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What is filk?

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Earl 03 Mar 98 - 12:48 PM
Jaxon 03 Mar 98 - 01:12 PM
Bill in Alabama 03 Mar 98 - 01:17 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 03 Mar 98 - 01:17 PM
belter 04 Mar 98 - 03:55 AM
Earl 04 Mar 98 - 11:57 AM
Ireland O'Reilly 04 Mar 98 - 12:28 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Mar 98 - 12:40 PM
Corinna of California 04 Mar 98 - 05:09 PM
Jerry Friedman 04 Mar 98 - 06:00 PM
Sheye 04 Mar 98 - 06:24 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 05 Mar 98 - 07:24 AM
Alice 05 Mar 98 - 09:44 AM
Ireland O'Reilly 05 Mar 98 - 09:58 AM
Bill D 05 Mar 98 - 01:58 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 06 Mar 98 - 08:53 AM
Bill D 06 Mar 98 - 10:05 AM
Ireland O'Reilly 06 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 06 Mar 98 - 01:11 PM
Corinna of California 06 Mar 98 - 08:16 PM
Bill D 06 Mar 98 - 10:10 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 07 Mar 98 - 03:10 PM
Earl 07 Mar 98 - 05:45 PM
Bill D 07 Mar 98 - 08:51 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 08 Mar 98 - 01:33 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 08 Mar 98 - 02:33 PM
Bill D 09 Mar 98 - 03:37 PM
Corinna of California 09 Mar 98 - 05:36 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 12 Mar 98 - 12:49 PM
Bill D 12 Mar 98 - 11:08 PM
Bill D 12 Mar 98 - 11:17 PM
Art Thieme 15 Mar 98 - 10:52 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 19 Mar 98 - 05:01 PM
steve t 21 Mar 98 - 03:02 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 26 Mar 98 - 05:46 PM
steve t 28 Mar 98 - 02:51 PM
Alice 28 Mar 98 - 03:30 PM
Ireland O'Reilly 01 Apr 98 - 12:38 PM
Corinna of California 22 Apr 98 - 07:25 PM
Bob Bolton 22 Apr 98 - 08:08 PM
steve t 24 Apr 98 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Nigel Parsons 27 Feb 02 - 06:05 AM
oldhippie 13 Aug 09 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea at work, no cookies 13 Aug 09 - 07:01 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Aug 09 - 07:13 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 09 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,woodsie 13 Aug 09 - 11:04 PM
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Subject: What is filk?
From: Earl
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 12:48 PM

I keep coming across references to "filk" music. As far as I can determine it is folk music of science fiction fans. Is this correct? Are there mainstream examples or is it just a part of this subculture?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Jaxon
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 01:12 PM

Could it be folk for dyslexics? (grin)

Jack Murray


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 01:17 PM

I found this definition when I did a search on "filk":

"There are filk songs about science fiction and stories. There are filk songs about characters from those stories. There are filk songs that are their own science fiction of fantasy stories. There are filk songs about NASA. There are filk songs about science fiction fans. There are filk songs about the Society for Creative Anachronism. There are filk songs about computers. And, of course, there are filk songs about other filksongs, or about filkers, or about the overall phenomenon of filk.

Filk songs can be silly or serious or in between. Some of them are downright morose, others positively giddy. They can be clever executions of cute ideas, or serious literary/poetic works.

While many people think first of parodies when they think of filk, much filk is actually written with original tunes rather than as parodies.

Filk is what science fiction fans and medievalists have written to sing to each other."

Sorry, I didn't copy the URL, so I can't give proper reference.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 01:17 PM

hey Jaxon: Dyslexics of the woRld - UNTIE!

