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Does Folk Exist?

Related threads:
What is a Folk Song? (292)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (287)
Popfolk? (19)
What isn't folk (88)
Still wondering what's folk these days? (145)
What makes a new song a folk song? (1710)
Definition of folk song (137)
Here comes that bloody horse - again! (23)
What is a traditional singer? (136)
Is the 1954 definition, open to improvement? (105)
Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition? (133)
So what is *Traditional* Folk Music? (409)
'Folk.' OK...1954. What's 'country?' (17)
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Is traditional song finished? (621)
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BS: It ain't folk if ? (28)
No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? (176)
What defines a traditional song? (160) (closed)
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How did Folk Song start? (57)
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Should folk songs be sung in folk clubs? (129)
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Does any other music require a committee (152)
Folk Music Tradition, what is it? (29)
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What do you consider Folk? (113)
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definition of a ballad (197)
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What is Folk? IN SONG. (20)
New Input Into 'WHAT IS FOLK?' (7)
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What is a folk song? Version 2.0 (59)
FILK: what is it? (18)
What is a Folksinger? (51)
BS: What is folk music? (69) (closed)
What is improvisation ? (21)
What is a Grange Song? (26)


glueman 10 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 09 - 06:07 AM
Georgiansilver 10 Jul 09 - 06:13 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 09 - 06:19 AM
George Papavgeris 10 Jul 09 - 06:20 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 06:21 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jul 09 - 06:32 AM
evansakes 10 Jul 09 - 06:34 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 06:36 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 09 - 06:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 09 - 06:41 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 06:49 AM
Ernest 10 Jul 09 - 07:00 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 07:48 AM
Bruce MacNeill 10 Jul 09 - 09:08 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jul 09 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Jul 09 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,jeff 10 Jul 09 - 10:02 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jul 09 - 10:16 AM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 10:18 AM
Amos 10 Jul 09 - 11:45 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jul 09 - 11:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 09 - 01:01 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jul 09 - 01:20 PM
Stringsinger 10 Jul 09 - 01:57 PM
glueman 10 Jul 09 - 02:07 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jul 09 - 03:34 PM
Paul Burke 10 Jul 09 - 03:38 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM
Amos 10 Jul 09 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Russ 11 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM
Aeola 11 Jul 09 - 04:45 PM
GUEST 11 Jul 09 - 05:33 PM
Amos 11 Jul 09 - 05:38 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM
glueman 12 Jul 09 - 03:19 AM
Peace 12 Jul 09 - 03:24 AM
Peace 12 Jul 09 - 03:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 Jul 09 - 04:48 AM
Peace 12 Jul 09 - 07:43 PM
glueman 13 Jul 09 - 03:41 AM
treewind 13 Jul 09 - 03:58 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Jul 09 - 04:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Jul 09 - 04:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Jul 09 - 04:47 AM
glueman 13 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM
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Subject: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM

Before loading ballista and mangonel with dead cattle and soiling the water supply, this is a serious question. New approaches welcomed, knee jerks treated with sympathy, jerks need not apply.

I'll risk a qualified and hesitant.......yes.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:07 AM

What kind of music do you play, if any? How do you know that exists?


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:13 AM

Since all music in every culture has its origins in folk..... all music must therefore stem from folk.... So it could be said that all music is folk...... however... I guess all cultures and all individuals have their own ideas of what constitutes folk music nowadays.... so to find a definitive answer to your question... Yes Folk does exist..... in many traditional/modern and corrupt forms.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:19 AM

I still want to know what sort of stuff "glueman" performs and why we should want to listen to it.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:20 AM

Yes


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:21 AM

Psychedelic banjo JC but I'm not sure that has any bearing on the question. My instinct is that there are only sounds, agreeable and disagreeable and nomenclature is misleading and occasionally mischievous. But I'm prepared to be convinced by peerless logic or well intentioned pokes.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:32 AM

Apparently iTunes has decreed that "folk" doesn't in fact exist..
Luckily for me, because I sing "traditional songs", the existence or non-existence of "folk", cause's me no form of inconvenience or distress.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: evansakes
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:34 AM

"Does Folk Exist?"

