doubt that they do.


On the other hand, however, I don't think that the same scorn of folk exists at real "muso" level. I went to, and my band played at (and another folk-ish band played at) a sort or punk/metal/prog festival in September (on my birthday weekend too) and I was doing the tankard and waterproof fluorescent poncho thing all weekend, and many people expressed extreme envy that I was warm and dry (outside but wet inside) while they were not. There were also at least two border morris sides there who danced in or near the chillout tent, and it was all very good-tempered.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM

The most interesting questions would be about the sort of society that created the conditions for such a thing to come into being, wouldn't you think?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:52 PM

I've heard it said that rap has a "silent c".


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:00 PM

Naah. We know what sort of society that is already. The most interesting question is what happens next.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:12 PM

For me, a problem, not being a Brit but a Yank, is that I go on a song to song
basis. If I find a tune I like and want either to learn it or listen to it again, I try
to find out as much as I can about the history, culture or composer/lyricist.

Where many "folkies" go wrong is to overemphasize the style of music from an
academic standpoint and become rigid in their standards of performance.

Music is a fluid and dynamic expression subject to change even in trad circles.
What was once popular song or dance music had an original source which was
later amplified by many hands changing it.

The seeking of a national music is always a problem. In the US, there was a move about twenty years ago to make square dancing the national American form to the exclusion of other forms. The Senate actually took this up in a bill. Fortunately,
that was torpedoed.

As an outlander, I see Irish and British music overlapping in so many areas that
I can hardly be a proponent for a national music. I see its influence on trad American music as well.

The solution: Let the song or tune dictate the interest that would propel those who would learn them to study their history, culture, background and relevant info.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 04:29 PM

I still think the green hats is a good idea.....something stylish like a green fedora.

That would show 'em we mean business!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:39 PM

Regarding kids, they don't give a damn whether their parents like it or not. Again, see Raploch. Eight year old kids going nuts over classical music.

What they do care about is being able to fit into a culture of the people around them. Teach all the kids and they will come. But they will make it their own. Plockton et al are double edged swords for those who think they own the tradition.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Nigel Parry
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 09:12 PM

RE the OP.
I think in Ireland the music fits with the whole image. It can also be identified with by people young and old as a popular national treasure. I live in NZ and when you play old Irish tunes in a public bar, young Irish people get all nostalgic and want more.

Doesn't happen with the English songs. The image is far more muddled I guess.

But maybe folk music in London is just as 'underground' as Wellington. Conversation between a mate and the owner of a popular city bar; 'this is Nigel, he's a really good folk musician.' ... 'Ah, folk music, there's no market for it.' So I wont be getting a gig there then.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 04:39 AM

I have often wondered whether a "pride" in your folk culture is the product of oppression. Oppression can result in the obliteration of a culture or it can drive it underground where it gains strength. You tend to be more likely to value things if they are being taken away from you. Both Ireland and Scotland, for example, suffered from years of cultural oppression; England hasn't really been oppressed by outsiders since the Norman invasion. So, are we going wrong by not being oppressed and not having any "foreigners" telling us to stop playing/singing?

I've never developed this thought further and there are probably major holes in the argument but I thought I'd throw it into this mix.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM

That's quite possible, Guest SteveT. My wife's of Estonian extraction and resistance to "Russification" in Estonia throughout the Soviet era was in the form of traditional song and dance. The Soviet Union banned many icons of Estonian nationhood, but couldn't stop the passing down of patriotic and Estonian folk songs. This culminated in the "Singing Revolution" but "resistance through song" was well established there for years before that. When we visited in 1983 people would sing Traditional Estonian songs at every opportunity. The mere act of singing them was seen as resistance against the USSR.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:25 AM

Surely "resistance through song" has also happened in England with the likes of the street ballads (which also happened in Ireland!).

And didn't English traditional music also mantain continuity in the NE & Suffolk (& probably other placed too - Dorset/W.Gallery singing?).


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:53 AM

I think Steve has a good point but the major flaw I can see is that ordinary folk, even in England, have been oppressed even to this day! Songs about the poor treatment of tenant farmers or factory workers or the unemployed could still provide a vehicle for hitting back at this. Maybe it still is? Thinking of the Punk Rock era in particular were not a lot of the songs hitting out at the establishment?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 07:55 AM

The key is to be oppressed in a way that *others can romanticize*.

Being forced out of the country or being occupied after losing a war are the best methods.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM

And Lighter, I have agree about rap. In fact, I feel sorry for kids who have been led to believe that it is anything approaching that which could be called music. It is angry hateful degrading garbage. It's something much more sinister than can be explained by the usual "generation gap."

I take it that means you agree with your Greek Nazi pals that rappers ought to be shot?

Rap has become an international expression of popular resistance. It's been the most important progressive musical phenomenon exported from the US in the last generation.


Both Ireland and Scotland, for example, suffered from years of cultural oppression

Most of the cultural oppression Scotland suffered was at the hands of the Scottish power elite, the Kirk in particular. Scottish song and instrumental music thrived after the Union, precisely because it was a secular symbol of national identity.

The same was mostly true of Ireland - the worst enemy Irish music had was the Irish Catholic priesthood, not the British colonizers.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 09:32 AM

How much of what is played today was collected from Irish Emigrants, and came back to Ireland via O'Neill's collection(s)? sidetracking myself now!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 09:51 AM

Change hands!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 10:59 AM

Gross generalization? Lazy stereotype? I have a son who has listened to rap for years, which means, I have heard plenty of it myself. Gross Generalizations and lazy stereotypes result from limited exposure. That is not the case with me. I was not the kind of mom who made him turn it off because I didn't want to hear it (maybe I should have). I am also extremely open-minded about music. I don't love all genres equally but I respect most - all but rap and punk or speed metal where the "vocalist" basically screams in your ear the entire time.

Rap has become an international expression of popular resistance? I have to disagree Jack. It's an international expression of cynicism, nihilism or something along those lines. If there were in fact anything that could be characterized as an international expression of popular resistance, it would be not broadcast everywhere. It would not be mainstream. It would be underground. Anything that can't be co-opted and thus neutralized, gets suppressed. Trust me.

What solutions does rap propose to the injustices of the world? It encourages youth to use injustice as an excuse to act out violently and get thrown in jail, use and abuse women, make it your life's priority to buy more bling... Have I left anything out? In other words, it mirrors and reaffirms the in-the-toilet values of the current establishment (as reflected in the mass media) - in a musically bankrupt "art" form.

And btw, you don't need Nazis, Greek or otherwise, to shoot rappers. They do a fine job of that themselves.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:31 AM

Anything that can't be co-opted and thus neutralized, gets suppressed.

It doesn't get much more thoroughly suppressed than what happened to Killah P.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:47 AM

you don't need Nazis, Greek or otherwise, to shoot rappers

Except in Greece a rapper, Killah P, has just been murdered by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.

Can't say much about speed metal, but the other two forms you single out, rap and punk, are riddled with examples of radical politics. If your views about rap are solely based on what you son plays, do you not think that reflects more on the sort of rap he likes than the genre as a whole?

The Goats - Burn the Flag

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - Television, the Drug of the Nation


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM

My main issue with Rap (and I know it is personal taste etc) is that I find it incredibly boring and repetative. I know there are exceptions, and the Television link above is one of them, but I just find so many of the tracks sound exactly the same with the words being spouted out in the exact seem rythm etc. Then people say it is all about the words but quite honestly on many of the tracks I can hardly make the words out anyway. Not a clue what they're talking about. and it isn't an old fogey thing. I was still quite young when Rap music first came on the scene and initially I was quite keen. Just didn't think that many of the songs would still be sounding exactly the same 30 years on. I do like some tracks and on many of the more commercial R&B tracks you get catchy choruses (more often than not from older songs) that are the only bit of the track worth listening to as the rest is just the same old monotonous sound of undecipherable muttering! I know many folk would disagree but just my view.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM

> riddled examples of radical politics

Surely you don't mean shootin', killin', rapin', and I almost forgot braggin'.

But you do seem to assume that "radical politics" automatically means "benevolent politics that would enhance the lives of all (or at least all whom we think deserve it)."

Rap (even more than other recent pop music genres) became fantastically popular largely because of zillion-dollar advertising and marketing campaigns aided by cynically eroticized images of the performers (often with harems).

If rap had really been propagandizing some kind of coherent, appealing, beneficial social agenda insistently and repetitively for the past 25 years, I think we'd have noticed some positive results by now. And presumably that would be true even if you mean non-commercial, unrecorded, street-corner "folk rap."

Like other words and lyrics, it basically goes in one ear and out the other, leaving various attitudinal residues. And do you really want teens, oppressed or otherwise, learning their agenda for social change (in whichever "radical" direction you prefer) from rhymers who declaim their love for violence? (Radical neo-Nazis can rap too, though maybe not in Greece.)

I also have a problem picturing thinkers like Jefferson, Marx and Engels (to take the most obvious examples) as choosing the hip-hop idiom to advance their extensively thought-out radical positions.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 02:12 PM

This is how far from unthinking violence the rap idiom can get. A group of peasant women in eastern Turkey protesting against the damage caused by a hydro-electric scheme and demanding the authorities listen to them:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfq9tz_kadin-rap-grubu_people (mostly in Turkish with some bits in English and some bits bleeped out).

You could multiply examples like that hundreds of times. It's a thoroughly democratized idiom that long ago escaped the control of the American media industry.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 03:33 PM

This is how far from unthinking violence the rap idiom can get.

Exactly, Jack. CAN being the operative word. But not often enough. Yes, you may be able to multiply that hundreds of times. But for each one of those I would hazard a guess that 100 are of the other type and more. Anecdotal evidence is not a good argument I'm afraid. Show us what percentage of rap music is an 'international expression of popular resistance' compared to that that is simply violent, misogynistic or raking more cash in for those covered in gold already. I then may believe you are right but until then I can only go off the facts I know.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:22 AM

Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,SteveT - PM
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 04:39 AM

I have often wondered whether a "pride" in your folk culture is the product of oppression. Oppression can result in the obliteration of a culture or it can drive it underground where it gains strength. You tend to be more likely to value things if they are being taken away from you. Both Ireland and Scotland, for example, suffered from years of cultural oppression; England hasn't really been oppressed by outsiders since the Norman invasion. So, are we going wrong by not being oppressed and not having any "foreigners" telling us to stop playing/singing?

****************************************************************************************************
ABSOLUTELY! Steve, you may not have developed these thoughts to any great extent but what a brilliant thesis! IMHO, it would hold up. Also, the romanticism of oppression mentioned by Lighter is another brilliant line of thought that fits right in with this thesis.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:54 AM

Ah great - now we aren't allowed to sing, play or dance without a licence maybe people will rebel against council control of their right to keep the old traditions.

I'm not holding my breath though.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM

> to keep the old traditions

Underlying the whole discussion is the apparent fact (sad, neutral, or rilly cool, depending on your POV) that only a quite small - even minuscule - part of the English-speaking population has much interest in doing so.

Even a total modernization with discernible traditional roots like Riverdance, which is more "accessible" to pop audience, is just another transient "entertainment option" for 99% of the people who like it.

They don't phone their Top-Forty stations demanding a trad line-up, and they'd be thought of as just a little bit wacky if they did.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM

I think also Steve that it doesn't necessarily require "foreigners" in the strict sense. I think the same phenomenon would occur in the case of class warfare.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 10:53 AM

Another point about rap. Let's not confuse two issues.

Rap may be a fantastic outlet for "political" expression (not that I think it is) and still be execrable as a form of music or even as a way of declaiming verse.

The medium isn't really the message; or, if it is, it's a tedious, diffuse, and very limited message.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 11:34 AM

A weird tendency is emerging to state opinions as if they were incontrovertible facts.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 12:06 PM

I'm starting to draw a few conclusions from the discussions:

(1) What I saw being promoted and performed while I was on holiday in Ireland is not necessary the best representation of Traditional Irish music and song, but it is what visitors expect to hear and it pulls in the punters and sells the pints! However, in my view it is still folk music, and it does give folk music a visible presence. Those who want to delve deeper into traditional music can still do their own research on where to find it.

(2) There is very much a chicken and egg situation oversupply and demand. If the demand is there then there would be greater provision and promotion, but the demand (from visitors) probably would not happen until there was more folk music to be easily found, and for it to be more widely promoted.

(3) That Irish music is played much more openly as, for as suggestted by the various theories it is much more part of the national 'psyche' - I can think of the right word, than English music is.

(4) That in England there are far more diverse forms of music speaking to young people.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM

Spleen, that's just your opinion.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 12:24 PM

That in England there are far more diverse forms of music speaking to young people.




I doubt very much that is the case. As I suggested earlier, different types of music are not mutually exclusive.

I could point out young musicians who are playing electric guitar in their local prog rock band one night and take the stage as the finest young piper/traditional player in the country the next.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 03:58 PM

I'm eclectic in my tastes and always have been, and over too many decades of listening to music, Mike Skinner is one of very few who can make me well up with his music.

So don't frap the rap.

g


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:56 PM

SPB-Cooperator, good assessment.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:07 AM

Some English people are/were ashamed of/apologetic about their culture, thinking it would be associated with the British Empire, international bullying, ... etc.(e.g.apologising for The Crusades. No the crusades weren't a good thing, but will apologising now make any difference?)
Other English people thought that as they were now Educated and Improved, they no longer needed that old hokey folk music stuff.
Some English people were Upper Class and didn't rate old folky stuff anyway.
Some English people are proud of the wrong stuff; don't we have the most unmarried teenage mothers, the worst football hooligans, the most litter-filled streets in our cities.. And a number of youngsters who take pride in being ignorant and stupid?
NO NOTALLOFTHEM!! This is just what seems to make the news and TV. Does someone out there want us to sling our culture out with the bathwater? NB I'm saying ENGLISH, have we not been oppressed? The Lower Classes have, for centuries, this is where the folk music bubbled up from, mostly.. so is England's problem that it's full of snobs?
Er, this seems to have been a Rant. Oh dear, now nobody will speak to me Ever Again..
X el :-\


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:49 AM

Rap may be a fantastic outlet for "political" expression (not that I think it is) and still be execrable as a form of music or even as a way of declaiming verse.

Spoken like a true Folky!

FYO : Rap is far more complex / exciting / sophisticated / rooted / involved / traditional / dynamic / relevant / diverse / wondrous & musically satisfying than the bland retrograde easy listening pre-digested toothless excreta that gets passed off as Folk these days, which is well and truly execrable and a disgrace to the bucolic joys of the traditional song / music forms which it claims to revive and revere.

Folk is heritage hobbyist comfort-blanket banality created by & for a select elite of comfortable middle-class graduate escapist nerds; Rap, OTOH, is actually happening and celebrating the human condition in all its filth, depravity, pride, yearning and struggle. It speaks from the human core eternally.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 06:30 AM

Trouble is, the rap getting most publicity is the rap glorifying violence, abuse of women, etc etc. Yes there is rap that doesn't , but how much of it gets through to the general listener?
OTOH, a list of Victorian songs held at the British Library has lyrics about bankers, factory owners, lords of whatever manor, grinding the faces of the poor and otherwise disadvantaged, which could have been written early this morning.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 06:36 AM

Blandiver - Why then are you posting to and, presumably, reading a folk music forum? :-)

To be serious though, you are being as guilty as others of gross generalisations. SOME rap is far more complex etc. SOME folk is heritage hobbyist etc. Can you not see that when you tar all with the same brush you are bound to rub some people up the wrong way?

I have said quite categorically that I don't particularly like a lot of the rap music that I have heard but I would not dream of saying it is all created for an 'select elite of comfortable middle-class' of white teenagers wanting to be black 'gangsta's'. I have not heard it all. There is some I do like. Even the stuff I don't like, some people do, so it must therefore have appeal to others.

Same with folk music. A lot is to my taste and some is not. I don't particularly like a lot of the Irish music I hear and find a lot of amateur songwriter stuff overly self-indulgent. But again I would not dream of saying it is a disgrace. Nor do I believe that one particular music speaks 'from the human core'. As humans we are all different and the music I feel speaks for me is, most likely, far different from the music that speaks for you.

If your post was meant to alienate 'true folkies' (whatever they are) you have most likely succeeded. If, however, it was meant to be a serious analysis of the situation them I'm afraid, to my eyes anyway, it fails to convince. Just try to see that we are all different, not only in musical tastes, but in levels of sensitivity :-)

Cheers

DtG

BTW - Eldergirl. I will speak to you. Exactly the same points I was making earlier.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM

Well, then, let's talk about the folk music that glorifies rape and trivialises domestic abuse.

Some crackingly ignorant posting going on here.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 06:56 AM

Why proselytize ?

Not having to drive as far to a session or a concert venue that could sell enough tickets maybe. But what else ?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:23 AM

glorifying violence, abuse of women, etc etc.

You listened to any Traditional Folk Songs / Ballads recently?

Why then are you posting to and, presumably, reading a folk music forum? :-)

Because I am cursed with a partially active & wholly imperfect Folk Gene & have even been known to participate from time to time... BUT I'm under no illusions as to Folk's nature & purpose, much less its origins. I'm not seeking to rub anyone up, just tell it like it is : Folk is born from a bourgeois fantasy of proletarian culture and carries on in essentially the same vain to this day. It's music for & a white middle-class graduate demographic because of its essential academic / theoretical status. This includes all the Folk Music I've ever taken part in.

Rap is alive and thriving internationally; Folk, OTOH, is the esoteric dreaming of a privileged few.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:31 AM

Guest Rev Bayes is thinking of the folk music that speaks from the human core eternally.
Lucy Wan, or Down by the Greenwood Sidney..oh this bloody spell checker!!
Apologies to Sidney,whoever he is!
Any trad music should contain all aspects of life in the nation/country/neighbourhood from which it springs? But it won't always glorify the crap.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 08:07 AM

> Rap is alive and thriving internationally; Folk, OTOH, is the esoteric dreaming of a privileged few.

So what?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM

'Folk' round our way looks like an attempt by many musically enterprising younger people to break into the music biz and maybe even become Stars..
I say Looks Like. Appearances are not everything.
BTW, cheers DtG, ah'preciate it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM

"Folk, OTOH, is the esoteric dreaming of a privileged few"

A few of those who attend our club are pretty well off. One or two are what you might call at the bottom of the rung financially. I think the vast bulk though are just ordinary people. Certainly not overly privileged or particuarly wealthy. I don't understand the above comment.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:57 AM

It's music for & a white middle-class graduate demographic because of its essential academic / theoretical status.

I am white, middle-class and while lacking in said academic certification I do believe I belong to that demographic. Is this supposed to be wrong somehow? Are we all supposed to be black gangsta's? Why, in your opinion, is one kind of music inferior to another?

Don't delude yourself that you are 'telling it like it is' either. You are simply one opinion amongst many. One that is, in the main, entirely ignored anyway. Still, I do like the idea of a 'partially active & wholly imperfect Folk Gene' so I will accept that you may be one or two sandwichs short of a picnic:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 12:03 PM

Allan, I guess they come along to enjoy the music for its own sake, which is what a lot of us do. Much like my home town folk club, in fact.
As for being overprivileged; the description surely applies to most of the western/developed world, compared to the rest. Not just a few folk enthusiasts.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 12:32 PM

You know the genre has got something going for it when a rap version of Hamlet manages to annoy the Tory Cabinet into making a national issue of it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24351371

The storyline of Hamlet includes the hero doing a completely random killing (Polonius), sexist abuse of Ophelia driving her to suicide, sneakily engineering the murder of two guys with Jewish names, and finally setting off a bloodbath that kills every developed character left on stage. And we're supposed to sympathize with him. Is any character in a rap lyric as gross as the one Shakespeare created?

For that matter, how many rap personas can match Don Giovanni, Turandot or Mr Punch?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Mick G
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 12:42 PM

Maqy be of interest. About 4/5 years ago I was in Great Yarmouth as a member of the 'Grand Turk Press Gang Singers' (Gt Yarmouth Maritime Festival - Grand Turk sailing ship (Indefatigable from Hornblower series) we went to a local folk club to perform (with Johnny Collins, Sue and John Griffiths of the Mollyhawks) When we got to the folk club it was full of members in jeans and stetson hats doing line dancing. The hired act had a break and we manged to inveigle an invitation to perform our shanties. The locals were amazed and wanted to know why they couldn't have music like this every week. A question we couldn't answer. We were made very welcome. When the hired act came back on they started with 'Rolling Home' the John Tams classic and the locals really appreciated that also. I think it's all down to how it's presented. Pity Johnny Collins isn't about any more.
It was a very enjoyable evening and not what we were expecting when we went in (I don't think it was what the locals were expecting either, but they enjoyed it also)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 12:49 PM

More stereotyping? European doesn't necessarily mean Jewish. The names Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are those of aristocratic families.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM

"Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern"
They're dead, you know?
According to Tom Stoppard anyway!
I suppose everybody is aware of 'Oor Hamlet' - Adam McNaughton's magnificent take on the finest play ever written?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM

I am just picturing line-dancing to sea shanties. What a blast :-) Thanks for that image Mick.

Haul around the capstan
my achy-breaky capstan...


:D tG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:56 PM

All was explained on BBC Radio 4 today - we aren't supposed to be doing it out there in the community - we're supposed to put folk music on the internet.

Yeah - right.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 08:32 PM

Not sure that when Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he was telling the audience Go, and do thou likewise.
Am totally sure that Johnny Collins was one of the most Inclusive performers ever, he made jolly damn sure that people joined in, which is one of the main reasons for folk music, surely?
Rumncoke, I'm sorry, but I must admit to having been a folkie on internet radio.. It was fun, but I've no idea if more than 3 people were listening!! Maybe that's why we're being told to do it that way. Another method of diluting our musical input.
Incidentally, title of OP has the words Traditional Music. why are we wittering on about rap? That's from another tradition altogether, W African I think. Not that many W Africans on this thread?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM

Don't delude yourself that you are 'telling it like it is' either. You are simply one opinion amongst many. One that is, in the main, entirely ignored anyway. Still, I do like the idea of a 'partially active & wholly imperfect Folk Gene' so I will accept that you may be one or two sandwichs short of a picnic:-)

WAY too personal (and potentially insulting) a response to an entirely impersonal discussion, DtG.

