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Beatles and Folk music

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LET IT BE


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fiddler 02 Mar 05 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 01 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM
Pete_Standing 01 Mar 05 - 07:19 PM
Paco Rabanne 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM
Paco Rabanne 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Mar 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Jim 01 Mar 05 - 09:35 AM
Pete_Standing 01 Mar 05 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 01 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Mar 05 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jim 28 Feb 05 - 10:20 AM
C-flat 26 Feb 05 - 03:32 AM
PoppaGator 25 Feb 05 - 05:59 PM
RiGGy 25 Feb 05 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Jim 25 Feb 05 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM
PoppaGator 24 Feb 05 - 02:22 PM
Brakn 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Jim 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 24 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM
TheBigPinkLad 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM
PoppaGator 22 Feb 05 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 22 Feb 05 - 11:48 AM
Bill D 21 Feb 05 - 12:17 PM
PoppaGator 21 Feb 05 - 11:05 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 05 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Feb 05 - 05:55 AM
IanC 21 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 21 Feb 05 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (no cookie) 19 Feb 05 - 06:48 PM
Swave N. Deboner 19 Feb 05 - 01:42 AM
PoppaGator 18 Feb 05 - 02:03 PM
TheBigPinkLad 18 Feb 05 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 18 Feb 05 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,upon reconsideration, PoppaG 17 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Poppa by-the-back-door Gator 17 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 17 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 12 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM
PoppaGator 12 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM
John P 12 Feb 05 - 08:26 AM
allanwill 12 Feb 05 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 11 Feb 05 - 06:42 PM
PoppaGator 11 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 11 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 05 - 05:52 PM
Dave Hanson 14 Apr 04 - 01:16 AM
Ed. 13 Apr 04 - 05:14 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 05:02 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Apr 04 - 04:55 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: fiddler
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 03:31 AM

Just a thought

Was what we now call 'traditional folk' once the Popular muic of the day.

Same with Dancing - That was what they did then!

Fortunately neither is pickled in aspic and it cna still evolve and accept new facets keeping teh genre alive and kicking.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM

We have reached a hiatus with this thread and I am pleased to say recent contributors of like mind have set this issue to rights.The outcome being; it's all folk after some time has elapsed and it translates to our repertoires and denying anything from pop music is an outmoded elitist approach that will see folk diminishing year on year and your good self sat alone performing your longstanding "traditional" set to an uninterested lone barman.Whereas I will be happily performing songs from "Rubber Soul" to an appreciative audience as always.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 07:19 PM

Hey, who needs a Rickenbacker? My 9 year old daughter was swinging to Twist and Shout on the bouzouki. I reckon John would have loved one. The Troggs Wild Thing has not been spared and I won't get any satisfaction until I've tried something by the Rolling Stones. I just can't explain who might have influenced me.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

Leadfingers, eat my shorts! 100.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:53 AM

well spotted Jim! wots wrong with being a purist...bleeding everything.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:35 AM

Mixing "Folk" with Beatles, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bessie Smith or whoever else is what helps to keep the clubs alive


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:18 AM

Earlier this month, I went to a bouzouki workshop where the tutor demonstrated the virtues of the instrument by playing part of Norwegian Wood. Despite my preference for British trad material, I've added the song to my repertoire.

The Beatles, folk music? Does it matter? Will the resolution of this question affect the way a butterfly flaps its wing the other side of the globe?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM

Beatles folk? Yes some of it is! Nuff said -The End.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 07:08 AM

Its really strange isn't it that as early as the 1960's some critics were saying The Beatles were the greatest songwriters since Schubert, and Paul MacCartney has dabbled with the classical world and had his work recorded by orchestras up and down the land. great jazz players like Josh Redman and Wes Montgomery have have had a bash at Beatles songs. every singer from Sinatra to Steve earle has loved a Beatles song enough to record it.

The question is do the fab four have the enough artisic validity to stand beside some old fart who's forgotten the words to the wild rover.