Now, if it was "slan" music, i could see it being for/about sciFi, but.... i think some1 has a problem w/tying.... *big grin* don'tcha worry, now... s'probably just a little mistake.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: belter
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 03:55 AM

The unafical definition of filk that I've accepted is that it's music written in the stile of folk music, but is not exactly folk eather because of the subject, i.e. sci-fi fantacy, or modern subjects such as computers, or scadian, or it's not folk because it's a modification, paridy, pariphrase, or borows the melody of a folk song, or by some wim has gotten lumped in with filk music. determining weather it's folk or filk is not a very precise business.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Earl
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 11:57 AM

belter is using the afical filk spel cheker.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 12:28 PM

I kan tel.... very amusin'

so, i guess filk is songs like are done by air farce, double exposure, etc. about the gov't (how much more of a fantasy kan u get?)


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 12:40 PM

Filk was, originally, a typo for folk that appeared in a fanzine Way Back When.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Corinna of California
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 05:09 PM

Do you suppose that there is a Mudcats of Filk association somewheres? And would they spell it MuddKats as in Mudd's Women (Star Trek)? Now if dyslexics, medievalist and sci fi fans singing to each other is not the newest creation of Folk music, 60 year rule not withstanding, then what is? Oh and don't forget the Celtic punk music contingency...


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 06:00 PM

(It used to be that people who liked science fiction hated the abbreviation "scifi". Some of us still do, though we're outweighed by all the fans of The X-Files--and I'll bet lots of the filksingers are among those who say "sf" instead.)


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Sheye
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 06:24 PM

So, there are two parallel universes, one with Mudcat folksters, and one with Mudcat filksters? Which came first? Is Picard playing his flute?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 05 Mar 98 - 07:24 AM

Of course he is! Maybe Q is involved.

I like MuddKat as a spellin'... Think of it...MuddKat Filksingers.... amusin'


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Alice
Date: 05 Mar 98 - 09:44 AM

and is it a Muddkat Filk and Blews 4um?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 05 Mar 98 - 09:58 AM

Sure, that it is!


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 98 - 01:58 PM

tsk....gratuitous spelling variations as 'kewl'...*arrrggghh*


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 08:53 AM

Don'tcha be 2 hard on us, now. Sum of us is highly educated persons w/english degrees, who just happen 2 like alternate spellin's & think they R gr8....

MuddKat Foke & Blooze 4um....


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 10:05 AM

Ok, Eyerlund OhRylee, *grin*,I'll not make any more cawments about awlturnite spellin's


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM

Very amusin' Bil Dee *grins*

Sure, I'm actually a champion speller *grins wider* thanks to my computer. Imagine it...an English degree, and unable to spell... where did me professors go wrong????

OhRylee... i like it :)

funny, how these threads digress. Filk died, i think? were we able to pin down a definite definition??? (my apologies...i couldn't help that one. it's the writer in me.....)


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 01:11 PM

OK, here's the filk:

http://pages.prodigy.com/keshlam/whatfilk.html


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Corinna of California
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 08:16 PM

Otay, ORylee and De perhaps ye would know of such an organization of Filksingers? How would one get in touch with them? I think it would make an interesting late night radio show...Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy Filksongs, some "spacey" music, and call in discussions about alternative universes. Whatcha think?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 10:10 PM

well. I actually DO know one guy who goes to sci-fi...SF...whatever.. cons (conventions)and sings the things...writes a few of his own ..I suppose he might know if there are regular ...(Oh, if you get newsgroups...there IS one devoted to filk! I assume all the latest stuff is there...)rec.music.filk I think...


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 07 Mar 98 - 03:10 PM

Check Usenet

alt.music.filk

rec.music.filk

also, you can try this one: http://www.lovesong.com/interfilk/

and you could do a search for ConChord 13. It's some kind of annual filk conference in the states.

Bill D: I'm glad we're spellin' better now. I feel like an english grad again. *smiles*


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Earl
Date: 07 Mar 98 - 05:45 PM

So, filk does thrive but on a parallel universe which, by definition, does not intersect with this one.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 98 - 08:51 PM

perhaps not 'intersect' a lot--but lots of tangential encounters..and the internet allow us to find each other and to sample the filk songs...and 'some' filkers also do some folk (inadvertently perhaps..*grin*)

Ireland...see what hangin' out with the right crowd will do for you??


