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The Living Tradition

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GUEST,Another Observer 13 Mar 07 - 06:43 AM
Folkiedave 13 Mar 07 - 06:46 AM
Paco Rabanne 13 Mar 07 - 06:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Mar 07 - 06:54 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM
greg stephens 13 Mar 07 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Fed up 13 Mar 07 - 07:19 AM
John MacKenzie 13 Mar 07 - 07:26 AM
Hawker 13 Mar 07 - 07:38 AM
Splott Man 13 Mar 07 - 07:39 AM
Bee 13 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM
Scrump 13 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM
Folkiedave 13 Mar 07 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Another Observer 13 Mar 07 - 07:58 AM
Scrump 13 Mar 07 - 08:13 AM
Bee 13 Mar 07 - 08:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 Mar 07 - 08:42 AM
Scoville 13 Mar 07 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Mar 07 - 12:55 PM
Folkiedave 13 Mar 07 - 01:05 PM
Scoville 13 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 07 - 01:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Mar 07 - 01:51 PM
Jim Lad 13 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Henry 13 Mar 07 - 02:14 PM
Jim Lad 13 Mar 07 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Mar 07 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Another Observer 13 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM
Jim Lad 13 Mar 07 - 07:39 PM
Jim Lad 13 Mar 07 - 08:14 PM
Rowan 14 Mar 07 - 01:05 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Mar 07 - 09:07 AM
The Sandman 14 Mar 07 - 12:47 PM
Folkiedave 14 Mar 07 - 02:11 PM
Herga Kitty 14 Mar 07 - 04:09 PM
Rowan 14 Mar 07 - 04:19 PM
PoppaGator 14 Mar 07 - 04:32 PM
Herga Kitty 14 Mar 07 - 04:33 PM
Goose Gander 14 Mar 07 - 05:30 PM
Folkiedave 14 Mar 07 - 07:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 15 Mar 07 - 03:32 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Mar 07 - 06:32 PM
Folkiedave 15 Mar 07 - 07:22 PM
Rowan 15 Mar 07 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,meself 15 Mar 07 - 08:48 PM
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Subject: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: GUEST,Another Observer
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:43 AM

As a new comer to the Mudcat web site I'm surprised by the vicious comments made by of some of its contributors. I have no problem with opinions being expressed but some remarks simply trash artists, other contributors and folk events with real venom verging on hatred. There seems to be a Mudcat hardcore who have obviously been folk aficionados for many years and this experience seems to entitle them to a level of self opinionated arrogance I haven't witnessed in other forums.

It seems to me that the so called folk revival began only a relatively short time ago; say fifty years. I realise that the music of the folk tradition goes back many hundreds of years but until the mid twentieth century it remained in local communities. That music will have been changed considerably over the years and the words to the songs will have changed too. Judging by the comments on Mudcat, you would think some contributors are protecting some precious Holy Grail of folk which has been under the personal supervision of their ilk since time began. Yes protect the tradition, and as far as I can see that has been done. Now that we have so many recording techniques the tradition is safe. Surely you can allow the current and future generations to put their interpretation on this genre. If you stifle change in this art form, or any other, it will die.

The enthusiasm of new artists and the excitement brought about by new performance will, in fact, allow you to protect the tradition. Artists will always go back to the beginning to seek inspiration.

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:46 AM

As a folk aficionado of more years standing than I care to remember, I agree wholeheartedly with that.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:52 AM

Seconded!


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:54 AM

Its a two way process.

The Living tradition has discounted, sent into exile and trashed many careers of artists who had much more to offer the English folk club movement than party lackeys that the Komissars of the Living tradition allowed us to listen to.

There is now an internet and we can tell our oppressors what we think of them.

Live with it.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM

You seem to be taking comments etc. posted here far too seriously, most of the venom and invective is just for fun.

eric


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:06 AM

Yet another GUEST in a bad mood. It's the spring I think


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: GUEST,Fed up
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:19 AM

I totally agree with the original poster of this thread.

