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English Dance & Song Mag

GUEST,Rob P 12 Jun 06 - 05:42 AM
GavDav 12 Jun 06 - 12:41 PM
Fidjit 12 Jun 06 - 02:20 PM
treewind 12 Jun 06 - 03:04 PM
GavDav 12 Jun 06 - 05:02 PM
treewind 12 Jun 06 - 05:54 PM
GavDav 12 Jun 06 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 12 Jun 06 - 07:19 PM
Desert Dancer 12 Jun 06 - 10:15 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 06 - 08:00 AM
treewind 13 Jun 06 - 09:26 AM
johnadams 13 Jun 06 - 01:08 PM
Fidjit 13 Jun 06 - 01:51 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Jun 06 - 02:07 PM
treewind 13 Jun 06 - 02:07 PM
treewind 13 Jun 06 - 02:11 PM
johnadams 13 Jun 06 - 02:21 PM
GavDav 13 Jun 06 - 02:35 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Jun 06 - 02:48 PM
Fidjit 13 Jun 06 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Paul Davenport 13 Jun 06 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Cardboard cutout 13 Jun 06 - 04:50 PM
johnadams 13 Jun 06 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Brian 13 Jun 06 - 09:56 PM
treewind 14 Jun 06 - 06:29 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 06 - 07:09 AM
greg stephens 14 Jun 06 - 07:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Jun 06 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Paul Davenport 14 Jun 06 - 01:07 PM
Fidjit 14 Jun 06 - 02:15 PM
greg stephens 15 Jun 06 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Shirley Dixon 15 Jun 06 - 08:29 PM
Ruston Hornsby 16 Jun 06 - 08:33 AM
Les in Chorlton 16 Jun 06 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Gavin Atkin 16 Jun 06 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Rob P
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 05:42 AM

Has anyone seen the latest copy of EDS? What do you think of this magazine?

Rob P


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GavDav
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 12:41 PM

I thought it had made some great improvements over the last few years, and I'd even heard people saying that it was now a really positive part of the membership package. However, we played a gig on friday night where the usual information stall person had to have his arm twisted to even put the current edition out on display, as they were so embarassed by the cover and the general tone of the content. When he showed it to me it felt like I'd stepped back through a twenty year timewarp.

I think it could be a great magazine, that should be a figurehead for what is really a worthwhile organisation, but to be honest, I think it does neither EFDSS or its contributors any favours at the moment and seems adrift from where the rest of the folk scene is going (or has been for some time!)


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Fidjit
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 02:20 PM

It's now on line if you go to this You can check it all out. Yes it has improved. The library is now on line but restricted.

Chas


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 03:04 PM

Hi Gavin
I thought it had made some great improvements over the last few years

Well you would say that wouldn't you, especially while your dad was editing it!

Of course I can't comment on some of the content of the current edition for similar "personal interest" reasons, but the recent emergence of the web site with sound clips clips and extra information is definitely a step forward.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GavDav
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 05:02 PM

My bias is purely personal, and based on what I'm into reading, and there is always a small amount in EDS that I'm very interested in, I just don't find it really floats my boat on balance. That was probably true under the previous ed! As a member I personally preferred the lsitings and obits out of the main mag and in the quarterly, but that's personal too.

As it stands, very close friends are current contributors and I have no axe to grind with the current, past, or future editor. However, I do feel it is pretty low on street cred, and whilst I'd be the last person to argue for a purely commercial approach the current issue does not present an evangelical face to the world.

I'm not a fan of "rival" folk mags and think EDS has lots to offer, but it is hiding its light under a bushel, so to speak.

Gav


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 05:54 PM

I'm not a fan of "rival" folk mags and think EDS has lots to offer, but it is hiding its light under a bushel, so to speak.

What do you think it could do that would give it more street cred, while not looking like its rivals?

fRoots is obviously too "world music" though its coverage of British and specifically English music is admirable.
Living Tradition is a bit more like it, but struggling to survive.
Then there's the regional mags. The local A5-format mags serve a useful but quite different purpose; Folk on Tap is interesting as it's a big glossy mag that covers the whole of the South - more than regional but not national. And there's "Folk Leads" which is uncategorizabe but seems to be doing well.

I know there's something wrong with EDS. Too much "Old EFDSS" still - maybe it just takes itself too seriously and needs a bit more humour?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GavDav
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 06:20 PM

Would looking better make it harder to distinguish from the other mags or put it more on an equal footing? I'd certainly like to see more English stuff put on an equal footing with the global/roots coverage out there.