My 'opinion' is simply the facts of how folk came into being. You can read all about it Dave Harker's 'Fakesong' and Georgina Boyes' 'The Imagined Village' and elsewhere. That Folk is born of social & cultural apartheid (& must define itself in such a way as to secure its position in what is a terrible case of cultural plunder & misrepresentation in which the working-class are effectively denied their creative heritage and are selectively screened for their potential as genuine authentic pure-blood traditional song-carriers depending on the degree of contamination from less savoury popular influences, like hip-hop) is hardly a secret. You can even read about it in 'The Ladybird Story of Music'; there's even an illustration just to drive the point home:

Cecil Sharp's Folk Epiphany

In 40 years of folkin' I've become aware of the prevailing social, cultural & ethnic demographic of punters & perpetrators alike, which is entirely consistent with its essentially theoretical / visionary / religious / cultist / academic nature. All of which, I have to say, is fine by me because that's what folk is. What isn't fine by me, however, is Folkies assuming that their particular brand of specialised easy-listening revivalism is somehow superior to other living / breathing musical traditions - such as that much maligned 'Rap Music', which, sadly, is a recurring theme here on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Andrez
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 06:17 AM

Hmmmmmm methinks it takes all colours to make a rainbow. Think about it, and just play or listen to whatever takes your fancy!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM

WAY too personal (and potentially insulting) a response to an entirely impersonal discussion, DtG.


Not intentionally so at all, Blandiver. Tell me which bit(s) you find too personal and potentially insulting and I will happily address them.

The works you refer to are history books written from a specific view with the point, it must be said, to make money for the authors. Again, nothing wrong with that but there are as many differing conclusions as there are books! There are no 'facts' about how folk music came into being just as there is no single agreement on what folk music actually is. Only opinions, and let's not go there again! Like the question I asked before about why is one music better than another, that still remains unanswered btw, why is one authors opinion better than another? Unless, of course, it happens to coincide with your own :-)

I do like the plate in that Ladybird book BTW - Wonderful stuff:-) I don't understand what point it drives home though. Unless you are saying that 'folk' as perceived by Cecil Sharpe and his contemporaries is the plundering of working class music. Which I would entirely agree with. I think we have moved on somewhat since then though.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 07:40 AM

The works you refer to are history books written from a specific view with the point, it must be said, to make money for the authors

These aren't works of popular fiction, DtG - they are seriously researched works of social / cultural history by authors who remain essentially, and impressively, impartial throughout. One hopes their efforts earned them a working wage, but I doubt the authors were looking to cash in on that academic folklore market which has attracted so many with its allure of filthy lucre.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 08:23 AM

"Fakesong," at least, has been discredited (by C. J. Bearman and others) as tendentious and inaccurate.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM

I can't see how such basic observations & essential truisms can be 'discredited'; maybe 'disagreed with' might be more accurate. A lot of people around here might 'disagree' with it, but the basic historical substance of the thing is sound. Likewise The Imagined Village - and The Ladybird Story of Music if it comes to that (although it neglects to name the 'Gardener' from whom Sharp plundered 'The Seeds of Love' from which he made his nice parlour Trad. Arr. to perform for his posh pals during their postprandial soiree (presumably as a mere Tradition Bearer Mr England was not invited) thus establishing a precedence for such misappropriation / misinterpretation of so-called Traditional Folk Song that endures to this very day.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM

This is a great thread. I have nothing to add at the moment but keep talking. I'm listening.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 11:18 AM

""Fakesong," at least, has been discredited (by C. J. Bearman and others) as tendentious and inaccurate"
And others, including (indirectly) after the first wave of criticism, by the author himself who refused to discuss it publicly
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 11:32 AM

I'm with you, Suzy S-P.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 11:32 AM

Like I said, Blandiver. The works, although seriously researched, are extremely subjective views as the above comments prove. If you insist on relying on one set of experts you can only expect others to quote another set of experts. Authority is one of the more serious flaws of logical argument.

I am still worried by your feeling that I have been too personal and potentially insulting. Can we get to the bottom of that to settle my mind at least.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 12:00 PM

"Folkies assuming that their particular brand of specialised easy-listening revivalism is somehow superior to other living / breathing musical traditions - such as that much maligned 'Rap Music',"

The fact is though that everyone has personal taste. I have actually a reasonably wide taste in that I listen to most genres but it is just that as a genre I find rap boring and repetative and lyrically undecipherable most of the time. I'm not saying that because I don't particularly like it that it is then inferior to folk music. I've just said why I don't like that much and given the reason why. We are all free to like what we want!!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 12:06 PM

Don't take my word for it:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/enth36.htm


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 12:55 PM

The argument is set out above that "folk" is a matter of style. It is not. At the theoretical level (1954 or Karpeles definition) it is a matter of derivations.

If it were a matter of style then if English traditional song could be folk music then there could be no Chinese or Russian folk music - because it sounds different.

Further, if it were a matter of style then when Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span or Blue Horses did a folk song then it would no longer be a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 01:24 PM

"Folk music" isn't a naturally occurring term: it's a theoretical construction to begin with.

It seems to me that it's a matter of style as well as derivation, though there are cultural and regional and temporal styles.

Like early jazz, rap is undoubtedly a "folk" style. It began as an amateur phenomenon (the "toast") far outside the realm of trained musicians. But it was soon commercialized.

But (as I may have said), so what? Not everything "folk" is wonderful, and not everything wonderful is "folk." Except as a game of rhymes and assonances, rap seems unusually narrow simply as a style.

The content of rap is another issue.

If a genius rapper were to devise a rap that rivals Hamlet in depth, interest, originality, humanity, and nuance, it would be brilliant *in spite of* rather than because of the form. I'm waiting.

AS for Steeleye, when they adapt, for example, "Fighting for Strangers," the song *in the abstract* is still a "folk song." But Steeleye's *version* (including the sophisticated arrangement, etc.) is only marginally folk, if that. That doesn't make it bad or irrelevant, just very different from a genuinely trad performance. That would seem to be an important point in any serious discussion, because no Steeleye performance sounds like, say, any Harry Cox performance.

To get back to the OP: "going wrong" implies that "we" are somehow hindering the appreciation of traditional music. I'm not even sure what that means, or if we could mess it up. It seems to mean that lots more people should adore traditional music. Whether they should or not, I'm not certain that there's anything we can do beyond playing it and making it available.

And downloads make it more readily available to a larger audience than ever.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 01:43 PM

Also, I think the OP's question can be fairly easily answered by observing what this thread has turned into.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 02:29 PM

If you insist on relying on one set of experts you can only expect others to quote another set of experts.

I see no quotes in contradiction of what I've said here, perhaps you could point them out?

*

If a genius rapper were to devise a rap that rivals Hamlet in depth, interest, originality, humanity, and nuance, it would be brilliant *in spite of* rather than because of the form. I'm waiting.

Do you find anything like that in Traditional Folk Song? I think not - thank God - though I recall Martin Carthy's Hamlet song with great affection from the clubs back in the 80s. In any case some of my favourite 'Rap' is very lyrical indeed - and rather quite Folky to boot, like this which Battle Royale fans will be well acquainted with.

Dragon Ash : Shizukana hibi no Kaidan Wo (Climb The Stairs Of Quiet Days

Translation:

Grass and trees become green, flowers colorfully bloom.
Seasons come by again. A comfortable spring day,
With out anything to do I think by myself
in the tree lined street.
The days go by without any break.
I am struggling to manage myself here.
Sometimes, let's live a life
Without thinking so deeply.
Morning comes, the sun rises again.
Outside the window the south wind
blows the pain in my heart.
Shall the tears I shed in the past days
be pulled into my unconsciousness.
what is important is the light,
I'd like to stay here a bit more.

WE GO EVERY DAY, let's go with laughter
To the direction of the shining light
heading into the open future ahead.
WE GO EVERY DAY, let's go with laughter
Like pouring water into a vase
my wishes please be granted.


SO The face and the tears
washed by an off season rain
before the rain stops,
GERRA I smile with a clean face.
Like that, goes away ONE WEEK.
With my tired body I take ONE DRINK
At the meeting place my friends are all there.
like every day we spend the night chatting nonsense
to continue on with these days
I flap my wings like a bird.
Everyone is doing their best. Don't lose; we don't have a pinch runner.
Going over the people laughing at you,
catch the dream you imagined into your hands.
Wish to the shooting star after the rain.
Now stand up my friend.

WE GO EVERY DAY, let's go with laughter
To the direction of the shining light
heading into the open future ahead.
WE GO EVERY DAY, let's go with laughter
Like pouring water into a vase
my wishes please be granted.

Without no reason I set off my mobile.
In the far back of the noise
can't you hear the voice of the wind
drifting away now where and why.
Obvious though, I listen on.
Like putting your own future over it.
Wanting something to be said about my self, is the same feeling.
My life goes away bit by bit.
Now I possess multiple copies of my childhood dreams.
I make a stupid face
as I brush my teeth in front of the mirror in the morning.
Going outside. I live a day like this.
I'll stop waiting for the night.
Resting isn't bad, charge up your energy.
quietly the city ticks away time.
Connecting our dreams, we make an arch.

Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo
Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo
Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo
Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo
Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo
Shizukana hibi no kaidan wo

The stair steps of a quiet day
The stair steps of a quiet day
The stair steps of a quiet day
The stair steps of a quiet day
The stair steps of a quiet day
The stair steps of a quiet day

Under the sky without the breeze,
I reach out to catch tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 03:33 PM

If you insist on relying on one set of experts you can only expect others to quote another set of experts.

"I see no quotes in contradiction of what I've said here, perhaps you could point them out?"

I have contradicted you on many points but you have only insisted that I have insulted you on a personal level and not yet explained why you believe that is the case. I have said, at least twice, that your 'expert' testimony is questionable. Other people have confirmed that this is the case.

Your last post quotes something that you feel is relevant but, upon reading, I find rather pretentious and naïve at the same time. I think it is probably good but not to my taste. How about I quote you one of my favourite songs?

Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high.
Like a diamond in the sky.


So, now, why, once again, do you believe that your taste in music is any better than anyone else's?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 04:39 AM

I guess it maybe loses something in translation.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 05:02 AM

Concrete road, take me home
To the place I belong....

(another little Japanese song)

I think I agree with guest Rev Bayes' last posting.
Where there are human beings, there are disagreements.
Now let's get back out there and sing and play whatever we call Folk to the people who wouldn't hear it otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 05:14 AM

The people who've never heard Folk... My God, aren't they the lucky ones! Imagine that level of purity & innocence? Like having never heard of God and religion. I wish, I wish, but it's all in vain...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 06:37 AM

It's astounding how good we are at misreading stuff.
Wouldn't hear it otherwise is not same as Never heard.
Johnny Collins was singing somewhere. Bloke wanders in, listens for a bit, then turns to his neighbour(who happens to be Johnny's partner) and says This is good.What sort of music is this? So Joyce answers It's folk. To which bloke replies, Nah I don't like folk. This can't be folk, this is good!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 06:59 AM

Half a dozen references above tell us that what we need is green hats .... including Al Whittle:-
"I still think the green hats is a good idea."

I wish someone had told me earlier


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM

I don't want to personally get involved in the 'what is folk' part of this thread.

However both rap and folk share the problem of both largely being underground music and a visitor would be equally unlikely to come across   either genre unless they know where to look, probably more so with rap.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 08:17 AM

both rap and folk share the problem of both largely being underground music and a visitor would be equally unlikely to come across   either

Oh yeah? Name me one Folk Artist with their own range of perfume on prominent display in Boots the Chemist...

Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Eau de Parfum

Nicki Minaj is worth checking out actually - one of the most gifted & constantly astonishing voices of our time. And her rapping is out of this world!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 08:18 AM

Thank you Eldergirl.

I'm glad the title of this thread uses the word traditional instead of folk. To me, the term folk is somewhat murky. To me, traditional music is something that could not only be described as popular or folk music of an earlier time, but also as the product of a natural process that was radically altered first by publishing and secondly by recording (not to mention all the capitalist endeavors that surround those things).

Now, it's not that publishing, recording and passing the hat don't have their place in the preservation and promotion of traditional music, it's just that it's not a money thing. It's a love thing. Publishing and recording have been a very double edged sword when it comes to music of any kind. And if traditional music should become a money thing, then it becomes something it was never meant to be. I think we can see how money has corrupted in the various revivals. I'll never forget the time I saw Bob Dylan in a Victoria Secret commercial. I was like, "You've got to be kidding me!"


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 09:07 AM

"seriously researched works of social / cultural history by authors who remain essentially, and impressively, impartial throughout.

Harker?? ROFL!

"the basic historical substance of the thing is sound"

Some of Bearman's other pronouncements have done him no favours, but in the case of 'Fakesong' he was dealing specifically with Harker's treatment of statistical data.

And I've managed to find a few other holes in 'Fakesong', come to that.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM

Bob Dylan?? What was he modelling??? The mind boggles!
Re. Nicki Minaj perfume, d'ya think Kate Rusby has missed a trick there? Or Laura Marling?
Suzy S-P, I agree with your view on love/money in trad music. As Nicky Johns sings, It's not a bad life
       But you don't get rich..
As for me, I'm there for the songs. A little recognition is nice occasionally, but the songs are the main thing.
Slaid Cleaves, whom I had the great good fortune to hear last night at Hitchin folk club, released an album a while back called Unsung. Songs people hadn't picked up on, that he at least thought were worth putting out there. He was right. If you haven't heard it, then try.
It's the songs that get carried forward. If you like a particular song, get out there and sing it. Keep whatever tradition you are from or in, going. (within reason!)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 09:58 AM

I still firmly agree with Blandiver's point in an earlier discussion like this that traditional music in England today is the equivalent of model railway enthusiasm, with the key difference that the model railway enthusiasts at least know their toy trains aren't real.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 10:05 AM

Harker?? ROFL!

I must admit when I finally tracked down Fakesong I was expecting something a good deal more - er - radical than it actually is; in fact, it's rather quite mild & considerate given its reputation. Stats? WTF??? None of which gets away from the fact that Folk is a middle-class academic fantasy of working class culture born of an bourgeois class condescension replete with quite terrifying implications of pure bloodlines that are very much with us today. Steve Roud was on here a few weeks back saying that because 'Shoals of Herring' had been 'collected' from a bona-fide traditional singer it was now a traditional song.

I quote : It's not the origin of a song which makes it 'folk' or 'traditional' but what happens to it if it is picked up and sung/passed on within a tradition.

ROFL? I tell you, the more I read of the orthodox folk law the more it depresses the hell out of me, but that's nowt new.

(Still miffed that I couldn't get a seat at the your New Penguin Fylde show though, Brian - apologies for lack of cheer outside the North Euston; I was so ill that weekend I was very nearly hospitalised on the Monday...)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:01 AM

> terrifying implications of pure bloodlines that are very much with us today

Funny, I've never heard of these from any folkie or read about them on any LP jacket. Quite the contrary in fact.

Yet, because I know the world of tenure-track academia, I understand these presumed "terrifying implications" are quite "unconscious" and therefore don't require any objective evidence of their existence.

But what about Nazis?

The Nazi use of genuine folksongs as sound-track says nothing about the songs. Lots about the craftiness of Nazis, though.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:08 AM

because 'Shoals of Herring' had been 'collected' from a bona-fide traditional singer

Wasn't it written in 1960 by Ewan MacColl?

the fact that Folk is a middle-class academic fantasy of working class culture

Not a fact at all, as discussed earlier. An opinion. Even if I were to agree with the opinion that the collectors had made it so, the songs themselves predate the collectors. What were the songs called before they were collected? Subsequently collecting in this way has been rendered obsolete so the situation no longer exists. The 'folk' definition still exists and, as far as I am concerned, it is a good a one as any :-)

What we seem to be discussing, yet again, is the definition of folk which has been, to be honest, done to death and holds no further interest for me and a lot of others. What exactly is it you are saying, Blandiver? That the definition is a concept brought about by that middle-class bourgeoisie you refer to or the music itself was invented by them?

And I still don't know what you took exception to earlier :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:16 AM

Hi, SPB Co-operator. I want to get back to your original question. You wrote, "if a visitor wants to hear traditional music in London he/she has to go to great lengths to find it."

In my experience, it's not just London. I won't belabor that point.

Thoughts on that:

The young are brainwashed to believe that trad isn't cool. To keep their 'street cred,' they must sneer at it. But give them some good trad, and they will probably like it. You've seen that yourself.

Related to all that - it's hard to get newspapers, etc to list our events because they are not 'cool.' Our city paper blandly proclaims that it can't list trad in the Event Calendar because 'the computer doesn't have a heading for that.' Yeah, right!

We need new ways to get the word out.

In broadcasting and recording, profits flow through copyrights, ASCAP and BMI. If a song is public domain, what's the point?
=========
I've been on the Mudcat several years now. What do I see?

Snobbery. The instruments of the working class (banjo, accordion) are sneered at constantly. More so for the inexpensive instruments (percussion, harmonica) that a beginner might timidly acquire and bring to a session. Prestige instruments - violin, harp, flute - just can't go wrong.

A person who has lyrics on paper is despised. I just talked to a teacher who told me that today's kids strongly resist memorizing anything. Concepts and theory are fine, but memorizing is old-fashioned and insulting. We're gonna have to get over our horror of paper. (How long has this been going on? Do today's 40-year-olds refuse to memorize? Could be.)

In dance music, the guitar, a beautiful instrument, is relegated to going blangety-blangety blang ALL THE TIME. (Why? because every piece has to be played fast.) This gets tiresome after 30 years.

Some people don't seem to realize that the era of woman-hating and the era of ethic hatred is over. i.e., "Take your tiresome old music-hall songs about paddies and prostitutes and put em where the sun don't shine."

Too many 'folk' songs are depressing. Between war, drugs, murders, child abuse and economic hardship, people are depressed enough already.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:33 AM

Funny, I've never heard of these from any folkie or read about them on any LP jacket. Quite the contrary in fact.

It's there in the implication of a 'traditional singer' who is 'part of a tradition'. The very notion of a 'tradition' in this sense implies a sense of purity - something that goes back to Sharp who dismissed certain NW Morris Traditions as being impure, much as Fluffy Morris (the only truly Traditional Morris?) is disparaged by the Black-face-'n'-Feathers-We're-Not-Racist-Honest Morris crowd today.

Wasn't it written in 1960 by Ewan MacColl?

It carries a Roud number because it was collected within such a pure-blood tradition as mentioned above. One has to be BORN a Traditional Singer, and even then you stop being 'A Real Traditional Singer' once you've had an education - as Jean Ritchie reminded us on this forum of a comment made about her by Maud Karpeles.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:41 AM

The only thing we could do "wrong" would be to abandon playing and taking an interest in the music because it's (allegedly) too racist, nationalist, sexist, bourgeois, old, simple-minded, misleading, boring, whatever.

As very few people who've had much exposure to it believe.

But let's say, just for discussion, that Harker is right: the collectors were ambitious, condescending fakers determined to invent a merrie English and Scottish and Irish and Welsh past that never existed, just to line their own pockets and promote their own smug, pathetic fantasies about the past and nationalist supremacy in the future.

So, as I'm often compelled to ask, what?

What's that got to do with the experience of hearing traditional songs themselves, particularly those hundreds that have been recorded by modern collectors without any "bourgeois" alteration at all?

Traditional tunes, at least, which seem to be beyond political criticism.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:44 AM

PS:

What we seem to be discussing, yet again, is the definition of folk

No we're not - I'm not anyway. I think it's very clear what Folk means in this (or any other) context. What I'm talking about is its inherently academic / theoretical nature on account of its somewhat peculiar origins and the persistence of those paternalistic notions today.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:48 AM

"the model railway enthusiasts at least know their toy trains aren't real."

So are we to accept that the songs aren't real either? I've never bought all the surrounding paraphenalia myself, but the the songs themselves are undoubtedly real, and remain relevant so long as anyone wants to listen to them.

"apologies for lack of cheer outside the North Euston;"

Yeah, I thought you weren't your usual irrepressible self. Hope you're over it now.

Re 'tradition', I think I'll stick with the usual definition, rather than a made-up one about 'purity'.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:02 PM

Still don't understand, Blandiver. Must be having a particularly bad day.

What I'm talking about is its inherently academic / theoretical nature on account of its somewhat peculiar origins etc.

So, are you saying that the term 'folk music' is inherently academic, which I would agree with although I have no issues with academic definitions. Or are you saying that the songs that many of us class as folk music are inherently academic? Words of one syllable would probably be best for me at the mo.

As to the 'persistence of paternalistic notions'. Well, if people persist in applying paternalistic notions to folk music then those notions will continue. As I said before, we have moved on since C#'s time. I think that those notions only exist where they are allowed to.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: johncharles
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM

"Back in London - traditional music is largely ignored, and if a visitor wants to hear traditional music in London he/she has to go to great lengths to find it."
try google -
http://www.folklondon.co.uk/venues.html
plus many more.
irish tourism is a self fulfilling prophecy. What are people expecting; golf, fishing, pubs, guiness and diddly music. That is what they get.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:25 PM

So are we to accept that the songs aren't real either?

They were real enough in their natural habitat anyway, once they're removed from that habitat they become something very different - once they're subjected to the old academic T+T (taxidermy / taxonomy) and 'revived' by the professional folk artiste. It begins with Sharp's postprandial parlour arrangement of The Seeds of Love and that disparity endures to this day. Contrast & compare Bob Roberts' Gamekeepers with June Tabor's. One is real, the other is a postprandial macramé beat fantasy - howe'er so masterfully realised. I would have thought that difference is something any revival singer is all too aware of in their heartfelt yearning for beauteous potency of Traditional Song & the long vanished ecology thereof?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,geoff woolfe
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM

Friday 4th Oct 2013   I'm in London for the EFDSS Folk Song Conference   ( why weren't you there? - yes I know Brian P was....)

Outside Finchley Road station - a busker on whistle playing Boys of Blue Hill ... something must be going right..
OK he could have played a less well known tune......

It's about what we do in the community - not about national identity or 'tourism'..


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:31 PM

So, are you saying that the term 'folk music' is inherently academic

Yes.

Or are you saying that the songs that many of us class as folk music are inherently academic?

No.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:57 PM

> I would have thought that difference is something any revival singer is all too aware of in their heartfelt yearning for beauteous potency of Traditional Song & the long vanished ecology thereof?