On any thread (including this one)I have read on this forum, it starts with a reasonable(?) question or comment, but within around 4/5 posts someone will jump in and start insults, sarcasm whatever and the thread will lose its impetus.
Why, if people don't like the thread , do they not just ignore it instead of hi-jacking it. Seems like vandalism to me.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:26 AM

Some people can't take any sort of criticism, constructive or otherwise.
What a lot of thin skinned; lacking in sense of humour, or self critical faculties, posters need to do, is learn to take life as it is, and not as they would like it to be.
In modern parlance they need to-

GET REAL!
and/or
GROW UP!

Giok

Why are these smug critical posts nearly always started by guests, and why is it allowed after all the problems we've had with guest posters?


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Hawker
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:38 AM

I too agree with The poster of this thread, It is great that we all have our own opinions, its what makes this diverse world so interesting, but we do not need to try and convert everybody else to our particular point of view, That would make things much too boring! Folk Music, in my opinion, is for sharing. There are artists I do not enjoy listening to, but I can see why some people do and I can also see why some make more money than others. For me though the thing that makes traditional music, song and dance so great is the people involved - diverse and interesting, talented and friendly, with their own little opinions and at times big opinions! If only we could all embrace each others ideas instead of beating each other over the head with them!
Such is life, and this community is no different, there are a lot of people who are really passionate about folk and tradition, they are sensitive to its criticism and defend it with their whole heart, I dont think they are necessarily nasty people, though often they offend without perhaps meaning to. I admire their passion, but plead with them to understand that good dicsussion is healthy, reducing it to mudslinging is just unproductive.
May you all enjoy what you enjoy and I hope to meet more of you, in time, and share good music, fine song and happy times.
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:39 AM

It may be that they are not guests at all, but regulars, who log off then come in as guests so that they can say what they really think without fear of viscious reprisal.

I have to say I've been tempted myself on occasion, I've been flamed for no apparent reason, but like Guest:FedUp I don't rise to the bait and just ignore it.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Bee
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM

Not vandalism, usually, I think, but just run-o'-the-mill crankiness, and not enough appreciation of the impact of the written word over a spoken comment in conversation.

"The Living tradition has discounted, sent into exile and trashed many careers of artists who had much more to offer the English folk club movement than party lackeys that the Komissars of the Living tradition allowed us to listen to.
" - weelittledrummer

See, there's a statement that rather boggles the Canadian mind. How are careers trashed? Does the 'Living Tradition' control all venues? Do people say "Oh, I thought I liked that performer, but I guess I'm not allowed to, or I shouldn't?" To my knowledge, here, if you're good, and people like what you do, and you have some ambition, you can play and sing whatever suits you.

I obviously lack understanding of the English established folk community. From reading here, at times it seems wide open to anyone who can keep a tune, whether they're singing Matty Groves or something they wrote themselves, at other times it seems even Matty Groves may be suspect on some obscure level. But that confusion of mine alone suggests the field really is wide open to anyone who finds an audience.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Scrump
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM

Why, if people don't like the thread , do they not just ignore it instead of hi-jacking it.

Well said.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:49 AM

The Living tradition has discounted, sent into exile and trashed many careers of artists who had much more to offer the English folk club movement than party lackeys that the Komissars of the Living tradition allowed us to listen to

I am tempted to ask or some examples of this. Artists who have had anything to offer the living tradition whose careers were discounted or trashed.

I haven't seen many people doing that on here. The usual message is something like " Not my kind of music, but good luck to them if that is what they want to do...."

And to avoid misinterpretation that was simply a request for information, nothing more.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: GUEST,Another Observer
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:58 AM

I can honestly say I am not in a bad mood. I have been reading various threads and my conclusions have been posted when I started this thread. If the invective and venom is meant to be "in fun" I wouldn't like to be under the hammer when you get serious. Unfortunately like all forms of prejudice it is so easy to say "Oh come on it's only a laugh". I don't have a PC bone in my body but I do understand that if you say things often enough they have an effect. That effect is magnified every time someone adds another comment in reinforcement of the first. In the end those comments are accepted as normal. That normality becomes the accepted truth. My impression is that some contributors to Mudcat are an arrogant, self opinionated bunch of whingers.

Oh bugger that's me.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Scrump
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:13 AM

My impression is that some contributors to Mudcat are an arrogant, self opinionated bunch of whingers.

