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Traditional singer definition

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r.padgett 19 Aug 10 - 11:04 AM
alanabit 19 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM
greg stephens 19 Aug 10 - 11:15 AM
treewind 19 Aug 10 - 11:17 AM
theleveller 19 Aug 10 - 11:31 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Aug 10 - 01:26 PM
Bernard 19 Aug 10 - 01:37 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Aug 10 - 01:49 PM
Howard Jones 19 Aug 10 - 02:14 PM
Dan Schatz 19 Aug 10 - 02:18 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Aug 10 - 02:35 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Aug 10 - 02:49 PM
Tootler 19 Aug 10 - 02:52 PM
TheSnail 19 Aug 10 - 03:19 PM
theleveller 19 Aug 10 - 03:20 PM
theleveller 19 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM
Matthew Edwards 19 Aug 10 - 03:28 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Aug 10 - 03:44 PM
r.padgett 19 Aug 10 - 03:46 PM
Matthew Edwards 19 Aug 10 - 04:00 PM
r.padgett 19 Aug 10 - 04:04 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM
r.padgett 19 Aug 10 - 04:10 PM
Matthew Edwards 19 Aug 10 - 04:13 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 10 - 04:37 PM
Matthew Edwards 19 Aug 10 - 04:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 10 - 04:52 PM
Matthew Edwards 19 Aug 10 - 05:10 PM
TheSnail 19 Aug 10 - 05:12 PM
Paul Burke 19 Aug 10 - 05:28 PM
Don Firth 19 Aug 10 - 08:54 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Aug 10 - 03:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 20 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM
mauvepink 20 Aug 10 - 05:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Aug 10 - 05:30 AM
mauvepink 20 Aug 10 - 05:49 AM
theleveller 20 Aug 10 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,LDT 20 Aug 10 - 06:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 20 Aug 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,LDT 20 Aug 10 - 06:13 AM
mauvepink 20 Aug 10 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,LDT 20 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Aug 10 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 20 Aug 10 - 06:30 AM
mauvepink 20 Aug 10 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,LDT 20 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM
Howard Jones 20 Aug 10 - 07:56 AM
mauvepink 20 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,LDT 20 Aug 10 - 08:09 AM
Howard Jones 20 Aug 10 - 08:11 AM
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Subject: Traditional singer definition
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:04 AM

I thought I had a Eureka moment last night, or maybe a bad pint!

I sing Tradtional songs and those of social and historical worth (in my view)

I am not a Traditional singer:

Traditional singers maybe, Fred Jordan, Walter Pardon, Sam Larner, Paddy Tunney and so on~~

Now a Traditionalist singer!!

Is a singer of traditional songs and similar, written in the traditional format, that is for example contemporary traditionalist singer songwriters such as John Conolly, Alan Bell, Keith Marsden as well as accepted traditional songs from source singers

What do you think!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: alanabit
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM

I think I am going to keep my mouth shut and my head down before the fighting starts!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:15 AM

Do I have strong and deeply thought out opinions on this? Yes!!
Am I going to air them here? No!!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: treewind
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:17 AM

I'm just off to buy a big wooden spoon and gift-wrap it for you Ray...


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:31 AM

I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head there, Ray. Now a traditionalist singer is what I'be be happy to be known as. BTW, what beer was it? I could do with some enlightenment myself :)


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 01:26 PM

Is this like the difference between a Shaman and 'Shamanistic'? I think I'll call meself a Traddishistic Singer then..


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Bernard
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 01:37 PM

Well... I regard the term 'Traditional Singer' as an impossibility. The descriptive term is given incorrect emphasis. It cannot describe the person, only the material they choose to sing.

A singer of traditional songs, or a singer in the traditional style, maybe.

Ray's 'Traditionalist' works, though.

Would you speak of a 'Real Ale Drinker' or a 'Drinker of Real Ale', for example? Man eating lion and man eating banana...!!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 01:49 PM

I'm with Bernard on this especially about bananas. Traditional banana definition thread will be up soon

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 02:14 PM

"It cannot describe the person, only the material they choose to sing."

