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Does any other music require a committee

Related threads:
What is a Folk Song? (292)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (287)
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What isn't folk (88)
Still wondering what's folk these days? (145)
What makes a new song a folk song? (1710)
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glueman 16 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM
Cath 16 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM
Newport Boy 16 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM
Leadfingers 16 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 16 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 10:59 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 11:01 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 11:16 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM
greg stephens 16 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
GUEST 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 12:10 PM
Bill D 16 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 01:20 PM
Wesley S 16 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Apr 09 - 03:44 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM
Goose Gander 16 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:19 PM
Bill D 16 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:28 PM
The Villan 16 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM
Michael S 16 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 16 Apr 09 - 04:51 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Apr 09 - 05:18 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM
Howard Jones 16 Apr 09 - 05:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 06:21 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 06:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 06:56 PM
John P 16 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM
michaelr 16 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM
M.Ted 16 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM
Will Fly 17 Apr 09 - 03:41 AM
Will Fly 17 Apr 09 - 04:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Apr 09 - 04:11 AM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 04:30 AM
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Subject: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM

Recent 1954 threads have made me wonder if other forms need a top down definition rather than being shaped by the people? Jazz seems to evolve organically and classical embodies early music to modern composers, but folk requires authority from outside to determine it according to some sources.

Is folk self-regulating or decided from above?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Cath
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM

Don't get me started about committees!
Or democracy for that matter! What's wrong with a good old dictatorship - at least things get done that way.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:03 AM

Well the trains ran on time under dictators Cath but will folk keep rolling!


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Newport Boy
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM

Don't know about jazz these days, but there were bitter arguments between the Trads and Moderns in the 60s (I was a Trad)

Phil


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM

I had to apply to 'The Committee' to join a Jazz Club back when ! When I was 'approved' I disovered joint Membership with the local Folk Club !
On enquiring abot the Folk aspect , I was told " Oh we dont have anything to do with THEM !"


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM

Don't know about jazz these days, but there were bitter arguments between the Trads and Moderns in the 60s (I was a Trad)

Ah - a "mouldy fig", eh...? Well, you could have been a "dirty bopper", I suppose. I remember those arguments. There was dear old Ken Colyer, bringing back the true Bunk Johnson sound from New Orleans, while Benny Green and Ronnie Scott were bopping away in Gerrard Street.

Wasn't there a Federation of Jazz Clubs somewhere around then as well? Died a death like all such things, as I recall.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM

I don't think we have a quorum yet, so we cannot make a decision on the proposition.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:59 AM

I've been playing traditional music for 30 years, and I've never seen a committee or any top-down decision making. Maybe if I put out one more album I'll be big enough to be contacted?

What in the world are you talking about? Part of the very nature of traditional music is that it takes place outside of any structured establishment.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:01 AM

Was there any attempt to say what jazz 'was' and 'wasn't' in the way 1954 attempted to for folk?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:16 AM

Was there any attempt to say what jazz 'was' and 'wasn't' in the way 1954 attempted to for folk?

Ooh, there were many, many opinions as to what it should be - and hugely inflamed arguments about the rights and wrongs of each style. Wonderful stuff - and hugely comic in hindsight. For example, at the height of West Coast cool in the US, the Californian Lou Watters came out with his very traditional-sounding Yerba Buena Jazz Band - more controversy over that... "revisionist" was a word that was being bandied around, if memory serves.

The great thing about playing jazz in the late 70s, as I did, was that there was a lot going on (certainly in Brighton), and "moderns" would sit in with "traddies" just for the fun of it. But it was a case of "we don't need no stinkin' badges...". No committees.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM

Interesting WF. It's tempting to hope like all such spats, folk differences will be confined to history and traditionalists and progressives will realise they're on the same side.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:24 AM

It might be worth taking a covert peek at some jazz forums - just to see if the old controversies still raise their heads. (I won't mention Derek Bailey. Whoops! I just did - I'll get me coat).


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:37 AM

Of course there are committees. They just aren't called that.

How else could academics and producers have eliminated all melody and harmony in the course of the 20th Century?

The trend started with 'serious' (symphonic and chamber) music. Instead of melody, we have one note after another. Instead of harmony, we have notes played at the same time for no particular reason. Instead of rhythm, we have a buried beat. Have to have one somehow, so people end at the same time.