You mean that's what June yearns for? News to me. And what if she does?

More likely, she yearns to make music she likes, that people will listen to, and that she can earn some money for making.

But even if revival singers really do think dopey thoughts to themselves, why should anyone care? If, say, visions of the Lucky Charms leprechaun always dance in the heads of Irish folkies, what we get is still the music to take or leave alone.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 01:10 PM

Ah - OK. I may disagree but as I said before I have had enough of discussing what the term folk music means. Thanks for the clarification, Blandiver. Perhaps one thought that may be appropriate to the original question. I have already said that it could well be the categorisation that puts people off. Maybe if those of us who know that the music is not dry and academic stop proliferating the view that it is, it could help :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 09:21 PM

It's very likely that most tourists arriving at Heathrow or wherever , if greeted by a cheery morris tune played by persons in green hats, would think it was Irish anyway.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 04:49 AM

"From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 08:17 AM
Oh yeah? Name me one Folk Artist with their own range of perfume on prominent display in Boots the Chemist.."
.
In the interest of accuracy and fairness, it's not in Boots but - Jackie Oates cosmetic at Lush


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:32 AM

Touché!

And rather wonderful too...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:45 AM

Haha! Fair young folkies and Lush cosmetics! What a perfect marketing marriage! Now all we need is for Laura Ashley to "re-brand" itself.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:57 AM

Btw Blandiver offering provocative insights here as usual. I'm fairly sold on the paternalistic condescension theme where of the origins of the academic concept of 'folk' is concerned. Less so on the model railway analogy which I see existing more where a specific belief in the "continuance of a tradition" also exists, rather than simply in contemporary people singing old songs. If I participate in an am dram production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, it's not under the illusion that I'm maintaining some archaic dramatic 'tradition' I do it for the sake of doing it and nothing else. LIkewise singing, of anything at all; be it Handel, Little Dragon or those funny old traditional songs. It's the context of a 'folk scene' which believes itself to be preserving and continuing some ye old tradition. that turns the songs into LARP.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 06:02 AM

That said, it's all good! People need the escapism both LotR, LARP and 'Folk Music' provides for their health and sanity; rustic bucolic fantasies get trashed altogether too much!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM

I'm not trashing it, CS - no more than I'd trash model railways - I just think it's important to be aware of that & keep it in perspective by way of honouring the absolute supremacy of the source. I sing Trad. Folk Songs by way of Holy Communion, Ritual & Seance with that source - I imagine old guys in the attic running their perfectly scratch built 00 replicas of the long vanished branch-line stations of yore are doing that as well.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:05 AM

Going back to the original question for a moment (and forgive me if someone's said this already - it's a long thread), the point is that, despite all the efforts of Cecil Sharp, English folk song has never become a vehicle for nationalistic sentiment. The folk musics of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, the Cajuns, the Basques, the Quebecois, etc., have been fiercely preserved by those communities as representations of their own culture, in the teeth of the hegemony of the more powerful nations of which they form a - sometimes unwilling -component.

The other problem for English folk song is that some of its enthusiasts can't get their heads around the notion that what was once the only show in town as far as home-grown music was concerned, is now one minority music amongst many. Though possibly no more of a minority than jazz, classical, death metal, emo, etc., which don't seem to go in for the kind of soul-searching that certain elements of the folk scene seem compelled to do. "If the masses don't like it, it must be rubbish" seems to be the attitude in some quarters.

Then we get the stereotypes of trainspotters and model railway builders (both categories which, fairly or not, conjure up an image of socially-maladjusted, obsessive, middle-aged males) which bear no relation at all to the folk scene that I know, excepting a small number of cases. To pick a few names at random, are Ray Fisher, Nic Jones, The Wilson Family, Janet Russell, Lucy Ward, etc. etc. the embodiment of some railway-modelling type of re-enactment? No, just talented people who find old melodies and the tales attached to them gripping and relevant. I'm with CS here: although there is most definitely a rich hinterland of history and context behind the old songs, the reason they appeal to (some) people to this day are great tunes and great words.

It's also wise to remember that, although for a couple of centuries the old songs were largely the preserve of the rural working class, they were performed in other contexts too, not least on the 18th century stage. And Professor Child's favourite ballad source was the daughter of a professor.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:24 AM

Find lots of vitality in and enthusiasm for folk music at LEWES FOLK FESTIVAL which starts today (8th) and runs until Sunday (13th)

In the previous post Brian Peters (He'll be there) cites Janet Russell and Lucy Ward (They will both be there) as "talented people who find old melodies and the tales attached to them gripping and relevant." Agreed, That is all that is needed. We aim to make our town buzz with the very best that we can offer.

I'm just a septagarian old codger who has been around this music for 50-odd years but I am still trying to work my socks off to give it my best shot. I wish others would try to do the same rather than moaning about it on this forum.

http://www.lewesfolkfest.org/


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM

> "If the masses don't like it, it must be rubbish"

Others say, "If the masses *do* like it, it must be rubbish."

Most of us here, I think, do not fall into either camp.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM

Even were it accurate at one time, I suspect that Blandiver's MRE (model railway enthusiast) analogy is already outdated. There are a few who you may on occasion hear on the Mudcat bemoaning the fate of *clubs* as some-kind of embodiment of the 'The Tradition' and presumably the only way they can imagine folk music functioning, when in fact music festivals of all kinds - including folk - are thriving and pull in huge volumes of youth! The club model of folk where people participating together in singing and playing (occasionally even traditional songs and tunes) in a pub or function room is I think likely to die out with those who established them. And it's possibly there if anywhere that you might find the MRE worrying about passing along the baton. But I don't see anything pertaining to model railways in music festivals of whatever genre.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM

I vaguely recall a TV program that seemed to be suggesting that De Valera pushed hard to get Irish folk accepted- perhaps someone can confirm or Reject this
Chris


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 10:57 AM

I think you'll find that incorrect. The early years of the state, with their introduction of the Dance Halls Act etc, are mostly regarded as creating an atmosphere suppressing to the traditional culture.

In Ireland, by the way, there's generally a distinction between what is called 'traditional music' and what is 'folk'. A Seán Nós singer won't be called a 'folk' singer just as, say, The Dubliners are not regarded as 'traditional' singers. I think that's a helpful distinction.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 10:58 AM

CS, those of us who grew up playing our music in folk clubs make no apology for our attachment to the format. They may be a generational phenomenon, and the succeeding generations may well have different ideas, but at their best they offer an appropriately intimate environment in which to experience music that often works best on a small scale. All that fevered shushing of popular exaggeration reflects an environment in which the music actually gets listened to (and how my mates in pub bands envied me that!). They encourage participation, both in chorus singing and floorspotting (a contentious one, that, obviously). And, they are a relatively egalitarian way of experiencing a performance by a leading light of the genre, without the high stage and the green room creating a barrier between them and you.

Those might seem to you outdated notions, but personally I don't see a lot wrong with them, and nor do I accept they imply MRE values. I'm sure Vic Smith (whose festival I've managed quite accidentally to advertise), and several others who post here and are involved in successful folk clubs, would take issue with the idea that the format is dead.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 11:03 AM

I've actually realised why this thread has slightly irritated me and why I probably shouldn't be contributing to it. I haven't actually heard an album of traditional folk music that has blown me away since the Hladowski/Joynes album last year. On top of that, I don't really dig much singersongwriter folk or mumfolk and we all know the psych folk stuff I like isn't proper folk music anyway! I'm actually starting to understand why family and friends beg me to take it off nearly every time I put a trad folk album on. I suspect the next step is to pare the collection down to a few essentials - Shirley Collins, Nic Jones, Ray Fisher, Martin Carthy, Peter Bellamy and not that much more...

Meanwhile I don't think tourist-friendly state sponsored folk music as a symbol of 'who we are' will win many friends. I doubt it would make for very interesting folk music either, for that matter. The possibility smacks of a weird sort of cultural engineering where the heritage industry (of which the EFDSS and so on are arguably already part of anyway) sell something on our behalf that we're supposed to think is ours anyway but that most of us don't actually want. There again, I imagine few of us eat clotted cream teas all that often or play cricket on the vilage green, so maybe it doesn't matter, and maybe Ray Davies was right.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 12:07 PM

Sorry Brian I wasn't suggesting that all clubs are like model railways at all!
Just the idea - that is occasionally expressed on threads on this site - that the club format should be sustained or preserved - not merely for it's own merit, but specifically as some kind of continuation of "The Tradition" - is fallacious. That's the only concession I would grant Blandiver re: his MRE analogy, which in fact I don't buy.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM

"The possibility smacks of a weird sort of cultural engineering where the heritage industry (of which the EFDSS and so on are arguably already part of anyway) sell something on our behalf that we're supposed to think is ours anyway but that most of us don't actually want."

Ugh, every time I think of "English Heritage" I'm reminded of the Battle of the Beanfield and the way they worked with Thatcher's little army to destroy a genuine folk usage of, well, a piece of our supposedly "shared" English heritage. No fan of the industry, and especially it's obsequious preoccupation with toff's mouldy old piles.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 04:51 PM

floorspotting

An upcoming novel from Irvine Welsh??

Model Railway enthusiasts are people too, regardless of any implied cranky eccentric idiosyncrasies which are all grist to the mill.   I see the same qualities in Folk Enthusiasts - and the same relationship between real trains and model ones, which can get pretty weird : around Xmas time I might buy a copy of The Railway Modeller by way of Traditional Seasonal Observance and find myself looking at a picture of a layout unsure as to whether I'm looking at a model or the 'real' thing.

Model Railway Enthusiasm is born of the same Hauntological impulses that underlie Folk. I'd say that was a good thing - but it still pays to be aware of the differences between SMALL and FAR AWAY.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,eldergirl on another computer
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 08:48 PM

I am definitely Far Away; maybe eve Far Out, maan; and could never be described as Small. Neither am I hankering after the Good Old Days of Yore, etc, most of which were a long way off Good. OTOH I will happily sing an old song or 2 that tells it like it was, to remind us that we are comparatively well off these days(mostly) OR a new song or 2 that might point out room for improvement. or I might just sing a 60's pop song, or something by Hoagy Carmichael. is that traditional enough?
floor spotting: ooooo, look!!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 04:27 AM

something by Hoagy Carmichael

Ah - now you're talking!

When I started playing Carmichael's tunes in jazz bands and as solo guitar pieces - back in the late '60s - they were 40 years old or less. I play them still, but now they're getting on (some of them) for 90 years old. Getting more traditional by the day... :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM

From the Indiana University Archive of Traditional Music:

Hoagy Carmichael Collections

The Hoagy Carmichael Collection at the Archives of Traditional Music represents the largest holding of materials pertaining to Hoagy Carmichael available anywhere in the world.

Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:19 AM

Thanks for the Carmichael link!

Going back before people like Carmichael, we're in the realms of revue and music-hall - stuff which is now well over 100 years old. Wonderful melodies, some of them, which have lasted well and retained all their power and expression - a bit like some traditional tunes.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:25 AM

"floorspotting.. An upcoming novel from Irvine Welsh??"

Hope so. That will blow the lid off our seemingly quaint and harmless activities.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,eldergirl on another computer
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM

oh ye gods, and put even more people off!! hahahaha!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 06:03 AM

That will blow the lid off our seemingly quaint and harmless activities.

All it takes is to change a couple of words & it says it all!

Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae's behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah'm gaunnae huv a short life, am ah sound mind, ectetera, ectetera, but still want tae play Folk? They won't let ye dae it. They won't let ye dae it, because it's seen as a sign ay thir ain failure. The fact that ye jist simply choose tae reject whut they huv tae offer. Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life. Well, ah choose no tae choose life. If the cunts cannae handle that, it's thair fuckin problem. As Harry Lauder sais, ah jist intend tae keep right on to the end of the road...

Damn right!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 09:35 PM

Aye,'appen.
Nobody said it would be all honey and jam.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 05:52 AM

Interesting to watch the (non) development of this discussion.
Ireland has achieved the success it has not by trying to please all of the people all of the time, but by focusing on what it believed to be its traditional music and building on that.
The Willie Clancy Summer School was possibly the first big break, running a week of classes, lectures, recitals and concerts with a week of sessions - just enjoyed its 40th year.
Shortly after its establishment the Irish Traditional Music Archive was set up - now making its holdings freely available.
Traditional music has the full and unconditional support of the Irish Arts Establishment and is respected as an important aspect of Irish culture - the ITMA was opened by President of Ireland Mary Robinson, and the move to new premises introduced by the Irish Arts Minister.
As Peter Laban and others pointed out, the thousands of youngsters now playing Irish music to a superb standard do not feel restricted in any way from playing and enjoying other music, just treating Irish traditional music for what it is, Irish traditional music as distinct from.... whatever (not a claim anywhere that hip-hop must be "traditional" because the tunes have been played twice in different versions).
Doesn't mean the music won't change - it will die if it doesn't, but it will be around for at least another couple of generations.
A far cry from a folk music revival which appears to be unable to find it's folk arse with both hands!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:34 AM

Thanks Jim.

You know earlier during the course of this thread I got a distinct impression some people were reaction from a position of not actually knowing much about Irish music but carrying a few misconceptions about this country   around with them.

While I was considering if it was worth responding to that line of thought I stumbled into a batch of recordings of Nell ní Chróinín. If the country can throw up lovely captivating young singers like her, most likely without her ever seeing the inside of a folkclub, why would I bother arguing the case here. The music and the singers are out there, for anyone with an open ear to hear.

This morning, lovely and bright, I stumbled into the Kilrush horsefair. Beats being on the interwebs.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:25 AM

> for anyone with an open ear to hear.

The key to much of the discussion.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 06:49 AM

....Nell ní Chróinín. If the country can throw up lovely captivating young singers like her, most likely without her ever seeing the inside of a folkclub

Nell has sung in folk clubs and at Sidmouth Festival - a really great singer. I believe that she is related to Elizabeth 'Beth' Cronin, one of the iconic figures of traditional Irish song.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 07:16 AM

I meant ofcourse she developed as a singer without the influence of folkclubs.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM

This video fragment, which has been taken from Sé Mo Laoch - Eoiní agus Danny Mhaidhcí Ó Súilleabháin, , probably illustrates the point that Nell is an intergral part of the Baile Mhuirne singing tradition. And probably shows, in the context of this thread, how singing and music in Ireland keeps going.

Ofcourse Nell sang in folkclubs. She also sang at Electric Picnic and who knows where else. Neither was however instrumental in forming her as a singer, which was my point earlier.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 02:56 PM

Interesting lump in italics Blandiver. Have you noticed it contradicts the pretentious bollocks you constantly spout. If you hate folk music so much, why don't you just fuck off?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:39 PM

If you hate folk music so much, why don't you just fuck off?

It's an ever-so-slightly slightly altered passage from Ivine Welsh's novel Trainspotting actually, Richard - albeit C&P'd from the internet so I can't vouch for its accuracy since my daughter nabbed my copy of the book 15 years ago & hasn't as yet returned it. If read rightly, is an affirmation of the very things about folk that I actually find very positive. Go read it again.

And if I hated folk, I would hardly bother, now - would I? As it is I've been folkin' since I was 11 in 1972 (or 73) and see no reason to stop now. So please be civil, eh?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM

He doesn't hate folksong Richard - just the people who try to make sense of it, especially those who try to ascribe it to ordinary people rather than the invention of Victorian gentlemen
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 03:44 PM

Serenity Now! Serenity Now!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 07:57 AM

Peter Laban said:

"This video fragment, which has been taken from Sé Mo Laoch - Eoiní agus Danny Mhaidhcí Ó Súilleabháin, , probably illustrates the point that Nell is an intergral part of the Baile Mhuirne singing tradition. And probably shows, in the context of this thread, how singing and music in Ireland keeps going."

So choirs and competitions as a progression rather than folk clubs ?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 08:20 AM

"So choirs and competitions as a progression rather than folk clubs "
Did Peter suggest either/or - room for both, surely?
"Serenity Now! Serenity Now!"
Sorry Blandie, your dismissal of young people now playing traditional Irish music did it for me - probably one of the most mean-minded pieces of begrudgery I have ever encountered - and when put next to your own offerings.....!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 08:36 AM

Sorry Blandie, your dismissal of young people now playing traditional Irish music did it for me - probably one of the most mean-minded pieces of begrudgery I have ever encountered -

I think you're mixing me up with someone else there, Jim - or else misinterpreting my weariness of Riverdance blandness with dismissal of more 'traditional' forms. I know lots of people (young & old) who play traditional Irish music & I would never dismiss them for doing so. In fact, more power to them.

Play fair, eh? Serenity Now, indeed.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 11:54 AM

Nope - you openly dismissed the efforts of young people playing Irish music as being sucked into an invented tradition - will dg it out if you feel it worth the effort - think it's the first time I used the term "begrudger" on this thread
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 01:57 PM

He doesn't hate folksong Richard - just the people who try to make sense of it, especially those who try to ascribe it to ordinary people rather than the invention of Victorian gentlemen


I am having difficulty understanding why anyone would 'hate' people for anything as trivial as the definition of folk music. Surely this does not make sense. Does it?

I have already had the discussion with Blandiver about whether it is the term or the music itself we were discussing and this is what it boiled down to -

(Me)So, are you saying that the term 'folk music' is inherently academic
(Blandiver>Yes.
(Me)Or are you saying that the songs that many of us class as folk music are inherently academic?
(Blandiver)No.

So, once again, it boils down to the definition of folk music. About which, I am sure, nothing further can be said!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:20 AM

"About which, I am sure, nothing further can be said"
Depends what your interests are and exactly were you are involved in folksong
If you are just out to listen to and sing a few songs, and you've found a venue that satisfied your needs - sure - it doesn't matter a rat's ass how you define what you do.
If you want to attract new people to what you are doing and you think 'folk music' is important enough to promote and worth passing on, you have to have at least a vague idea of what you mean by the term, otherwise you may as well just call what you do 'sing music' or some such term.
A grocer doesn't label his tins 'vegetables' if he wants to sell runner beans - simple as that.
Ireland's music is doing well because a group of enthusiasts established a starting point - a foundation, and worked from there.
The song side is still struggling to find its feet, though twenty odd years ago the singing scene was extremely promising, mainly due to the fact that there were still a fair number of the older generation of singers, Tom Lenihan, Eddie Butcher, Joe Holmes, Mary Anne Carolan.... to sit with and listen to - the high point of the Willie Clancy Schools was always Friday's singers concert and extended singing session, which were probably the most memorable for people like myself, and back then Topic Records did a magnificent job in making their singing available to a wider audience.
The interest in singing doesn't appear to have kept pace with the music scene here, though there are signs of a number of excellent young singers coming on to the scene.
What we have here are a largish number of 'singing circles' - anything goes sessions which appear to rise or fall on the standard of the singers involved, other than that, there appears to be no other central force holding them together.
We attended an excellent one of these last week in Kinvarra, where the standard was generally high and the songs nearly all fell into the category 'traditional' - we will go to as many future ones as we can manage, even though it means a 2 hour + journey and probably an overnight stay - if the singing had been otherwise we probably wouldn't bother and put the evening down to a convivial evening among nice people - no more.
As far as definition proper goes, 30-odd years ago we set out to record older singers; not just their songs, but the information that would allow us to put the songs, stories and music into some sort of context in order to understand how and why they were made and what part they played in our social history and culture - we didn't do too badly as far as it goes.
It turned out that the existing definitions, though flawed and very much in need of repair, worked quite well as a setting-out point.
The problem with Blandie, Harker et al... they seem to have adopted the old building trade adage that 'it's far easier to pull down something somebody else has built than to build something yourself'.
They are more than happy to flippantly pass off the work of others without putting something in its place - if Blandie has actually done any research work he appears to want to keep it to himself, and he seems not to even consider the work of others.
I find his destructive put-down attitude both destructive and deeply insulting.
What we've done with traditional singers (I even hesitate to use the term in his presence) doesn't make us right by any means, but at least we've put it to the test with traditional (that awful term again!) singers.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:58 AM

The level of ignorance of the traditional music 'scene' in Ireland is something to behold. The reality is that thousands of kids play the stuff, most secondary schools have a trad group, Comhaltas run classes and competitions all ofer the country, indeed, all over the world and 250,000 people will attend the Fleadh every year. It's a genuinely living tradition, of and with the people.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:29 AM

What we have here are a largish number of 'singing circles' - anything goes sessions which appear to rise or fall on the standard of the singers involved - other than that, there appears to be no other central force holding them together.

While it is true enough that there is no central force, there are perhaps two distinguishable main sources contributing to the growth in "singers circles" in Ireland in recent years. One is the Góilín Singers Club which for many years has held a weekly session in Dublin and has encouraged so many people to have the courage (and the repertoire) to sing traditional songs when the opportunity presents itself. The second is the singing side of Comhaltas which feeds into the song/recitation repertoire of many people around the country.

There is clearly an element of "gathering the wagons in a circle" about such sessions in the face of the difficulty of finding space to sing at the much more common instrumental sessions. Nevertheless, in my experience, the visibility of singing sessions and singers does tend to open that space up somewhat...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:30 AM

yes, guest, that is true, the down side is that some children get put off by the competitive nature, the competitive element can also be seen in attitudes to other musicians, some musicians regard other musicians as competitors, rather than people with whom they might enjoy sharing a tune and having a bit of craic with.
it is arguable whether Comhaltas competitions are a living tradition, there are so many rules about what you cannot do, that it is in my opinion more like an encouragement to play in one particular style,an attempt to make one style dominant, many local styles will not get beyond the regional competitions,in my opinion comhaltas encourage musicians to play in one style, the comhaltas style is not a living evolving tradition,you win a competition if you play in a pescribed style, a style that is approved by comhaltas
you are absolutely right,the comhaltas fleadhs do attract many musicians,but then so does willie clancy week, which is non competitive


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM

If you want to attract new people to what you are doing and you think 'folk music' is important enough to promote and worth passing on, you have to have at least a vague idea of what you mean by the term, otherwise you may as well just call what you do 'sing music' or some such term.

I think that is true, Jim. What I said though is 'nothing further can be said', meaning simply that it has all been discussed before. Whether you believe a conclusion has been agreed is another matter and a different question.

