Mudcat Café message #2595732 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119547   Message #2595732
Posted By: WFDU - Ron Olesko
23-Mar-09 - 07:39 PM
Thread Name: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Subject: RE: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
"I really wonder why people who apparently don't like what those like me (and others) consider to be folk songs (traditional songs, such as those found in Sharp's and Lomax's collections, Child ballads, and such..."

Don, I don't think ANYONE is denying that your examples are indeed folksongs. Most of those collections contain traditional songs, although Lomax certainly collected songs with known authors and would not fit that 1954 definition either.

I can't speak for others, but I certainly do not find those songs boring. Those songs continue to play an important role in my life.

You gave some examples.   Alan Lomax spent time collecting Italian and Spanish folk songs.   I think of the late Henrietta Yurchenco and her pioneering work field recording pre-Columbian native Mexican music. She also collected and researched the folk music of Guatemala, Spain, Morocco, Puerto Rico and the Georgia Sea Island among other cultures. These are important folk traditions as well. We certainly cannot forget the studies of African-American folk music either.

The point is - folk music is very broad. No one is denying the music that you love and spoke about is folk music. The rest of us see a modern connection that we strongly consider to be folk music as well. It does not replace the traditions that you spoke about or the traditions that Jim Carroll speaks about - two vastly different bodies of music with an important connection.   The contemporary folk music that you wish to ignore - and that is certainly your perogative - IS an example of evolving traditions and deserve to wear the banner of "folk music".