Well said.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Bee
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:13 AM

At least you're honest, Another Observer. But I think you're picking the bad berries out of the box - most of the discussions I read here are nowhere near so cantankerous as you seem to observe.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:42 AM

Your "arrogant, self opinionated bunch of whingers"

are our confident, thoughtful collection of critics, or not as the case maybe.

People do get stuck in a bit sometimes and some of us go on and on and on and on about small points. This may be a feature of the technology. It is ever so easy to send a message and it's a bit like our behahiour in cars - we treat other motorist in a way we would not treat pedestrians.

I think their is also a tention within the general world of English Folk. The song side is generally a bit, and sometimes more than a bit, left wing. The dance side is a bit and I mean a bit right wing.


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Subject: RE: THE LIVING TRADITION
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:43 AM

Personally, I think that if those that are "thin skinned" and take things too seriously can "lighten up", those that are the most strident nit-pickers and complainers can just as easily either back off or hold their tongues (uh, keyboards). We're not all insiders to the core bunch and those that are could take that into consideration. Whether it is meant in good fun or not, it often doesn't sound that way and it gets really tiresome.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 12:55 PM

"Personally, I think that if those that are "thin skinned" and take things too seriously can "lighten up"..."

Agreed!!

"...those that are the most strident nit-pickers and complainers can just as easily either back off or hold their tongues (uh, keyboards)".

Why??

If you're not 'strident' your opinions are ignored and those who believe that 'all music is folk music' will get their way and our preferred musical form will become just another bland, dumb form of pop/rock. The best form of defence is attack!!


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 01:05 PM

I's say this is a serious claim to make

The Living tradition has discounted, sent into exile and trashed many careers of artists who had much more to offer the English folk club movement than party lackeys that the Komissars of the Living tradition allowed us to listen to

Now all I have asked for is concrete examples of this. I am happy to start there. I'd probably be grateful to know how it was done as well.

After all people doing that is disgraceful and we need to keep an eye out for it.

But not a criticism of what weelittledrummer wrote just a request for information.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM

Shimrod--Why not? One might find that a lot of good points are made that would otherwise be drowned out by people running their mouths/fingers.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 01:40 PM

It would help if people didn't resort to 'Kommisars' 'Folk Police' 'Finger in ear' 'purist' and all the other meaningless terms that spring to the fore whenever an alternative view is put forward.
As far as I am concerned, healthy, robust debate can only help our understanding of the music we spend so much time listening to, thinking about and performing. Without that debate, we are no more use than nodding-dogs in the back window of a car.
Vive-la-difference!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 01:51 PM

This seems like a two-way street, and an argument I don't want to get unduly sucked into. In any group of people, you'll find some who define themselves more by what they reject than what they accept.
I think of the folk impressario who said with real venom in his voice, "I hate traditional music," and the people in the folk community who crinkle their noses when I walk through the door of a folk festival because I am carrying an electric guitar. They are two sides of the same coin. Close-minded is close-minded. (I've enjoyed talking about the tradition of electric guitar in black gospel, and kidded the nose crinklers that they wouldn't want me to dissrespect the tradition by playing a Martin in a black gospel quartet.

Fortunately, the folks what are most vociferous in the two extremes are mostly clanging cymbals that very few people pay any attention to. I'd encourage our Guest, whose original post was thoughtful and reasonable, to ignore the few. I do.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Jim Lad
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM

Well, we're not writers. Much of what we may consider to be, constructive criticism, gets misinterpreted, taken out of context and blown out of proportion. Hence the various symbols (which I do not understand) to explain the writers mood.
You will find many examples of the various posters going back to explain "That's not what I meant" and probably many more cases where the individual has left the room (sometimes for days) not even knowing that he/she has offended someone.
Having said that; Yesterday's examples of people insulting each other's spouses was way out of bounds and nothing to do with "Folk" and the other stuff they call music.
GRIN!
Jim


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST,Henry
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 02:14 PM

What Another Observer was objecting to wasn't disagreement or healthy debate, but the ferocity and rudeness employed by many posters. They adopt a tone of hostility quite out of keeping with the subject matter - what's more, it's done purely because they don't have to look anyone in the eye whilst insulting them.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Jim Lad
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 03:46 PM

No doubt, Henry, but if that's what they're into, there's nothing to be done with them.
I'm sure there's a long list of forums and they skip from one to the other, spreading their .... stuff.
Mudcat is a healthy bi-product of the Internet but like anything else on the www, is easy prey for those who have other than good intentions.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 05:28 PM

"Shimrod--Why not? One might find that a lot of good points are made that would otherwise be drowned out by people running their mouths/fingers."

