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Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?

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
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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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