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No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?

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The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 09:52 PM
michaelr 13 Oct 10 - 09:53 PM
Rapparee 13 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM
Slag 13 Oct 10 - 10:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 10:43 PM
Tim Leaning 13 Oct 10 - 10:52 PM
Crowhugger 13 Oct 10 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Oct 10 - 11:52 PM
Ernest 14 Oct 10 - 01:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 AM
TheSnail 14 Oct 10 - 03:50 AM
giles earle 14 Oct 10 - 03:52 AM
nickp 14 Oct 10 - 03:58 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:37 AM
Nigel Parsons 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 04:48 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM
Hesk 14 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM
Arthur_itus 14 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM
Ruth Archer 14 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM
Arthur_itus 14 Oct 10 - 07:03 AM
Ruth Archer 14 Oct 10 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Desi C 14 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
The Sandman 14 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM
Old Vermin 14 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:02 AM
olddude 14 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM
Crane Driver 14 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM
Hamish 14 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM
Dave Sutherland 14 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM
Stringsinger 14 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Fydeplayer 14 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM
Tim Leaning 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
Bill D 14 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM
MikeL2 14 Oct 10 - 11:14 AM
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Subject: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:29 PM

Look guys, we've tried it for ages from the other way, and got nowhere - so, in desperation, I thought using the logical principle like Sherlock Holmes of eliminating all that can NOT possibly be, then maybe we can find the 3 or 4 REAL Folk tunes/Songs we all agree on, we can make progress!

We can then issue an edict on behalf of The Folk Police and all will be well!

The Folk Police is a new band that I will be forming, along the lines of Conrad's thesis of FRED Fookmoosic, to be only performed in vacant fields (Anybody who wants to loan their farm would be welcome!) for free.

Bring your own shovel so you can shit in the hedges. Special Guest artist WAV will be performing his entire repert, refartory, er approved list of poems and songs.

Anybody know a brewery that won't mind if we borrow a few kegs?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:38 PM

The Folk Police:

Mission Statement.

Any song you wish to perform, must be presented to the Committee (me, 3 random passers by and my mate's dog) with no less than 3 A4 pages double spaces (room for comments and dog's muddy paws) od documentation from approved sources such as Wikipedia. When approved, this document must be read out before the item can be performed.

Player capabilities: None necessary. Instruments will be drawn by lot before each item performed. Any singer who can hold a note will be retrained - please bring your own bucket.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:52 PM

Just a quick thought.

Now, I'm serious about this. We don't need mischief making anonymous posters posting under fake names. Please only post if you sincerely want to see improvements in our manufactured culture.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:53 PM

Hey, Townes Van Zant said it best, years ago:

There's only two kinds of music: The blues and zippity-doo-dah.

Let the police chew on that!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM

Well, Mozart's Requiem probably isn't folk music. Nor is JS Bach's stuff.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Slag
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:13 PM

Kind of reminds me of the C&W song quite a few years back, "He Ain't Country". I had to agree with the artist (who's name escapes me at the moment) and I went one step further and added his name to his list.

But isn't that the point? Each person has to determine what is and what isn't. In so doing, we define ourselves. We have bull's eyes and and a whole lot of agreement. Standard stuff. Then we have the next ring and the next. My target may have many features in common with yours and not so many with the next guy. What the last ring may be is quite arbitrary but it won't be a matter of much agreement except perhaps the opinion of the artist.

Just don't be like the guy who shot his arrow at the side of the barn and then painted the bull's eye around the arrow!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:43 PM

No guys, C& W and Classical - that's not playing fair!

What you have to demonstrate is music that is called 'Folk' but is clearly not.

I'm sitting here in my little room with my little piece of paper ready to make notes. If you can't come up with some sensible suggestions, then I'll just have to use it for the other purpose and then find another piece of paper. I'm running out of corn cobs.

And Slag - just keep the Bull out of the China Shop ok?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:52 PM

No no a thousand times no....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 11:26 PM

Okay who sprung my computer screen into a parallel universe? I could swear someone says they wanna define folk, and using a minus sign yet!