There was a thread a while back about a youngish, relatively new 'superstar' on the UK folk scene. Most of the thread seemed to consist of people saying what a lovely, talented guy he is (which, I've no doubt, he is). Now, I had listened to this person's most recent CD and I was seriously disturbed by it - because, apart from the fact that most of the tracks on it purported to be traditional, it seemed to me to have very, very little to do with folk music. In short it was 'pretty', bland and over-produced - more like a 'middle-of-the-road-easy-listening' pop record than a folk record. I was also taken aback by the most of the thread contributors who had developed, between them, a sort of cosy, uncritical consensus (a bit like the sort of consensus that might develop among a set of middle-aged Barry Manilow fans). I knew that if I expressed my objections in a polite way I would either be slapped down or ignored. I, therefore, chose to express myself a bit more robustly to the point of being a bit rude and objectionable. Sure enough there was a wholly predictable howl of outrage - but then a real debate began. Unfortunately, at that point, the thread disappeared off the board (I wonder why?).


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST,Another Observer
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM

I don't know "Giok" and I'm sure he is a decent chap but his remarks simply demonstrate my original point. This is just a bit mindless.

Can't take criticism? Well you can criticise me, I'm as daft as a brush, but some really remarkable artists are taking a total shafting on this web site.

Get Real? That would be his reality I imagine.

Grow Up? To be like him I imagine.

Smug? Who can't take criticism now?

I shouldn't be allowed as a GUEST? Is this a LOCAL web site for LOCAL people, a closed shop fit only for the regulars? Keep the riff raff out.

This isn't an attack on "Giok" but I feel his mind set makes my point.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Jim Lad
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:39 PM

I think many of us suspected what your point would be, when you started this thread.
So, you've taken a swing at Giok. Who's next?
Or did you really mean to say that maybe we should try and be more inclusive, friendly?
Chill out.
We're all on the same side. No?


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Jim Lad
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:14 PM

Wait a minute:
             I've been so saddened by what's going on in another thread right now, that I've got it completely confused with this one, in my own mind.

Sincere apology to "GUEST,Another Observer"

You didn't deserve that.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Rowan
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 01:05 AM

There have been threads where, occasionally, I confess to having felt the same reactions as "GUEST,Another Observer". Mostly I just let them get on with it unless someone makes a point to which I think I could contribute some personal experience. Or, as in this case, someone raises a notion that is novel to me. My post on this occasion is an example of the latter

Les in Chorlton wrote
"I think their is also a tention within the general world of English Folk. The song side is generally a bit, and sometimes more than a bit, left wing. The dance side is a bit and I mean a bit right wing."

Les, I'm reasonably familiar with examples of singers (old and new) who could be regarded as left wing, from C# right through to Chris Kempster, but I'm interested in your proposition that dancers lean to the right. To the extent that the evidence supports you, it raises a couple of questions.

1 Do you think that, while singing actively encourages variation in interpretation, dancing tends to work best if everybody conforms to the "rules" especially when doing set dances and using a caller? That seems to be my experience and I can imagine the dance context might encourage those for whom conformity to rules and the rules themselves were important.

1 Do you mean "English Folk" in the sense of "the people in England who are part of the folk scene" or do you think it applies to people from anywhere who are "into English Folk music and dance"? I don't see much support for your proposition in the Australian folk singing and dancing scene, but I might be blinkered.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 09:07 AM

I don't think I have got to the bottom of the left - right thing. The song side have a whole history of left wing sympathy which seems natural to me in that we are involved in continuing and renewing the music kept alive by working people. I know it isn't remotely as simple as that but will it do for a start? The second revival happened in the bussom of left wing activety and thought in the 50s & 60s.

