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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock (152* d) RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock 08 Feb 19


Folk music is simply the source for this, and lets not forget that in the British Isles songs were usually unaccompanied. Once you start arranging them for instruments, whether for acoustic guitar, orchestra or rock band, you are moving away from the original and no approach can claim to have a greater moral authority over another. It then becomes a matter of personal taste and whether the ideas work from a musical point of view.

For me, the distinction lies in whether it is just different way of performing folk, or whether folk is being used as raw material to create something in a different genre. When classical composers such as Britten or Vaughn Williams arranged folk songs they used the songs as raw material to create 'art' music for a classical music audience. Bands like Steeleye and the Albion Band appear to me to be doing something similar, aimed more at a popular music audience rather than a folk one, and that is what I think makes it folk-rock. There are plenty of bands who happen to include rock instruments who I wouldn't consider folk-rock, because they are aiming at a folk audience.

The question is whether performing folk music in the style of contemporary popular music helps to attract young people. In some cases it will, in others it may put them off. Unless it is very well done it can fail both as folk and as rock. As with everything to do with music, it comes back to personal taste.


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