Mudcat Café message #3176191 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3176191
Posted By: Folknacious
25-Jun-11 - 09:27 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: Do purists really exist?
Every time somebody does something a little different with traditional music, record reviewers and often the artistes themselves will trot out that old cliche that "the purists will probably hate it". Sometimes such wishful thinking implies that would even be a badge of honour. My experience, though, is that if musicians do things well and their heart is obviously in the right place, people who really do know about or are part of a tradition will rarely object. Many are indeed flattered and excited that people of a younger generation or from a different culture see the core worth in their music and want to take it onwards or outwards. Why wouldn't they?

So who are these "purists"? My suspicion is that if such a breed really exists, they're people who have only a surface knowledge of a tradition. Folk club audiences who have only listened to revival performers, for example, or fans of world music whose knowledge has only come from records and magazines. In both cases, they ignore the fact that living traditions have always evolved down the years, that's their very nature.

OK, there's the odd Luddite (they exist in all walks of life, not just music), but isn't "purist" the wrong term?