Mudcat Café message #2151187 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104731   Message #2151187
Posted By: Arkie
17-Sep-07 - 01:02 PM
Thread Name: how important is the label traditional singer?
Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
This seems to be a never ending argument but the main question is whether musical categories are important.   For the singer or musician what is important is the song or tune.   They hear something they like, they learn it, they play it, other people enjoy it, may also learn it, etc. and the music has served its purpose. It has been enjoyed, has inspired, has helped people think, has helped people forget, has made them laugh and fulfilled a need in people as music can do so well.   For the historian or cultural interpreter certain categories such as "traditional singer' become more important. Categories help to put cultural history in perspective. Sometimes the singer is also an interpreter who has formal, informal, or no credentials at all as a folklorist or historical interpreter. And there are those who have used these categories as marketing tools, but that was not the scholarly intent.   When a person's primary interest is music, the merit of the singer is a matter of importance.   If the person is a cultural interpreter, the material being transmitted is important, but so is the source and the cultural envirionment of the singer and the song.

As for the music it changes, moves from one generation to another by whatever means is currently accessable and anyone who sings the song is a carrier and it does not matter whether the carrier is traditional, revivalist, or whatever. What is important that the song is passed along. The cultural interpreter helps us to remember those who carried the song.