Mudcat Café message #4034087 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4034087
Posted By: GUEST,jag
13-Feb-20 - 04:13 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
I asked about Sharp's collecting practice because I was thinking about his theorising as to why "we must look to the musical utterances of those of the community who are least affected by extraneous educational influences".

That the material he was after was best found amongst the peasants could simply be an emperical observation made during his early years of seeking out what he was enthusiastic about - just as a butterfly collector may learn from experience the best hunting grounds for interesting specimens. The collector of butterflies or songs who has an inquiring mind, or wishes to commune with scholars, will start to theorise. The theories may advise - or interfere with - later collecting.

The theories may be superceded. The century-old habitat observations (songs or bugs) may now be more important. Little point in wasting time over defunct theories. So from what we know (or theorise) now why were the songs so often collected from people down at the bottom of the social scale, often very old ones?