However, as long as people categorise folk music as something either done by well meaning enthusiasts in dingy back rooms or as an invention of 'Victorian gentlemen', then what chance do we have of attracting anyone? Something quite significant has happened to a festival I used to organise until recently. It has changed from a 'folk festival' to an 'acoustic music festival'. I think it is a good categorisation but whether it will attract anyone new remains to be seen. I will let you know next week!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Tim Hague
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 07:09 AM

Good Morning
Yesterday at the Vaults Bar in Stony Stratford which must be one of the longest running sessions in the UK, dad came in with two little girls, one clutching a fiddle and the other a guitar, they couldn't have been much older than 6. We all made room and they sat down got their instruments down, played a couple of simple arrangements of scales and got the round of applause. That's the sort of thing we encourage at our session, I hope we are doing something right. I organise an acapella session in Stony Stratford 3 times a year, it's difficult to fight your way into the pub they are so popular, If you get out there and sing and play the audience will find you...

BTW the next Acapella is at 8pm at the Fox and Hounds on Dec 23rd, Stony High Street.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 08:02 AM

Good luck Dave - look forward to hearing how it goes.
The problem with identification terminology is not that people have reached a consensus, but many people have decided that it is not necessary, but have reached the Alice Through the Looking Glass decision that "words mean what I decide them to mean" - fine if that's the garden you live in - no good to those who decide to peep over the wall.
Mention the term 'definition' and out comes the crucifix and garlic.
I've said it before but.... I stopped going to most clubs (from a four/five-times-a-week addict) simply because I wanted the freedom to choose what I listened to when I wanted to listen to it.
I love classical music (in most of its definitions) but I'd be pissed off to turn up to an orchestral concert to be met with a Bix Beiderbeck (who I also love) soundalike - if that happened a couple of times the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall would very soon end up with no punters.   
I remain convinced that this is the cause of the decline in the folk scene as I experienced it.
Martin
Agree entirely - would love to expand when I have more time - hopefully it will pee with rain this afternoon so I can escape from the garden
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 08:31 AM

What happens as folk, or rather what is popularly declared as folk, only sometimes coincides with traditional music and song. Much of it *is* more accurately described as "acoustic music."

Incidentally Jim, hasn't Irish traditional music and song dropped the 'folk' appellation?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM

Aye - I get what you mean, Jim. If a newcomer to folk music hears, for instance, Bellowhead or Spiers and Boden then turns up to a club, expecting the same type of music, they will, like as not, be disappointed. They will probably get a mix of trad and contemporary with lots of other things thrown into the mix. It is a very difficult juggling act running a folk event. Do you lean to one definition or another? Or, as you say, do a Humpty-Dumpty and make up your own?

But I do not believe that is what kills of the traditional clubs. I think it is far more to do with image. When folk aficionados, such as many on hear, are happy to tell anyone who asks that folk is an invention of the Victorian upper classes or that it is performed only by well meaning enthusiasts in dingy back rooms than, as I said a couple of posts back, is it any wonder people are put off?

A late friend of mine, Dave Weatherall, rest his soul, once told me off for saying 'good enough for folk' when he was tuning up. And he was right to do so. Until we all believe that folk is not those things that I mentioned earlier, that it has moved on, that it is relevant, exciting and, more importantly, good to listen to and participate in, we will not improve the situation at all.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:12 AM

But I do not believe that is what kills of the traditional clubs. I think it is far more to do with image. When folk aficionados, such as many on hear, are happy to tell anyone who asks that folk is an invention of the Victorian upper classes or that it is performed only by well meaning enthusiasts in dingy back rooms than, as I said a couple of posts back, is it any wonder people are put off?

I would say, Dave, that what might kill off folk clubs and put people off the music is not the "dingy back room" syndrome, or the descriptions of the music as this or that invention. What puts people off is the shitty quality of the preparation - and thus shitty performance - of some of the people doing it. Good on Dave Weatherall - and people like the late Ms. Easby - for being critical of the GEFF (Good Enough For Folk) trope. There are plenty of folk venues in my area, but I avoid some of them like the plague because it's obvious that the people who perform at these places think that "doing" folk music is a doddle - with concomitant crap singing, crap attention to the material, crap presentation, crap attention to the audience, etc.

What we do in our own front rooms is our business, but presenting the music to people out there in a live situation demands engagement, attention, rehearsal, self-criticism and self-awareness. I'm very aware of the welcoming and tolerant attitude that traditionally pertains in clubs - for which I have had cause to be grateful for very many years - but I just wish that some of the people who take advantage of that tolerance and welcome would make the effort to reciprocate with dedication and hard work. I'm not saying that all performers have to be wonderful and top class - that's not the nature of this particular beast - but you sometimes get a level of laziness and ineptness in folk venues that just wouldn't be tolerated in other musical genres.

End of rant.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:38 AM

I fully agree with that. I took my first faltering steps (at the age of 42!) in a dingy back room, and the support I got there kept me playing and what I now have is very precious to me. But I won't be spending much time in any folk clubs these days. You risk having a rattling good time - but you also risk having to endure, in churchy silence, some pretty dire stuff that should have been prepared much better (or ditched). I'd far sooner sit around a table with a few mates and play whatever we like and when we like within the idiom (whatever that means). I think I'm unconsciously contrasting almost guaranteed fun versus severe risk of no fun. You either make money out of it or get fun out of it. Other options are possibly slightly insane!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:40 AM

Incidentally Jim, hasn't Irish traditional music and song dropped the 'folk' appellation?


They never really took to it! ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:48 AM

Excellent post Mr Fly. Though all the above is fine between consenting adults behind closed doors, as that nice Mr Rich said.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM

With respect of defining folk there's two approaches. The more practical of the two is the empirical 'Folk Is As Folk Does' definition, which looks at what happens in The Name o' Folk and takes from there. I think of that as my Folk As Flotsam Theory and covers most of the diversity of things you may hear at your average Folk Festival or even see discussed here on Mudcat.

The other is a nebulous academic definition in that it must cover particular idioms of English / American / Australian Traditional Music and Song : i.e. the sort of material we all agree is Folk, just can't quite agree on the finer details. At least I can't! I've had this trouble from the start. Even when I was 13 I remember watching June Tabor in a wide eyed awe at her superlative covers of 'Plains of Waterloo' and 'Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping' but I'd be in utter despair of how in same breath she'd sing sentimental schlock like 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' (which no doubt has it's own Roud number by now). The songs belonged to two very different worlds, and I knew which I preferred and why that should be.

Folk wise I'm a total unreconstructed traddy, and, like Jim, have found myself absenting myself from folk clubs over the years until now when I can't face going at all (not the reason I didn't go to see Dick Miles at Fleetwood last week - I was really looking forward to that, but I just wasn't up to it healthwise). Folk songs to me are of the past & tell of that past; they were created within strict idioms by masters of their art - i.e. the not so very ordinary working class women & men who would have been masters of other crafts & trades too. It took Victorian Gentlefolk to define & take an interest in such Folklore - be it song, story, dance, custom, music or whatever. They collected it, stuffed it, ordered it - they didn't stop it from dying, they just preserved it in the museum that Traditional Lore now resides in. I like museums by the way - in my heart of hearts The Revival is like The Pitt Rivers. I applaud the work of Cecil Shiarp as much as I do The Brothers Grim and Asbjorsen & Moe. To paraphrase Ronald Hutton, it is a cornucopia of curiosities to inspire the very soul. At least the souls of those who are inspired by The Traditional.

When it comes to the performance of Traditional Material I'm torn between almost Folksy fiddle 'n' drones, or more Traditional idioms derived from electronic analogue ambience & experimental musics. I don't suppose many here would see that as being in any way 'Traditional', but in the sense of musical continuity and the life & times of my own cultural experience I see the VCS3 Putney and just as much a bespoke 'folk' instrument as a set of Northumbrian bagpipes and the music it produces part of the same wonder of sonic magic that the first musicians felt 50,000 years ago when they began to imitate the sounds of nature on their bull-roarers and antler-bone flutes.

Folk begins / ends here.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM

Yep - Agree with all that as well! Going back to the opening question I suspect there is no single answer but a combination of image and actuality. Trouble is, when I have said as much in the past, I have been shot down by people saying that folk IS a Victorian gentleman's concept performed in dingy back rooms and that there are no poor performers in folk clubs! The last one being from someone in your neck of the woods, Vic!

Maybe all we can do is do out best to improve both image and quality of performance and hope to encourage as many people as possible to do the same :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:12 AM

BTW Steve (and Blandiver now I have seen your post too) I am now very particular in who and what I go and see in or out of folk clubs as well. I think it may be an age thing. When you realise that you have already had a lot more than you are going to get you do tend to spend your time a lot more wisely :-) Hence the reason I am no longer involved with the festival I mentioned and am no longer a regular at any folk club. There are some wonderful performers out there. We may have different tastes but I suspect we can all tell when a performance is somewhat short of what it should be.

Like Steve, we also have a session where a group of like minded friends gather round a table, usually with a drop or two
(or three or four...) of fine ale and sing and play until the early hours. Trouble is it is in a pub. No I'm not saying where. Some bastard will always ask us to play something, usually Irish, then proceed to sing half the first verse, three words from the second and a bit of the chorus, in F# and a bit, 17/6 time and go on to tell us how good this folk music is...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:14 AM

Sorry - Vic=Will. I am attempting to multi-task. Doen't work for me :-)

Cheers

D.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:18 AM

"They never really took to it! ;>)>
Regards"

Well maybe there's something in that?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:30 AM

F# and a bit, 17/6 time

Sweet! Can't wait...

It's OK, Dave - I don't mind being Vic for a bit. He's really busy with the Lewes Folk Festival at the moment, so he'll be glad of the help... :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 11:49 AM

> superlative covers of 'Plains of Waterloo' and 'Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping' but... in same breath she'd sing sentimental schlock like 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' (which no doubt has it's own Roud number by now). The songs belonged to two very different worlds, and I knew which I preferred and why that should be.

Thank God someone else thinks "TBPWM" is sentimental schlock. You are brave to say so.

Unfortunately the "folk" or "trad" label is no guarantee of quality or universal appeal: these are ultimately matters of personal taste. Lomax, and the rest collected plenty of tedious, uninspired but entirely traditional junk (though which items specifically will depend on whom you ask). And they'd have collected even more if they'd used a broader definition of what they were looking for.

My point is that even though "TBPWM" does *not* have a Roud number (any more than does "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," which I happen to prefer) there is nothing in theory to keep either one of them from getting one in the far future.

Except, of course, media standardization, which freezes words and music, and thus halts any significant "trad" changes. Maybe not everywhere and maybe not permanently, but for all practical purposes.

And change and notable variation are among the generally accepted defining features of "traditional music."

What's more, the "different worlds" are confined to our heads. In the real world, all these songs coexist and have their (sometimes contentious) fans.

Jim is right: if the London Philharmonic suddenly switched to Bix (at least without changing its name), its patrons would be confused and angry. And they'd be right, because "philharmonic" has a generally accepted meaning that's intimately bound up with "classical music," whose meaning is also generally accepted, no matter how fuzzy it may be around the edges.

Any label brings socially constructed expectations with it, but no two people's expectations are likely to be identical.

Subjective, occasionally ad hoc, definitions of "folk" and "trad," while useful and interesting, are less so to most people than are discussions of individual songs, styles, and performances.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,grumpy
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 01:42 PM

'The song side is still struggling to find its feet, though twenty odd years ago the singing scene was extremely promising, mainly due to the fact that there were still a fair number of the older generation of singers, Tom Lenihan, Eddie Butcher, Joe Holmes, Mary Anne Carolan...'

Jim seems to have lost track of the passing of time.

Eddie Butcher died in 1980.

Tom Lenihan died in 1990.

Joe Holmes died in 1978.

Mary Anne Carolan died in 1985.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:10 PM

Good Soldier Schweik: while I agree that there can be some danger of uniformity with the competitions, if you go to the Fleadh any year you can hear the diversity of styles being played. On top of that, many of these kids go on to be top adult players and to teach the next generation. And they play in sessions, of which there is an abundance almost everywhere in the country. When I lived in England you had to go looking for folk music; in Ireland traditional music almost comes looking for you.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: selby
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 03:34 PM

While the old foggies are here debating what has gone wrong in folk music the under 25's are out, playing, singing, dancing and the tradition is live and well
Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:03 PM

Grumpy - was talking about what was happening into the 80s when singing was on a high - I'm well aware of when the singers died, I heard most of them and spent 15 years recording Tom Lenihan.
There were still a number of influential singers around into the end of the 90 - Maggie Murphy, the Inishowen singers, and others, but the point I was making was that there were still plenty of field singers singing well - and were listened to and learned from - unlike the English clubs were you couldn't throw a stone without hitting a Carthy copier, Bellamy bleater or Joanie Clone, failing that, a Watersons type mini-choir.
It was around the early to mid 80s when I stopped visiting clubs other than the ones I could trust because I was coming away without hearing a song that vaguely resembled a folk song (as I had come to know it)
The success of the Irish scene was due to the foundation that was established - no - rulebook - as the old usual response suggests, just a desire to choose what I was listening to.
As Martin said, the Goilín kept the flag flying here, along with numerous singing weekends, Sligo, Carna, Cork, Ennistimon, Knockroughery, Ballyvourney.... - Ireland never had an extensive club scene in my experience, just a few stalwarts (think I'm right Martin?)
As I said, a fair way to go in order to catch up to the music.
"While the old foggies are here debating what has gone wrong in folk music"
Threads like this, along with U-tube and the dozen or so visits I have made over the last ten years to English clubs suggest otherwise most of which have been populated by the same old same olds I used to know way back when - only the hair is greyer.
As the captain of the Titanic was heard to remark - "What *****' iceberg?"   
If the scene is as healthy as some people claim it is, why do people keep opening these threads?
Someone came up with their answer a few years ago "If you want to hear good singing come to our club" - somewhere on the south coast.
Sorry, not convinced.
Jim Carroll
"Fogies" by the way - can see my way round perfectly without using fog-lights!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,alan Squires
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM

I recall chatting with Micho Russell, in Doolin in County Clare in 1979and he was very concerned about the onset of commercialism and TV in Ireland which had started to destroy homemade traditional music but he perceived it had only survived and started to grow again as a result of the activities of the Comhaltas, as it is now known as they arranged dancing singing and music classes for all of the traditional forms and promoted competitions( I used to enter some myself when I attended the local irish club) between clubs and thus engendered a love of the music and a facility where you could learn it.
Tell me where can you learn traditional instruments and style these days - to play English music. Did EFDSS take any lessons from Comhaltas - perhaps not. It is however good to see the Newcastle degree course bringing forward some brilliant performers of all sorts - we had to wait a long time for it though


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:22 PM

My point is that even though "TBPWM" does *not* have a Roud number (any more than does "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," which I happen to prefer) there is nothing in theory to keep either one of them from getting one in the far future.

'Shoals of Herring' has a Roud number, as does Jimmy Rodgers' 'Away Out on the Mountain' - though NOT (apparently) because it was sung by the late great Jane Turriff, as featured on YouTube (what is it with Mudcatters that persist with U-Tube?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn2UTXDIDCA

I don't get this, personally. The persistence of 'Traditional' into the modern age isn't something I'm convinced by and smacks of a pure-blood authenticity that sticks in my craw - and is genuinely the point I usually part company with Folkies and go and listen to something genuinely traditional like The Fall or Yes. No doubt 'The Revealing Science of God' or 'Jaw Bone and the Air Rifle' could have Round numbers too if they were to be covered by a 100% genuine bona-fide traditional singer.

A weird world...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 04:34 PM

what a fascinating version of.. away out on the mountain, far superior to grandpa jones imo


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 05:17 PM

I think you are part way there, Jim, when you say you see the same old faces. The same old faces are at the type of club where you get the same old music. Trouble is, both folk music and folk clubs have evolved. They may not have evolved into something that is up everyone's street but, as Selby says, they are there 'playing, singing, dancing and the tradition is live and well'. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this means that the church that is folk music has become too broad. We will never all agree on what should and should not be played. Best idea is, if you like it, carry on. If not, pack it in! I, for one, have no axe to grind for or against the traditional music of 100 or more years ago. There is some I like and some I don't. Just like most music!

Cheers

DtG

BTW - I think we are talking of the same person in our comments!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 05:56 PM

...unlike the English clubs were you couldn't throw a stone without hitting a Carthy copier, Bellamy bleater or Joanie Clone, failing that, a Watersons type mini-choir.

Bejaysus, Jim, you hit the nail right on the head there (I could be curmudgeonly and suggest that you omitted "Dylan whiner..."). OK, stereotypes to an extent, but not without substance, and, in every case, with a strong dash of self-regarding that I've seldom come across in anything resembling Irish sessions (you have to understand that, here in Cornwall, we can only do stuff that resembles Irish sessions!)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 07:57 PM

> 'Shoals of Herring' has a Roud number, as does Jimmy Rodgers' 'Away Out on the Mountain'

A fragment of "Shoals of Herring," at least, was collected (naively) by H. P. Beck as a traditional song from an Irish singer who, apparently, hadn't learned it from a record. Beck wasn't infallible, and neither was his fisherman singer who knew only part of the song.

Nor has anyone suggested that Steve Roud is infallible.

Even if he *has* done some of the most important work in folk/trad scholarship of the past 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:21 AM

It's not the fallibility of Steve Roud I'm on about - I have a number of his books & regard him with typically cringing respect - rather the notions that underlie 'The Tradition', or what makes one person 'A Traditional Singer' and another person not, especially in a 20th / 21st century post-revival context. I do allow that lots of genuinely traditional material has gone 'uncollected' (Sam Lee is doing much good work in this respect) but extending that to random utterances of psuedo-folk songs such as 'Shoals of Herring' seems a tad precious.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:00 AM

"psuedo-folk songs such as 'Shoals of Herring' seems a tad precious."
Yet you have persistently argued for other songs being 'traditional' because they have been re-iterated in different versions - whence the difference?
Shoals of Herring, Freeborn Man, Dirty Old Town.... and others have undergone some sort of process that, if stretched to its extreme limit, might be described as "traditional", particularly among Travellers whose song traditions were still a part of a centuries old continuum right into the mid-1970s.
You appear once again to be wanting to have your cake and eat it.
MacColl was quite positive in denying that any of his songs were traditional, they weren't made by the people who were in the position to make them traditional, the 'Universal Fisherman, Miner, Traveller, Navvy...., ran counter to the way traditional songs were composed, modern technology reacted against the changes that had taken place in the older songs creating multiple version, and copyright laws prevent them from ever becoming the property of anybody other than the original and firmly identified composer.
Sorry - I agree with an earlier remark made earlier about discussions on definition, which have been made pointless by the permanent insistence that such discussions are "police-folking" and "rule-book waving".
I do believe that folk song will never be taken seriously by the people who can 'make it happen' until those involved get their act together and overcome this odd fetish, but definition is not what is being discussed here and attempts to do so is quite likely to send this thread into yet another destructive exercise in tail chasing.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:51 AM

I have argued that all music is born from traditional process, and all idioms are traditional by definition which is a different thing. The psuedo folk song is written at some remove from The Tradition in mimicry of an idiom in order (generally) to prove a point - social, political or otherwise. Not wishing to complicate matters, it seems there is a long tradition of writing psuedo folk songs - hell, even Henry Purcell was at it in King Arthur with 'Your Hay it is Mow'd & Your Corn is Reap'd'!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM

"The psuedo folk song is written at some remove from The Tradition in mimicry of an idiom in order (generally) to prove a point"
Many traditional songs were written to prove a point - the earliest printed songs, in Latin and English were political.
A pseudo traditional song is only pseudo if its maker claims it as traditional
You have claimed many songs that are not tradition as being folk-songs
Are you a pseud, I ask myself?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 06:45 AM

Are you a pseud, I ask myself?

Again with the personal there, Jim. Just stick to the subject, eh? It's certainly more interesting than I am - or getting cheap jibes in against me.

A psuedo traditional song is a song that mimics the idiom of traditional folk song; we've all written them & we all sing them. Every year at Fylde Festival we do a wee show where we set the psuedo-folk songs of Ron Baxter who's written some belters, but that's FOLK for you - not TRADITION. Kipling likewise; and Peter Bellamy, of course, who wrote quite happily in his 'Traditional Idiom' and coughed up some classic songs & melodies as a result. He's not alone in that.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:08 AM

The original proposition in this thread is an assumption that something has gone wrong because English traditional music isn't at the forefront of peoples' consciousness - i.e. piped into airports, supermarkets, shops, tourist information bureaus. etc. - in the mainstream (whatever that is).

Well, "wrongness" or "rightness" can only be measured against a known target or a defined aim or an agreed set of standards. What target, aim or standards set would we agree for English traditional music (gawd 'elp us!) without the dreaded Definition rearing its ugly little head - and how would we measure how far along the road we'd travelled to gauge any "success" or "failure"? English Folk Music's 5-year Plan, eh?

I've been in the music game for nearly 50 years - sometimes for money and sometimes for free - and every single type of music I've played in all that time, whether solo, in a duo, trio or larger outfit, has been a minority music at the time I played it. Mainstream jazz in the late '70s/early '80s - 1950s rock'n roll in the '80s & '90s - Memphis and New Orleans Funk from the '90s to the mid-2000s. I currently play in a ceilidh band and also in a jazz duo doing stuff from the 1930s. And all through this time, I've dipped in and out of folk clubs and sessions, remembering where it started in a practical fashion for me all those years ago. Why did I choose the various kinds of music that I've played over the years? Because I liked it - because it hit the spot at the time and still does so, from time to time, today. No other reason. It's been largely minority interest music, away from the charts, only on national radio or TV on rare occasions - I never gave a flying fuck one way or the other about its national profile, and still don't - I just loved it and loved playing it for what it was.

Jim - just a word or two on the analogy you use (quite a bit here) of wanting music to be "what it says on the tin". Well, I can see the logic in all of that, particularly when one is paying for X and gets Y - but I'm sure you know as well as I do that music is not tins of beans (unless it's "canned" music, of course - groan…). And the difficulty - for me - of slavish attention to packaging and canning and labelling with a "commodity" like music is that music is a slippery and shape-shifting thing. The morphing from one style to another is what it does when we aren't looking. I happen to like that. Which is why, for example, the sound of Hamish Moore and Dick Lee weaving jazz phrases around "Staten Island" - on two high whistles in D - before sliding into bass clarinet riffs with table accompaniment, is utterly magical. To me.