Now rock, jazz and country even follow the same rules. Listen to modern country. Do you ever hear a melody? No.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM

In jazz, new styles evolved and then someone came up with a name for them. Folk authorities don't believe in evolution.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

Glueman, as usual, is confusing "folk music" with "the definition of folk music". Music is a group of sounds. Definitions are groups of words. Jazz, folk, and any other music is made by people with instruments(or possibly computers, these days). Committees are generally not involved.
Definitions of jazz, folk etc, however, can certainly be made by committees. Or individual people. You can make up a new definition of folk any day you like.
The word "orange" is not an orange. This needs to be remembered occasionally.And a rose by any other name will smell as sweet.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM

Q. How many committees does it take to change Folk Music.

A. CHANGE????????


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:10 PM

Thanks for the explanation GS. I was under the impression the 1954 committee actually decided what folk 'was' independently. I didn't realise new definitions were a possibility if individuals found the old ones restrictive or inappropriate.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM

There are 'official' definitions of 'antique'... and 47 different opinions of its correctness.
There are subsub definitions of different forms of Rock music...and serious debates as to their value..etc.

Definitions ARE useful for some purposes, such as advertising a CD or concert, but not when like minded people just sit around & make music.

'Folk' & 'trad' used to mean a narrow range of material, now they are just handy short terms for those who are too lazy to make distinctions. As soon as I saw Dylan being called 'traditional', I knew we had lost.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 01:20 PM

As a general observation it seems folk is more split between trad and progressive on a formal level ("the 1954 definition") than other music but not on a practical one - most people having a reasonable expectation of what they'll see/hear under the folk banner.

More a misuse of traditional (Dylan!?!) than folk perhaps. It does seem curious the music 'of the people' even people who no longer exist requires precise boundaries set from outside committees of experts.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM

In bluegrass it only takes a committee of one to say "Bill Monroe didn't do it that way".


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM

It does seem curious the music 'of the people' even people who no longer exist requires precise boundaries set from outside committees of experts.

Do you really have any experience of this? While there are people (fortunately very few) who want precise boundaries and try to get others to play music according to them, most people who play traditional music would be appalled by any attempt to draw distinct lines. In general, there is music that's traditional and music that's not, but the lines are wavy and imprecise and the gray areas are huge and very subjective. I'm glad to say there's no committee controlling what I play. If one were to try, they'd get a profane earful from me. The four times I've been accosted by the authenticity police have been very unpleasant, since they all chose to make their comments in the middle of a performance. The 1954 definition that seems to have you so exercised is a useful description of a phenomenon, nothing more. I'll keep saying this until you get it: It doesn't have anything to do with the actual playing of music.

That said, I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area. I have heard a singer/songwriter claim to play traditional music because there is a tradition of singers doing self-composed songs with guitar accompaniment. NOT!


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:44 PM

I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area.

Would that include the International Council For Traditional Music, formerly the International Folk Music Council (who came up with 1954 Definition in the first place) whose aims are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries? Or do Popular, Classical, and Urban musics fall within your reasonable grey areas?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM

As I said, I'm interested to know whether other music relies so heavily on a committee, or any external authority for a definition. I don't know the answer but I'm learning.

"It's tempting to hope like all such spats, folk differences will be confined to history and traditionalists and progressives will realise they're on the same side."
The above sums up my personal position but the original question still interests me.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM

Oh great, let's close the 1954 thread and continue the fracas over here on this thread . . .


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM

I avoided putting 1954 in the title to avoid attracting the usual culprits and get fresh opinions. The jazz buffs were particularly enlightening and enlightened.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:19 PM

Just to add, anyone spreading love and understanding is welcome to pitch in.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM

Oh, I DO hope that "love & understanding" is done in Mixylodian with the original hug & kiss style!


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:28 PM

I think Joe Offer once remarked "you (folkies) eat your young, that's what you do". Most apposite. The L&U bit was to avoid juvenile predation if at all possible.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM

Music is music. You either like it or you don't.

It doesn't matter if its traditional or not. It doesn't matter what genre it is.

If you like it, you go and see it or listen to it.

You don't need committees for that.

Its your choice.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM

I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?