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 08 Mar 98 - 01:33 PM

I'd rather attribute all that parallel universe theory and strange conincidental encounters to the Q continuum.... yes, filk does exist. you really do learn somethin' new every day. Now, i'm gonna be an avid scholar of filk music culture, all thanks to this thread.

Bill....IS this the right crowd? *wicked grin*


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 08 Mar 98 - 02:33 PM

REAL LIVE FILK!

OK, this one I found on my random stumblin' around in cyberspace.... it's authentic. by the way, try doin' a search for "Xenofilkia". it's a filk fanzine. I think we're startin' something new here. what says everyone?

Online Filk Database This entry made: 10/30/97

Title: Locked Out Lyrics by: Kay Shapero Tune: Londonderry Air Date: 1989 Found online at: ftp://mac9.ucc.nau.edu/pub/Misc/SCA/Ioseph/mundane_filk/kayfilks.zip Recorded on: Subject: Filksinging

I took a walk outside the mound to clear my head, For wine and song had surely got to me. The night is cold; I'd like to come inside again, But it appears I've left behind the key. So open up, and let me in the hill again, Or I must stand out here and sing some more, And all the songs I'll sing are ose as they can be, So hurry up in there and open up the door!


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Mar 98 - 03:37 PM

Of course this is the right crowd...I'm here!!..(and I'd be following the filk thing, too...except for Sturgeons law.*90% of EVERYTHING is crap*) (Sturgeon's law does not apply to carefully selected databases such as the DT! There, only 38% of everything is crap *wink*)


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Corinna of California
Date: 09 Mar 98 - 05:36 PM

Just to go back to the original question...I think it has been answered but subculture is all in how you view it. It would seem to most that a bunch of people carrying on threading conversations about, of all the obscure topics in an alternate vs parallel universe, FOLK MUSIC would constitute a subculture. Thus, one Sturgen's crap is another person's delight. When presented with two options always go for the most interesting, even if it isn't in "the right group". Of course if you really want to be "bad", just follow Mae West's advice...when presented with two evils always chose the one you haven't done before.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 12:49 PM

Who is this Sturgeon, anyway??? I've got an answer for him, too, in the words of my esteemed childhood hero (and still my hero, but don'tcha dare tell anyone *grin*) Gordon Korman: "Beware the Fish"

Anything that isn't part of the mainstream culture can be considered "subculture" can it not? Folk music, at one time, was very popular and part of mainstream culture. it has since receded. Likewise with so-called alternative music, which has become so popular that it is now no longer "alternative" but is most decidedly manistream. I'm led to believe that our society moves in cycles, so that what is part of a subculture today will be mainstream tomorrow, and of course, the reverse. this is getting rather philosophical, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 11:08 PM

A Semi-Revolution

I advocate a semi-revolution.
The trouble with a total revolution
(Ask any reputable Rosicrucian)
Is that it brings the same class up on top.
Executives of skillful execution
Will therefore plan to go halfway and stop.
Yes, revolutions are the only salves,
But they're the one thing that should be done by halves.

Robert Frost

tomorrow, the reply to Frost....


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 11:17 PM

Theodore Sturgeon ....click


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Mar 98 - 10:52 PM

HOW MANY COMMUNISTS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHTBULB?

NONE! THE BULB CONTAINS THE SEEDS OF IT'S OWN REVOLUTION!


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 05:01 PM

OH, NO!!!! BULB JOKES!!!!