There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 11:52 PM

for starters:

machinistic contemporary long hair music where the instruments are forced to scream, gurgle, scurry, blat or overblow. No melody is allowed. I call this stuff 'ink ank oink.'

Any music where the chord symbols have more than one feature after the chord name. D7 is okay. D7sus4 is not.

Any vocal music (such as a John Rutter alto part) which a musical person has to practice 40 times before mastering.

Any instrument which costs more than an average home. Pipe organ comes to mind.

Sorry, but I won't be around for a while to hear the cheers and huzzahs which are sure to greet this breakthrough. (yeah right)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 01:40 AM

Anything horses sing.....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 AM

Now we're making some philosophical progress, but to satisfy people like Conrad, we need concrete examples of an exclusionary nature.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:50 AM

You want to satisfy Conrad?!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: giles earle
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:52 AM

John Cage's so-famous 4 minutes 33 seconds

Could any folk musician honestly say he/she could sit with an instrument ready in their hands, and not play it, for even one minute 33?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: nickp
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:58 AM

Giles, I could... but I'm only an amateur not a musician *grin*


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM

I've just played Cage's piece as a silent D7sus4 chord on my guitar. Sounded pretty folky - funky even - to me. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM

OK Giles, that's the first definite elimination.

Sorry Will, just because YOU like it (and for that matter can play it by ear), doesn't always make it Real Folk, even if you are trying to bring it into the 'tradition'.

The committee, - well, my mate (the one with the dog) didn't understand it anyway. The first ruling of the committee is that dogs should not be excluded from folk meetings, well, some dogs, my mate can't get a dog sitter anyway.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM

Will, if you get to the net High Brooms "diddley" maybe we could duet on the Cage piece? I'm pretty sure that I've mastered it well enough not to hit any bum notes.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- wNohat IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:37 AM

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! It's OUT O.U.T!!! OUT! The Folk Police have Ruled on it!

Well, I suppose you can play it on your own outside of meetings then....


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

"John Cage's so-famous 4 minutes 33 seconds

Could any folk musician honestly say he/she could sit with an instrument ready in their hands, and not play it, for even one minute 33? "

Is there any evidence that any instrument was actually present during that recording?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

Rob - it's a deal. I'll play the first 2'16"" while you get the beers in, then you can take over the next 2'33" while I have a drink. We'll play together for the last second.

Perhaps they'll include this arrangement in the next published edition of "Rise Up Drinking".


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM

I can't add up either.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:48 AM

No! No! Stop! Not Allowed! Go Away!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM

Perhaps they'll include this arrangement in the next published edition of "Rise Up Drinking".

I sometimes have problems "rising up" when I've been drinking!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hesk
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM

Anything that I don't like listening to in a field,
And anything that I don't like listening to in the shed round the back of the pub.
This includes cows and electrical fittings.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:57 AM

FT: The first ruling of the committee is that dogs should not be excluded from folk meetings

I suppose that rules out "Seamus" as being an acceptable song, then:

I was in the kitchen
Seamus (that's the dog) was outside
Well, I was in the kitchen
Seamus, my old hound was outside
Well, you know the sun was sinking slowly
But my hound just sat right down and cried


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM

According to both the Horse Definition and the 1954 Definition, all music is Folk Music, though in the latter case we must pay special attention the words Folk and Community which in terms of a revival mooted entirely in terms of class condecension means the lower uneducated orders of society entirely innocent of the significance of what they did, much less to have had any hand in its creation. Personally, I don't think any music is truly Folk Music, because I don't believe the Folk existed outside of the fevered imaginations of Cecil Sharp and his merry band of cultural pranksters - certainly not in the form they were perceived as existing (and patronised accordingly). It would be easier to talk about Folkie Music, the music not of the Folk, but the Folkies - we Folkies indeed; we disparate band of cultural reprobates who not only derive pleasure from such anachronisic hollerings (however so misbegotton or else acquired) but perceive a contemporary relevance therein over and above mere preservation, God Forbid.