Used the way the OP suggests (which is how I tend to use it) it describes the context in which they sing the songs and which shaped their approach to singing.

There's clearly a distinction between the likes of Fred Jordan and Walter Pardon, who sang traditional songs from within the tradition, and revival singers who sing traditional songs. It would be helpful to have accepted and agreed terms to be able to make that distinction without misunderstanding.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 02:18 PM

Maybe the true definition of a "traditional singer" is someone who can change the words as much as they like and nobody bats an eyelash.

Dan (ducking)


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 02:35 PM

I know I will regret getting invoved in this but.............


1. The 19C/20C collectors selected some songs from singers and ignored other songs from the same people
2. The singers in question sang very old songs, old songs, songs from friends and family songs fom broadsides, hymns and musichall songs and all sorts of other songs
3. Songs were collected in a number of contexts, pubs, homes, workhouses, rich houses and church settings
4. Much was written down by trained musicians with a pencil and paper and a strict education in music
5. Although some collectors may have been sympathetic to the impoverished lives of working people they often knew little of the lives of the singers.
6. People have been collecting and singing old songs for hundreds of years from working people in all sorts of contexts and lots of different parts of these Islands.
7.The collectors edited and shared some but not all of what they collected.

So, "Traditional singer definition"?

No chance.

Singing old songs that have been around for year? Lets do it. Isn't the essential link between the singers who were the last source of these old songs and those of us who sing them now the context? We most often sit in smallish acoustic spaces and sing the songs to small collections of people and in that context the songs are at theie best and so are the singers.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 02:49 PM

Oh dear, Ray, you're going over very old ground here and stuff that's been mulled over on Mudcat for seemingly centuries. In fact it's a Mudcat tradition. As I've said many times whenever these definitions crop up the words mean different things to different people. Even such a small circle as the British Folk Scene uses this expression in two different ways rather loosely. Most of us who have been around for a while have been used to using the expression to describe those people like you have mentioned above, Walter Pardon, Harry Cox, Jim Copper and all those people recorded by Sharp, Grainger, Kidson, Gardiner etc. but as it has become more used to describe simply people like ourselves who sing traditional songs we have become more inclined to use the expression 'source singer'. As you won't find these expressions in a dictionary there is little point in arguing the toss.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 02:52 PM

I think I'll call meself a Traddishistic Singer then..

Take another look CS. You might like to revisit that definition [g]

There is also the matter of the Equine Singer

At this point I leave the stage and go into Lurker mode.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:19 PM

I once heard Fred Jordan sing The Fields of Athenry.































Just thought I'd mention it.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:20 PM

"Used the way the OP suggests (which is how I tend to use it) it describes the context in which they sing the songs and which shaped their approach to singing."

Yes, precisely, and also the contest in which the songs were created - in fact I was thinking about staring a thread about this but chickened out.

I think Ray has actually simplfied the matter.

OK, here's my Eureka moment coming home on the train tonight (no beer was involved). The songs are like an ancient oak standing in the corner of a field where a crop of fresh new corn is sprouting. They both spring from and are nurtured by the same earth, in the same place, and thrive there. I could go on and talk about harvesting with a scythe or a combine but I really do need a glass of wine or three.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM

Not 'contest' (freudian slip?) but context LOL!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:28 PM

That man-eating banana of Bernard's is a lot more worrying than anything else in this thread...

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:44 PM

Maybe Matthew but I find it very reassuring

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:46 PM

I have not attempted to define a "traditional singer" or source singer ~ like buses can recognise 'em but not define!

I am suggesting that the term "traditionalist singer" (not my word originally) be applied as above to singers of traditional and similar

Steve Gardham has been described in an advert I have, as a traditional singer (he does have claim in fact) I dont believe he would describe himself thus, tho!

Ray

swords at the ready and touche!!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:00 PM

Ray - you're a bloody good singer! now let's all have another pint of whatever it is you were drinking last night. Whose round is it now?

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:04 PM

So kind words sir, thanks!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM

Is there something wrong with the established term, "folksong singer"?


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:10 PM

O don't let Steve Gardham see those two words together!

Folksinger is totally generic! says nothing really

Ray

and so to bed


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:13 PM

Richard - anyone who mentions the word "folksong" has to buy the next round....