On the friday night mentioned in my original post, copies of EDS were there, out on the table at a ceilidh event attended by about 150 yoofs, many of whom had never been to a folk event but were at that moment up for knowing more. IVFDF was heavily featured in EDS and well covered and is a genuinely youth friendly event, and something I would have loved to be able to promote to them and say "look at this, you should go to it" but the cover image creates associations which frankly will put those very people off from taking that proposition or the magazine, or EFDSS membership remotely seriously. I think that that is a massive shame. It might be shallow and superficial to look at things in that way, but the general public does.

I think it is a difficult line - perhaps it isn't that it needs humour so much as that the audience/readership needs to appreciate that times change, and appreciate that the spirit (if ntothe form) of what they value or want to preserve is out there often muddling along, but not wearing the right clothes or using too many expletives for the old guard to embrace it. I know they cover younger artists, but there is a strange sense of EDS and EFDSS in general being somehow slightly seperate from the mainstream folk scene of music, ceilidh and song clubs. I can't put my finger on why it isn't part of the scene that we all meet in, but it feels strangely parallel.

Gav


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 07:19 PM

"Then there's the regional mags. The local A5-format mags serve a useful but quite different purpose; Folk on Tap is interesting as it's a big glossy mag that covers the whole of the South - more than regional but not national. And there's "Folk Leads" which is uncategorizabe but seems to be doing well."

Don't forget "Stirrings" in South Yorkshire which (discounting my bias as an occasional contributor) contains much journalism that is equal or superior to that in the nationals. On the EDS question, I think there have been many improvements but, like Gavin, I thought the cover of the current issue a bit of a backward step.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 10:15 PM

Hmm. I got my issue here in Arizona and when I saw the cover I thought something along the lines of, "Well, I guess it's an 'equal time' thing -- you can't be having the young, punk, and beautiful on the cover every time if you want to convince people that this stuff is fun for everybody..."

But, if sales is your mission, maybe you do have to have the beautiful people (and not the normal folks??) on the cover all the time?

I'm a little perplexed at the negative response from you folks, but I think maybe it's because EFDSS has so much bad baggage (from past perception or actuality) to overcome.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 08:00 AM

Been a member for a thousand years now. The EFDSS has said most of things and reported most things that have been collected or done. News has to be new! What will be reported? New source singers discovered in Chorlton-cum-Hardy? Welsh Morris in Patagonia? No, probably not.

BUT IF WE WERE REALLY INTERESTED IN ALIVING, DEVELOPING TRADITION???????????????


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 09:26 AM

The front cover has been criticised on news:uk.music.folk too - I just took another look and by golly yes, there's surely something better that could have been used. I hadn't really taken any notice of it when my copy came in the post!

As for Stirrings, I had that down as one the many small regional mags - obviously the quality of content varies between them, and I don't often see a copy of Stirrings.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: johnadams
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 01:08 PM

Becky from Tucson (good tune title that!) rightly pointed out that everybody deserves a turn and this time it wasn't the turn of 'the beautiful people'. But those poor people on the cover! What have they done to deserve such negativity from some of you? There they are having a good night out at the local hop and thoroughly enjoying their dance and all of a sudden they land in the middle of a discussion about whether or not they ought to be allowed (so to speak)!

As Becky intimates, folk is for everyone and sometimes the 'less fashionable' need their moment of glory. And if Gav Dav's yoof can't see past the cover image then maybe they're not that interested and ought to look for something more glamourous. (It is FOLK music and not 'trendy people music'. Lots of the young students at Newcastle University think that some of the best songs and singing come from the really old singers and so do I come to that). And personally I think the content has been OK since the present editor took over and will continue to develop if people give him the right feedback.

Another thing to consider is that there is a fundamental difference between EDS and something like fRoots or Living Tradition.   The fRoots mag does a brilliant job for an audience it's built up over many years and with a deal of hard work from its editor amongst, it has to be said, flurries of criticism. But it is a magazine only, as is Living Tradition, as are the majority of local and regional rags.

The EFDSS is not a magazine publisher in the same sense. For instance, fRoots does not run a historic library with both full and part time staff. Nor does Living Tradition run an education programme with a full time member of staff, servicing the needs of teachers in schools. Neither of them run a venue or produce a learned refereed journal with a world wide reputation for academic excellence. We also publish books and offer a small catalogue of CDs and videos.

