Mudcat Café message #4013716 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166789   Message #4013716
Posted By: Iains
15-Oct-19 - 04:45 AM
Thread Name: The current state of folk music in UK
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
"Folk" is fairly specific in terms for creative culture
The number of clubs, Festivals and other platforms for our communicating with one another that are steadily disappearing ought to be indication enough that all isn't too well - no matter


How on earth can you say folk is fairly specific in terms for creative culture. You can give the tune a scientific analysis, some would argue you could dothe same for the lyrics, but I would question that. The classification within any particular genre is entirely subjective so trying to define an objective scientifically defined box to classify it within is a non starter. The box is an entirely fuzzy construction with tenuous walls with differing views as to where they should lie.
To me this means the actual definition of folk is inevitably hazy. Everyone agrees with the core idea but places the boundary in different places. It is not worth arguing over because it is an argument with no resolution. Just accept the boundaries are subjective and cannot have precise definition.
Traditional venues are closing. That is as true in Ireland as in the UK,you cannot argue with statistics. That is a function of the changed mores of society. If the decline of folk is part of the collateral damage so be it. However as society changes so do avenues for entertainment.
A person can go to a folk club and sit is a degree of discomfort to hear a performance of variable quality, or get a supermarket sixpack and listen to a perfect rendition on youtube. You equate loss of venue with loss of "audience" That is an assumption with nothing to determine whether the basic premise is true or false. I would argue it is difficult to determine the present state of folk in the UK because you conflate venue with audience.If a passive listener the material is available electronically 24/7 and no one has the first idea as to how big that audience may be.Is the club the be all and end all. For performers is the session not of far more interest?
There would seem to be a lot of assertions and very little in the way of supporting facts. The world of the sixties was a very different beast to the world of today. Has the enthusiasm for folk diminished, or simply changed? The tools used to gauge the health of the genre in the sixties need to be traded in for those of the new millenium,
The word communication needs clarification. In a session it is two way, for a club audience it is essentially one way, apart from polite applause. The communication is in the listening. If you do not like something you cease to listen, unless a masochist.
The eight track, cassette player, Cds and walkman opened up a whole new world beyond vinyl, mainly portability and music on demand . You do not have to be a performer to be an aficionado, you do not have to be in a club to enjoy it.