Folk clubs do mostly have rather visible committees, compared with the institutions that put events on in other genres like classical, pop and jazz. Those tend to have more authoritarian structures - they're either capitalist enterprises or else grouplets set up to operate a bank account for charitable or governmental funding.

By contrast, the folk scene (in the UK, at least) tends to use structures inherited from socialist political movements, whose holy writ has always been Roberts's Rules of Order. It does at least make some effort at democratic organizational form, if not always very enthusiastically. A rock promoter or opera company will do nothing of the sort - everything runs according to the Führerprinzip.

Leeneia's remarks about 20th century art music are preposterous. I'll reply about that later.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Michael S
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM

I have neither posted to nor read the recent 1954 thread. If I'm repeating stuff hashed out there, I'm sorry. I like the fact that these definitional debates (and that's what this is) go on and on, because I think that serves to remind us of first principles. I usually avoid them, however, precisely because they go on and on. The 1954 discussion is now just shy of 1000 posts.

The problem here is that glueman seems (to me) to assume that the 1954 definition attempted to describe some particular sort of sound. Should a committee do that, he asks, or should folk music be "shaped by the people?" That's not what the '54 definition attempted to do. Instead, as others have pointed out in other threads, it attempted to define a process and it characterized as "folk music" any music that arose as a result of that process.

The definition can (but doesn't necessarily always) fit music that we characterize as blues, or polka, or conjunto, or other things unknown to me that arise out of, for example, African cultures, or eastern European cultures. What's important, however, is that the proponents of the '54 definition were interested in the fruits of that process, no matter what they sounded like. It's not a definition of some stylistic genre, and no one was trying to contain, or even describe, a style. The definers were interested in certain group processes, as they related to music.

Of course, we know the phrase "folk music" was caught up in popular culture and, for many people, it has come to mean a certain sound. That doesn't bother me and we can (and do) argue about what that sound is. I know of no committee that's sought to define it. (Well, maybe the people who award "folk" grammys.) For historical reasons, both the process and the "contemporary folk sound" (god help me) have gotten bound together, but they really are different.

-Cheers,
-Michael Scully


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:51 PM

to all
# You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM

"I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?"

It was both Jack and I suspect they may be linked. For instance it might be the very homespun character you attribute to folk performance that leads it to require a higher authority, as though folkiness may leak away if not kept in harness.

On Michael Scully's point I think in practice it is a sound and a definition for reasons explored elsewhere. The tradition is inextricably linked to traditional instuments and types of performance that aren't desribed AFAIA in 1954. The motivation may not be to create that link or those modes but they certainly exist and I discern no rush to book metal/dance/classical bands performing traditional pieces. We're back to the small scale club committees reinforcing those suppositions in a virtual/vicious (depending on your pov) circle.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM

Horses again I see.

Out of here too.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:18 PM

Compare:

"On an average night in our FOLK Club we might hear Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Musical Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad."

with:

"On an average night in our JAZZ Club we might hear Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Musical Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad."

I wonder if the organisers, committee or audience of a Jazz club would be happy with such 'eclecticism'? Somehow, I suspect not ...


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM

BTW Captain, while I appreciate the thought, discussions don't have to resemble Hieronymus Bosch landscapes. People can say 'I believe your're mistaken Carruthers old bean but a decent cove to be sure.' Unless you know something about folkies I don't...?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 05:56 PM

I suspect any form of music which is subject to formal study has something similar to the ICMT. The ICMT is an academic body dedicated to the study of folk music - the events on its website are conferences, study groups etc, there is not a single performance listed.

For a subject to be studied it must first be defined. That is why the 1954 definition was made. The sound of "1954 folk" will differ from culture to culture.

For those non-academic performers or audience who take an interest in what distinguishes folk/traditional music the 1954 definition provides a succinct, if perhaps imperfect, summary. That's all.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM

(I won't mention Derek Bailey. Whoops! I just did - I'll get me coat).

I absolutely love Derek Bailey - easily my favourite guitarist of all time. Way back in the day it seemed the Free Improvisation Scene spent more time theorising than playing. Once, the magazine MUSICS ran a feature in which various improvising musicians were asked: What happens to time and the awareness of time during improvisation? thus prompting various answers some running to several pages of intense philosophy. Ever the pragmatist, Derek's reply was: The ticks turn into tocks and the tocks turn into ticks. On another occasion (I forget the question) his published reply was Whatever happened to the 'I just play, man!' man?. A lovely man who played beautiful, beautiful music.