Why I should see dance as a bit right wing I am not really sure. I may not be correct, and I do only nean a bit right wing, Maybe the dance side are just an average cross section of English people. I use the term English because I think things are different in Scotalnd, Wales and Ireland.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 12:47 PM

Iagree with Jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 02:11 PM

My goodness.............. :-)

Dave


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:09 PM

I was sort of trashed as a folksinger by Alan Rose's review, in the Living Tradition, of the CD I recorded at Wildgoose with MCP – Alan said his problem was that I seemed to be a singer who sang folk songs rather than a folk-singer, unlike Tim Laycock, who had also recorded a mixture of trad and contemporary songs at Wildgoose. That was OK by me, really because my interest in folk music is to enjoy singing it, especially with friends, and to carry on the tradition of singing with friends. I've had no aspirations to earn a living from it, because I can earn a better living doing other things and singing is what I do outside work.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Rowan
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:19 PM

Dave, I too appreciate the unexpected.

Cap'n, Jim hasn't posted on this thread (yet) and most of the discussion that I've noticed in other threads has concentrated on the singing, when looking at social/political context. The only time dance seems to take centre stage in the discussions I've seen occurs when EFDSS and its counterparts get described. You have featured prominently in several of them so you're the best person to ask.

Apart from the governing bodies of EFDSS etc, would I be correct in thinking that, in Britain generally or England specifically, there might be some support for Les' proposition that the dance scene has a different political temper to the singing scene?

As a musician who has had extensive experience in both the singing and the dancing contexts in Australia, I am intrigued by this.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: PoppaGator
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:32 PM

I, too, agree with the orignial post's main thrust.

Then again, reading through the posts, looks like most of the respondents agree, too, perhaps a bit too easily.

On the other hand, in defense of those who habitually and even nastily tend to give voice to disagreement, I sometimes feel that if you're not going to engage in debate, why even bother to post?

One issue raised in the first post but not mentioned since is the role of recording technology in the emergence of this "traditionalist" vs "modernist" controversy:

If we didn't have old recordings to listen to, we would have no way of knowing how anyone sounded in the past. Styles and interpretations could change continuously and perhaps even pretty drastically within a given community, and no one would be the wiser!

Except in cases where a person knew, for example, that his uncle wrote two whole new verses to an old ballad, or that some guy two valleys over started using a new and different tune for some old favorite, all singers and listeners would remain blissfully ignorant of any evolutionary changes in musical interpretation and style.

I find it amusing to the extreme that the strictest hard-line guardians of "The Tradition" are exercising their entire campaign only because modern technology has provided a perspective that was simply impossible before the early 20th century.

Changing the subject, I really enjoyed the insight about the political leanings of singers vs dancers. This is something that had never occurred to me, and it makes a lot of sense. Of course, I'm sure there must be more than enough exceptions to prove the rule, but it makes a lot of sense that a group that deals in words and in individual expression (folksingers) would tend to include more iconoclastic members, while another group (folk dancers) more interested in an activity that emphasizes group conformity would tend to include members whose individual attitudes towards authority would rance from respectful to slavish.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:33 PM

Les – what have you done…..?

When you distinguished between song (slightly left-biased) and dance (slightly right-biased), did you mean social dance or Cotswold, North-West, Border, Molly ….)?

Dancing in teams sounds leftish to me!

Kitt


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Goose Gander
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 05:30 PM

Poppagator -

I really don't have a dog in this fight, but going off Kitt's joke I suppose you could just as easily argue that dancing in groups is inherently collectivist - more related philosophically to socialism and anarcho-syndicalism.

But all of this just seems silly and off-topic, so I'll go walk the dog instead.

(as an individual).


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 07:05 PM

Wel, I am sorry to disappoint you, I normally only speak for myself and if I am speaking on behalf of other people I make it clear I am doing so. But for what it is worth....

I suspect if pressed that the original people who started enjoying folk songs around the time of (let's call it for now) the revival tended to be of the left.

Why? Well some came to it like I did through protest songs and political activism. There are those who still do. Some came to it through American music like the Weavers and later Dylan and that tended to be anti-war and therefore left.

