Mudcat Café message #2718766 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123472   Message #2718766
Posted By: The Sandman
08-Sep-09 - 07:49 AM
Thread Name: The Folk Process
Subject: RE: The Folk Process
to continue my view point,lets take the tunes tradition.
nobody turns round and points at the northumbrian tradition and says the following tunes are compositions and have not been folk processed and are therefore not folk tunes:
barrington hornpipe.
bonny cragside.redesdale hornpipe,archies fancy,high level bridge hornpipe,rothbury hills,nancy,the lass of falstone,billcharltons fancy,the herd on the hill.
nor do irish musicians exclude,the home ruler,the congress reel, or ocarolans compositions.
the trouble with Howards definition is it makes a fetish out of the folk process.Quite anumber of traditional folksingers particularly ,very occasionbaly made up their own words and tunes of a character quite in distinguishable from the genuine tradtional songs.there is no guarantee that all documentation of folksongs is correct at any time and if value is to be judged by the process rather than the merits or faults of a song,then we would end up saying that is not a folk songbecause there are very few versions and it has not been processed song.
when a field collector records a folk singer,he accepts or rejects items as folk songs according to whether they are in the universal idiom or not_- but if he accepted one or another song in this way and is then told by the singer that it is in fact his own authorship,the collector will automatically stop calling it a folk song.,on the other hand if the singer pretends its a song learned from his grandad,then the song remains a folk song.but the collector has been fooled which proves that the song is already a folk song which has miracuously skipped the folk process.
this is what John A Brune was out to prove when he tricked MacColl[RadioBallads].
since folksongs are so hard to define[even for A L Loyd]perhaps we should judge the songs on good taste and lasting value,this is what musicians appear to be doing with tunes,
musicians do not say half the northumbrian tradition is composed and not been folk processed,so it is not a folk tune,or the Congress Reel,and the Home ruler are modern and have not been FolkProcessed so they are not folk tunes.,or [god forbid]OCarolan has not been rewritten by Frankie Gavin,so his composotions are not folk tunes