Philosophically....yes.

Scientifically.....nobody can be sure as it's not been empirically proven.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:36 AM

Perhaps if we called them 'old songs' we could do away with inflammable titles completely? Or is the flammability and risk of immolation part of the attraction?


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:41 AM

I suppose "psychedelic banjo" was what I was playing last night - at a mostly-Scottish-trad session led by an accordionist, but Lindsay Porteous turned up with a cumbus-tanbur he'd refretted to mountain dulcimer tuning, and I accompanied him on an Arabic oud for a few American old-time tunes.

I didn't find it necessary to pick a fight with anybody to get people listening.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:41 AM

If a folk singer falls over in a forest and no one is there to hear him did it really happen?

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 06:49 AM

No JC! I have no desire to play for the public. Just immediate family and friends when I'm sure all the exits are locked. Are you suggesting public performance is a folk phenomenon? Would Rock, Blues, Serial music, Opera also not qualify?


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Ernest
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 07:00 AM

No.

Anything you encounter is only a product of your phantasy caused by whatever weird substances you have been taken.

Can I claim copyright on the word "infolksicated" that I just have invented?

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 07:48 AM

I'm liking infolksicated Ernest. Can you understand folk without becoming infolksicated? One suspects not.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Bruce MacNeill
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 09:08 AM

Apparently, it's not in the consciousness of younger people anymore. If you find it somewhere, please bring it back. It was much easier to teach kids to play guitar back in the 60's. The early etudes in the books are mostly old folk songs and my early-teen-aged students have never heard them and have no idea what they should sound like. It's sad. Many of those songs were 100 years old when I was a kid but I had heard them. Most could be played with 3 or 4 chords which gave the students a place to start that resembled real music. I want the "Folk Revival" back and I want it now.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM

Folk is the corporeal offspring of The Tradition, somewhat akin to Christ being the Son of God. If this analogy holds out then The Folk Process is The Holy Ghost. This is our Trinity, but as to whether it exists or not, it's very much a matter of faith. Personally, I don't think my Folk Faith has ever been lower than it is right now, though I doggedly persevere, yeah, even as a voice singing The Molecatcher in the wilderness! Times I might wonder because I look around and I see no Folk; times it seems The Tradition has abandoned us, and what of The Folk Process which once descended to bestow, verily, tongues of fire? I await a new prophet; the second coming of Barley Temple (he whose name is so sacred we but dare write in anagram form!) who will lead us back to the Old Testament prophets Larner, Cox, Pardon, & all so we might begin afresh with great rejoicing at such a renewal.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 09:25 AM

The term 'folk music' implies that some people constitute 'the folk,' and others do not.

I don't believe in 'the folk.' It is much too big and clumsy a category.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 09:57 AM

Folk mainly existed back when there was an obvious distinction between "music" (what highly proficient composers and lyricists set their names to and expected you to play without notable variation) and "trash" (everything else that one might play, whistle, or sing - with whatever variations or alterations that came to mind). "folk" being a later synonym for what was called either "trash" or "that nice song she's always humming," depending on your point of view.

Apparently this golden age, never stable, began to collapse between about 1850 and 1900, when signed compositions became available as sheet music at lower and lower prices; the bottom fell out when the phonograph became widespread after 1900.

At that point anyone could listen to whatever sort of music they wanted. "Folk" became the default designation for really old stuff performed by really old people in a really old style.

This really old stuff was treasured and revived by those of a conservative antiquarian, anthropological, and/or radical Marxist turn of mind. By 1960, it was obvious that whizbang arrangements of old songs and tunes could make a fortune for interested parties. That was when "folk" became a marketing label that came to mean (mostly) new stuff, not jazz, blues, or rock, performed by young white people with guitars. If said new stuff was in lyrical, pensive, confessional, modernist-poetic, or protesting mode, so much the better! A blend of all the above was better yet!

