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Giving Talk on Folk Music

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Raggytash 16 Mar 07 - 09:27 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Mar 07 - 09:31 AM
Mo the caller 16 Mar 07 - 09:34 AM
beardedbruce 16 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM
selby 16 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 16 Mar 07 - 09:48 AM
Raggytash 16 Mar 07 - 10:13 AM
sian, west wales 16 Mar 07 - 10:18 AM
Scrump 16 Mar 07 - 10:22 AM
Flash Company 16 Mar 07 - 10:40 AM
Raggytash 16 Mar 07 - 10:46 AM
Grimmy 16 Mar 07 - 10:55 AM
Tootler 16 Mar 07 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 16 Mar 07 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Sparticus 16 Mar 07 - 04:11 PM
Raggytash 19 Mar 07 - 02:47 PM
Folkiedave 19 Mar 07 - 06:18 PM
Azizi 19 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM
Scrump 20 Mar 07 - 06:33 AM
ossonflags 20 Mar 07 - 08:12 AM
Scrump 20 Mar 07 - 08:32 AM
katlaughing 20 Mar 07 - 08:42 AM
Fidjit 20 Mar 07 - 11:17 AM
Scrump 20 Mar 07 - 11:23 AM
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Subject: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:27 AM

I may be asked shortly to give a 30-40 talk/lecture on folk music ...... where do you start.
I had thought of breaking it down starting with traditional and songs/history of music of farming, mining, seafaring but wondered what other areas have their own collection of songs. I envisage leaving more up to date folk music to another occasion as it would be impossible to cover it in 30 minutes.
As a start I thought I would ask you good people for imput

Cheers

Raggytash


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:31 AM

Why, with the 1954 definition of course!


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:34 AM

You can't just TALK about music.
You'll need clips, even if they eat into your time. Maybe slides of the source singers, and the youngsters singing the songs now.

Then if it's music not just song there's dance music - social and display.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM

Work songs, religious songs, dance, story songs, love songs, social commentary, ...

30 -40 minutes? You MIGHT get the list read out in that time!

But I agree- You NEED to have clips of the music, or a soundtrack in the background at least.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: selby
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM

There are plenty of songs about to make your introduction local and then build from there For Example Howden hare is it english is it irish is it Howden in yorkshire Etc Also if you are in Yorkshire there is the Yorkshire Garland web site (Trad songs)and similar in other counties then you could move into morris dancing mumming social dance. If young people tell them their play ground songs one day may be traditional (oral tradition)Old people talk about there songs there was a brilliant workshop in the Goole area that paired young people with old people and they talked about music playground songs etc it was very hard to work out who got the most enjoyment the smiling old people or the excited youngsters. Easy really !!!!!! You did say 3-4 year talk didn't you :-)


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:48 AM

A lot depends on the likely audience - what sort of range of background and interests, how many etc. Half an hour won't be near enoough for some people - but may bore the pants off others! Starting with the 1954 definition and then setting about it with a musical and cultural pick and shovel (or a scalpel) is certainly one way of putting a shape on it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:13 AM

1954 definition ............. can someone enlighten me?


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: sian, west wales
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:18 AM

Martin is right to ask about the audience; also, what are they wanting to get out of it? A class full of 10 year olds would be different to a Tourism Strategic Development Taskforce.

sian


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:22 AM

I think you should set the "1954 definition" (of what folk music is) to a tune, and sing it to them :-)


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Flash Company
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:40 AM

Had to do this once for a group of about Girl Guides and Brownies.
Started off by asking if anyone knew a folk song. When the answer came back 'No' I said, alright, I'll sing the first line, then anyone can sing the next line:-
Wallflowers, wallflowers growing up so high.......
Suddenly I had about 25 people including Akela who knew a folk song!
From there on I just talked and sang and by the end they realised they knew quite a lot of Folk Music. Needed over an hour though!

FC


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:46 AM

I like that idea Flash, the people I may be talking to range from mid 20's to late 80's. I know I have a very limited time so will have to skirt over the whole subject with very little detail


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Grimmy
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:55 AM

I think you should set the "1954 definition" (of what folk music is) to a tune, and sing it to them :-)

And I'll do a 'Baring-Gould' on it and change the bits I don't like
;-)


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 02:07 PM

Starting with the 1954 definition seems to me a sure fire way to turn the audience off.

