Mudcat Café message #3177695 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3177695
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
28-Jun-11 - 07:17 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
Before the days of The Internet when I lived miles in the countryside and spent my leisure time in my study surrounded by old books of tuneless ballads, I would frequently sing them to my own tunes, many of which I still might use. In fact, I might still do this - like The Wife of Usher's Well which I sing to a tune I made up myself, or rather chanelled, subconsciously, mediumistically, which fell under my fingers when free-styling it on the fiddle.

I think The Tradition here is one of Freestyling tunes to old texts in modal idioms which are themselves both ancient and traditional. This depends on how we see the Tradition Idiom operating in terms of genre - I hear many fine new session tunes in English, Irish, Northumbrian, Scots & French trad. idioms, but I've heard few* new Folk Songs that capture The Spirit of the Old Songs because the living idiom has been lost to us. The musical idioms are maybe still there though - I was brought up with Scots and Northumbrian traditional folk music; I'm not saying I'm a master - far from it (though I know a few) but I will say it's in my blood, which is why I do it & love it.


* New Folk Songs in the Traditional Idiom that is; Peter Bellamy had a knack of this craft, and others might occasionally hint at it, but what are the efforts of a few grizzled enthusiasts to what was once as much a living musical tradition as Hip-Hop and Dub Step are today?