The question divides the nation......!

No wonder folk music is on its knees . the trouble is that some of our number have delusions of significance.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 10:20 AM

Thanks to PoppaGator & C-Flat for the pointer to ISRAEL "IZ" KAMAKAWIWO` - I heard his version of Over the Rainbow a few months ago and the DJ didn't give any details (I wish DJ's these days would cut the crap & just do their jobs).

As to your comment PPG - "you CAN'T absolutely duplicate that other person, you can only be you" - it seems sad to me that some performers DO try to duplicate that other person, and that's just what stops them being themselves. Slavish "Tab-followers" do themselves an injustice by learning by numbers without developing their own style. Tab is OK in moderation, but there's a danger of dependency that may eventually require rehab.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 03:32 AM

PoppaGator, I think it's this guy.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 05:59 PM

Well, I think when you're captivated by a particular artist's interpretation of a well-known song, it's valid and admirable to try to "copy" it ~ especially when the version in question is a departure from earlier, more familiar renditions. (e.g., Jimi's "Watchtower," Joe Cocker's "Little Help from My Friends," to cite a couple of very well-known rock/folk-rock examples).

The thing to keep in mind is that you CAN'T absolutely duplicate that other person, you can only be you. So, as you continue to practice and perform the song over and over, you will be adding your own wrinkles, unconsciously if not consciously.

Eventually, your version should develop and emerge, and it should have its own quality and appeal. Even if you're technically less sophisticated than the artist you're emulating, something about your performance will be unique, and therefore (if you have any musical talent at all) worthwhile.

Mention of Eva Cassidy's "Over the Rainbow" reminds me that I've recently been hearing another very original reinterpretation of the same song, sung and played on the ukelele by a male Hawaiian artist. Very nice, and very different. Anyone know what I'm talking about?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: RiGGy
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:31 PM

I would have never discovered the love of my life, ENGLISH FOLKSONG, if it had not been for the Beatles. The American fascination with their accents, cultural differences, and sophistication became open Anglophilia for many I hung with in the Village in the 60s. The timing of their entre' to the American Music scene coincided with puberty for me and I wanted girls to scream for me, too.
Their [ and The Stones, too ] obvious respect for, and borrowing from AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC, sent me on my particular search for musical roots, an obsession that draws me to lurk MudCat everyday. When the Incredible String Band came on the scene, they joined the Beatles to create my lust for the roots of English music. It was a short pleasant walk from there to the Topic Catalog and the rest of my life. Thank you Fab4. Riggy


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:14 PM

Fair comment PoppaGator - I've never really understood why anyone would try to duplicate exactly an original recording anyway. Surely it's better to put your own interpretation on it and create your own "signature". Often you can end up with something that sounds better anyway.
I'm puzzled that folks try to emulate, for example, Eva Cassidy's version of "Over the Rainbow" - OK, it's a great version, and the lady certainly had a nice guitar style, but it's not rocket science to come up with another variation that doesn't shout to everyone that you're just trying to copy the recording.
Just my 2 penceworth


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM

Why thanks for speaking up on my behalf PoppaGator you are obviously on my wavelength at times.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 02:22 PM

GUEST,Jim: What Sidewinder was saying ~ pretty clearly, as far as I can see ~ is that he found it near-impossible to exactly duplicate the way "Norwegian Wood" is played on the original recording. That is, it is apparently devilishly difficult to play the same notes on the guitar in the same key. (I can't say whether he has also been trying to duplicate the sitar part.)

I don't necessarily agree that it's important to play a song ~ especially a "folksong" ~ in its original key, or in any particular key, in order to claim you can play it. But, that's my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Brakn
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM

Incidentally, (if the definition of 'pop' is as the abbreviation of 'popular') the Black Velvet Band was a UK No.15 hit in 67.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM

Sorry ~ I didn't mean to characterize "Norwegian Wood" as "easily playable."