The dance side was simply people who enjoyed dancing and tended to be a more disparate group. Some of the former joined some of the latter as I did, in my experience few of the latter joined the former,if you see what I mean.

Nowadays I reckon it is much wider politically and not so easy to make assumptions as it used to be - but liberal rather than conservative.

The younger ones who go to summer schools and play in sessions and in my experience are well into a pretty wild ceilidh scene, seem apolitical.

But very generalised and based a bit nowadays on incomplete knowledge.

HTH


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 03:32 AM

I have sung in clubs for around 40 years. I danced with Chester when they did Cotswold, 2 years, Bathampton Cotswold for about 4 weeks and Gorton, Northwest for around 5 years.

My own subjective experience is how I come to the left right thing. I think their is an assumption on the behalf of singers that they can sing left leaning songs and the audience will be comfortable.

"When you distinguished between song (slightly left-biased) and dance (slightly right-biased), did you mean social dance or Cotswold, North-West, Border, Molly ….)?"

Kitty, this is an excellent point and one I had not really considered. The boring old "should women dance Morris" argument seems to be a good example of the right wing no verses left wing yes. But other areas of "ritual" dance seemed more open to mixed sides.

As for social dance, who kept it alive after Sharpe and co? They were quite a different collection of people from those who started the second song revival.

I remember seeing Woodfidley(?) at Sidmouth 1975 and being amazed at the extraordinary costumes. They seemed to be dressed as the rich people of some bygone times and really enjoying it. I could never imagine the people who came to song clubs doing that. Some people did dress "down" at song clubs - wastecotes, clogs, caps, mugs - but not many and it was sort of down, not up. I know most social dance isn't like that it is much more egaliterian. perhaps it is the social dance demonstartion teams that I feel odd about.

As for the individualist verses group behaviuor it sounds a bit too simplistic but I am sure we will bash it about a bit.


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 06:32 PM

Les

The Herga folk club was started by supporters of the Woodcraft Folk. It's always had an eclectic mix, even though supposedly trad biased.

Sidmouth festival started as a weekend dance festival - it's worth reading Derek Schofield's book, which records how people would practise in the morning and then there would be a selection process to determine who would perform in the evening.

I remember David Slater's Woodfidley team - including Mike Ruff.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 07:22 PM

Woodfidley.....there's going back.

That last paragraph of Poppagator makes a lot of sense.

Generalising from the particular - I have known a number of men's ritual dance teams.

There are some who come from the song tradition and therefore follow a left-ish trend from that area.

Some teams get an influx from one well-connected member - my own team had an influx of left-wing catholics.

I know of one morris team whose new members for a while consisted of members of the local camera branch!


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: Rowan
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:43 PM

"I know of one morris team whose new members for a while consisted of members of the local camera branch!"

Did they ever dance in-camera?

Bringing Morris into it reminds me of a couple of (Australian) things. In 1973 Peter Parkhill organised a group of us into a mumming play that 'toured' around Melbourne's CBD. Only one of us was expert at Morris and I can't now remember his name but he taught the rest of us enough to do it respectably enough. Our performances were just before Christmas and after that we went on to other things. One of the group was an International Socialist (he's now a respectable lecturer in ethnomusicology and married to the expert on the Menzies history) and most of the rest of us were rather "left". All of us had come into it as singers, though.

In about 1983 (when I was in the company of my lady, who danced with Plenty Morris) I was accosted by a very small (but putatively adult) member of the Sydney Morris Men who aggressively asserted that Sydney Morris Men had started all Morris Dancing in Australia (in about 1975, from memory) and that mixed sides were an affront. He was most upset when I told him that our effort had predated his and, worse, the first Morris side then known to have danced in Australia was a mixed side from Beaumaris (a Melbourne bayside suburb) in the 1930s.

To return to Les' proposition, the evidence supporting the notion of many (most?) singers being leftish seems overwhelming and several posters have presented arguments suggesting 'why' that seem eminently reasonable to me.

Dancers and 'rightish'? I am still intrigued. A good topic for the Session Bar at the National over Easter, I reckon.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: The Living Tradition
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:48 PM

Welcome to Mudcat, AnotherOberver ...


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