For those who don't know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XE2N4mxeRw


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM

"I thought the original point was about organization rather than definition?"

It was both Jack and I suspect they may be linked. For instance it might be the very homespun character you attribute to folk performance that leads it to require a higher authority, as though folkiness may leak away if not kept in harness.


I was saying the exact opposite - folk organizations tend to be more democratic than those that run the pop, rock, jazz and art music scenes. The high-end promoters of the pop and opera businesses make Genghis Khan look like an anarchist, and jazz is basically the Mafia with different weapons in the black cases.

Feed a pop entrepreneur's ego after midnight and you end up with a Phil Spector. The folk scene hasn't produced anybody like that. Just lots of very dull meetings.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:21 PM

I will also argue endlessly with anyone who wants to call music "traditional" that clearly falls outside any reasonable gray area. (me)

Would that include the International Council For Traditional Music, formerly the International Folk Music Council (who came up with 1954 Definition in the first place) whose aims are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries? Or do Popular, Classical, and Urban musics fall within your reasonable grey areas? (Sinister Supporter)


I don't give a rat's ass about the ICFTM or their goals, other than being glad that someone is studying and talking about music. Popular, classical, and urban music aren't traditional folk music. Does anyone actually think they are?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:37 PM

I could be wrong Jack but we may be agreeing. Back in the 70s I started out in a rock band, a blues rock band in fact, nothing big but an experience I found extraordinarily limiting. I later joined another rock band and we cut a couple of records with some members of the band going on to have considerable chart success. Right through this process the idea that there were any boundaries to what one could play in style or material was extraordinary. In fact on a psychological level we were processed like sausages from the moment we tuned into pop music radio as kids.

Even so a committee deciding what a music's background should be called seems peculiar. I'm suggesting in a roundabout way that the sinister overseeing eye of the record company and concert impressarios might be replaced on a kind of committee level by peer approval and a heightened sense of what is and isn't right, a self-policing, standards association if you will that attempts to bring a theoretical framework into practical performance.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM

The music doesn't require an authoritative definition. It's a subset of individuals who participate in the music who require a definition. They aren't the music, they're just people who play it, sing it, or listen to it. They require authoritative sources not for edification, but to validate and corroborate the opinions they already hold. Nevermind that, in most cases, an equally authoritative source can be found to validate and corroborate any other opinion on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:56 PM

Just for the record, SS, my ironic remark about mentioning Derek Bailey was merely to pick out one figure on the jazz scene as an example of someone who does seem to polarise opinion pretty quickly into opposing camps. :-) No particularly negative or positive opinion intended on my part.

If people should ask "what is jazz?", I don't think there'd be many who would use Derek as a standard example of the genre...


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM

. . . individuals who participate in the music who require a definition . . . They require authoritative sources not for edification, but to validate and corroborate the opinions they already hold.

Who are these people that have some need for an authoritative source that I keep hearing about? Do they really need an authority to know what to play or how to play it? Do they really need to have their opinions vetted by some outside authority? I've never actually played music with anyone for whom this is true. Do they really exist?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM

Wow, I just had my first (and second) taste of Derek Bailey. The man can't be serious? "Favorite guitarist of all time" - you can't be serious?

You're both having us on, aren't you?


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM

This is a circular discussion for the simple reason that neither glueman nor sinister supporter know much about the study of ethnomusicology, which is an academic discipline that studies the relationship between music and culture, and which is what the ITCM is about.

One of the things that neither seem to understand is that the organization does not decide what is or isn't folk/tradtional music. The members of the organization are independent of the organization, and they chose the areas that they study on their own--though often in connection with an academic institution.

If there is a committee, it is the sort of academic committee that degree candidates choose to oversee their studies. If, for instance, you were studying at, say, UCLA, and wanted to do your dissertation on the the introduction of the fiddle into the dance music of Greek expatriate communities in North Jersey, you'd take it up with your committee.

If you were at Indiana University, and wanted to study the relationship between Puerto Rican break dancing and African-American rap, you'd try to persuade a few of the professors that it was a valid ethnomusicological topic, and, if they went for it, maybe a few years later, you'd present a paper at the ICTM conference.