I'd appreciate some explanation as to why some Mudcatters think this song isn't (relatively) easy to play - It seems pretty straight forward to me


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM

Thanks for the clarification PoppaGator it does seem we sometimes find it difficult to put into print "what we are actually trying to say" and I do mean we. I have tried several different tuning methods and capo placings.However, nothing really registers as the original article.I always think when people (including myself) play "Norwegian Wood" it is just "painting by numbers" and I like to think that the recording is a flourish of inspired genius that Lennon himself would struggle to recapture. I often wondered why they never even attempted to perform it "live" when they did an electrified "Yesterday" etc.It is (I think we all agree now?) a classic folk song even if it isn't traditional.Beatles folk agree anyway!

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM

As to your little comments about 'my' definition *grin*....aren't definitions practically useless if everyone applies his own? You can apply any definition of label you care to for your own personal use, but in order to refer to things in a community, there needs to be some agreement and commonality.

Precisely, Bill. My point is that there is no accepted definition so mine is as good as any other. I'm not sure I follow the other thing about my missing the point (... which I suppose means I'm missing the point -- you're right!)

Incidentally, (if the definition of 'pop' is as the abbreviation of 'popular') the Black Velvet Band was a UK No. 1 hit in the 60s.

Be careful, Bill -- agreeing with 91.027% of my posts makes you my biggest fan by a huge (huge!) margin. *grin*


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:24 PM

Sorry ~ I didn't mean to characterize "Norwegian Wood" as "easily playable."

When I used that phrase "easily playable," I was trying to communicate that I understood you to have characterized the opinions of others in their acceptance of a given number as "folk music" as being based on their ability to comprehend and play the song. In other words, only stuff as simple as "Kumbaya" gets recognized as "true folk music" while other songs are excluded because of their perceived (or actual) complexity.

I probably assumed, somewhere along the line, that those who seem to shun the more complex pieces are those who would NOT accept "Norwegian Wood" as appropriate fare for their folk-music venues. However, looking back, I see that some writer was quoted as having accepted Norwegian Wood as "folk music." So I see where the misunderstanding came in.

"Real" folksongs, of course, don't exist in a single written-in-stone key ~ they can be transposed, via capo and/or rearrangement, and still remain the same song. Perhaps "faking" NW as closely as one can is folk music, while striving to duplicate the recorded arrangement is something else.

Here's hoping I haven't just made things more complicated and thus less understandable.

I never tried to play NW exactly like the record, but here's an observation off the top of my head:

Lennon may very likely have retuned his guitar to George's sitar, winding up two half-steps up (or perhaps approximately two steps higher than concert pitch, not exactly). Then, of course, he could have played the D-major chord shapes that everyone seems to hear in the piece, and it would come out in E (or "near-E").

(If I've gotten the whole thing ass-backwards, and the guitar is tuned down rather than up, the same principle should still apply.)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:48 AM

PoppaGator I think you are missing my initial argument on why some folkies have an aversion to the songs of The Beatles. In an earlier posting I referred to "the three chord Kumbaya Brigade" who could never dream of playing a song like "Blackbird" or "Across The Universe" and so they shun it all.You say "easy playability" I say; I have heard probably hundreds of interpretations of "Norwegian Wood" yet I have never heard it done: as on "Rubber Soul". In the book "Revolution In The Head" by Ian McDonald it states the song is performed in E but without a capo and,as far as he can tell, without speeding up or slowing down the tape (as was practised at that time) and he and the experts are at a loss as to how the song is actually played by Lennon. I call it artistry and musicianship, and considering the lyric also, genius. A 1960s folk song that is far from "easily playable". I should know; I can get as close as damnit and I have had to play it in D for over twenty years as do most others and this is easier to play than "Blackbird" etc.Think again PoppaGator!

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 12:17 PM

so, the thread resurfaces....and I see at least ONE person has read and understood what Art & I are trying to say...

thank you, John Peekstock

BigPinkLad..I usually like & agree with 91.027% of your posts, but in this case you are glossing over the argument and missing the point.