The congregation served by the EFDSS is very very wide and encompasses singers, musicians, dancers, researchers, Morris and Sword dancers, those who study calendar customs, teachers, academics and all manner of people. The magazine which serves this vast congregation (members or not) can't possibly be all things to all people at all times.

I would like to see the magazine keep a wide brief and have something for everybody and also be something that people file away for future reference. It stands a good chance of being that magazine although it will naturally have its ups and its downs according to who is the editor and what their policy is. Which is up and which is down may vary according to your perception of course.

And to the people on this issues cover (if you are reading) may you always have as much fun as you are having in that picture, and don't give a monkey's **** for what those few folks that speak negatively of you on Mudcat and u.m.f say. Dance on!!

Johnny Adams
EDS Webmaster (I put up all those sound files for you to listen to)
EFDSS Vice Chair (Marketing, promotion and web services).


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Fidjit
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 01:51 PM

Front cover of the latest issue is GREAT!
It's what you'll see at any English Ceilidh. People having fun. It gives the feel of the high quality ceilidh band that was probably playing. The ones with bounce. And there are lots of them about these days. Eds did a review a few issues ago on the English ceilidh's scene that is influencing the youth today. Just postive all round. Lets hope the same youth get into some folk clubs and give them the boost that they need.
EDS had a great photo of "Pig Dyke Molly" on the front not so long ago too.

Eds is doing fine. It covers such a lot. Cd's Books, song searches. etc. Although I feel that four times a year is enough.

What I dont really get though (Although as a member I do)is the yearly Folk Music Journal. It's very in depth articals, and the lot has gone in to it, but I must admit that it's a bit over my head.
Might be that I'm not a professional person i.e. teacher, music scholar etc.

And as I'm bitching a bit. A few quid on some new chairs in their cellar folk club wouldn't go amiss.

Chas


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:07 PM

The Cellar hasn't been @ C# for at least 20 years. There IS Sharps in the bar on Tuesdays, if that's what you mean. The Cellar Upstairs is currently @ The Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street near Euston station where Dick Gaughan will be this Saturday. Hurrah.

And while I'm on, it was me that said the new EDS cover was naff on u.m.f. It's still naff on here. Why not a pic from a C# Friday Kneesup? Or the Towersey dance tent?


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:07 PM

When I was a yoof, folk WAS trendy.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:11 PM

CR - I assume he means Sharps.

And surely there could have been a pic from IVFDF, for example? Gog Magog Molly in glorious technicolor, perhaps.

A.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: johnadams
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:21 PM

I guess the editor can only publish what has been made available to him. I could do lots of nice things if only........

J

We could have a nice cheese sandwich if only we had some cheese


....... and if only we had some bread.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GavDav
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:35 PM

Hrm. sounds like, from Johnny's post that people think I'm somehow slagging off EDS which I'm not, or the people in the picture, which I am also not intending to do.

I am in fact frustrated like a great many people that EDS doesn't have a higher profile because on balance, it does have lots of stuff in that I like to read about (as does Stirrings, mentioned by Brian). I have read it regularly under the last three editors as well as those done by comittee. My main concern with it is that it is perhaps a bit inward looking.

There is a whole audience out there who yes, if they are lucky enough to be doing the folk music degree might get their eyes opened to the May Bradleys, Fred Jordans and Walter Pardons of this world. Did they go to uni becuase of that or find it out there? How many unenlightened 18 year olds do you think are likely to make that leap on their own? What could be actively done to help that? Could a magazine like EDS help? (I genuinely think it could and perhaps should.)

There are a whole group of people who did not do music at school, might not be able to pass an audition or might be more academically than performance focussed who are not able to readily access the stuff that Johnny rightly point out as an asset of the folk music degrees springing up. I'm merely saying that at a non EFDSS event with the magazine displayed then it is effectively the figurehead for the society, first impressions count in that sense. (And does the society send the mag out liek this to promote itself? - I thought it did.)

For me this is the missing link. Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree, and I can only dream that one day there will be an Anglo centric magazine focussing on our rich and varied traditions, featuring the best of the new alongside the amazing influences of the old. Maybe that magazine coudl actually say "pick me up" to a wide range of people not already members of a society.