Where would that fit into the 5-year plan, I wonder...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:10 AM

Ahem - I've never played a "table", but could probably play a "tabla".


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:20 AM

How long after the first songs & melodies were composed did they become Traditional Music?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 08:02 AM

"Again with the personal there, Jim. Just stick to the subject, eh?"
You are the one referring to "pseud" songs - just picking up your drift.
Certainly songs like 'Herring" and 'Freeborn Man' don't mimic anything and they don't pretend to be anything other than they are - they are easily distinguishable from traditional forms for the reasons mentioned - that others might claim them as traditional is, I have no doubt, not an attempt to pretend anything, just a mistaken interpretation of tradition - "pseud" doesn't come into it from either point of view.
MacColl's song were unique, but because he was a skilled songwriter (which he undoubtedly was) but because he drew his inspiration directly from the language of the people who were the subject of the songs.
If you go through the MacColl/Seeger/Parker actuality recordings you will instantly be able to identify where the individual songs came from - Shoals of herring, Sam Larner and Ronnie Balls; Moving on Song, Belle Stewart and Minty Smith; Dark the Night - Sylvester Boswell; The Big Hewer - Jack Elliot and Ben Sunshine; Shellback - Ben Bright...... all available for checking in Ruskin College and Birmingham Central Library for those who would raise their bums from their armchairs.
MacColl's uniqueness was his respect for working people as creators of great art, his love and understanding of vernacular speech, and his skill in using that speech in his own creations - no pretence, no copying - no pseud - just a desire to draw attention to the artistic skills of working people and their creative abilities.
If my arguments are personal, I wouldn't know how to begin to describe those who would denigrate the unchallenged work of a composer who has now been dead for a quarter of a century.
All this aside, Will is right; this is an unnecessary diversion and has no place here.
"I've never played a "table","
You've obviously never sat next to a prat with a couple of pennies nausing up a great music session with his death-rattle.
"How long after the first songs & melodies were composed did they become Traditional Music? "
Age has nothing to do with definition - we were recording traditionally processed songs in the West of Ireland which were made well within the lifetimes of the singers and Travellers were still composing them in the 1970s, and may well still be.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Phil E
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 08:25 AM

"every single type of music I've played in all that time, whether solo, in a duo, trio or larger outfit, has been a minority music at the time I played it."

Most people would have taken a hint by now!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:09 AM

Ah, Phil - we should never bow to popular opinion! Always do what you feel is right for you - well... as far as music is concerned anyway, and bugger the nay-sayers.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:43 AM

Anyone who has never played a table (or a paint can for that matter) is likely not much of a percussionist.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:53 AM

Trouble is, Suzy, most people who HAVE played tables (and paint cans) are not percussionists either :-(

:D


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 10:21 AM

Oooh, now that's what I call a snappy comeback :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 10:46 AM

How long after the first songs & melodies were composed did they become Traditional Music?

I'm after a specific definition of TM


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:11 AM

"Music that is typically passed on from person to person, performed in a long-established manner, and usually exists in distinctive textual or melodic variants."

My two bloody cents. Now nail down "long-established" and "distinctive."


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:17 AM

"Trouble is, Suzy, most people who HAVE played tables (and paint cans)"
Not paint cans or tables, but have any of you fellers ever listened to the wonderfully melodic steel drummers (oil drums) at the Notting Hill Carnival or listened to the beautiful rhythms produced by the Parchman convicts chopping wood on the Lomax recordings?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:18 AM

Tradition is generally the handing down of aspects of culture, most usually from one generation to the next. I guess really anything that has been inherited from ones forebears, is traditional, it just depends on scope as to how significant collectors and other academics rank said traditions?

I think Blandiver is quite logical where his arguments about what is and is not 'traditional' are concerned, for example take rap which must by virtue of it's long-lived embrace and transmission by an increasing diversity of cultures, very definitely represent a distinct form of traditional music by now.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:21 AM

Yes Jim - the Lomax recordings are great.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:23 AM

BTW, other quite compatible definitions exist.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:24 AM

PS by 'long-lived' I mean that in a contemporary context where popular creative forms of expression, now come and go at a phenomenal rate.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:53 AM

I'm after a specific definition of TM

I doubt there is one, but here's my opinion...

All music is tradition as it all derives and works upon what has gone before it in a process of continuity and development and diversification that could, if one had the means, be traced back to a common ancestral source 50,000 years ago.

Tradition is a couple of guys in Manchester going to see the Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall in 1976 and deciding to form a band even though one of them hadn't touched a bass guitar in his life. Within three years they'd changed the face of popular music forever with 'Unknown Pleasures' - an idiomatic masterpiece born of very authentic vernacular experience & inspiration, yet inspirational in itself.   

Music springs eternal, as all human culture will, and must, on a level which is born from as much from the collective subconscious as it is from individual genius. That applies as much to Purcell and Handel as it does to David Bowie and Ian Curtis as it does to Harry Cox and Davie Stewart.

One thing is clear - as long as there are people on Planet Earth, there will be culture, language, art, technology and a myriad evolving musical traditions.

IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:57 AM

Distinctive means that the textual or melodic variants in question have an unmistakable resemblance that denotes a common ancestry.

Long-established means that the manner of performance in question is generations older than the oldest extant version. In my mind this extant version would likely be a recording since performance is a very fleeting thing unless preserved in that medium.

Texts are a double edged sword when it comes to "long-established manner of performance." In some cases, they can be extremely helpful and can fill in some important missing blanks. In other cases not so much because the publication of a text can too easily alter the manner of performance in a way that breaks the chain. That's where the person to person thing comes in.

Very well worded Lighter. I accept that.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:58 AM

I am not sure i like the idea of traditional music being used to sell tooth paste, and i find i am in agreement on this point with the australian song collector j s manifold.
see this thread where there is some particular nastiness from folkie dave aka dave eyre.
Publication does a doubtful service to folk songs .it preservesthem;
but it preserves them dead, like stuffed animals in a museum,it brings them to a wide audience, but this includes so many of thewrong people,from school teachers,to hill billy addicts.
the wrong people are those who are bent on taking folksong out of its natural surroundings.Folksongs belong in the home,in the pub,in the focsle,in the back of atruck or a friendly verandah;not in the list of set peices at an Eisteffod,not in the schoolroom unless as a rare
treat,not between toothpaste advertisements on radio or television.
In the alien atmosphereof the concert hall it takes agreat artist to preserve the life and spirit even of his own folksongs let alone those of other people.
J s.Manifold,Queensland 1962[compiler of Penguin Australian folk songs]
this raises some interesting points,that are worthy of discussion.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 12:04 PM

manifold continued

"I sometimes wish, in vain, that we could keep up the strict etiquette that was observed by the real bush singers. A young man used to learn his songs from the acknowledged singer of the district, and might eventually earn permission to sing them to the limited 'public' of the bush wherever or whenever the acknowledged singer was not present. Some few songs were common property; others, 'songs from the books', were rather contemptuously exempted from the rule; but in the main this apprenticeship system prevailed, at least among men. When the public performer of a 'treason song' might earn a stretch in jail, it was a point of honour to perform it properly.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 12:38 PM

Thanks, Suzy.

Blandiver, you confuse "traditional" with "vernacular." They're related, and can overlap, but they're fundamentally distinct.

Homer's works are traditional, not vernacular, poems.

John Lennon's and William McGonagall's are vernacular, not traditional.

Robert Burns's poems are often vernacular, occasionally traditional or (when he rewrites extensively) semi-traditional, often literary.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 12:51 PM

Manifold's comments have a striking similarity to comments made by Jim Carroll in regard to "ownership" of songs. While I certainly understand what is meant by this, a better term might be usufruct. The distinction is this: The songs and stories of a cohesive community are community property, yet there are certain designated individuals who take them into their personal possession in order to preserve their integrity and ultimately pass them on intact. Not just anybody can have a go at them. Does that make sense?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:15 PM

Usufruct- (Law) the right to use and derive profit from a piece of property belonging to another or to a community, provided the property itself remains unaltered in any way.
[from Late Latin ūsūfrūctus, from Latin ūsus use + frūctus enjoyment]
usufructuary].


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:17 PM

"Does that make sense? "
Sort of Susan, but "take ownership" overstates the situation in our experience.
Some singers is communities we recognised as having 'first pick' of certain songs - not to retain their integrity, but because of the age or status as singers.
Some of Norfolk singer Harry Cox's large repertoire came from other local singers who had always sung them (or who had inherited them from family members" - Harry never sang them until his sources died.
Sam Larner got many of his songs from 'Old Larpin' (Jimmy Sutton) he never sang them until after Sutton's death.
Wal;ter Pardon was particularly interesting - he never sang in any of his families singing sessions during Harvest Suppers (except Dark-Eyed Sailor - "nobody else wanted that").
Walter's later extremely large repertoire was carefully and lovingly assembled after all the family singers had died.
It was not a rule but an accepted deferential convention by all concerned.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:18 PM

you confuse "traditional" with "vernacular." They're related, and can overlap, but they're fundamentally distinct.

The vernacular operates in a traditional manner. It changes, evolves according to individual & cultural usage. Each culture has vernacular idioms that are constantly evolving according to the letter of the 1954 Definition. Even inside of the idiom of (say) Hip-Hop there are a myriad of vernacular traditions evolving quite distinctly, and happily.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 03:02 PM

> The vernacular operates in a traditional manner.

Which means that as, as concepts, the "vernacular" is not identical with the "traditional."

Quibble, quibble. Have fun!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 03:03 PM

Only one "as" was intended.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM

Er - not the same, no - I was just pointing that I wasn't confusing the two.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:05 PM

we are not going wrong we are gradually trying to get things right, now is the time for comhaltas to give up competitions, and replace them with lessons,the perphery would still continue as it does at willie week, the fleadhs ave been going so long all that is needed is reform


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:07 PM

Scoil Eigse is considered a major part of each Fleadh.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM

Jim, usufruct is just an academic term for what you just said. You are so accustomed to arguing, that you can't take yes for an answer :-)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:13 PM

Peter, so what?
what relevance has your comment, apart from trying to score some obscure point against me, [which seems to be one of your tiresome and very predictable preoccupations]I did not say in my post that comhaltas did not give lessons.
why not do away with the competitions, and just have scoil eigse, the following week instead of the competitions.
peter ,that is what i meant by replacing them, is that clear


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 06:41 PM

Well, Will, every kind of music I can think of is a minority interest, if you take the population as a whole. Most people hate modern jazz. Most people wouldn't know what Wagner was all about even if it reared up and bit 'em on the bollocks (lucky them). Heavy metal is very much a minority cult. Even the poppiest of pop music has its millions of detractors, who far outnumber its adherents, detractors who are mostly outside the very narrow age limits set by the genre(s). I love late Beethoven, but almost everybody wouldn't bloody know what I was on about if I raised it in conversation, and the level of scholarship about it is, in general, utterly pathetic (google the title of any of his late quartets if you don't believe me!). "English folk" is its own worst enemy in making itself inward-looking, cliquey, rule-ridden and utterly self-regarding. No wonder most people turn their backs on it. I don't get the same feeling about traditional Irish music, whenever I've heard it played in settings outside those created by it aficionados. I nearly always detect warm enthusiasm, and it matters not a jot, usually, when the "punters" are people who don't "get the scene" (speech-mark cynicism fully intended!). Good stuff is good stuff (I have enough confidence in my appreciation of music to be able to make that somewhat banal remark), and I don't need purists or experts to analyse the stuff I'm listening to to tell me whether I should be enjoying it or not. MacColl adherents, please note...

But I love Shoals of Herring...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:10 PM

If "all music is tradition" then either

- all music is equally traditional

or

- all music is traditional, but some examples are more traditional than others

If it's the first, then the word 'traditional' doesn't mean anything and there's no point talking about it.

If it's the second, then we just need to stop saying "traditional" and say "very traditional" instead - and start saying "not very traditional" instead of "not traditional". Or else we could stick with "traditional" and "not traditional", and leave it to anyone using Blandiver's definitions to translate.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:50 AM

Bix's approach to composition had many points of confluence with classical music and followers of the Philarmonic wouldn't even spot the join if their favourite orchestras were to tackle something like In a Mist.

Like every real traditional musician - Bix was open to all kinds of influences. He didn't waste time letting people tell him what was in his tradition and what he was entitled to do. He just DID it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:20 AM

Steve - I absolutely adore Beethoven's late quartets - glorious music. Also Bartok's string quartets - great stuff!

I never read analyses of such work - not because I'm not interested but because life (making music mainly) is just too short! I just enjoy it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:49 AM

In that case, Phil maybe revival folk music is the least traditional of all because it's too self-conscious of its traditionalism - unlike other musics which just get on with it & are secure enough in what they are not to need a definition.

On the other hand it could mean Traditional as in Old Fashioned, like Traditional Fish 'n' Chips, or Traditional Hot-Pot, which again seems too much of a put-on to be of any use, and it's usually tourist bollocks anyway.

All music is traditional; and there's every point in talking about it because it's a defining aspect of what music is as a dynamic cultural phenomenon - collectively, individually, historically - which applies as much to pre-revival Folk Song as it does to Jazz, Hip-Hop, Krautrock & post-Oram electronica. It's the tradition of music that makes each idiom so vibrant & diverse.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:52 AM

"MacColl adherents, please note"
Where on earth did this come from Steve?
My personal tastes are as wide as you have described, if not wider.
MacColl and the Critics were constantly being told by clubs that booked them not to sing contemporary song (particularly political ones) because "the audience doesn't go in for that sort of stuff here" (always blaming the audience - note).
MacColl constantly argued the view that unless the revival produced new songs at its clubs we would become "museum curators".
The Singers Club booked the artists they did because that's what they wished to present, it was not a criticism of Jazz Clubs, Heavy Metal sessions.... whatever, it was not what we set out to present.
It doesn't mean that we didn't have opinions on other musics, and didn't express them occasionally (who doesn't) but if you can come across any example of our "telling people what they should be listening to" please feel free to put it up.
This is yet another of those myths created around what we did which has managed to prevent open discussion on MacColl and his work now stretched to a quarter of a century after his death.
Sorry - a little surprised to find this coming from someone whose opinions I usually respect.
"Also Bartok's string quartets - great stuff!"
Someone coming away from Bert Lloyd's funeral service was overheard to say, "A great tribute to a great man, but those bloody Bartok Quartets were a bit of a downer".
"usufruct is just an academic term for what you just said"
Sorry Susie - not arguing - a word I'm totally unfamiliar with - put it down to my shitty Secondary Modern education.
Ah well- at least it gave me a chance to sound off about the people who have left their fingerprints all over my life.
Apologies.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 04:14 AM

maybe revival folk music is the least traditional of all because it's too self-conscious of its traditionalism

Something in that. Not necessarily a bad thing, either.

On the other hand it could mean Traditional as in Old Fashioned, like Traditional Fish 'n' Chips, or Traditional Hot-Pot

I love a taste of hot-pot, me.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 05:02 AM

Good grief, Phil - Don't give me shocks like that so early in the day :-)

I was chatting to Gary a bit back at Swinton and he reckons Blue Grass Music comes from Lancashire. It was quite a reasonable argument at the time but it has now completely escaped me.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 05:23 AM

One of the cornerstones of my Folk Dilemma was how Topic could release an album A.L.Lloyd's 1965 field recordings of village musicians of Albania alongside Gary & Vera's Taste of Hot-Pot. It baffles me to this day how both of these could somehow be termed 'Folk Music'.

Mind you, I felt oddly honoured to hear Ted Edwards singing his Coal-hole Cavalry at a singaround in Lymm a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 06:07 AM

Mmmm - Understand what you are saying, Blandiver, but as you mention 'Coal Hole cavalry' maybe it is a good example. Ted worked down the pit, amongst many other things, in his younger days. That song, along with 'The Coal and Albert Berry' and others came from his experiences there. How is that different from a contemporary song, that someone must have written at the time, about Victorian Cotton Mills or 18th century farm labourers? They are all, to my mind, folk music. And, OK, Gara and Vera, well, Gary in particular, does have his comedic repartee and repertoire but, at the core, they sing songs that were written by people who experienced the things they wrote about. What is so odd about Topic releasing the two albums in question as folk music?

While I think about it, G&V do the song 'From the North' with words by Cicely Fox-Smith. Cicely (Rhymes with Nicely BTW) was a girl brought up in a nice middle class family from Cheshire but went on to write some wonderful poetry - Particularly about sea faring. Now, I only bring this up because, on the face of it, she could be described as an academic dabbling with folk. But when you look further she did an awful lot of stuff to give her the experience to write these things, including hunting on foot (from where 'From the North' sprang) and putting herself in pretty precarious places in sea ports to gain first hand knowledge of all things nautical. No particular point but does, maybe, emphasise that the songs can come from anywhere.

Ted is still singing Coal-Hole Cavalry BTW - Has fought back a lot since his stroke although one side is still badly affected. I think he gets up to somewhere in Chorley occasionally. Not sure where but I can find out if you like. Just re-purchased his book 'Fight the Wild Island' as my original one disappeared. Back to a full set again now.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 06:21 AM

The difference is one of aesthetics and musical intention; the easy listening Folk 'n' Fun of Gary & Vera is born of a different earth to the unearthly Vocal Polyphony of workers on a collective farm in Albania. Although it's just as unearthly over lunch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Y_tuSsCXw


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 06:41 AM

the easy listening Folk 'n' Fun of Gary & Vera is born of a different earth to the unearthly Vocal Polyphony of workers on a collective farm in Albania.

Probably, but is that a problem? Why can they not both be folk music? I, amongskt many others, can relate far more to G&Vs songs than those of Albanian peasants, regardless of the quality or authenticity of the music.

As an example outside folk, André Rieu is still classed as classical albeit far more commercial than other musicians. I liked a quote from his Wiki entry -

The fact that Rieu's focus is on highly accessible, enjoyable repertoire is not an argument against his musical credentials.

Surely the same applies to Gary and Vera, Jasper Carrot, Mike Harding and many others in the 'folk scene' (Another deliberate use of quotes :-) )

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:08 AM

I don't enjoy it at all - in fact, I find it irksome & depressing as hell (just as I find Les Barker totally unfunny and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda sentimental schlock). But that's a matter of taste & utter subjectivity, as all enjoyment is. But then, I'm not really a folky, only by unhappy accident and association because I just like certain aspects of Traditional Song & Balladry and it's darker offshoots. In this way 99% of so-called Folk Music goes over my head, or passes unnoticed beneath my dignity.

This is the problem with Folk - or else the certainties of music. As idioms it's easy to describe the easy listening of the Aspeys et al, just as Ethnomusicologists have written extensively on the vocal polyphony of Southern Albania. Both, I accept, can be thought as Traditional Musics well rooted in their respective communities*, but calling them Folk is to be talking about two very different usages of the word. Conflate the two at your peril!

* Name me one that isn't & I'll email you a pint.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:31 AM

Probably no need to conflate, BD - They are both distinctive in their own rights. We could of course sub-genre-ise them (is there such a word?) but then when do we stop? I think it is pretty easy for anyone to tell the difference between the traditional musics of different communities. Explaining that they are both folk music is the tough one but I think most people have enough sense to accept both the similarities and the differences. It's all part and parcel of being a 'folky' and, simply because you understand these things, you must be one:-)

Now, about that ePint. I didn't understand the question I'm afraid :-(

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:37 AM

Such an amazing amount of narrow minded micro-point scoring; fish in a tiny pond trying to bite one another rather than looking for the stream outlet that will allow them to swim into wider waters where they can communicate with the broader world.

Such a huge waste of time and effort that could be used constructively in some positive way - practicing and learning song & instrument, promoting events and understanding of this music to a wider audience, engaging in positive ways to proselytise the music they love.

Such a bad example of the way the great mutually supportive and encouraging community of the folk/traditional world actually operates.

If you are are outsider who has stumbled on this forum and thread by chance, please, please believe me that we are not all like this.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:43 AM

Traditional Musics well rooted in their respective communities - as all musics indeed are - be it Bix or Bartok or Bellamy or Bjork the Butthole Surfers. Not all are Folk...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:48 AM

I thought it was getting quite interesting Vic! If I have been guilty of any of the listed crimes I unreservedly apologise. But, if I am, can you tell me how so I can be a better folky in future? :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:55 AM

Oh dear, and I thought this thread was actually managing to pull itself up into something like an interesting and civil discourse!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:06 AM

If I have been guilty of any of the listed crimes I unreservedly apologise

Ditto!

It's all done in the possible taste...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:17 AM

I'm getting very confused (put it down to old age and poverty). Two people have now said the thread is going down the pan just as I thought it was getting better! Maybe it is me :-( Anyway, the other thing is -

Traditional Musics well rooted in their respective communities

Didn't you come up with that one, BD or were you just quoting someone I missed?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:25 AM

BEST!

Sorry, I keep missing words in my old age.

Anyhoo... I'm taking this as a friendly blether over an imaginary pint and I'm sorry if Vic & CS haven't picked up on that. Apologies to anyone else who sees it as a bar room brawl.

I seek.... Serenity! In fact Serenity Now is my new motto. My life is now dependent on four different types of medication - one of which is fecking blood pressure pills.

Stressed? Then turn it round, and it become DESSERTS! Yum, yum - what's for pudding?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:26 AM

An entirely erroneous assumption seems to lurk behind some earlier comments. Namely, that defining words like "folk" and "traditional" in useful and coherent ways amounts to telling people what they should like or listen to.

Weird.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:36 AM

No. All I'm saying is what I like & listen to. There is a difference.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:39 AM

I don't believe it did, Lighter, but I am always open to being corrected. (Oo, err Mrs...) I think it was said that words like folk and traditional are useful in defining what is being presented. IE - At a folk event people expect to hear folk music, at a traditional event people expect to hear traditional music etc. What has been discussed here and extensively elsewhere is exactly what do those expressions mean.

Interesting discussion point just sprang to mind. Let us start with the premise that a music venue advertised a vaguely described folk event. The event itself then presented a number of different types of music that this broad term has come to encompass. Would the people who have one narrow definition be within their rights to take the venue to task about misrepresentation? Which faction would then win the case and, presumably, be recompensed for their trouble?