Waly Waly and The Black Velvet Band are different sounds indeed...butthey are not 'totally' different, and they share several other characteristics which set them apart from much modern pop music....(topic, style, history, etc..etc..)

As to your little comments about 'my' definition *grin*....aren't definitions practically useless if everyone applies his own? You can apply any definition of label you care to for your own personal use, but in order to refer to things in a community, there needs to be some agreement and commonality.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 11:05 AM

Hard as it may be to agree on a definition for "folk music," it may be even more problematic to list the defining characteristics of "contemporary folk," for those who even admit that such a thing might exist. We customarily recognize some works of some contemporary songwriters as "folk," but not others. I think that in many cases, the distnction is not based on any musical and/lyrical aspects of the songs themselves, but on the reputations and customary stylistic approaches of the creators (i.e., whether they are established "folk" personalities or not).

Apparently, to some writers, some Beatles tunes (e.g., "Norwegian Wood," "Yesterday," etc.) qualify as "folksongs." Presumably, for some if not all of these "authorities," others ~ the hardest-rocking numbers, I suppose ~ do not.

I remember hearing some semi-pro local performers who were considered "folksingers" starting to add Beatles songs to their repertoires around the time that the "Rubber Soul" album came out. In retrospect, it's hard to say whether the songs themselves were more folk-like than earlier Beatles material, or if the phenomenon was just a sign of the times, when the dividing line between the "folk" and "rock" genres was fading.

If the criterion that distinguishes the "folk" songs as a subset of the Beatles entire ouvre is, as Sidewinder suggests, nothing more than easy playbility, the distinction is not very meaningful.

Mike, thanks for the heads-up about Davy Graham. I had some vague awareness that "Angie" was not originally Jansch's, although his version may be the best known, at least in the US. I had not encountered the spelling "Anji" until recently, here at Mudcat, and got the impression that it was correct (in contract to the more customary "Angie"). Are there perhaps recordings by different artists using the two different spellings?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:31 AM

ooohh - the post to end all threads!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:55 AM

There will be no folkclubs a hundred years from now - there may not even be any human beings. The 21st century is going to be " the century from hell"!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: IanC
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM

Oddly enough, we sing Norwegian Wood, often unaccompanied, quite frequently in our sessions. It's very much a favourite with us all and has been for over 5 years. Fits in with my idea of folk (i.e. what people sing, not what they listen to).

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 04:05 AM

I remember reading, a few years back, an article about the influence of "Norwegian Wood" on the folk movement (meaning musicians -of which several were quoted on their view of the song) in the 1960s and it was basically saying that it was the most important folk song written in the 60s and its influence more far reaching than any Dylan composition. I have been trying to find it so I could reproduce it here but as yet have been unsuccessful.However, I will persevere with my search. As I recall it analysed the song and its form and structure and hailed it as a "masterwork". I mention this because as folk enthusiasts you must have a view on this song yet no-one has mentioned it.This is by no means my favourite Beatle song (Top 20 maybe) but it does seem to be a folk song that started its own stream of influence that flows to this day. Any comments?

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (no cookie)
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 06:48 PM

Hi PoppaGator,

Just for the record, Bert Jansch (and a few others) recorded "Angie" - but the original tune was composed by Davey Graham. Mind you, Davey built it on a descending bass line that's commonplace in Flamenco, and widely used in Blues and Jazz ... some version of it might even be lurking in one of the lesser-known works of J S Bach for all I know ...

For me, this ongoing confusion sums up the whole process. Rudyard Kipling once wrote something along the same lines-

"When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre
He'd heard men sing on land and sea,
An' what he thought 'e might require
'E went and took--the same as me!

The market-girls and fishermen
The shepherds and' the sailors too
They 'eard old songs turn up again
But kep' it quiet--same as you!

They knew 'e stole; 'e knew they knowed
They didn't tell, nor make a fuss
But winked at 'Omer down the road
An' 'e winked back--the same as us."