As far as folk clubs go, if you were the Greek fiddle person, you might take your "informant", a Macedonian fiddler who now lives in Hackensack, around to play for international folk dance groups, and bring his daughter along to sing a few of the old Smyrnaic/Rebetic laments, maybe appearing at a few folk clubs and folksong societies,
or maybe not, and complaining that they only want to hear navel-gazing singer/songwriters and such things.

The thing is, the only dances and clubs that you'd collect music from would be the Greek ex-pats in North Jersey.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 03:41 AM

Wow, I just had my first (and second) taste of Derek Bailey. The man can't be serious? "Favorite guitarist of all time" - you can't be serious?

You're both having us on, aren't you?


I didn't say Derek was my "favourite guitarist of all time" - that was SS's opinion. I merely said that Derek is an example of a jazz musician who either gets hated or revered - polarises opinion, in fact. Derek was an accomplished guitarist who chose a musical route that went beyond what many musicians - even avant-garde jazz musicians - would tolerate. I've listened to Derek Bailey several times, sometimes striving to make sense of what he was at, sometimes just letting the sound flow. I didn't make any sense of it, but I thought I should give the man a listen. It does one good to open one's ears now and then... :-)

So if the rhetorical question, "What is jazz?" is asked, there's a wide musical spectrum from Bunk Johnson to Derek Bailey - and all sorts of opinions and answers to that question.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:09 AM

I don't listen to much jazz these days and, when I do, I tend to revert to my heroes of the '20s and '30s - Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti, Bix, etc. - rather than anything else. However, the aspect of jazz that differentiates it from traditional music (and many other forms) is that its improvisational base can be all-embracing. There are endless debates about what is "folk" or what isn't "folk", but any tune from any genre can theoretically be raw material for jazz. I'm not saying there can't be an improvisatory nature to traditional music, or blues for that matter but - unlike those two types of music (for example) - the jazz improvisor can draw on the world's music. Whether that same improvisor makes anything of it is another question, and I can recall endless post-gig drunken debates in after-hours pub sessions about the relative merits of this and that musician, session, gig, record, etc.

However, I rarely recall debates about the relevance or otherwise of the raw material. Many bands did, of course, stick to their chosen style and repertoire, but the baseline of tunes could be very wide.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:11 AM

I don't think there'd be many who would use Derek as a standard example of the genre...

Jazz is a broad camp, especially in terms of history, tradition and diversification. I came to Free Improviation around about the same time I was getting into Folk & to me they two sides of a similar sort of coin: chamberish, grubby, fiercely non-commercial minority sports wherein admirable political principles were tempered by an inclusiveness that appealled to my adolescent outsider instincts. As a 15-year-old I could happily watch Derek Bailey one night and Martin Carthy the next (as occasionally happened) and even now I might often sing a Traditional Ballad with an accompaniment inspired by Derek's playing - check out The Wife of Ushers Well, currently track #5 on my myspace page.

neither glueman nor sinister supporter know much about the study of ethnomusicology,

Believe you me, I know well enough about the study of ethnomusicology - just as I feel some small appreciation of the discipline might help various non-academic Folkies out their particular box and maybe provide some much needed objectivism. My mentioning of the aims of the ICTM was to show a broader academic base for a notion of Traditional Music than many folkies would allow, or yet appreciate.


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Subject: RE: Does any other music require a committee
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:30 AM

I was hoping to avoid another hack at '54 but since people insist others simply don't understand it seems unavoidable. BTW I may well not understand but I'll show my working out so you can see how I got to the wrong answer.

The various Mudcat threads say 1954 is folk in the sense it defines the tradition. If it isn't in the ballads and broadsheets it can't be folk because it isn't continuing the tradition of change and adaptation. Clearly there's a link between IFMC 54 and now because performing musicians and singers regard it as a source even if the council/committee had no intention of it being a musical performance template(which IMO is unclear).

There's various pleas and procrastination as to the extent 1954 is relevant to what goes on in the name of folk from absolutist borders to 54 having absolutely no relevance to folk today but clearly the conclusions of that committee still resonate.
The question is do other forms of music have institutional bodies that have left their mark so deeply on what's actually played now?


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