Or are we back round the circle to 'what is folk' again? :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: selby
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:06 AM

Huge problem one mans folk is another mans poison and never the twain shall meet
Does the question need to be? Is an open mind essential to enjoy folk music?
I have been in concerts that I have enjoyed immensely, to see them panned and visa versa Dance shows that are cutting edge, that have received standing ovations then talked to people, who thought it was utter rubbish. I sat next to a bloke at Warwick Festival this year, who never laughed once at Les Barker, when I asked him why, he told me it was puerile crap. Which loops round to the start of what I have just written. Huge problem one mans folk is another mans poison and never the twain shall meet
Keith


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:15 AM

"G&Vs songs than those of Albanian peasants, regardless of the quality or authenticity of the music."
Probably the same with most of us, but there's no reason on earth why you can't enjoy and appreciate both.
I still remember being thrilled by the hair-rising 'Plaka Grandmother's Choir' at Cecil Sharp House a dozen or so years ago.
I suggest a quick listen Bert Lloyd's 'Folk Music Virtuoso' which some kind Mudcatter put up for downloading last year - does a magnificent job for those who wish to broaden their musical outlook
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:16 AM

And let's not forget, Lighter, that I only came into this thread because of your negative comments about 'Rap Music'.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:22 AM

I suggest a quick listen Bert Lloyd's 'Folk Music Virtuoso' which some kind Mudcatter put up for downloading last year - does a magnificent job for those who wish to broaden their musical outlook

Where? When? I had this for ages until I lost it. I love his commentary as he waxes lyrical about the modal melismatics of migrating Indo-European hunter gatherers & herdsmen. Swoon! I must have this! Everyone must have this!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:29 AM

I'm flattered!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM

The notion, that because we are not bombarded with traditional tunes and songs in our every day life, that somehow this music has vanished is erroneous.
Search google for; folk clubs, traditional sessions etc. in the UK there are thousands. Within 25 miles of where I live I have a choice of at least 4 or 5 clubs or sessions every night of the week.
the quasi-academic arguments on here are mostly unsupported subjective views and I suspect would get short shrift in a real academic environment.
Seek and ye shall find; there is something musical out there to meet all tastes. If all else fails set up your own club, session, song circle, ballad session, traditional song debating society.
Best wishes, John


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 10:43 AM

Sorry if my last post appeared to be confirming Vic's criticisms of the thread, I'm enjoying the conversation myself!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 11:15 AM

I'm flattered!

So you should be, just don't go hoisting me with your own petard.

Musically, I keep an open mind & an open heart. Thanks to this thread today I've had my Bix albums out, likewise my Bartok string quartets, which always leads me to Purcell chamber music; I've played Bert Lloyd's various Topic albums of his East European recordings as well as the special edition of Ommadawn that arrived this morning (bought by my wife to cheer me up from my recent medical gloom) and now I'm on with the recent Jordi Savall Balkan Spirit CD which we bought in Oxford when we were down south in the summer for the Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival - how long ago that feels! After this it's a Nonsuch CD of Balinese Gamelan I bought last week at Action Records in Preston & promptly forgot about. Later I'll be cooking dinner with Miles Davis (Big Fun or On the Corner, yet to decide) & I've a mind to watch the Symphonic Yes DVD tonight whilst said wife does her college work upstairs. One of my current musical obsessions is the scores for the darker side of 70s childrens' TV, such as SKY, Dr Who and Children of the Stones etc. etc. which underpins a lot of my thinking about FOLK in general and the sterling work being done on the fringes by Sproatly Smith, Hare & The Moon et al, but that's just a tiny tip of a very big iceberg which is getting bigger by the day.

So much music, so little time! But I'll find time for The Folk Music Virtuoso and other Bert Radio that anyone has lying around...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:05 PM

Jim, I'll attest to your open mindedness when it comes to TM. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this open mindedness comes from an understanding of the process as something that involves change which is neither improvement nor a departure from authenticity.

It occurs to me that the process as a whole encompasses two dynamics. One of these operates within a community, this passing along of songs we discussed above. The other is migratory: a song travels and is incorporated into another community's repertoire.

I would use the following analogy. In anthropology there are two competing theories to account for the universality of themes found in myths and legends of various cultures around the world. One says that these universal themes are intrinsic to the human psyche and the other says that they spread via carriers. I don't recall the names of these theories but I must say that only in the Western mind would these theories compete. In fact, they are complementary.

You can take a seed anywhere and sow it, doesn't mean it will grow. Likewise, even if a story or song was carried from one community to another, and thus could not be characterized as an indigenous expression of the folks at the receiving end, if it didn't resonate it wouldn't be adopted. With migrations, trade alliances, political alliances, songs and stories are obviously going to be shared. Although sometimes ownership can be attributed to a particular community, I think it more common that it cannot. Each variant retains its own regional spin.

It's like the proverbial chicken and egg. It makes more sense to enjoy the mystery than to try to unravel it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:22 PM

For many, the unraveling is part of the enjoyment.

For others, not so much.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:30 PM

Thanks, CS - I did interpret your comment incorrectly and apologise for that. I can see now what you meant.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:40 PM

Not so much for me debating with Steve Gardham, lol.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:17 PM

Susan,
Not sure I have the expertise to respond to your interesting comments - but will take a closer look when I'm more at one with the world (not at my best while recovering from the after-effects of having to have the end of my hearing aid be fished out of my ear - oh to be young again!!)
I'm not sure there is an either/or answer to the human transmission/universality of themes question, but I'll sleep on it (Niagra Falls noises allowing)
One of the magic moments of my life was sitting in a cottage about thirty miles outside Budapest discussing (via a translator) the comparable merits of the Hungarian and British variants of The Cruel Mother and various revenant Ballads with a very elderly informant of Kodaly - they don't do package holidays like that any more!
Blandy and all:
"But I'll find time for The Folk Music Virtuoso and other Bert Radio that anyone has lying around... "
Numerous of Bert's output went up for grabs some time ago here on Mudcat.
If anybody has a problem tracing them please let me know - as somebody once said, "they're made round to go round"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:13 PM

Hey Jim, no worries! I agree with you on almost everything, as you well know, but I can't see why it shouldn't be OK for us to part company ever so slightly on certain matters musical. No loss of respect this end!

Yes, Will, I've explored the scholarship bit on Beethoven 'til I'm blue in the face and found it seriously wanting (with one or two noble exceptions: I have a wonderful book on the late quartets written by Joseph Kerman about forty years ago, for example). But exploring the music in scholarly fashion does reveal depths that just sitting back and enjoying it might just miss. I thought it was well worth a try.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 02:33 AM

Nor this end Steve - once again I find myself in total agreement with your point to Will - lifting the corner of the music to see what's underneath is part of the enjoyment of doing what we do.
My favourite quote from Wimberley's Folklore of the English and Scottish Ballads:
"An American Indian sun-dance or an Australian corroboree is an exciting spectacle for the uninitiated, but for one who understands something of the culture whence it springs it is a hundred fold more heart-moving."
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM

I wonder if something that caught my eye in September's Living Tradition Magazine may be described as something that has gone wrong on the British Folk Scene?
I have to say, I never really came across it in all the years I was going to folk clubs, except when you were unlucky enough to sit down next to someone doing something equally annoying and eccentric like rattling a crisp packet or extracting belly-button fluff!
The only time I have uncounted it recently is from British visitors, some of whom I would have thought were around long enough to have known better.
I understand that it is regarded as a constitutional right in some places to give solo performances the 'Singalonga-Max treatment (sort of like carrying weapons in the U.S.)
By heartfelt support and deepest admiration to Brian for pointing out what I believe to be a growing menace.
Jim Carroll

Dear editor,
ONE SINGER, ONE SONG?
I recently had a rant on facebook where I expressed some strongly held opinions on the practice of harmony singing in sessions in this country. The FB post provoked some interesting reactions and consequently I feel the topic merits further discussion to perhaps get a wider perspective from interested parties. Do people see it as an issue or am I just a grumpy old fart?
So what is the problem you may ask? I think my main gripe is the fact that there are an increasing number of people in singing sessions who feel it is okay to a) join in with every song b) hum along in the absence of them actually knowing the words, and worst of all c) make usually horrendous attempts at harmonising which can involve hovering above, below or around the particular note until they achieve something resembling harmony. All this is bad enough when the GBH brigade (grievous bodily harmony) can actually sing but it is ten times worse when the offender's vocal abilities are less than perfect.
I have spent most of my life around singers and in recent years as one of the organisers of the Inishowen Singers Circle, I have had the privilege of spending time in the company of some of the most wonderful singers from all over the world. It is certainly the case in singing traditions in other places, particularly outside of Ireland, that it is the practice for everyone to sing together and indeed to harmonise in many cases. I have wonderful memories of the Sunday afternoon sessions in the North Pole Bar in Clonmany during the annual Inishowen weekend and being almost lifted aloft by the wonderful harmony singing, particularly from the Scottish contingent. However I think it's fair to say that that type of singing was relatively unknown in this country, with far less chorus songs in the body of songs than would be the case in England or Scotland. Indeed until the Voice Squad started singing some of the 'big' traditional songs (brilliantly I might add) it really was the case of one singer, one song.
For me I think it is paying the ultimate respect to a singer to actually listen to what they are singing. If someone has gone to the trouble of actually learning a song and practiced it until they feel comfortable enough to sing it in company, I think the least we should do is listen. Certainly there are times when a particular singer invites participation from those around them but I think on these occasions the singer's intentions are obvious. It should also be equally obvious when the singer's intentions are that people should not join in.
Traditional music has often been considered a minority sport, and traditional singing a minority sport within a minority sport. We all have stories of being asked to sing when the musicians want a break to go the bar and struggling to sing over the chat. Indeed the reason why so many singing only circles and groups are in existence at all is to give those who want to sing a platform and a place where they can sing and be listened to. Unfortunately, even within singing circles the level of respect for the singer from other singers, in my opinion, is eroding and it is something that should be addressed.
One of the replies to my original FB post on this topic suggested, in true singer's fashion, that I should go and write a song about it. Perhaps I will, and I take great comfort in the fact that when I sing it no one else will know it (but what about the hummers !)
Yours in harmony,
Brian Doyle


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 08:45 AM

There are grey areas re above post, The harmoniser might be brilliant[it does happen].
it is courtesy not to join in, unless you know the person well and know they do not mind, this applies to percussionists in instrumental sessions too, it is not a free for all, however this means you run the risk of losing the occasional brilliant percussionist/guitarist, the general etiquette is do not join in unless you do it very quietly, this should apply as regards singing too, unless the singer encourages you in the chorus, likewise chorus singers should listen to the lead singer and follow, not impose or slow down in the manner of Les Paisley[ a lovely man with a fine voice ,but one who was guilty of this 25 years ago , so it is not anew phenomenon
enjoyment is the name of the game but one persons enjoyment should not ruin another persons enjoyment


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 09:20 AM

> I think it is paying the ultimate respect to a singer to actually listen to what they are singing. If someone has gone to the trouble of actually learning a song and practiced it until they feel comfortable enough to sing it in company, I think the least we should do is listen.

Not the "ultimate" respect, the "least" respect. It goes for playing, too, except, obviously, at dances. Too often, live musicians are
thought of as little more than part of the speaker system.

Thanks to portable devices, music for too many people has become a soothing background hum to accompany their lives. Movie characters don't comment on the soundtrack.

Paying attention to live musicians would be like eating a bowl of corn flakes and thinking, every morning, "Gee, people actually made this stuff from corn that grows out of the ground. I bet it was hard!"

No, you just eat the corn flakes and go on to something else.

Hence the relative unpopularity of genres that do require attention.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 11:47 AM

In many cases music is a soothing background sound. Nowt wrong with that. We can't be stoned all the time.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM

We can't be stoned all the time.

Speak for yourself :-) Come to Swinton on Saturday and well will try to prove that wrong...

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Gourmet
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 03:19 AM

British FOLK is quite ok compared to british FOOD.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 05:16 AM

Off topic alert!

How interesting Jim, what you say about harmony singing in the folk context -

"However I think it's fair to say that that type of singing was relatively unknown in this country, with far less chorus songs in the body of songs than would be the case in England or Scotland. Indeed until the Voice Squad started singing some of the 'big' traditional songs (brilliantly I might add) it really was the case of one singer, one song."

This concurs somewhat with what we were told by Mick Moloney (The Johnstons et al) when The Copper Family first visited the U.S. in 1994. However, Mick claimed that it was returning members of the Irish diaspora in London bringing with them the then new Bob and Ron Copper L.P. that sparked an interest...he went so far as to say that he thought it was as a direct result of it, and was anxious that Bob should know. Well I don't know, but I found Mick's argument persuasive, and he's a highly respected folklorist and historian of the Irish traditional music scene as well as being a thoroughly nice fellow.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,eldergirl on another computer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 06:33 PM

I love devising harmonies to songs, but it's usually in the choruses, and Quietly so as not to disrupt the enjoyment and concentration of others. and many songs demand proper focused listening, in which case, should we not all Belt Up?
on the other hand, roaring along with a shanty is some of the best fun you can have.
our home town folk club runs guest nights, and singarounds. often there are twice as many at the singarounds as at the guest nights. everyone wants their little turn in the spotlight (me included). and many of the sing around habitues are singer-songwriters, some better than others. and some of them do not know trad 'standards' well enough to join in with. some just want to sing their bit, are there for the self-expression or whatever. fair play to them, but as a result it vfeels less like a Proper folk club to me! could the humming along habit be related to this Me in the Limelight aspect of folk\acoustic clubs?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 02:59 AM

There's nothing better than a good joined-in chorus, or a sensitively participated-in refrain when it's welcomed by the singer.
MacColl and Seeger used to come in for a lot of stick because of the time they took teaching choruses.
I remember particularly the first time I ever heard 'Sweet Thames' at The Singers Club; I had arrived late and couldn't find a seat, so I sat on the edge of the stage facing the audience.
I swear they breathed in time with the singer, and that beautiful refrain..... still sends shivers.
Peggy sang a ballad entitled 'The Baron of Lys' - a young woman is seduced by a nobleman, she tries to find the identity of her seducer, who prevaricates.
The choruses fall into two halves, her question - his responses/prevarications.
Peggy divided the listeners into two sections, the women joining in the woman's part, the men, the Baron's
When it worked, as it usually did, it was truly memorable.
Ewan and Peggy had stock 'finishers' to their evenings, chosen by the fact that they had longish choruses 'I'm a Rover' and 'Leaving of Liverpool' were among the most popular.
They always left me with the feeling that I had been part of something rather than merely a bystander.
Which is all a far cry from something which (I understand) has become standard practice in many clubs - an audience being allowed, even encouraged to join in anything, anywhere.
It is totally unfair of club organisers to put the onus on singers by suggesting that they should have to "ask their listeners not to join in" It's difficult enough to stand up in front of any audience, without adding a further complication which can quite often throw up barriers between performer and listener.
Simple bad manners, at the very least - artistic vandalism equivalent to painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa "because somebody told me I could" at its most extreme.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 03:01 AM

British Music is in a pretty Fish 'n' Chip Traditional mode at the moment. There's a lot of amazing young musicians content to tread cultural water no doubt owing to wider recession / depression. Whilst that level of reaction has always been the case with Folk, it's been less obvious in popular musics, where new glories arise in the face of evident despair (i.e. Post-Punk). Now there's a nebulous underground of middle-class folk wyrd whilst more dynamic acts (like Lune Deep here in Fleetwood) are essaying cover versions with a power, wit and grace that leave old grunters like me gasping for breath in disbelief at the cunning of a bunch of fifteen-year-olds even if they are doing cover versions. But that is the nature of popular & folk music forever,right? At it's worse it's : don't come back to our folk club until you can sing something we can all join in with (I've actually had this recently; I spend days working up new ballads only to be asked if I know 'Leaving of Liverpool' Which I don't. And never will.). Talking of which right now one of my favourite bands are Liverpool busking band BOLSHY, who never fail to get our toes tapping & leave us with glad hearts for the rest of the day...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgV7vDnzSsM

As someone once said : The Folk Process continues...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 03:03 AM

Jim! Honestly that was a cross post. Pure coincidence!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 05:13 AM

"It is totally unfair of club organisers to put the onus on singers by suggesting that they should have to "ask their listeners not to join in"

I totally agree with that. In our club the problem is not so much with harmonising as much (which at least tends to be quite good) but with percussionists. Not the real percussionists but with ones who started on percussion as they feel they should be doing something and have that anyone can bang a drum attitude. Several months ago I had practised one of my own songs with a female friend and when we tried it at the club it was totally spoiled by a woman who'd bought a cajon and was going to bloody use it whenever she could. The song stops half way through then restarts at a much slower tempo then shifts back to the original. She started banging on the drum and made no attempt to watch and work out what we were doing etc and it ended up a real mess. We hadn't asked her to join in!

In our club you can have someone doing something quite rousing where participation is wanted. However if you are going up after that and want to do something on your own then you really now have to say "please don't join in on this" which is always a bit awkward. Much better that people only join in if asked. Especially as after our open mic we go to the pub for a free for all pub session afterwards where everyone can play all night.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 05:38 AM

'S all all right Jack
I feel the same about 'Liverpool' as I do about 'Larks they Played Melodeons', 'Wild Rover' and numerous other good song which have been hammered into the ground simply because they're good.
AHave managed to find a beautiful version of 'Wild Rover (from the Carolan family and am often amused when asked "why don't you sing the one everybody knows".
There are a couple of worth-digging-out versions of 'Whiskey in the Jar' and 'Black Velvet Band' if anyone cares to take the trouble to look them out.
Leaving of Liverpool, particularly in its full version is a beautifully poignant song and works very movingly when sung with a degree of sensitivity.
Answer my last PM Jack; have made a start and might have a little time on hand in the next week or so.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 05:28 AM

Forgot to update you on the difference between a Folk festival and an Acoustic Music Festival as witnessed at Swinton last weekend.

Well, certainly for the afternoon sigaround, it was quite significant. The folk festival ran an 'anyone session' with named artists leading in the bar of the pub whereas the AM festival had it more like a concert in the back room. Both had their advantages but it was telling that toward the tail end of the afternoon a 'breakaway' informal group formed in the bar!

One big plus was that the landlord put his cask bitters on sale at £2 a pint all day. Maybe AM fans drink more than folkies :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 07:07 AM

Sorry to hear, elsewhere, that Chris Bearman has died. I don't think I'd have wanted to cross him, or to get onto the subject of politics - I get the feeling he saw 'Marxist' as a term of abuse* - but his work dismantling the Harker/Boyes critique is valuable & deserves to last.

This isn't to say that Sharp & Karpeles were paladins of the proletariat, or that nobody ever went out collecting from a great socio-political height, like Sidney Carter's young man with a microphone. Just that if you're going to make this kind of argument you have to do it properly.

*But then, he wasn't the only one.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 07:55 AM

Bearman's 'dismanting' of The Imagined Village consisted of saying that I'd made Mary Neale the book's 'hero' - I disagree, but readers can decide. And then treating a misprint as a deliberate slight on Cecil Sharp.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 09:07 AM

Bit more to it than that, I think, but I don't pretend to be an expert on any of this - I've just read some of Bearman's polemics & thought he was making a lot of sense & advancing what seemed to be quite telling criticisms (while at the same time wishing he'd turn down the rhetoric and stop banging on about being a socialist as if it was a bad thing).

Anyway, he won't be writing any more, or so I'm told, and I'm sorry to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 09:30 AM

Perhaps you could read or re-read the book and then decide.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 10:30 AM

What, and argue on the basis of an informed opinion? Who knows, it's so crazy it might just work.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:49 PM

OP,could be we are being too anal retentive.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:26 AM

I think folk can be presented at least four levels aimed at attracting different audiences/participants.

(1) The concert - either festival main acts/concert halls etc, or folk club guest nights. Aimed at attracting audiences who want to see (or be seen with) a particular act. These audiences could be folk club habitués (or sons of habitués), or those who have originally come into 'contact' through tv, radio, other internet. In this case the act, or what the act does is the draw.

(2)The folk club (back room) environment, a social gathering of people with a common interest (ie folk).

(3) The session, usually tunes rather than songs, but run in a more public space. I would also include folk dance/ritual in this category, eg morris, long sword etc etc etc.

(4) Public space performs - pub bands, bar venues at festivals etc. Apart from festivals, where the acts are engaged by festival organisers, pub bands may be engaged by pub landlords with the aim of drawing punters into venues. One example of this is a pub in Brentford but I can't remember its name.

While pub acts may perform what is seen by those who take folk music more seriously a more stereotypical image of what folk song/music is, it does draw in customers who enjoy it - and enjoying something must surely be the first step in becoming more involved in folk. When we were in Dublin the performances in the pubs where we went did come under the stereotypical category, but we still enjoyed ourselves more than is we had gone to a pub with a large screen sports match blaring out.

London does have occasional folk concerts, and folk clubs, and sessions, but if we go to other public spaces - nothing - multi sports screens, fruit machines, juke boxes, but next to no live music, and what live music there is, virtually no folk - and what there is isn't widely promoted.

To a large extent, pub landlords need to take a lead, or be convinced to take a lead in this so that more folk song/music has a chance to be seen more in public, and if the interest takes off, then it would be promoted more - at that in turn would spark more interest in folk music, people wanting to here more and a wider breadth of what folk is about - and folk clubs re-emerging to cater for the demand. And so on and so on...

In the 19th Century every port had its sailortown, virtually every city had (and probably still has) its red light district. What city like London needs (not just the square mile) is its cultural district - not just the big business theatres but an area known for where visitors can see culture - of at least a representation of culture close up, vibrant, exciting - so tourist can come away and say - yeah, I've seen London culture first hand.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:40 AM

Have managed to find a beautiful version of 'Wild Rover (from the Carolan family) and am often amused when asked "why don't you sing the one everybody knows".

I used to sing that version regularly during my Athlone/Glasson days - and keep an eye and ear out to spot at what stage someone would say to their neighbour "Jeez! That's the f***ing Wild Rover"!" ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:50 AM

I've always felt that London is actually a set of villages, each with its own scene. When I lived there, I had a flat in Bayswater, used to walk down to Notting Hill and Portobello Road of a Saturday morning, had friends in Battersea, friends in Muswell Hill, friends in West Hampstead, friends in Putney, etc.