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Swave N. Deboner
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:42 AM

I caught a Wings concert in the late 70's, during which, Paul came out and sat on the edge of the stage with a 12 string. He played and sang, 'Yesterday', 'Blackbird', and 'I've Just Seen a Face' solo. That was pretty close to my concept of folk, and it was damn good.

SND


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 02:03 PM

Let me backtrack and play "devil's advocate" against some of my previous arguments. Perhaps there is a meaningful difference between true "folk" music and all other genres, and it's this:

Real folk music is not conscious of itself as a potentially commercial commodity, but is produced for the enjoyment of a close local community, family and friends. Lots of stuff done in the past certainly met this criterion (and, for many of us, our own musical activity fits this defintion as well). But, as far as songs are concerned, almost any contemporary composition that we all know (from recordings widely heard and recognized on both sides of the Atlantic) falls short of this strict definition of "folk."

It's almost impossible, in the present age of communication, to be as purely naive as the anonymous authors of the old trad songs, but (probably precisely because of the pervasiveness of commerically recorded musical "product") there is an impulse and a movement to preserve music that sounds and feels like the communal music of the past.

For those who allow a looser definition of folk music, it seems inconsistent to accept some 20th/21st century compositions while turning one's nose up at others ~ assuming, of course, that all these pieces are being performed at an approprite volume level with acoustic (or mostly-acoustic) instruments.

In other words, if a venue's policy to to restrict performances to a truly traditional repertoire, then yes, it makes sense to rule out Beatles songs. But on the other hand, there is absolutely no reason (except prejudice and hypocrisy) to accept, say, Bert Jansch's "Anji" while excluding the Beatles' "Blackbird."


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 12:43 PM

I think anything is fair game for the folk genre. If a song/tune/snippet is perpetuated by the living it meets my definition of folk, and unless someone can shew me a definitive definition ... well, mine is it ;o)

You can buy the sheet music and play exactly what the Beatles wrote or you can 'fiddle' with it. And if superannuation is a must in your definition I guess time will win that argument.

Someone said it's all to do with how it sounds. Naa, can't agree there. I think everyone would agree Waly Waly and The Black Velvet Band are folk songs but they're not very similar in sound.

My penno'th.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 03:51 AM

An interesting hypothosis PoppaGator I think I understand what you're saying ; everything comes from somewhere therefore it falls probably into several definable categories all derisive. My view on The Beatles is simply that they played music across the borders and between the lines. Some of it seemingly very original some of it with a cross pollination that is never too obvious and can be easily misconstrued. This was the ART of The Beatles they transcended carbon copy Rock and Roll and Show tunes, Folk and Blues, and delivered a canon of work that rates alongside Mozart and Beethoven.But is it classical? Maybe? Is it folk? Maybe? Is it wonderful? YES!!! I reiterate my original point that The Beatles are folk but not just folk and every time I enter a musical gathering and hear a Beatle song being played - it proves my point.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,upon reconsideration, PoppaG
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM

Well, sure, the Beatles are not "traditional" folk music, at least not according to one well-established definition ~ obviously. If you define "folk music" according to one of the more inclusive defintions, on the other hand, they might well qualify.

Any artist will create works within the genre/style in which he/she performs. Someone who sings unaccompanied British ballads with unknown long-past origins will undoubtedly write songs that sound consistent with that tradition (if he indeed finds it meaningful to write any new music at all). Someone who plays trad-jazz clarinet will, if he composes anything, probably produce work that sounds 75-100 years old.

There is not "a" tradition, there are many many musical traditions, and each has its devotees.

I do have a problem with the school of thought that argues that their particular favorite style is somehow sacrosanct and inherently superior to others; this usually has something to do with a reverence for truly OLD material.