As a result, graying, desperate antiquarians and Marxists had to cling to the "traditonal" moniker for old anonymous stuff that the general public could stand only in small doses, if then. Soon rap music appeared, proving that anyone who could rhyme and had access to a turntable could get in the running to make a fortune. It was folklike in expressing popular, folky interests like love, sex, and violence, unfolklike in that only a philistine would perform somebody else's rap, thus short-circuiting the likelihood of a "traditional rap song."   

So in answer to your question: yes, "folk" exists, but in two forms. For most consumers it's the pensive guitar-type stuff mentioned above. For us pointy-headed geezers, it's what's there is when you can credit words and music to "Unknown or Irrelevant," and when you can also say, "Perform in any style you want, modify ad lib, don't worry about complaints from ASCAP."   

So it seems to me. And now, back under my rock!


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:02 AM

W/a collection of traditional songs on itunes/amazon.com listed as a singer-songwriter work it seems the term has disappeared into cyber-space. Approval ratings and sales are high, so it does't matter to me WHAT badge they hang on it.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM

"Folk" became the default designation for really old stuff performed by really old people in a really old style.'

Brilliant stuff.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:08 AM

(he whose name is so sacred we but dare write [it] in anagram form!)

Malty Bleeper might be a better one!

Otherwise, what a fascinating thread this is turning out to be; my faith might well be restored after all...


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM

Or even A Tremble Yelp...


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:16 AM

Nah, Barley Temple had just the right sacrificial overtones.
Though the second coming really aughta hurry up and make a show, we've got an apocalypse scheduled for 2012!


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 10:18 AM

Shirley Temple? Paul Temple? Simon Templar, John Barleycorn?


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 11:45 AM

THe topic question is semantically null.


A


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 11:50 AM

*guide enters with a tour group*


"and this, ladies and gentleman, is what some term a wind up thread, you may form your own conclusions."


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 01:01 PM

"and this, ladies and gentleman, is what some term a wind up thread, you may form your own conclusions."

Exactly, Rifleman.

How is this not another troll-like thread? And why are there so many lately? I mostly ignore them, but c'mon. There are real things to discuss, but it is impossible to discuss them within such a shallow framework as some of these new threads.

Not that it ultimately matters that much -- but I suggest either adding to an already established thread, OR coming up with an original approach and accompanying that by a DETAILED exposition of the issue and what has been said on it already. Otherwise these "Is sex sexy?" questions are just B.S.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 01:20 PM

"how is this not another troll-like thread And why are there so many lately"

Here's another one


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 01:57 PM

If a folksong tree falls into a record bin and no one hears it, does it exist?

Yes, because you may not find folk in a record bin but out in the world somewhere.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 02:07 PM

"jerks need not apply"

The thread has had some excellent contributions. Creative minds wander where they will, quotidian sensibilities stick to the well trodden path.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 03:34 PM

No way is this a troll thread, and it is only semantically null to the semantically dull. As the Sticky One says, we've had some great posts here and, as a consequence, my folk spirits are higher than they've been for some time. Same goes for the Is folk music folk music thread; sure we've been there before but these things need to be discussed, clarified, redefined, intuited upon and above all celebrated which is exactly what we're doing here.

Trolls need not apply!


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 03:38 PM

It's a grammatical error. The question should be "Do folk exist?

I do. I can't speak for the rest of you.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM


Since all music in every culture has its origins in folk..... all music must therefore stem from folk....


That sounds suspiciously like that damned old horse again!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 04:12 PM

it is only semantically null to the semantically dull. A

Either you have a shallow understanding of semantics, or your are just being irascible. I did not say the question would not stimulate a cloud of discussion; I said it was semantically null. To place the word "folk" in the sentence at all is to posit the existence of the practice or entity that you are calling folk. To then ask if what you have posited to exist, and which is agreed on by anyone who uses the same definition, does exist, is circular. When you run in circles you end up....never mind.



A


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 11:11 AM

Lighter,

Well put.

I personally use "Folk music" as a conversation stopper.

Suppose a person asks me "What kind of music do you play?"

If I want to bring the conversation to a halt I reply "Folk music." It seems to me that most people think they know what folk music is and are pretty sure that they are not interested in it.