How many modern psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

None. The bulb will change itself, if it truly sees within itself a need for change.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: steve t
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 03:02 PM

Filk is a great idea, mostly entertaining parodies of interest to techies, which will never get anywhere because there are too many ardent copyright fanatics among the filkers. One of their prime tenants, which I've had ranted at me is: don't reproduce or transmit any filk in any form without general permission from the author. Kinda makes one sick.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 05:46 PM

Do you mean "tenets" instead of "tenants" (a tenant's someone who rents a flat). yeah, it is kind of insane about not "reproducing" filk. I mean, this could be a movement in the musical subculture, unfortunately no one (well, mostly no one) will let that happen.

another bulb joke:

Q: how many folk singers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: two. One to put in the new bulb, and one to write a song about how good the old bulb was.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: steve t
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 02:51 PM

There are brave little exceptions in the filk community. Someone called Maggi Rohde made up a small database of filk songs. It's at:

http://www-personal.si.umich.edu/~mrohde/filks.html

And to Ireland... you mean you different spellings even for simillarish words... how do you keep track? :-)


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Alice
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 03:30 PM

The first filk song that I stumbled across on the internet was to the tune of the Irish Washerwoman, and it was a song to a dragon... called "Do Virgins Taste Sweeter?" I gave a copy of it to a friend who does such songs, and now I realize that I didn't bookmark the sites, it was about a year ago, and I have no way to find it again. The gist of the lyrics were, If virgins taste sweeter than those who are not, then we'll be sure to have no virgins around for the dragon to eat.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 12:38 PM

Steve t: I've got a memory like a dictionary :D unfortunately, i've got the mind of a maniac, too. :D


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Corinna of California
Date: 22 Apr 98 - 07:25 PM

Memory like a dictionary (it's in here somewhere, just gotta look it up? or everything in it's place and linear thinking rules?) Mind like a maniac is much more interesting but not unusual in this crowd. :-) An' twood ye nigh be a sweet maniac... Any word on working with the filk crowd? I'm still tempted to do a late night radio show of filk, high tech space music and SF call ins for topics...


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Apr 98 - 08:08 PM

G'day Bill D and Ireland O'Reilly,

Maybe it should be The Sturgeons's Law: "99.99% of the roe don't work (reproducing sturgeons) but the rest is Beluga Caviar!"

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: steve t
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 11:46 PM

Corrina:

Maggi Rhodes seemed like a very helpful, knowledgeable filker whom I corresponded with very briefly. Her home page was:
http://www-personal.si.umich.edu/~mrohde/filks.html
and her e-mail address, as found on her home page (back in december) was:
mrohde@si.umich.edu
I also have the names of some Ottawa filkers, though their e-mail addresses are all over two years old. Posting to rec.music.filk will draw you lots of responses quickly.
In person, I've never met a filker who wasn't as sweet as can be and I continue to wonder if I'm not missing something by ignoring the local filk scene.

On the net though, I've met with real jerks whose favorite mission in life seems to be to police the filk scene -- one of whom loudly announced he was filtering all my postings to the net because he couldn't stand to discuss posting filks without explicit permission from the author, then started flaming me and complaining to my sysop about postings which he thought I *might* put on the net. And basically, the filk community tolerates those self-appointed policemen.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: GUEST,Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:05 AM

For anyone wishing to find gatherings of Filkers, try searching the following USA: Conchord Canada: Filkontario U.K.: Contabile; and/or Harmuni Europe: Fikcontinental

The earlier descriptions of filk were all valid, even the derogatory ones. Contrary to one post, most filkers do not object to their songs being sung, as long as they are attributed, but if you know the writer then asking is always a nice thought. If you can think of filk as being the folk songs of the future (i.e. 50 years after Captain Kirk dies [for the first or second time] songs about him may have passed into the aural tradition. Also any tunes that have been pinched from C20th composers will be a century or two out of copyright !)

Example: (tune pinched from Schoenberg's Les Miserables)

On my own, with no instrumental On my own, I sing of Science Fiction. I sing LOUD; or I sing soft and gentle, Yet every word I sing is clear, I'm careful of my diction.