Some of us need to be reminded that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT ANY MUSIC SOUNDED LIKE PRIOR TO THE DAWN OF RECORDING TECHNOLOGY. Music is always performed in the present moment, and is always contemporary, the product of the living person(s) creating it out of (and into) thin air. Too often, folks who feel such a great reverence for a style of music that they believe has roots in the deep past are really just trying to perpetuate sounds that occurred early in the era of recording technology ~ in other words, the moment in time that they are trying to freeze really dates back no further than about 1925.

Hey, everyone is certainly entitled to like whatever they like, but let's please keep some perspective about this.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Poppa by-the-back-door Gator
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM

Yo Sidewinder,

I wouldn't waste energy worrying about the tiny minority who find it necessary to denigrate the Beatles' achievements for any reason, whether it's their "failure" to meet the criteria for "folk music" or any other trifling hangup.

Jose Iturbe! Wow, is that ever an obscure reference! If I hadn't been watching the Old Movie Channel around the clock during my convalescence last year, I would have no idea who you were talking about. I saw him in some obscure late-40s romantic comedy, playing a Cuban concert pianist (which, I suppose, is exactly what he was in real life) secretly married to a young widowed American soprano with three nosy daughters.

I used to try to confine my musical tastes to genres in which I was able to play, but I just ain't that much of a player. I sure can listen, though, and enjoy all kinds of music. Well, not all kinds, but most kinds...


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM

Gosh I'm feisty when I get my dander up!

Forever Free.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM

PoppaGator I have no problem with anyone who decides by their own volition that The Beatles are/are not Folk Music because it is a case of each to their own; as you surmised. I do however, have a problem with the pusilanimous three chord Kumbaya brigade that dismiss The Beatles music because it is, in effect, too difficult for them to get to grips with. I cannot play any Puccini pieces but I love his work and don't need to play it to admire it.How can anyone who professes a love of music not be enamoured and inspired by the genius of The Beatles. History will be kind to the Fab Four. But, it is doubtful in several hundred years whether Phil Ochs and Ewan McColl etc. will be anything more than far distant echoes from the past. Mere decades ago people raved about Jose Iturbe and Al Jolson etc. how often do you hear them mentioned these days.The Beatles are the most significant mass cultural UK export of the twentieth century and yet there are still those who deny their achievements. As John Lennon said "We set out to be the best fu**ing group on the planet" and by God, they did it with style and substance that will be debated for thousands of years to come.I, for one, absolutely love,respect, and admire them and I say; it is English Folk Music at its best and I am proud of it, and for me that's what counts.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

I should answer Sidewinder ("But was it Folk PoppaGator, was it Folk music or just Beatle music or maybe both?"), but I'm not sure what to say.

I suppose "maybe both" is the best answer I can come up with.

Reasons it was "folk": The Shieks' good-natured butchering of the "White Album" songs was certainly not anything at all like any pop/rock band's serious attempt to "cover" the same material, and the jug-band instrumentation made for a generally "folk-ish" sound. And, of course, the songs were all completely familiar to the "folk" in the audience.

Reasons it was NOT folk: recently composed pieces of known authorship, not "traditional" (and not ever written to seem traditional).

You decide.

I'm gradually maturing into the state where I can classify music more and more simply, trying to maintain only two categories: music-I-like and noise-I-dislike. Discussions involving other criteria are often interesting (and even worth the effort to participate), but ultimately trivial. The performance in question was definitely enjoyable, but for reasons quite different from the usual ~ it was very entertaining, but primarily as comedy rather than as music.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: John P
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:26 AM

I love the Beatles dearly, and consider them folk music in many non-musical ways. But if you can't hear the difference between an old traditional melody and a Beatles melody, you need to clean out your ears.

My impression of what Bill D and Art are getting at when they say that tradtional is different than modern composed music is that it sounds different. And they're right. And it doesn't mean the Beatles weren't great and didn't have a huge impact on the consciousness of a generation. It doesn't mean that in the sense of "folk music is the music the folk play" that they are not folk music -- but then so is heavy metal, rap, and baroque, so why have labels at all? And it doesn't mean folks shouldn't play Beatles music at folk clubs -- unless the folk club wants to have all traditional music, which really does sound different.