Each of these places had its own vibe, with its own character - and its own musical shape, - and anyone who's lived in London, or still lives there, will understand that. That vibe was created by the people who lived in the area. They made the music; they made the scene. The pubs and clubs were the spaces where the music could happen and - yes - much depended on a sympathetic landlord.

In my pub-playing days - and I still do the odd gig in one from time to time - the common saying was that a pub landlord had to take over the bar three times what the band were paid, just to break even. (I've never gone into the actual economics of that, but I can believe it's basically right given a landlord's overheads). So, he/she gets in music which pulls in the punters - whatever that music might be in the particular London "village" in which the pub is located. Those punters probably won't be tourists, and the music probably won't be traditional music.

All of which has very little to do with traditional music per se.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:01 AM

"Jeez! That's the f***ing Wild Rover"!
Happened to me in a singaround in Miltown a year ago
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:18 AM

(while at the same time wishing he'd turn down the rhetoric and stop banging on about being a socialist as if it was a bad thing).

The crucial thing with both Fakesong & The Imagined Village, is that neither author resorts to 'rhetoric' or 'banging on' - they simply give clear accounts of the social & cultural history of Folk which is pretty much self-evident anyway, I would have thought.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:44 AM

(I'm sorry - I'll post that again...)

(while at the same time wishing he'd turn down the rhetoric and stop banging on about being a socialist as if it was a bad thing)

The crucial thing with both Fakesong & The Imagined Village, is that neither author resorts to 'rhetoric' or 'banging on' - they simply give clear accounts of the social & cultural history of Folk which, I would have thought, is pretty much self-evident anyway. From the imperialistic paternalism of early folklorists to the middle-class middle-English hobbyists & apologists of today, Folk is a fabrication born of a disparity which rests at the very heart of our island's history both ancient and modern. Its appeal to intellectuals of the Left and Right is easy to figure, but its almost total rejection by the working class is a crucial factor in our understanding of its nature & purpose.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 06:37 AM

'Fakesong' presented a useful resume of the work of the 19th century ballad collectors as well as the Edwardians, and was no doubt a necessary corrective to the previously uncritical acceptance of the ideas of Sharp and the first Folk Revival. However, it's undeniably agenda-driven, to the point where a notion presented on one page as a possibility (i.e. speculation) is stated as proven fact a few pages later - the kind of logical jump, ironically, that Harker accuses Sharp of. I also remember with some amusement Harker's attempt to depict an unnamed 19th century community (which, after a bit of digging, turns out to be Stony Middleton) as some kind of suburb of Sheffield.

Though some of the late Mr. Bearman's wilder outbursts did him no favours, I've yet to find a rebuttal of his analysis of Harker's figures and textual claims regarding Sharp.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 06:39 AM

Sorry again : it's THE crucial factor... likewise it's pure white demographic. The only black face you see at a folk festival is on a morris dancer with feathers in his top hat. And that's a relatively recent morris fashion...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 06:51 AM

The only black face you see at a folk festival is on a morris dancer with feathers in his top hat.

Never saw the late Johnny Silvo then?

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 06:57 AM

I'll say more when I've reacquainted myself with the actual books, but speaking as a Marxist I'd rather have patient, nit-picking scholarship from a grumpy Tory than a good story with the edges shaved off from someone whose politics I share - just as I'd rather have The Young Tradition singing it like it was than The Imagined Village doing Guardian-friendly rewrites. (A contemporary "Hard Times of Old England" with a verse against the Countryside Alliance? Really?)


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:03 AM

As ever I defer to your superior learning on the minutiae of this matter, Brian - (I'm a folk dilettante at best) - but the gist & soul of the thing is all present and correct. As I said earlier once I managed to track a copy of Fakesong down I was amazed how mild & straightforward it was - but it is an OU book after all!

Anyway, I'm in a cool mood - my new pills are working wonders (blood-pressure! Moi!) and I've just received a braw wee bundle from Jim stuffed with A L Lloyd radio programmes, so I'm battening down the hatches as winter (supposedly) brews without with a vengeance. And me with a braw new bike on order... The thoughts of riding along the prom to Cleveleys listening to Bert on my MP3 player is just too much.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:04 AM

"its almost total rejection by the working class is a crucial factor in our understanding of its nature & purpose."

Even if we were to accept such lazy generalisation and terminology, the same could be said of jazz, prog-rock, classical, most of the bill at Glastonbury and any number of other minority-interest musics. Not all of which, I imagine, were born of 'imperialistic paternalism' or 'fabrication'.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:06 AM

Never saw the late Johnny Silvo then?

Or the chap from the Spinners... But the proposition about a mainly white demographic is broadly true - the exception proving the rule.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:22 AM

Did the Young Tradition sing it like it was? Or was that just more middle-class revisionism? Not that it matters. What was was; and what is, is - the rest is down to personal taste. Ultimately, in matters of art, we're only answerable to ourselves, not some namby notion of The Tradition which is simply a matter of not seeing the trees for the wood.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:26 AM

"As ever I defer to your superior learning on the minutiae of this matter, Brian - (I'm a folk dilettante at best)"

Enough of the self-deprecation, Jack, you're as much as an enthusiast (for the music, if not the concept) as I am, and you think about it a lot more than most. I claim no superior learning, but I do think it's worth paying attention to detail, and that flaws in that can throw suspicion on the greater whole.

I hope you enjoy Bert's radio programmes - I certainly did. Jim is very generous in sharing his (often rare) traditional song resources. Nice to see the spirit of co-operation between such regular antagonists. I much prefer my vituperative arguments to be grounded in some kind of mutual respect, or even friendship.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:33 AM

"but its almost total rejection by the working class is a crucial factor in our understanding of its nature & purpose."

Whilst it is true that in my area the bulk of the working class (whatever exactly that is) are not folkies it is also true that the a good proportion of the folkies are of the same said working class. We have factory workers, window cleaners, paramedics, domestic helps, shop workers etc. Even those who maybe some wouldn't describe as working class often come from a solid working class background. I run my own financial services business so am I working class? My mother was a dinner lady and my father a hosiery worker. I see no need to throw up false divisions. The truth is that the vast bulk of the people who attend our club are just ordinary folk.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:38 AM

the same could be said of jazz, prog-rock, classical, most of the bill at Glastonbury and any number of other minority-interest musics

Not true. Those idioms are born of the bourgeois social elite. Not co-opted & reinvented by them on the backs of proletarian art & creativity, which is in any case diminished by notions of anonymity & traditionalism. Like I say - a case of not seeing the trees for the wood.

Of course we can see the phenomenon of Prog in terms of it being a collective cultural tradition, but to really understand it's history & development, we have to address ourselves to the lives & times of the individual geniuses (specific musicians, bands, promoters, entrepreneurs, graphic artists, pharmacists etc.) that were involved in its creation, as oppose to its perception and definition. Prog, Jazz, Pop, Classical etc. are musics defined by the people who make it. Folk, OTOH, was a music defined by the people who perceived & collected it. A very crucial difference.

Talk about lazy generalisations, Brian - yours is positively narcoleptic.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:58 AM

Enough of the self-deprecation, Jack, you're as much as an enthusiast (for the music, if not the concept) as I am, and you think about it a lot more than most.

The concept, and the study thereof is integral to the appreciation of the music. Can you have one without the other? I doubt it. Problem is I was invalided out of academia 20 years ago & I've never quite recovered my nous in all that time. One thing I still carry though is that whilst LINGUISTS study, account for & celebrate the feral phenomenon of language, only PEDANTS insist upon correctness.   

I hope you enjoy Bert's radio programmes - I certainly did.

The Folk Music Virtuoso is a classic I cherished for years but never did think to make a copy of it, alas. Now I can enjoy it afresh - but not before backing it up!

Nice to see the spirit of co-operation between such regular antagonists. I much prefer my vituperative arguments to be grounded in some kind of mutual respect, or even friendship.

I take that as a given!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 09:00 AM

"Prog, Jazz, Pop, Classical etc. are musics defined by the people who make it. Folk, OTOH, was a music defined by the people who perceived & collected it. A very crucial difference."

Yes, I do get that, in fact it was exactly my point. Folk is one minority interest music amongst many, but its minority status has nothing to do with Cecil Sharp or alleged bourgeois imperialism.

NB Alan Conn's comment about the folk demographic in his locality. There were several regulars at Manchester folk clubs who would have punched anyone who called them middle class.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 10:26 AM

> LINGUISTS study, account for & celebrate the feral phenomenon

Linguists don't "celebrate" anything. They just study and try to account for it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 11:12 AM

but its minority status has nothing to do with Cecil Sharp or alleged bourgeois imperialism.

I'd go so far as to suggest it's a likely sort of legacy - and all the Traddies I know are middle-class. Working-class Folkies tend to view E. Trads & Ballads as anathema to their popularist cause - something Big Al has pointed out on various occasions. With exception, of course (I am one such - a Working Class Traddy who does not get along at all well with singer-songwriter idioms) but exceptions prove rules, do they not?   

*

Linguists don't "celebrate" anything. They just study and try to account for it.

Oh I don't know, Lighter - I've known & read a lot of very celebratory & cunning linguists in my time. Even in the hushed halls of academia it always felt as if were celebrating the phenomenon of language as a priest might celebrate Holy Mass. I remember the gleam in our professor's eye (a former student of Chomsky) as he told us about Grimm's Law. I came away jubilant!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:52 PM

> Even in the hushed halls of academia it always felt as if were celebrating the phenomenon of language as a priest might celebrate Holy Mass.

Not in my class, unless you count describing language in a hopefully interesting manner as "celebrating" it. I also taught composition, and if I hadn't insisted on "correctness" there (meaning, of course, established conventions), parents would have complained, I'd have been fired, and my students would have been left at a disadvantage in the "real world."

BTW, one's favorite sociopolitical or psychological or literary theory doesn't seem to have much to do with discussing what was actually collected. (Or what wasn't, which to some degree we can guess at.) Such theories could make for diverting conjecture about the collectors' conscious or unconscious motives, or the folkies', but that's a different issue.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 02:42 PM

Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:01 AM

"Jeez! That's the f***ing Wild Rover"!
Happened to me in a singaround in Miltown a year ago
Jim Carroll
good to hear you are singing, jim,


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 03:04 PM

the late Mr. Bearman

I missed that. Was his death reported here?

The impression I got of him from forums he appeared on was that he was a raving paranoid reactionary crank whose only interest in the folk scene was as a source of people to make enemies of. Did he ever do anything positive?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 04:41 PM

He made some pretty damning criticisms of Dave Harker's work, and (if you want 'positive') contributed to rehabilitating Cecil Sharp.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Wally Macnow
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 06:10 PM

I've recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina where there is a thriving old time, bluegrass, and ballad singing tradition. I believe that traditional music gets past along here through family and community gatherings. You go to a festival here and its jammed with local people of all ages listening to or playing and singing the music and songs.

You can take trad music and play it in clubs and concert halls all you wantg but you'll never preserve it there. If you want it to continue, you have to catch the kids before they're consciously aware of it. A six year old will find a 12 year old doing trad music cool. And a 12 year old getting praise for doing it from a 20 or 30 or 60 or 70 year old who's also showing him or her technique is probably going to continue with the tradition.

That's my thought on it. And my observation.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 08:58 PM

1. Usual pretentious bollocks from Blandiver (or is it Sedayne under another name?).

2. "From the imperialistic paternalism of early folklorists to the middle-class middle-English hobbyists & apologists of today, Folk is a fabrication born of a disparity which rests at the very heart of our island's history both ancient and modern. Its appeal to intellectuals of the Left and Right is easy to figure, but its almost total rejection by the working class is a crucial factor in our understanding of its nature & purpose." -   see what I mean?

3. "Sorry again : it's THE crucial factor... likewise it's pure white demographic. The only black face you see at a folk festival is on a morris dancer with feathers in his top hat. And that's a relatively recent morris fashion..." Try again, wanker. Look for the best dancer in the border side from Crayyford "Gong Scourers". Her biological father is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

4. CS - if you so dislike the singaround and join in format, am I to assume you won't be at the Lower Stoke Winter Sings this winter. Odd, in that you seemed to enjoy them.

5. Various above seem to assume that the fact that a song is traditional (or "folk") means that its performance is set in aspic. I suggest you tell that to Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention or many many others - and then retracy your suggestion that performances by June Tabor and the Oyster Band can not be folk, not performances of traditional song.

That petrol emotion.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:06 AM

Richard - you're a great bloke -but calling someone a wanker - it doesn't help the debate its not engaging with the argument.

I agree with much of what you say about the necessarily ever changing nature of a living artform.

my views on the nature of folk music - is I guess well known and has irritated enough people on Mudcat.

I think maybe I was wrong to state my opinions. I don't want to disrespect a set of ideas that enables a great musician like Brian Peters to accomplish what he does.

I suppose I am hoping for abit much for people to understand that my vision of folk music which takes its inspiration from the jazz and cowboy music, blues and music hall songs which my parents sang and danced to - I perceive as MY roots. Nothing can stop me being English.
Nothing can stop anyone who is English being English.
For example - compare how Wizz Jones plays a blues - compared to Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Just as Brian and Martin Carthy have the ideas which form the basis of how they express themselves I have my set of ideas. And it sustains a vigorous strain in English folk music.

English folk music is more multi faceted artform than many people can take aboard.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 04:21 AM

I do hope Richard's getting the help he obviously needs.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 05:46 AM

... music which takes its inspiration from the jazz and cowboy music, blues and music hall songs which my parents sang and danced to - I perceive as MY roots.

Exactly, Al. If that's what you grew up with and what percolated into your consciousness as a child, then so be it.

The same for me - influences as a small child from the radio, from the wind-up gramophone and stack of 78rpm records at my grandparents' house up the road, from their next-door neighbour who played a chromatic Hohner harmonica, from my aunt who thumped out tunes on the piano of a Saturday night. And then, later in life, more radio, 45rpm records, rock'n roll, jazz, skiffle, classical music at school, a dazzling array of musical influences while working at the Beeb.

And so for all of us - we make conscious choices of music to dig into. The question that keeps coming back to me is: what's so precious about traditional (define your own terms) English folk music that we have to discuss what's going "wrong"? If it's sung, it's sung; if it's not, it's not. In this era of recorded music, archives, libraries, etc., it's never going to get lost. Like all music, its popularity will wax and wane with fashion. So what? Just play the music you love - from the heart.

Richard - I second Al's admonishment. Simple abuse is no argument and does you no credit. I've always found Sean's writing to be fun, stimulating and interesting - whether I agree with the sentiments or not. And - as I said earlier - one or two black faces in English traditional music at the moment (it may well change), is still the exception that proves the rule - that the music is currently largely a white demographic.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 06:54 AM

What Will says is right - and it's important - which goes back to something Brian said a few days ago which, like I said in response, is something I take as a given : Nice to see the spirit of co-operation between such regular antagonists. I much prefer my vituperative arguments to be grounded in some kind of mutual respect, or even friendship.

I don't know what Richard's problem is. I confess to firing off the term tosser in a post to someone I know & respect very deeply, but the issue (long since blown o'er!) was very personal, though I still regretted it. This topic isn't personal in the slightest - it's a discussion on the nature of Traditional Folk Music and how we feel it relates to wider English / British culture as a whole. We all have ideas and opinions on that, which we come here to throw into the pot because we just happen to care about this stuff enough to be involved with it, on whatever level. This is rare & uncommon earth we're treading here - best we do so with care & respect.

*

Otherwise : I suggest you tell that to Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention or many many others - and then retracy your suggestion that performances by June Tabor and the Oyster Band can not be folk, not performances of traditional song.

There is a world of difference between (say) Bob Roberts' timeless rendering of When Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping on 'Songs of the Sailing Barges' and June Tabor's 70s Macrame Beat rendition on 'Airs and Graces'. The tradition of the latter has little to do with that of the former; the latter is defined by a particular Zeitgeist which even now might be considered charmingly retro in an almost Clappisonesque folksy sense, whereas the former is almost numinous in its perfect purity that defines an entire idiom. One sounds terribly dated, the other is on a par with The Eternal. In other words, The Revival and The Tradition are two very different things and - as I've said here before - we conflate them at our peril.

I must stress that I love the late, great John Clappison as much as I love June Tabor, which is to say very muchly, though times I might wonder about their choice of material, but ultimately defer to their respective genius & cunning in so doing. That is the difference between Folk and Traditional, and why The Tradition is, and must be, set in aspic with a severe preservation order slapped on it least it ripped out and modernised, which, for many, it already has been. I'm thinking of those hapless singers who still source their singaround efforts to their favourite revival groups & singers rather than traditional ones - and don't know, much less care, what the difference is.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 07:11 AM

PS - I might add that what they do with them thereafter is entirely their own business. That much is a very good thing! Here's my own singaround version of When Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping, sourced from Bob Roberts but I certainly make no attempt to sing it like him. To point is to find your own relationship with a song whilst acknowledging the sanctity of the source, not just to copy something off a Martin Carthy or June Tabor LP however much you love them.

https://soundcloud.com/sedayne-fiddlesangs/b-gamekeepers-26-1-12

Note : I started singing this after I played the LP (Songs from the Sailing Barges, on Topic) to my old maritime-loving mum & she said 'Your father used to sing that!'. I never knew my father - he passed when I was 2, 50 years ago this Christmas - though I often ponder what he was doing singing old folk songs, and where he got them! So I guess it's in the blood after all.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 08:11 AM

What's going wrong with traditional music is that your link to soundcloud doesn't seem to be working Jack. I confess i only know June tabor's version of the song - never been keen to mess with it.

I DO however hate and despise the practice of capital punishment. Have hated it with a passion all my life, and recently I found a song which expressed my utter loathing. Blind Lemon's Electric Chair Blues. A recording which until it got cleaned up a little was almost inaccessible.

What can I say I tried with this piece. It was SO great. It told the story from a thousand assats all at once. Like Turpin Hero - sommetimes the gallows bird is first person - sometimes third. We hear the voice of the fiend who sat alongside his wife in the electrocution chamber. His family who receve the electgrocuted body for burial.

So I took a toot at it. And rushed at it, and gotit wrong as per usual. My version lacked the hatred and intensity of Blind lemon. he was perhaps someone who had seen a friend's child electrocuted for some Jim Crow reason.

Having no one except a few lusty sailors and pretty ploughboys and the occasional sleeping gamekeeper with which to discuss it. I asked Bobert for his reaction. Bobert reckoned I had made it too technical, but on reflection I'm not sure. The real trouble is though BLJ's guitar style is similar to mine - I've learned tenth hand from Stefan Grossman, Wizz, Bert, Derek and others. There bits of Blind Blake in my version, Dave Van Ronk and others. Distances as far away from Texas as we from Spain. Whereas Blind Lemon plays a very pure and localised version of blues guitar.

What I'm saying is maybe we sound like navel gazers and pseudo yanks to you - but we are part of the warp and weft of traditional music amd care quite as intensely about our perceived traditions as you do.

Try and grasp this and you will make the tradition more unified and stronger.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 09:16 AM

Hmmmm - it's working okay from here...


My position on this is that we are all of us individual music makers in a great tradition of human music making that began at least 50,000 years ago & will only end when there are no human being left on the planet to do it. Within that Great Tradition, there are billions of smaller traditions - indeed, each single one of us is a tradition is their own right. We each learn, pay our dues and adapt accordingly : From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. The process is, essentially, a creative one, even with people who have dedicated their craft to playing other folk's music - be it baroque oboe players or Pink Floyd tribute acts. Things change because that's the nature of the Tao.   

The Tradition of English Speaking Folk song is a finite & definable tradition - though NOT by the fecking 1954 Definition which just so much horse chocolate to be fantasised over by bozos like my friend Bridge. We understand it by rational musicology / ethnomusicology that acknowledges the individual / idiosyncratic & very ordinary geniuses who were part of it, same with ANY musical tradition.

All musical idioms are born from & function via tradition - it's what music is. Folky Fantasists persist that there's is the only one - that this Tradition somehow makes their music unique. On the contrary, it's the Tradition that makes it just the same as any other music. What makes it unique are the musicological & ethnomusicological factors that make every music unique - and, ultimately, make every musician unique. Be it Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Miles Davies, Tony (TS) McPhee, John Lee Hooker, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, Davie Stewart, Harry Cox, John Lennon, Dick Miles and even Richard Bridge. Just like real people, musicians are complete one offs operating to enrich their tradition. Their finger prints are very different.

The Tradition of English Speaking Folk Song operated in a very different era from our own & died out long ago. It does not survive in The Revival because the Revival is a very different thing - a very different tradition entirely. Just as the tradition Big Al's talking about is very different too. All I have ever said here comes down to simply respecting those differences and reverencing the source in whatever you do, same as you would anything else : give credit where credit's due. I would hope anyone who wants to sing (say) The Wagoner Lad having heard Joan Baez sing it, would be curious & respectful enough to seek out Buell Kazee's singing of it. If not they are missing the point entirely.

Let The Source be the inspiration and we maybe have a Revival Music worthy of the Tradition it claims to represent, not just a load of sloppy Carthy copyists & Shirley Collins soundalikes for whom listening to source recordings is anathema, as oppose to the deep spiritual joy it is for a lot of us & ought to be for everyone who dares call themselves a Folky.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM

Not sure that "too technical" is what I was talking about, Big Al... Maybe too much filler when Blind Lemon played more simple with less filler... The ol' "when in doubt leave it out" lesson applies to the "country blues"... Chicago blues??? Different story...

I learned the blues from Sparky Rucker and he learned 'um from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi "country blues" which is played more simply so that the stories can be told without having the music overpower the story, many of which dealt with some very serious subjects...

Yes, you want the rhythm and beat to have that Southern slashing "thang" going but you want to keep pretty close to your chording structure, be it 1-4-5 or 4-1-4-1-5-4-1 or 1-1-1-1-1-1... The "turn arounds" even need to conform to that structure... In other words, if you are playing "country" blues you should be able to sit down with other "country blues" players and everyone is pretty much on the same page with not much deviation in structure... You should know where you are supposed to be at any given time in the song...