On the other hand, if this is what you're saying, then I'm happy to think that the magazine could also capture a new audience of people from other age groups including the kind of people having a whale of a time in the current cover pic, I guess working with children all day everyday is making me focus on a younger audience.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 02:48 PM

Hey, Gav, I think Johnny's cross with me not you and I'll never get a cheese sandwich if I go round for tea. I'm not slagging off EDS either (well, apart from the cover pic). I used to do reviews at one time when Tony Wales was Ed so I do hold it in some affection but agree entirely that it was and is too 'inward looking'. If Derek needs help with sourcing pics or even feature suggestions there are plenty of obvious people he could approach who wouldn't make him feel they were telling him how to do his job. Better to have an overabundance of material than to be scraping around for what's there at the last minute.

Diane


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Fidjit
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 03:06 PM

Yes I supose it's Sharps On Tuesdays that I Mean. But really have you seen those chairs? 20 years! more like 40. They are pre ww2'ish.

Chas


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Paul Davenport
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 04:16 PM

Interesting Thread this. I think the 'your dad was editing it' was a bit unfair. Our kid couldn't have an opinion when I was editing it and now apparently can't have one either. So here's my shot.

When I was editing the magzine I tried to revitalise it by giving as much exposure to young performers as I could. There was a hell of a lot of hate mail came through my post box in the early days as a result of that. I personally think that Derek has turned the clock back since then. The editor is dependent on what is sent in but frankly Derek's preposterous guidelines for format are somewhat off putting. Liz and I spent long nights typing in good, but hand written material in anything but an approved format. That's called giving people a say. I didn't always like what they said but I did have a right of reply. Thanks for the comment on the Pig Dyke photo by the way, I went to so many festivals that year taking photos like that one that I was able to solicit a lot of material by personal contact. This too was my editorial style. Dave had not been a really visible editor around the country and when I took over I felt visibility was what was needed. I was and remain, a fierce supporter of the Society as a matter of ppersonal principle.

On another angle I think Jonny is not being totally realistic. Don't kid yourselves, this is 'trendy people ' music. The artists you see at festivals are not all there on merit, many are present because of the 'deals' that record companies are making and it's a pretty poor agent who doesn't push their weaker acts on the back of their 'top liners'.
I'm afraid quality doesn't sell in folk any more than it does in the highstreet. What does sell is sharp design, good photography and snappy articles. What puts people off is wordy worthy articles with bibliographies as long as the article. Also, bear in mind that the reading age average in this country is around 12 years. By making a publication academically biased you are removing it from the realm of the very 'folk' to whom the tradition belongs. A guy I'd never met came up to me at a festival a couple of years ago and said, " I'm not an educated man, I never read EDS before because I couldn't understand most of it, thank you for making it something that I can enjoy without feeling studpid. I've joined the society because of that." I wonder if he's still a member? There again, is the society bothered?

cheers,
Paul

http://hallamtrads.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Cardboard cutout
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 04:50 PM

"surely there could have been a pic from IVFDF..." says Treewind, a few messages up this thread.
The lamentable issue is that the cover pic. WAS from IVFDF - and it demonstrates what was wrong with IVFDF feature also - i.e. a preponderence of people who by their own admission, haven't been students for 20 years or more, still having perhaps a little too much influence over what happens at the festival today.
As for the rest of the magazine, I can usually tolerate it, but I did think that article was ill-conceived.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: johnadams
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 05:07 PM

Diane, I'm not cross with anybody - just enjoying a bit of cut and thrust.

Paul, I recognise your point of view but in a sense it's as narrow as the one you attribute to others. It's almost as if you're arguing that because promoters succeed in promoting weaker artists that the rest of us should subscribe. No thanks.

Half an hour ago I finished chairing the AGM of Ryburn 3 Step. Pete and Sue Coe's house in Ripponden is now filled with non trendy villagers who sing, sword dance, mum, clog, step and lots of other wonderful folk arts, celebrating the successes of the year. They won't ever appear on a folk festival main stage but they ARE a big part of the equation and some of them are as good as those who appear on the main stages. EFDSS exists for them too, all ages, classes and abilities. You know that.

EDS is not written for just one sort of folk enthusiast. As I said in an earlier post we have a huge and diverse congregation and they all need feeding. Hence journal editors need to make compromises. Your approach of "giving as much exposure to young performers as I could" only serves a sliver of the congregation, important of course, but not the only consideration.