There are many modern songwriters who are (or were when they were alive) so immersed in traditional music that they managed to write music that sounds like traditional music. For this reason, some of their songs have been generally accepted by traditional music enthusiasts. It doesn't mean these songs really are traditional in a historic.musicoly sense. It just means they sound like folk music, so folks who want to hear an evening of folk music don't mind when they are included. It also doesn't mean that all recently written songs that are liked by a lot of folkies are folk music.

Its all about what it sounds like. I play music by the Beatles a lot, and sometimes even in folky settings, but I don't ever pretend that it's folk music. It just doesn't sound like folk music.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: allanwill
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:55 AM

For what it's worth (now THERE is a future folk song!), this is a quote from Tom Glazer in his book "A New Treasury Of Folk Songs" written in 1962.

"There are many definitions of a folk song; here is mine. I believe it is accurate and scientific in the sense that it attempts to describe an objective situation rather than subjective likes and dislikes. It is this: a folk song is almost any song which is liked by almost everybody in the country of its origin over a long period of time. This rules out: (1) songs which are or were popular for just a short time; (2) songs which may become folk songs but are not yet old enough and (3) songs which are liked by a minority of the population rather than a majority".

Why does this statement remind me of the Monty Python sketch "My name is Anne Elk and I have a theory".

Allan


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:42 PM

But was it Folk PoppaGator, was it Folk music or just Beatle music or maybe both?

Regards

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM

A few weeks ago, our local folk/acoustic coffeehouse featured an evening with the Basin Street Shieks, a jug band that appears there regularly, recreating the entire Beatles "White Album," or, as they advertised their effort, the "Shite Album." (They even took a shot at "Revolution #9" ~ not terribly well done, but hilarious nevertheless.)

Although some of the songs were done quite nicely (especially the quieter acoustic pieces), others (including the hardest-rocking numbers) could only be "approximated," given the limits of the jug-band instrumentation. The evening as a whole was an exercise in humor and hubris, and appreciated as such.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM

It had to happen; mention "Beatles" in a thread and here comes the greatest "Beatlemaniac" of em' all to the bar. I first encountered Beatles music when I was very young in Pubs and Clubs and the old charabangs (coach trips to the seaside) where a line of a song would be thrown out and everybody, as if by magic, knew all the words and the tune and it would lift the spirits of every person there."She Loves You" "Hey Jude" "Help!" etc.etc.etc. All traditional folk songs to a boy who didn't know or care the whys? and wherefores? that seem to preoccupy so many "Musos" these days. Still I venture to the odd Hostelry from time to time and to this day I hear these songs being sung and peoples reactions are just the same as back in the day. The only difference is I know the whys? and wherefores? now.But "it doesn't really matter if I'm wrong, I'm right, where I belong, I'm right, where I belong.Silly people standing round, who disagree, and never win, and wonder why they don't get past my door".says it all really!

I rest my case.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 05:52 PM

I believe that any strong melody can be played in any style.
You don't get much stronger melodies than those from the Beatles. How many of us started playing an instrument because we liked a tune and wanted to replicate it?
We've played many pub sessions and 'Norwegian Wood' on banjo,mandoline and 12 string always goes down well and is a great ice-breaker - as is ABBAS' 'Dancing Queen'

Again, ABBA= strong melodies - so how about "ABBA and folk music"

Simply, well-known good tunes played on acessible instruments gets folk playing.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 01:16 AM

Neigh.
eric


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Ed.
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:14 PM

Hey, that's me you're talking about!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:02 PM

I always thought Mr.Ed wasn't such a bad chanter - it just shows doesn't it ?

Ta !!!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:55 PM

Refers to the statement by XXX (Guthrie? Dylan? somebody in the US) that of course it's all "folk" music, because "nobody ever heard a horse sing" - a mildly facetious way of considering anything sung by ordinary "folk" to be folk music.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:38 PM

El Greko I'm in your debt - but what's horse music ??


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