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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Review: Walter Pardon - Research (668* d) RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research 11 Nov 19

Jim, Jag was quoting me from very early on in the thread, when I was trying to understand the terms of the original post, and in particular what I interpreted as suggesting that WP's exposure to modern culture somehow somehow meant he could not be properly regarded as an example of traditional singing style

Here's what I said in context

Firstly you seem to have a misguided idea of what a traditional singer should be. The idea that a folk singer should be an illiterate peasant untouched by outside influences was inaccurate even in Cecil Sharp's time. Pardon was a man of the 20th century, more or less contemporary with my own father, and of course he had some education and was literate. Of course he was exposed to the gramophone, the radio and the television, and it would be naive to expect that his singing style might be completely untouched by these influences. However it would also have been influenced by the singers in his family and his village. His style was his own, as to some extent is any singer's, and from one point of view is representative only of him. Most other traditional singers had their own individual styles. Nevertheless it is an example of a mid-20th century singer who has been part of a singing tradition passed on over at least three generations, but not one which existed in a state of isolation.

It became clear from later posts that by "traditional singer" the OP meant from before the early 20th century. My point was that WP's style should be seen as that of a 20th century singer, part of a tradition which continued throughout that century and into this, albeit much reduced. Whether or not that was influenced by external factors (on which I make no comment) shouldn't devalue it in any way - tradition moves on and reflects the society it is part of.

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