As to 'reading ages', if we appeal only to the lowest common denominator we will lose the expertise that enriches our folk arts, just as surely as if we appeal only to the academics we will lose the ordinary reader. Again, an editor has to bear this in mind. While I don't think that EDS is yet where it ought to be, it's moving towards a more inclusive style which recognises the diversity I mentioned.   

I'll not be posting on this again – too much marking. Have fun!

Johnny Adams


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 13 Jun 06 - 09:56 PM

What do I think of the current issue? To be perfectly honest, a bit lukewarm. There has been better, but also worse. The iv-diff article is too long with too little to say. I can't see any reason to complain about the front cover photo, at least it is relevant to one of the core areas of the society and its magazine title - folk dance.

I agree with Jonny, there is more to the society than just one sector of the membership and the magazine should reflect that. Unfortuntely, I found Pauls 'revitalised' magazine to be a bit 'candyfloss' - pretty but lacking substance. That is hardly surprising reading his take on the matter:

"I'm afraid quality doesn't sell in folk any more than it does in the highstreet. What does sell is sharp design, good photography and snappy articles."

It is equally unsurprising when the focus is moved from the 'master' to the 'apprentice'.

Personally, I expect the Society to produce a quality product. I felt that under Daves long editorship, the magazine served the Society well, was informative and interesting, and the emphasis was on quality and content rather than being trendy with pretty packaging. The Society did itself no favours in removing Dave from the editors seat, dumbing down its mag.

IMO the mag is far from regaining that level, but as Jonny has already said, "Which is up and which is down may vary according to your perception of course."

cheers

Brian (EFDSS member for 30+ years)


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: treewind
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 06:29 AM

"Our kid couldn't have an opinion when I was editing it and now apparently can't have one either"
Of course he can. It wasn't meant to be a total dimissal, but it doesn't do any harm to declare an interest, especially on a topic that merits some serious discussion.

"dumbing down"
It's perfectly possible to give something an attractive market image without detracting from its quality.

I suppose the EFDSS does need to decide whether EDS is primarily a member's publication, or a flagship product that advertises and promotes the EFDSS to others. The latter purpose would indeed "serve the society well" (but in a different way) if it brought in new members, but at least in the context of Gavin's story about the "yoof" ceilidh it failed.

I have a lot of sympathy with all the views expressed here. It's an impossible task and you can't please everyone. I certainly wouldn't want the EDS editor's job, and I know that those who are trying to make the EFDSS into the organisation it should be have always struggled against almost impossible odds, both financially and politically. I do see progress recently and appreciate it.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 07:09 AM

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I will re-phrase a point I made above.

I have been a member for a long time because I am in favour of what the EFDSS does. No question.

The magazine doesn't have much in it that hasn't been said lots of times before. That is alsmost inevitable in writing about a limited number of traditional features of English Dance and Song.

Would articles about the legion of revival dance, mumming and song groups be appropraite? I guess not, if the EFDSS is about "traditional" culture that was collected or survived.

Personally I think E2K, Albions, 422 and Duncan McFarlane are as valid Joseph Taylor but I don't expect everyone to agree.

But, the tradition is a living tradition and it evolved from unaccompanied country singers to 6 people with amplification and a choice of 20 instruments. Sometimes it is worse, sometimes it is better.

The question is: How long can the editor of the Magazine find enough worth writing about and How will the EFDSS respond to the Living Tradition?

Les in Chorlton at work


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 07:42 AM

Interesting thread, and great to see so many interested parties adding their opinions. Ihavent seen the new issue so I wont comment on that specifically. But the general problem seems to be the same as most magazines have: "who is the magazine for?"
    The Paul Davenport view seems to be that you should attract more readers by making it less academic. That seems to me to be a superficially attractive and democratic view, but it ultimately takes you down a total cul-de-sac. It's the same as saying as that all TV programmes should be like Big Brother or the World Cup, because those attract the biggest audiences? Well, so what, folk music is a specialist interest. Dumbing down to reach a wider audience will do you no good whatsoever, if you lose your core audience in the process, and that might happen.
   EDS has a big problem, with basically a potential readership from three rather different groups, who are not really compatible; though it is perfectly possible for one person to fit into more than one of the groups. All these groups are well represented in this discussion.
There is the "folk scene" group. They want to read about up-and-coming performers using folk-related or derived material, who play at Cambridge or Towersey or whatever. They use folk material, but do not come from the class who created it.
Then there are the EFDSS types themselves( it is their mag after all). They come from a different world from the folk scene types(though the worlds overlap). The EFDSS membership still has some of the style left over from the pre-l1950's revival. Again, a group of people interested in folk material, but not from the class that created it. This revival contained people like Sharp, Vaughan Williams, Britten etc, and a lot of worthies following the ethos that "folk dance is good for you". This readership will still want to read the obituaries of the Nibs Matthews of the world, society stalwarts but not necessarily of interest to the folk-scene types. Then, of course, there are those who are interested in English Dance and Song(as in "Traditional dance and song"), which is after all the name of the magazine. This readership will be interested in thoughtful articles about morris dancing in Swwindon in the 1800's, or reviews of CDs of source singers, but they won't necessarily be thrilled to read about the life of the lady who was treasurer of the Much Binding in the Marsh EFDSS local chaper. Neither will they wish to read screeds about students who have simultaneously discovered the delights of sampling and "Searching for Lambs".