On my own, with no amplification. No "more gain" to overpower your speaking. I need no ersatz reverberation, Th'acoustics of this room give me the sound that I am seeking.

On my own, with no reverb or echo, On my own, my words go heav'nward winging. On my own, forever singing solo, And if this song goes on much longer, surely I'll be singing- On my own...(hold & fade)

So, only one mention of Sf, well known tune (or part tune) words are all mine, and first done at the U.K. filk convention 1998. I had to persuade the tech crew to knock of the speakers for verse 2, the mike was left on just for the permanent record.


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: oldhippie
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 05:58 PM

some good filk at prometheus-music.com


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: GUEST,CupOfTea at work, no cookies
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:01 PM

I've wandered around the edges of filk, without jumping in, as I've never been to a Scifi Con(vention), but I read the books, and have friends who go. I even know someone who is a very well thought of filksinger who in the rest of her life is a damnfine singersongwriter, singer and performer, and keeper of cats. Threre is a wonderful bit in Sharyn McCrumb's hysterical mystery/comedy "Bimbos of the Death Sun" that gives a good feel for the filk process, as it were. It details how a Scottish traditional perfomer finds himself in the same hotel as a scifi convention and hears the filksing & sets about telling them "yer not singing it right, laddie.. it goes like THIS."

It's really a tiny niche of the folksong continuum, to my way of thinking. Remember Venn Diagrams from grade school? You'd have one circle representing one group of something, and another circle that was of something else, and perhaps a third, etc. Then you'd overlap 'em.

I see a big pool of folks who like Science fiction - Set 1
I see a big pool of folks who like traditional folk music - Set 2
I see a good sized group of folks who like to pursue their passions in the company of other like minded souls - Set 3

Overlap these three sets to form a triangle, and the smallest section in the middle that holds all three groups are the filkers. Of that group, some fewer still write and perform the songs. Then you winnow those down to those who do it very well, and you have a select group that's perhaps larger than the number of competent bombarde players in the US, but less numerous than those who are compentent fingerstyle guitarists. A good deal of the songs use a traditonal tune, or even plotline, as the basis for something that might be dismissed as parody, but is "filk" instead. Some entirely new songs with fresh tunes show up in this venue, likely because these are the people who are most receptive to them. I'm minded of a Peggy Seeger space-going shanty romance in that vein.

I find the entire concept delightful, even if there are "filk police" and the same sort of folks who'll tell ya "Yer not singing it like Joan Baez does!" in trad circles.   

Joanne In Cleveland


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:13 PM

Let's make a list of the trad (ie folk) songs Baez did:

The Silkie
Copper Kettle (maybe American Trad)

er?


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 10:01 PM

Actually, these days, the number of performers who consider themselves part of the filk community, write original tunes *and* lyrics, and can more than hold their own on a stage is *more* than enough to fill an entire festival lineup. I can come up with a long list of filkers who actually have regular coffeehouse gigs, and at least three or four members of the community who are actually touring musicians.

The level of musicianship at a filk convention these days is equivalent to what you'd find at something like the Getaway. Some folks are quite nimble-fingered and pleasant of voice. Some not so much. We're all there to share music and friendship.

I don't find too many "filk purists" these days, and I'm not really sure I ever did.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: What is filk?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:04 PM

I've cut and pasted the following from the web:

The definition of the word "filk" itself is somewhat nebulous. It is easier, however, to pinpoint the origin of the term "filk". According to several sources, the term came from a typo. In her essay on the history of filking (see references at the end of this article), Lee Gold points out that the typo was made by a fan submitting an essay to SAPS (Spectator Amateur Press Society). In his title, ""The Influence of Science Fiction on Modern American Filk Music", the word "Filk" was originally supposed to be "Folk". The essay was rejected, but word spread about the typo, and the term stuck.

By the way the first time I heard the term was from a fantastic Harp player from thye states who visited folkmob several times a few years ago called Gwen Knighton.


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