That'll be 5 pints of Black Sheep, and what are the rest of you having? oh, and a banana daquiri for Bernard please.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:37 PM

You mean you have forgotten the hickory daquiri doc?


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:48 PM

@Richard; "the hickory daquiri doc"

Brilliant!!! Now that definitely has earned you a pint. What's your poison?

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:52 PM

Then there are "sauce singers", who only sing when they are lubricated...


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:10 PM

Er, Kevin, re. "singers who only sing when they are lubricated..."

Shouldn't that be in this thread:- sex or trad folk: which is best???

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:12 PM

Time flies like an arrow.
































Fruit flies like a banana.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:28 PM

Finger?

Ear?


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 08:54 PM

After all the donnybrooks there have been on this subject here on the Cat, I don't give a wall-eyed hoot what anyone calls me, folk singer, singer of folk songs, traditional singer, traditionalist singer, singer of traditional songs, minstrel, troubadour, bard, scop, skald, or Fred Flintstone.

Just don't call me late for dinner.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 03:41 AM

And don't call me Shirley

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM

Traddy will do for the Real Stuff, and Folky for the Other Stuff. I'm not too keen on Traditionalist because it implies Traditionalism which comes laden with cultish overtones of religious and political dogma which we all know is anathema to right thinking people the world o'er, not least to your Traddy / Folky of course, who would baulk at such debris, cosmic or otherwise. Talking of cosmic debris, someone called my stuff Shamanic the other day (on my Myspace page) which made me wonder if that's another word that has lost whatever sort of meaning it might once have had. Trouble with Myspace is you can't really enter into any sort of meaningful discussion of these things, unlike Mudcat of course, where enlightement might be forged in the white heat of intellectual debate. Must dig out my copy of Eliade's Shamanism : Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy...


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 05:18 AM

The most odd thing happened on Wednesday night. I turned up at a folk club I go to fairly regular and only 4 people turned up from the more usual 10+. They turned up late and did not want to be the first ones to start singing so no singing took place. We chatted for an hour or so and the question of some other clubs popped up as to how they deal (or don't deal) with folk songs. Not so much the clubs but some of the people that attend them.

For instance, one club I used to go to had a chap who used to moan every time someone sung a John Denver song, complaining it was not folk music, and then would sing a Country & Western song himself. Yet another club is talking of stopping people singing more than one "cowboy" song. Some of my fellow chatters that evening gave examples of bad times they have had when people have moaned about them singing something outside what some consider folk songs.

I go to one folk club that has been going for three decades. All sorts of songs get sung there. Pop, punk, jazz, blues, C&W, folk... etc.. Now they must be doing something right there. There are never less than 10 singers and at least 20 audience. Yet another club I frequent has such an open door policy and a likewise large attendance of performers and audience. These are relaxed places where you will see all sorts of instruments played in all sorts of ways. No one chunners on if someone sings 'outside' the folk tile.

Surely folk music encompasses so many kinds of songs and types of music? So many well loved 'folk songs' are actually written in the last three decades, so longevity does not have to be a criteria.

I always refer to Louis Armstrong's definition of "All music is folk music, I ain't never heard no horse sing a song". In fact he came out with so many good musical quotes...

"What we play is life"

"We all do 'do, re, mi,' but you have got to find the other notes yourself."

"I never tried to prove nothing, just wanted to give a good show. My life has always been my music, it's always come first, but the music ain't worth nothing if you can't lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, 'cause what you're there for is to please the people."

And to paraphrase something he said about jazz music "If you have to ask what folk (jazz) music is, you'll never know"

What I require of folk music is for it to touch my emotions in some way. What I call it does not matter. What it does to me is. Folk is a big enough title to encompass so very much and not all of it has to be just right for me. It's good that it touches others in different ways too.

Traditionally I love music. 'Nuff said ;-)

mp

mp


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 05:30 AM

"What I require of folk music is for it to touch my emotions in some way"

Excellent point Ms / Mr mauvepink. But surley (and don't call me Shirley) that is the point of all and any music. It either does something for you or it doesn't. It's an engagement between you and the music. How other people are affected is, or should be, irrelevant.