So, which one of these groups are you are going to please? Or, the big question, is there going to be a format that will please all three? Not to mention Paul Davenports mythical huge readership, the great unwashed who can't read very well and dont understand the "meaning of folk", but might possibly read an EDS magazine if it had lots of colour pictures and bits about the sex lives of famous folkies.
    Now, this winning formula could amke money. But alas, I've read all the posts and nobody seems to have found it yet. My own view would be, you can't please everybody. So pick your constituency and make a very good magazine for that group. If others want to come aboard, great. As to cover pictures: I think, back in the 60's. I'd always have gone for Anne Briggs rather than Bert Lloyd. Nothing to do with music, just the sort of pictures I like looking at.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 11:33 AM

I am sure you are correct Greg but I still think a genuine problem exists about how much can be said about traditional culture as it has benn collected.

Meanwhile lots of people are moving the tradition on in really interesting ways. Is that not E D & S?


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Paul Davenport
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 01:07 PM

Hmm... let's see if I've got this right? An average is now a lowest common denominator. Recognising that the 'folk' are not all academics is 'dumbing down' and, this is the biggie, 'mythical huge readership'? Who said that?
All of this kind of supports my point. I think to call the average person in the UK 'the great unwashed who can't read very well' is a bit strong. The fact is that average means just that and actually a reading age of 12 is pretty good on a scale that only goes up to 15 years!
My brief when I was offered the job was to create a document which would appeal to the widest cross section of the community. I'm sorry it didn't make that transition. Perhaps the readership have more to do with that than they realise?

cheers,
Paul


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Fidjit
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 02:15 PM

We that read this (these) magazines are already involved in some way or other with the living tradtion. We already know about the field that you are writing about. We can be critical. We know it all. Yachtsmen read sailing magazines. Golfers, golfing ones etc. You get my point. It still, mostly, makes good reading. We want to read about what we are interested in. EDS covers most of it. Some articals are good, some not so. Matter of taste. Like some cd's. There's good and bad. Really, what it boils down to is, that it's there. I remember other folk magazines. Fred, ran one for years throughout the seventies. Just as good. We absorbed all it had to offer. As we do EDS. All editors have a horrendous job pleasing everyone. You know that one. "You can please all of the people some of the time" etc. Dave Arthur also did a good job for years and years. Keep it coming. Where you put it is after all up to the EFDSS. It's now on line so that's a plus.

Chas


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 10:38 AM

I think Les from Chorlton deliberately confuses the issue when he says that folk music in England evolved fom an unaccompanied singer to groups of six people with amplified instruments. Now, in the 20's and 30's lots of people (Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Grainger etc) got very interested in folk material and arranged it for symphony orchestra. So, Les from Chorlton, would you have written that "folk music has evolved from an unaccompanied singer into thirty or forty people in dinnerjackets playing fiddles, violas,cellos, clarinets, bassoons etc".
    Well, you might have written that, but I would have disagreed with you then, and I disagree with you now. I think arguments go off in disastrously confusing directions if you confuse "folk music" or "the folk tradition"(or whatever you choose to call it it) with "music of folk origin played by people who are very interested in it". It is possible for music to fall into botrh those categories. But it is also possible for music to fall into one or the other. Categorising music may be a waste of time, but it can have its uses.
   So no, I dont think unaccompanied ploughmen in 1880 evolved into a symphony orchestra in 1920, neither did the symphony orchestra in 1920 evolve into Carthy and Swarbrick in the 60's, or into Bellowhead in the current decade(and what do we call this decade? But that's another thread).