If I think the conversation has possibilities I reply "Old time music." Most people who don't play have no idea what that is and the term might pique their curiousity.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Aeola
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 04:45 PM

All very interesting, but, it would really be interesting if we knew what the guy, who originally coined the word 'Folk' was really thinking!!


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:33 PM

"Does Folk Exist?"

'DO folk exist?' would be a better construction.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:38 PM

You'd be going a long way back indeed, and the earliest concept I know of for the word is "people", or sometimes "common people" as distinguished from aristocrats.

f"olk   (fōk)   
n.   pl. folk or folks
The common people of a society or region considered as the representatives of a traditional way of life and especially as the originators or carriers of the customs, beliefs, and arts that make up a distinctive culture: a leader who came from the folk."

[Middle English, from Old English folc; see pelə-1 in Indo-European roots.]

Origin:
bef. 900; ME; OE folc; c. OS, ON folk, OHG folk (G Volk)


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:45 PM

"Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 05:33 PM

"Does Folk Exist?"

'DO folk exist?' would be a better construction."

That was me. Don't want Joe claiming that as an example of me using a Guest alias.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:19 AM

As the OP I toiled grievously over Do or Does and opted for the latter, though with reservations. Do seemed to open up vernacular forms, now't so queer and other catch-all phrases that encompass the entire population rather than the problematised, edenic and largely dead strain who conjoured up the tradition. This divide may be a misapprehension of course and 'do' might have yielded riper fruit.

What I was attempting to uncover is whether the cultural artefact known as folk existed as anything more than an abstraction, whether its edges were fuzzy, hard or marked by aperture and transparency enabling a free flow of input and outgoing debate about where it begins and ends.
I find all this very interesting, while acknowledging it's a minority sport - though not necessarily a blood one.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:24 AM

LOL

Just
funnin'
with
ya.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:53 AM

I think--the 1954 definition aside--that folk implies a type of music that is distinguishable from others because it 'sounds' a certain way, says certain things certain ways. Maybe I can't describe it very well, but I know it when I hear it, glueman. So your remark about 'fuzzy around the edges' applies in my thoughts, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:48 AM

My original notion a couple of months back (see HERE) was for a thread entitled Does Folk Music Exist? Despite Glueman's encouragement in this matter I was feeling understandably frail after the epic struggle that was 1954 and All That and thought I'd let things settle before giving the matter further thought. In this way I subsequently forgot all about it until Glueman opened this one which, as I have stated above, has confounded my every expectation.

I note that back on the 8th of May I used the phrase Cultural Liminality with respect of Folk, and as I sit here trying to shake off my Sunday morning hangover an image forms of Folk as a spectral presence which requires mediumistic intervention to make it manifest as a corporeal entity. For example, on Thursday nights, the back room of The Old Cock and Bull is used for a Folk Club; a regular crowd of 30 or so local middle-aged Folkies gather therein with their guitars, dulcimers, banjos, Black Sea Fiddles, bowed psalteries &c. and a merry old time is had by all, as old chestnuts are warmed, choruses are roared, jokes repeated and shibboleths confirmed, in what is, in effect, a seance. Thus ghosts are raised, possessions are established, doubts are banished and faiths are restored. On Friday nights however, the back room of The Old Cock and Bull is used for The Carvery. How different it is from the night before, even if that couple over there in the corner tucking into their Roast Beef of Old England were just last night singing about it. But who else at The Carvery is to know that? Who else might guess that had they sat in this room but 24 fours earlier how very different it would have been? It's even worse on Wednesday nights; no one uses the back room at all and the landlord doesn't even bother to put the lights on; you might walk through it to get to the gents; you might catch a shadowy movement out of the corner of your eye; as a lorry rumbles past outside you think you hear the sound of singing, distant, yet chillingly vivid since we've learned a new act to drive sorrows away.... But when he lorry is gone, all is silence, as you hurriedly zip up your fly and haste back to the safety of the bar, and the silent TV screen...