Somewhere between the old songs collected in the 19th and early 20C and the folk clubs, residents, guests, festivals, songwriters and recordings of the last half of the 20C and the first decade of this one exists a cannon of songs and tunes taht does something to a lot of us. Give it a name and generate a row. Look - here comes one now!

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 05:49 AM

Dear Shirley ;-)

I need to perhaps make my idea clearer and have no way to do it. I'll try though...

"that is the point of all and any music"

Indeed it is but most all and any music can actually be categorised so much easier than folk it seems. I love opera and classical music too but know exactly what they are and so would most. I have no problems putting then in their own little box so to speak.

Traditional folk I think is one of the hardest things to define to a level all can agree on. So I think one can only agree on it to what it means to you yourself. Then you have to accept that other's too have their own definition. What you cannot do is demand of others to perform to your criteria (though it seems that is what happens). In short I am happy to include many types of song under the traditional folk banner that I agree to. We need to keep all types of music within that alive and kicking.

Even traditional/traditiuonlist folkies rarely agree on what is traditional. Is there, in fact, a set definition? I will stick with Louis Armstronmg for mine :-)

Shirley (sic) it's the only way in which to keep our sanity? lol

mp

(ms)


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:06 AM

I've got it! Not traditionalist but traditionalish.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:10 AM

In the words of the Navy Lark
"everybody down!"


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:11 AM

Traditionalish is what we're looking for.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:13 AM

I was bored the other day..so started trying to think of 10 commandments for mudcat discussions. Number one being:
Thou shalt not utter the word 'traditional'.
*giggle*

I'll go back in my box again now.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:15 AM

Start the thread LDT.... I'll post ;-)

mp


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM

Can 'guests' start threads?
    Guests may start music threads, but we prefer that you sign up.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:25 AM

A traditional singer is, of course, anyone who sings. Hence Harry Cox, Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger and Dame Kiri TeKanawa are all traditional singers. Oh yes, and Bob Dylan. This strange state of affairs has arisen because only in the field of folk music are we denied definitions - because they are oppressive and they stop people who do rock music performing in folk clubs - although, actually they don't unless the particular club has a policy - and policies are oppressive ... aren't they?


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:30 AM

Good old Ray.. Light blue touch paper, stand well back and enjoy.

Now... My old man used to get drunk in the pub on Xmas Eve, and when we got back home, he used to slump in his chair and start crooning "Old Shep."

If the beer had been watered down more than normal, (not mentioning the pub, but near Worksop...) then he could get as far as the verse about getting his gun out and aiming it at Shep's faithful head. That had the women in tears. Thankfully, he normally passed out before the doctor said I can do no more him.

My point? That was a family tradition. hence, he was a traditional singer......


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:34 AM

I think you can in BS LDT but if you try and fail I'll do it for you if you wish

mp


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM

'BS'???


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 07:56 AM

...10 commandments for mudcat discussions. Number one being:
Thou shalt not utter the word 'traditional'.


Number two being, "Thou shalt not utter the word 'horse'"


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM

BS/Non-music Threads below the music ones

mp


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 08:09 AM

should be
here if I've done it correctly


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Subject: RE: Traditional singer definition
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 08:11 AM

This is in danger of turning into yet another "what is folk?" discussion when it is really about something different.

On the one hand you have those singers who learned their craft and their songs in the context of an ongoing tradition, where this music was still a part of the community's daily life. On the other hand, you have those singers who came from outside that tradition and who learned their songs mainly from books and records, and perform them mainly in a self-consciously "folky" environment.

That is what I meant by "context" in my earlier post. It is that context, or background if you prefer, which made Fred Jordan a "traditional" singer, even if he was singing a modern song, or even if he learned it off a Martin Carthy album, and even if he was performing in a folk club. The same context means I won't call myself a traditional singer, even when I'm singing a song I may have learned off Fred in a a Shropshire pub.

This is why terms such as "traditional singer" or "source singer" could be useful, if only everyone could agree on them. Of course, if you don't recognise the distinction, or don't think it matters, then you don't need these nuances of vocabulary.


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