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Shirley Dixon
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 08:29 PM

I volunteered to help with EDS when Paul D. stood down, and have done proof-reading duty on all the issues which Derek has edited (with Felicity Greenland and solo), and I always finish my reading feeling that folk is very much alive and well. I'm a ceilidh and Morris dancer and a singer, so I feel I'm very much in 'a' folk scene even if it isn't 'the' folk scene. I suppose the fact that I also love history helps my enjoyment of the 'Singer, song and source' features - and indeed of the obituaries! I was much less interested when the magazine seemed to be pandering to some kind of 'star' system - I don't feel I'm getting my money's worth when an 'article' is mostly several pictures of the Witches of Elswick from slightly different angles.
It seems to me that Derek is very much on the right track. He covers what's on (and of course, there's so much on, it's a good idea to highlight a certain type of event in each issue), he picks up media mentions of folk issues and events, and he chooses subjects likely to interest people who are interested in the tradition.
Fidjit's point that it's a magazine for those interested in folk is a good one. A ceilidh's not a great place to be marketing reading matter, but if you're having a break and dare to risk your street credibility by looking at a magazine with the word 'folk' on its cover (in very small writing) you might just find that there's a whole different world out there, featuring all sorts of people, weird instruments, tunes with a long history... I think that can be attractive, to someone with an enquiring mind.
On the comment from Les in Chorlton that 'EFDSS is about "traditional" culture that was collected or survived', isn't that an outmoded idea of the Society? It's supporting activities based on traditional culture, but has moved on from any purist stance that it had - as surely the magazine reflects (there was an article about Morris Offspring, after all!).
Anyway, I look forward very much to the magazine, even if it does mean fitting hours of proof-reading into a busy schedule

Sorry to take up hours of your time, if you got to the end of all this!

Shirley


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Ruston Hornsby
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 08:33 AM

I saw the magazine last Wednesday, and yes, the cover did strike me as giving a rather staid and dated image, but on the other hand I'm more concerned about the possibility about it going down a route of "young and attractive" only. Would it/could it ever actually do that? Folk music and superficial people don't tend to go together in my view. To be honest, the thing that struck me most about the magazine was the refreshing lack of photos of children being dragged through "folk" activities which seem to have dominated in the editions in recent years. As one who has never believed that the involvement of children is somehow safeguarding the future, I always felt that the magazines apparent love of this aspect was as pointless as....only putting young and attractive folkies on the cover.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 01:30 PM

"music of folk origin played by people who are very interested in it".

I think that is a really useful definition.

I appologies if a seem to deliberately confuse, I didn't do it deliberately. I read my first EDS around 1969 and I stll do. This thread is about the magazine in general. I just don't much in it that I haven't read lots of times before and I think that is related to the purpose of the magazine and of the EFDSS.

"On the comment from Les in Chorlton that 'EFDSS is about "traditional" culture that was collected or survived', isn't that an outmoded idea of the Society?" Looks that way to me. We are at a time when I can much exciting was that matches Greg's definition that I quote above. Most of it hasn't appeared in the magazine. If that is not the place for it we come back to my initial point that we have a magazine with nothing much to say.

As for Greg's point about evolution of music perhaps we are pushing the metaphor to far. My point is the livimg tradition. What did people play before the melodeon was invented? What did they use before steel strings, for these are the products not of folk culture but of the Industrial Revolution. Check the language of the collected songs is relatively modern.

Music moves on the tongues and the fingers of people. Will the EFDSS and its empty magazine join in? No probably not.


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Subject: RE: English Dance & Song Mag
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 07:20 PM

Well said Shirley, and Johnny A too. I think any members' magazine for a church that's as broad as EFDSS must be a challenge for anyone.

I don't always agree with what Derek does and I tell him, because like Shirley I've been somewhat involved. However, I think his heart is absolutely in the right place. He's taking care to include something for each of the constituencies the Society addresses including the older revivalists, the Morris, the song enthusiasts, the ceilidh scene and the rest. He's offering people ways-in to a range of tradition-related activities. And he's making the thing very human by introducing not just about the traditions but the young, middle-aged and older people involved in continuing and reviving them.

As Johnny says, offer him ideas, printable articles, photos and the rest and who knows what kind of EDS we might see in future.

Gav


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