Mudcat Café message #1426388 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78907   Message #1426388
Posted By: PoppaGator
03-Mar-05 - 07:49 PM
Thread Name: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
After reading the first day's worth of posts on this thread, and also later, after posting my own rather lengthy musings, I realized that the reason I found the subject so interesting is that I never really gave it any consideration before, and have very rarely had any reason to fret about how I might attribute a song.

Most of my solo-performance career was as a streetsinger, and I found it most effective to avoid patter and just keep pumping out music with as little "dead air" as possible. Sure, I would respond whenever people spoke to me first, but questions posed on the streetcorner rarely concerned the provenance of a particular version of a song.

In more recent years, I've done some singing with bands, doing backup vocals, duets, and occasional solos, but never took the role of full-time "frontman," so I still haven't had much occasion to deliver an introductory lecture for each number.

The biggest factor, though, is my complete innocence of involvement in the kind of folk-club environment where the audience is interested in this kind of semi-scholarly discourse, one where there would ever be any question of whether a performer was claiming more intimate knowledge of some forebearer than he/she should. The audiences I have encountered are generally unconcerned about anything except whether the music sounds good, makes them tap their feet, makes them want to dance, or want to laugh or cry, etc.

I'm not saying that one situation is better or worse than the other; I simply find it intriguing to imagine performing within a more musicologically-aware community, which seems to be the norm for many of you.