I know that makes me sound pretty traditional and in that sense I am...

B~


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 10:11 AM

Continuing to find this thread interesting.

Quote: "Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi "country blues" ... is played more simply so that the stories can be told without having the music overpower the story, many of which dealt with some very serious subjects..." ... " if you are playing "country" blues you should be able to sit down with other "country blues" players and everyone is pretty much on the same page with not much deviation in structure... You should know where you are supposed to be at any given time in the song..."

Also just wanted to say thanks to Bobert for his personal insights into 'country blues', something I know dick about. It'd be nice to see more discussions on topics like this here.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 10:20 AM

PS those quotes in particular I found highly pertinent to what I understand as an important part of the original function of any form of traditional folk music; the communal sharing of stories of importance within a particular community.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 10:25 AM

One place we are definitely going wrong is the pompous idiocy of "Blandiver". Much as I love to be able to state the Child or Roud number of a song my band does, and preferably some collection detail including the source singer - (a) it's a battle with my band every time and (b) unless the audience are interested in that aspect it drives them away - it's part of what we are doing wrong. If it's not a folk song then I may well credit the composer. And if I've been "at" the tune or words I probably mention that to a folk audience.

At least twice we have been told "Oh, if that's folk, then I like it, must go to a festival to hear more". Once the remark came from an ambitious policeman. The point is that it's NOT art music nor pop music, and if you can understand that then the concept that there is an international common aspect (not one of form) makes sense. Which is why the 1954 definition (which is NOT ethnocentric), although maybe needing some fine tuning/updating, is still the best working definition we have. You don't have to reach for the bafflegab/managementspeak thesaurus, blind to the irony of using obfuscatory academic language to accuse others of blind academic obfuscation.


I think the first thing "Blandiver" has ever said that is correct is "The point is to find your own relationship with a song whilst acknowledging the sanctity of the source, not just to copy something". Denying that there is "folk music" is precisely the denial of that sanctity, and to set the tradition in aspic is to deny that relationship with the song. The language in which Blandiver's argument is couched makes it pretty obvious that his perspective cannot be due to stupidity, so it must be malice.   Perhaps a novel application of the concept of creative destruction.

Despite his obvious musical skill and knowledge it also seems that his sometimes deliberately pretentious choice of arrangement/accompaniment is rooted in a desire to obstruct access to the song, rather than facilitate it - just as much a conceit as the antics of Rihanna or Miley Cyrus. If you want to enable people more readily to relate to folk music a kaossilator (or even wavedrum) is a barrier not a gateway.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 10:36 AM

You're welcome, CS...

I remember lots of discussions back when I was a regular at Archie Edwards Barber Shop Saturday afternoon jam seesion about the blues... Some folks feel that all blues are the same... Even blues players and, I guess if you strip all the layers off then I kinda see that thinking...

But to me, it's the layers and the rhythms that make the different styles different... I kinda but the blues into several different categories that vary from region to region...

*Chicago Blues: Lots of horns and with them a jazz feel... B.B. King, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Buddy Guy...

*Piedmont Blues: Played mostly in the Mid Atlantic with more intricate finger picking style and less emphasis on a hard back beat... John Jackson, Mississippi John Hurt, Cephas & Wiggons

*Delta Blues: Mississippi Blues with strong slashing beat played mostly on metal bodied resonator guitars with a slide (or not) with generally 1-4-5 chord structure... Son House, Johnny Shines, Muddy Waters, Lighnin' Hopkins

North Mississippi Hill Country Blues: Similar to Delta Blues but with foot stomps and less 1-4-5 structure... Some are just one chord "Miss Maybelle" by R.L. Burnside... Some 2 chord 1-4-1-4-1 like "Catfish Blues" that lots of folks have recorded... Some with 1-4-5 like "Good Morning Little School Girl"... Mississippi Fred McDowell, T Model Ford, R.L Burnside

Texas Blues: Hybrid of country rock and blues: Stevie Ray Vaughn, "Waymore's Blues" by Waylon Jennings, Joe Richardson...

Then there are a number of blues players who kinda hybrids of the above styles: Elmore James, Little Walter, Lightnin' Slim...

Hope this is helpful but it might just "muddy the waters"... lol...

B~


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 10:58 AM

If you want to enable people more readily to relate to folk music a kaossilator (or even wavedrum) is a barrier not a gateway.

Well, why should it be a barrier? Depends entirely on your musical taste. And, for heavens sakes, why should I or anyone else be in the business of enabling people to like anything, including whatever you feel folk music should be?

You just do your own thing and, if people like it, so much the better. As it happens, I bought Sean's last CD on the Folk Police label (as Sedayne) and I think it's excellent - original, interesting, inventive, entirely musical, personal and fascinating. If you don't care for it, that's none of my business.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 11:06 AM

"Songs From The Barley Temple" is the album I meant - perhaps not the most recent from Rapunzel and Sedayne. Excellent stuff, though - and it got rave reviews, by the way.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 11:23 AM

If there is a problem of too few people doing or listening to folk, then the cure is to enable them to listen to it.

Relating only to the cognoscenti was what killed prog-rock and gave us punk, which gave form to the mass rejection of the artsy-fartsy.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 11:40 AM

If there is a problem of too few people doing or listening to folk, then the cure is to enable them to listen to it.

This is just another variation on the proposition that there is something inherently "wrong" if folk music only appeals to a relatively few people. "If there is a problem" you say - well, whether it's an "if" is a matter of personal belief, as is the concept that there's some sort of cure. If you really want people to like the particular form of music that you perform and which engages you, then just perform it well, and confidently and with feeling. There's no other way.

But the main point I'm getting at is this: however you might feel about anyone's statements and arguments and concepts of folk music/traditional music, the proper way to reply is with reasoned argument and discourse. Not with unreasoning insult, and not with snipes at that person's actual music, which - for all you know - may appeal to precisely the sort of person who might be utterly bored with some conventional takes on "folk music".


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 11:51 AM

"Barley Temple" is a wonderful piece of work - one of my favourite albums in the last few years: Sedayne & Rapunzel in great & relatively restrained form. Anyone who hasn't heard it is missing a treat.

It doesn't make me agree with Sean any more, though!

You just do your own thing and, if people like it, so much the better.

This is, always, sound advice. As Graham Bond said to Peter Hamill, right back at the start of the latter's career, "you've got to do what you've got to do".

But I think Richard's on to something, too.

The point is that it's NOT art music nor pop music, and if you can understand that then the concept that there is an international common aspect (not one of form) makes sense.

We fancied a meal out last night and ended up in a 'roadhouse'-style pub, which did some decent beer and some excellent meals of the "hunk of meat and some chips" variety. The music on the PA was a bit of a downer - the needle seemed to be stuck somewhere around 1957 ("Diana", "Kiss me honey honey"), with occasional excursions into the early 60s. Mostly it was too quiet to make much out. Anyway, in the middle of all this I heard "The light dragoon". It wasn't, obviously - presumably it was something with an American folk influence, possibly by Burl Ives - but the style and shape of the tune just stood out: it was clearly more different from, say, "Unforgettable" and "Da doo ron ron" than they are from each other.

Which is why I think Richard has a point about it being a good thing to bring more folk music to more people (although I don't think weird instrumentation is a barrier). I can only go on my own experience, and my experience is that of hearing a few traditional songs and liking what I heard, and then discovering quite suddenly that there were lots of them. That second experience was what really did it for me - not only did traditional songs sound good, but you could sing them until your voice gave out without repeating yourself. It was an amazing, life-changing experience, and I'd like more people to have it. I don't want people to discover 'folk' as an optional extra in the great popular music fruit salad, like the token folk album on the Mercury list or the occasional John Peel session from June Tabor - I want people to discover 'folk' as an ocean of song, a world in itself.

Having said all of that, I think "where are we going wrong?" is a thoroughly useless and misdirected question. "Traditional music - are we having fun with it?" would be more like it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:00 PM

the needle seemed to be stuck somewhere around 1957 ("Diana", "Kiss me honey honey")

Wonderful! Though I would sincerely disagree that "Unforgettable" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" are relatively indistinguishable... :-)

I'm glad you had a Pauline conversion moment, Phil - but, of course, it needn't have been a pearl of a folk tune among the Gadarene swine of late '50s juke box stuff. It could equally have been a pearl of a 1950s rockabilly bash in the midst of a Gadarene hoard of folk songs.

Both forms have merit - it's just what gets your own personal booties tapping.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:20 PM

It's not the quality but the difference. I'd rather listen to Phil Spector than Burl Ives, but the latter just stood out.

Mind you, a bit later on they put on Arthur Conley's "Sweet soul music", and that sounded pretty different too (also in a good way).


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:32 PM

Just recently I've been listening to Josh White Jnr's tuition record. josh senior was the first fingerstyle guitarist i ever heard apart from John Williams. Josh had a TV show in England in the 1960's.

Josh could play a lot of different styles. He used to have this great upstroke with his index finger a bit like a flamenco guitarist - but it gave this great fractured beat in amongst his picking. I couldn't identify the style it comes from - although it sounds it a little bit like Leadbelly. so maybe Louisiana.

You've done it again Richard - calling Mr Blandriver a pompous idiot!
It actually obscures the point you are making.

I think it was Kingsley Amis who accused Ezra Pound and Eliot of creating poetry that sounded like the ramblings of a maniac in a museum - so littered with references and allusions to obscure bits of literature and world culture were the works of the two poets.

I think this is what I am trying to say - we treat 'the tradition' as a ragbag of techniques we can delve into. Whereas the cogency of Blind Lemon's message came from having spent thirty years in a small Texas village learning his craft cut off from other sources. Really we can only tip our caps to the greats of yesteryear, Thankfully we have not lived the impoverished lives that they led.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:38 PM

It's interesting - while you were having your roadhouse supper last night, I was out with the ceilidh band, playing at a party in a large village hall down here in Sussex. Our band line-up comprises guitar/mandolin, bass, drums, fiddle, mandolin/guitar & melodeons/saxes. It's fairly in-your-face and loud when occasion demands it, but the repertoire is a solid diet of English, Scottish, Irish and some Cape Breton tunes. It's actually a rock band playing solid traditional tunes - and I don't mean in the Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span style.

Our audience was composed of several groups of young an not-so-young ladies comprising *stoolball teams in the area - and the occasion was their annual gala get-together. And could they drink! The evening was wild. When Tony (our caller for last night) said, "Now the bottom couple make an arch", some of the young ladies were making arches with their tits... Wild screams, leaping dance steps - ladettes at the ready - with just the right kind of rocking music to get them sweating.

Now, that's what I call an evening of folk music!

*stoolball: a sport that dates back to at least the 15th century, originating in Sussex. It may be an ancestor of cricket (a game it resembles), baseball, and rounders, in fact Stoolball is sometimes called "Cricket in the air". Traditionally it was played by milkmaids who used their milking stools as a "wicket".


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 12:44 PM

Oh no, this time I played by the rules. I didn't say he was a pompous idiot (ad hominem, see) but said that what he said was pompous idiocy. Criticism of content, not the man.

Go on, take one of his posts full of gratuitous philological exhibitionism and see if you can put his point over in plain language. And without saying "Zeitgeist".

BTW, if you look them up on Youtube you'll find a man far ruder about their playing and particularly singing (indeed perhaps unjustly so) than I.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 01:15 PM

to get back to the op ,we are not going wrong, we are going right, all the time we sit down and sing and play we are going right, any time spent on here name calling is going wrong, just sing and keep on singing and playing.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 02:27 PM

Thanks for the nice words, Phil & Will. And I never expect anyone to agree with me! Barley Temple is our last album but we're working on Barley Temple Phase Two just now (working title : Scampi & Tarot) now that we're sorted with a label who will actually talk to us!

*

Meanwhile:

If you want to enable people more readily to relate to folk music a kaossilator (or even wavedrum) is a barrier not a gateway.

That's not why I do it. What I / we do which has it roots, but most people who like it have an encyclopaedic knowledge of folk music anyway - and forms maybe 8% of their total love of music. A bit like me. Folk is just part of a far bigger picture.

And I've never used a wavedrum. I remember the first time I treated a folk audience to the Kaossilator was on board the Jacinta for a pre-Fylde Festival gig in which we were sharing the bill with a stellar lineup including Spitting on a Roast, Red Duster, Scold's Bridle and the Alan Bell Band. Once I started laying down my rippling Kaossilator loops beneath my wife's banjo there was an audible 'Oooooooh!' from the audience.

*

BTW, if you look them up on Youtube you'll find a man far ruder about their playing and particularly singing (indeed perhaps unjustly so) than I.

YouTube really is idiot land comment wise. There was a nice one once on my Long Lankin film from a few years back. I can delete these comments but that's half the fun of posting on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVzsWVuDMm0


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 07:13 PM

400


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 04:27 AM

BTW, if you look them up on Youtube you'll find a man far ruder about their playing and particularly singing (indeed perhaps unjustly so) than I.

Unless of course you mean the troll on our Come Write Me Down whose comments reveal much about the inherent idiocy that one often encounters in folk when people can only cope with things being done in particular way and assume it's somehow 'right' or even (gulp!) 'traditional'. It's a shame that he (it's always he) evoked the sacred name of Shirley Collins in support of this claim. But, as I say, that's what you get for posting on You Tube! The first time I've threatened to delete further comments...

Anyhoo, no Kaossilator here, Richard, as it's out of tune with Rachel's lap-top harmonium (now retired) which is in 'Indian pitch' - if such a thing exists; all Indian things tend to be in an old military pitch several cents sharp of concert. A legacy of the Raj?   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IJQzcyDTQI


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 04:45 AM

I quite like laptop harmoniums and am interested in your comment on Indian pitch. I have seen more than once one Indian duo who used to use an instrument somewhat similar to a laptop harmonium (might have been a shruti box, I think) to accompany her singing, but now she uses her i-phone. I infer accordingly that perhaps it is possible to set the pitch on such digital instruments sharp of A=440.

I have consistently argued that the fact that something is "folk" leaves it form-free, so at least in that we agree, but if (that's IF) we are going wrong in what we do with traditional music (not necessarily a synonym for "folk") and if (that's IF) the measure of that is bums on seats then part of the cure is making it accessible. If one speaks only to the immersed and learned and adventurous (not always a happy combination), one does not reach out to those who are not.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 05:58 AM

I think I once worked out that Indian instruments are tuned around 40 cents sharp of concert - this applies to brass & woodwind as well as harmoniums, I've got a very wayward pocket trumpet which I just get down to concert by pulling the tuning slide to its maximum, which makes the intonation pretty wayward. This is more or less the same as old military high-pitch as my old military C clarinet works fine with India instruments, so hence my thinking about the Raj Legacy. Perhaps Jack Campin knows something about this?   

The lap-top harmonium is rare beast in that it uses a similar bellows arrangement to a shruti box & doesn't have a wind chest unlike other Indian harmoniums. Consequently it's pretty hard work & requires a lot of setting up before each performance - sounds great, but it looks like it's been made by a monkey. Rachel found it too much of a bother so we sacked it and bought a MiniNova instead...

*

One of my earliest forays into music making was using a VSC3 Putney to make outer-space soundscapes at an experimental arts workshop in Whitley Bay when I was 12. I was into folk at this time too so the two things went hand in hand by way of the general - er - Zeitgeist. It was 1973 / 74. Lots of things were happening, even for a kid of my age, but commercialism & popular appeal was anathema to the occult cultural vision which was bestowed upon me in childhood & which has been by guiding light ever since. I liked Folk because it was Cult. Back then I could go along to our Local Folk Club (then in a filthy back room of the Grey Horse in Shiremoor) and see people like June Tabor and John & Sue Kirkpatrick singing to an audience of ten people AND I could buy their LP afterwards. I could see Derek Bailey or Lol Coxhill or Ivor Cutler performing to similarly small gatherings and this intimacy was a factor that drew me into the left-field micro musics that I've regarded as my natural home ever since. That's the best of it for me, that sort of knowing intimacy which isn't about small numbers necessarily but it does assume that the audience are of a similar sort of cultural cunning, which, for the most part, I'd say they are.

In a word of mass blandness & X-factor tedium, singing a few traditional ballads with an almost exclusively improvised / experimental electronic accompaniment becomes a celebratory act of affirmation in itself. Not going to get bums on seats, but it keeps us sane - and we're not the only ones...

https://soundcloud.com/rapunzel-and-sedayne/long-lankin


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 06:32 AM

A lot of Indian music uses a basic pitch of C#. Traditionally there were so few instruments of fixed pitch (ghatam and nagaswara in the South, can't think of anything in the North) that this standard is probably quite recent. Old British military pitch may well have had an influence.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 06:47 AM

I see where you're coming from, Richard, but - accepting for a moment and for the sake of argument that there has to be a "cure", wouldn't you say that it's a dubious proposition to go for the "accessible"? And how do we define accessible?

When I went to a Bellowhead concert a few years ago in Lewes town hall, which was packed to the rafters, I would say that the greater part of the audience was well under 40 years of age, and was bopping away like billyo by the end of the evening. So would we call Bellowhead's slightly off-the-wall and eccentric take on folk tunes and songs to be "accessible"? I really couldn't say!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 12:49 PM

After nigh on 20 years out of the country, there are a number of items needing correction.
Firstly, Richard Bridge commented on the death of the Concept Album in 1975. Mike Smith resigned as Program Controller of University Radio Loughborough to go and work for Dave Kettlewell collecting All The Tunes That Ever There Were for hammered dulcimer, and I succeeded him in post. Mike had been instrumental in promoting Mike Oldfield and Kraftwerk before ever Radio 1 made them popular. Nick Philips was the Prof in charge of the laser lab, so we had the bands coming - he was the man behind the laser effects of the 1970s, and part of his price was the bands had to gig, so I I got to SM (notionally!) Queen the weekend Bohemian Rhapsody hit, one week before the Hammersmith recording, performing to 500 in the hall and an innumerable mob outside. Loughborough in those days hosted one of the top folk festivals. What actually happened is that the US recording companies decided that there was too much autonomy in the industry and that all promotion for every form of music was to be cut, or rather reapplied to hip-hop and punk. It was not just progressive rock, nor folk rock, it was everything.
Secondly, what has happened is that commercialism has set its roots in the folk world too. That means too many people are making their livings from what should be the music of the people, and are shutting people out. Read it carefully, it establishes exactly what Katy Spicer is actually doing in her interpretation of her responsibility in promoting the interests of the folk world. The last Minutes published by the EFDSS Board are almost a year old, and were woeful reading: it is not therefore any surprise that the link to them has been suppressed in the redesigned site. Suffice it to say that so short are the funds and so tatty are Kennedy Hall's curtains they had to call upon the Choir to fund-raise the £50,000 they need to replace them. That's asking ordinary joes about £800 a head: perhaps if they'd bothered to record the Choir they may have had some income to pay for them.
Thirdly, the worked example of what's been going on is that the music industry was crying out for input from the folk world these last two years. None was forthcoming because it threatened the established names. It's why the EFDSS has still not recorded its Choir. It's why I've left and am doing something useful: I've moved to a Community Choir, because it's truly the music of the people, we're gigging about twice as much as CSHC does, and with far less experience. I'm supporting the foundation of a new Choir too, I'm working in my own voice once a month, there are gigs out there, not enough to make a living, but enough to move the industry. People are sick and tired of commercialism, and that's all you get on the scene these days. If you set aside the elder statesmen of these pages, who are too busy telling you what you can't do and not busy enough getting out there doing, then perhaps you'll find you're able to go right.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 02:00 PM

Mike Smith resigned as Program Controller of University Radio Loughborough to go and work for Dave Kettlewell collecting All The Tunes That Ever There Were for hammered dulcimer, and I succeeded him in post. Mike had been instrumental in promoting Mike Oldfield and Kraftwerk

I've still got my Dave Kettlewell book from 30 years ago, though I never did get the dulcimer to go with it! Kraftwerk are my heroes; and Mike Oldfield the fallen angel who graced us with a quartet of exemplary LPs born of a truly English visionary & pastoral eclecticism. Hergest Ridge should be our national anthem, all 40 odd minutes of it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 02:45 PM

A=452? Though that was too late, surely.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 02:49 PM

I see. Occult cultural vision. I really really see. Damn it man, bits of you were starting to make sense and then you have to go and say that!

I don't remember saying anything about the death of the concept album in 1975. I do remember writing to Melody Maker a couple of times in 1974, once to point out that "sit and listen" prog-rock was in conflict with the mating rituals of the young that were often centred round dance, and once to coin the expression "Shamrock" to describe electric music connected to Ireland (for example "The Tain" by Horslips). I got a T-shirt for the latter, but some hardcore celtic rock enthusiasts were very upset. I think I'd disagree with the current Wikipedia page and assert that the "true concept album" was pretty well dead after "Tommy" and "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake". That is however an off the cuff view and I reserve the right to vary it.

Yes, I've got some Kraftwerk vinyl, but I don't admit it to just anyone.


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 02:50 PM

Mornington Crescent!


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 03:49 PM

Nearest stop to CSH


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 04:47 PM

Occult Cultural Vision? That's Common Porpoise for you, meets Arts Council, and guess who's part of the operation?


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 04:50 PM

bits of you were starting to make sense and then you have to go and say that!

Hey, I was only 12 at the time.

As for concept albums in folk - there's The Transports, and Alan Stivell's overblown (but still wonderful fun) Celtic Symphony. I'd argue that Bellamy's LPs of Kipling's Puck Songs were heavy on Occult Prog Wyrd Concept too - 'Oak Ash & Thorn' and 'Merlin's Isle of Gramarye' - does it get any more prog? Then there's Anthems in Eden of course, and Bob Pegg's Ancient Maps & Bones, even Liege & Leif..

Folk is concept heavy, man! Getting heavier...


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 05:25 AM

"good to hear you are singing, jim,"
Thanks Cap'n - thoroughly enjoying the experience, sort of like being a born-again something or other.
Can't guarantee it's not part of 'Where are we going wrong" though.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Nov 13 - 03:42 PM


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Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Nov 13 - 03:54 PM

Just come home from a fundraising concert for the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin
The Abbey Theatre, venue for Ireland's National Theatre, was packed to the gunnels - some of Ireland's best traditions performers on stage - at least one third of them no older than mid - thirty - great performances, great music, great evening.
Jim Carroll


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