Mudcat Café message #3177031 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3177031
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
27-Jun-11 - 04:59 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
Adding pedantry to the list of charges (or accolades) illuminates not a whit.

Purism is a Pedantry; and like Pedantry it doesn't apprecaiate the way these things work. Purism might only thrive in a guarded situation of contrivance which much of The Folk Revival embodies by way of genuine passion (of course) but as the saying goes - the more you know, the more you don't know. Thus, Purism becomes unfounded reactionary claptrap that flies in the face of the nature of the thing itself, much less its broader cultural context.

When I was questioned for playing a Turkish Fiddle on an English Folk Song by a Guitarist, I could see the Holy Spirit blazing in his eyes; and he was a booked guest at a festival!

As for Religion - a Religious believer is a Purist Pedant who feels they are right and others are wrong. I meet Folkies who only ever listen to Folk, though few of them are self-confessed Purists. The Purists of my experience appear to be of the opinion that Folk is a Morally Superior Musical Philosophy. They are the Baptised but the woefully under-read. But whilst out & out purists are rare, that Ritual Religiosity isn't at all uncommon in Folk - nor is it to be (overly) scoffed at.

There are, and always have been, great things afoot in Folk, but it still feels pretty Cultish - be it in terms of its Doctrines, Orthoxies, Rites, Rituals, Heresies (I'm being careful not to use the word Traditions here) and the near deification of its celebrities. Mostly though, I suppose it's the curious absense from The Real World that makes Folk a religion; or Academic Theology; a world within a world with a very specific appeal. I must confess, that's why it appeals to me - at least the Folk Part of me...