I think Folk Music (in the sense that we mean the term here on Mudcat) only exists because a small minority of people make a very particular sort of effort to make it exist. In no way does it have a life of its own, although anyone in the back room of The Cock and Bull on a Thursday night would maybe argue with that one for not only are they mediums, but in the right situation they are The Possessed.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 07:43 PM

That is beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 03:41 AM

My instinct is the tradition is safe because key 'texts' (to use a functional neologism) were saved by collectors and exist in every digital, aural and hard format conceived. So the embattled stance folk has adopted is largely a stylistic trapping made popular by the revival.

Those songs come alive by performance but are vital enough to have sprung a continuance of the material which may or may not have anything to do with original broadsides and ballads. Indeed it is possible (and quite likely) to hear traditional material that by familiarity or institutionalisation has none of the spirit of folk (much as a prayer is muttered in a church service with no sense of the word's meaning) while hearing renditions that are historically inauthentic which are imbued with the essential matter of folk.

That matter is mercurial, I believe its elusiveness is somehow intrinsic to it and won't be categorised by history or musical virtuosity. It is some deep and direct utterance of the soul that can only be perceived when it is heard and defies language and music, which is why the national boundaries of folk are inventions. Folk may speak to one community more than another but is essentially universal.
I'd suggest that the Victorian obsession with taxonomy did a good deal to reduce the impact of this common sound and to create boundaries that still exist today.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: treewind
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 03:58 AM

One aspect of that question that always gets me thinking is this: was there a time when "folk music" didn't exist separately from music? How far back?

For instance, 900 years ago when the church was the seat of all learning, was all secular music folk music? Did they call it that?
Was music a profession only practised by those who had the ability and the inclination? Were there amateur musicians? Is the amateur/profession distinction relevant to a discussion about "folk music" anyway?

Is D'Urfeys "Pills To Purge Melancholy" folk music?
Henry Purcell used to get together with his friends in South London pubs to sing bawdy catches - was that folk music?

...(cont. p.94)


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 04:19 AM

it is possible (and quite likely) to hear traditional material that by familiarity or institutionalisation has none of the spirit of folk (much as a prayer is muttered in a church service with no sense of the word's meaning) while hearing renditions that are historically inauthentic which are imbued with the essential matter of folk.

I tend to agree. If I had to choose, I'd say my version of Jones's Ale (with an extra verse nobody else had heard before) was more the real thing than the Pleasant and Delightful I once heard sight-read in note-perfect two-part harmony - it was very lovely, but it wasn't very 'folk'.

Where I disagree is that I don't think we do have to choose - for me, traditional material is all folk, regardless of how it's performed. The person muttering a prayer in a church is still helping to make something happen, however unenthused they may be as an individual. Someone who comes to a singaround and reads the words to the Wild Rover out of a book is still helping to make folk music live.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 04:24 AM

the tradition is safe because key 'texts' (to use a functional neologism) were saved by collectors

It could well be argued that The Tradition is an illusion created by the very selective methodology employed by the collectors with respect to their agenda which set out to establish such a notion in the first place. Thus - anything that didn't fit that agenda was ignored; and anything that did was treated as an imperfect manifestation of a greater ideal and modified to fit.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 04:47 AM

Which is to say the potency of a faith should not be measured by the imperfections of its theology.


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Subject: RE: Does Folk Exist?
From: glueman
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 04:59 AM

Well yes, I agree with that conclusion SO'P. The tradition as a word and an idea has become talismanic, a fundamental minimum of belonging, much as a belief in a deity is the basic building block of western religion (as we're using spiritual analogies). The stuff we call traditional, the material of collectors, is likely to be at the very posh end of the common sound which spanned every person who ever wanted to express his condition in front of an ale-house fireplace.

To my ears a good deal of the tradition is formulaic and leads to the suspicion collectors did indeed pick songs that fitted their idea of what old music was. I'm not convinced of Pip's rote performances as anything more than a perpetuation of the modern phenomenon of Folk Revival, any more than I am of the Nicean Creed's ability to transport someone who was thinking about what they were going to have for their tea.
There has to be a yearning, and that longing has to be more than attending a singaound.


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