I think Flash Company's approach is much more likely to capture audience interest.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 03:34 PM

'Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the traditions are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives. […] The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character (Journal of the International Folk Music Council, VII, 1955, p. 23).

I've used a version of this definition when talking about Irish music and song to groups of international students - and then set them a set of questions to think about, based on it. Probably the most interesting is to ask "Yes, but - what does "community" mean now?"

Regards

p.s. I'm not suggesting, of course, that the definition and its implications be laid out like a row of dead fish on a slab - just that it and they provide a framework for choosing examples, for provoking discussion and for providing insight.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: GUEST,Sparticus
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 04:11 PM

Capture the audience's attention by entering stage right, in the nude, with a rose firmly clenched between the buttocks. Begin your talk by explaining that you appeared thus to demonstrate an ancient dance celebrating the rites of Spring, which is revived annually by Morris dancers throughout this fair land. Once you've overcome this first hurdle you'll be on a roll and they'll hang on your every word.
Good luck and be sure to tell us how it went.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Raggytash
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 02:47 PM

Sparticus ............. you wouldn't like to do this talk would you?

If I did that the room would empty, people screaming, kicking over chairs, nuns, children and anything else that prevented them from making a very hasty exit.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 06:18 PM

Get some musicians in..............


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM

Flash Company, I'm assuming that the "Wallflowers, wallflowers growing up so high" song that you mentioned asking the Girl Guides and Brownies about was this one that is in the DigiTrad: @displaysong.cfm?SongID=7605

If so, was this in England? And if so, when {meaning what decade}?

I'm interested in knowing this because imo most Girl Scouts and Brownies in the USA nowadays wouldn't know that Wallflower song.
I didn't know it when I was in a Brownie troup more than five decades ago and I don't get a sense that "Wallflower" is known in the general US children's population.

I guess that another point that could be added to the 30 minute talk about folk songs that Raggytash has been asked to give-folk songs that may be very familiar to one person may be totally unfamiliar to others, or may have different words. {It's interesting though that tunes appear to be more stable than lyrics. Do others agree that this is so?}

But back to that Wallflowers song- I'm trying to think of what song would be one you could use as a substitute for the Wallflower song {as an example of a folk song that they would know}. Maybe "Found A Peanut"? Another song that might work for American kids would be the way children and youth have changed "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" [adding a response to the end of the line such as "Ruldolph the red nose reindeer/had a very shiny nose-like a like bulp}...That same thing is done for the song "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain"...

And even if the audience made up of older folks, these types of songs might be fun additions to your presentation.   

Anyway, best wishes on your talk, Raggytash!


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 06:33 AM

Capture the audience's attention by entering stage right, in the nude, with a rose firmly clenched between the buttocks.

A minor but very important detail: don't forget to remove the thorns from the rose first.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: ossonflags
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:12 AM

Raggy, my bit of advice for what it is worth.

I have been giving illustrated talks like this for about a year now and my formula is;

The subject is immense so get a few songs together to cover the period/ subject you are going to cover. You have only forty minutes so you wont need many, with your extensive repotoire you should have no problem.Link the songs with speech, keep it simple and amusing .

Take your guitar,I am only a singer and manage better than well

leave room at the end for a bit of Q and A.

i saw Lee Kaufman at the Hull University doing a talk on Woody Guthrie coupla weeks ago and he followed this formula.....he had a fiddle banjo and a guitar as well as a superb singinging voice


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:32 AM

Don't forget this is your chance to talk about what you think is folk music. Don't worry if your definition doesn't agree with everyone else's here.

You mentioned covering farming, mining, seafaring. Other areas you could consider mentioning are war songs, children's songs, canals, industrial revolution, weaving, political/'protest' songs, and of course love songs and drinking songs :-) And there must be many more we could come up with...


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:42 AM

One thing my kids always found interesting, as well as older folks I've known, is the relationship between well-known "pop" songs and folk, i.e. House of the Rising Sun, etc. kind fo along the same lines as the Wallflower suggestion.


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:17 AM

I do this at almost every gig I do here in Scandinavia.

Ask them if they know an English folksong.

Usually they have heard of Fairport Convention and the Dubliners.
Go back in time from there.
Hey nonny, nonny no. Sweet lovers love the spring.

You'll never do it in 30 minutes though.

God luck

Chas


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Subject: RE: Giving Talk on Folk Music
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:23 AM

You'll never do it in 30 minutes though

You will if you adopt the definition of 'folk music' that some people around here subscribe to :-)

...I'll get me coat.


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