As for 4'33", it was never so much about silence as it was about deep listening, especially in the context of a concert hall. One reads of Cage spending time in the anechoic chamber of Harvard University and experiencing the sounds of his own nervous system - this much, and more, features in the WIKI entry for a piece which is frequently used by Mudcatters to express their wide-eyed bafflement on the nature of such music. Personally, I find Bob Dylan more baffling than John Cage, and would opt for even the most uneventful rendition of 4'33" than having to sit though anyone singing Mr Tambourine Man, but there you go. Of course there is that special circumstance when during a performance of 4'33" a busker pitches up nearby and proceeds to sing Mr Tambourine Man and thus, unwittingly, becomes part of the piece itself as peceived by that particular audience.

*

Talking of Mr Tambourine Man, I read the other day that Joe 'Habao' Texidor passed three years ago, October 2007. In terms of both the 1954 Definition and No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? I wonder what 'catters make of this?

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - I Say A Little Prayer - Live 1969 - featuring Joe Habao Texidor (tambourine & vocal)


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM

This is my understanding of the pure folk music
Quote
The term, which originated in the 19th century, has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by word of mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers.
Unquote

Therefore based on that, what isn't folk gets a bit easier.

This is an example of a song that many people believe to be traditional, but isn't as it was written in the 1960's and the person who wrote it is still alive and a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly. However this song is as good as any traditonal song. It was recorded live in March 2010 by Mudcatter Sooz, at Faldingworth Live and a great job she did of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-yzh8bO6PM

It's quite strange, but a few weeks ago at a local singaround that I Mc'ed, John Conolly came along and I asked him to finish off the evening with Fiddlers Green. He explained all about the song etc and then sang it.
A woman sitting next to me, who was Irish, was singing along, who to my knowledge, was not really a folky. Afterwards, I asked her how she knew the song. She said that she and her family sang the song often and until this evening, had always thought it was traditional and had no clue to the origins. It came as a big shock to her, to be sitting in front of the person who wrote it and was singing it.

Is that the sort of thing you are looking for Foulestroupe?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM

Arthur: Had the same thing at a singaround last week. A young, very Nationalistic lad of Irish extraction was there, and very proud of the fact that he "only plays trad Irish music". He proceeded to regale us with Fiddler's Green and was most put out (not to say disbelieving) when I told him it was written by a bloke from Grimsby who's not only still alive, but regularly performing!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM

Not sure what happened there, but whilst I rather die than be called a 'Catter', I have to thank Suibhne for the link to the Roland Kirk youtube clip.

Quite, quite wonderful.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM

*an aside*

And a really entertaining performer he is.

When I introduced John Conolly at a concert at Whitby this year as the man who wrote Fiddler's Green, the first thing he said, after sound-checking with a bit of The Punch and Judy Man (the sound check itself earned a ripple of applause) was, "Right, I'm not singing that. Or Fiddler's Green."

And he was true to his word! Fair play. Must be dispiriting to have people always turning up to hear just two songs!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:03 AM

Ruth

John has such a wide variety of funny and serious songs and is a true entertainer. I don't think people go just to hear Fiddlers Green. I know I don't. However many do enjoy it if he does it.

John on the singaround, did a few songs written by Bill Meek and himself. They were really good. He has a new Cd out of him and Bill and has done a few concerts based around those songs.

That is the good thing about John, he always varies his concerts.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:23 AM

At a festival like Whitby where you're doing several sets, you've got to! I thought he was great - first time I've seen him live and his songs were lovely but he was thoroughly entertaining to boot.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

For me anything after 1976 that's been in the charts ain folk music, quite a lot of it isn't really music, full stop. And of course now I'm sure many of you will post examples of music since 78 that is Worthy but I doubt it. Perhaps the definition should be - any song that is sung in music clubs 30 or more years after it's time?

Desi C


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM

Cliff Richard,Dick Miles[the last good bye one].


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM

Suibhne Astray - would it be OK to send your marvellous piece beginning "According to both the Horse Definition and the 1954 Definition, all music is Folk Music" etc to Private Eye?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:02 AM

Shorry, guysh, I got a bit exchited there before. But it'sh all right, me and my mate - he'sh da dog, no I mean, he'sh got da dag, were trying out some biersh for the nexsh meeting. Had about a doshen glasshesh, and boy, did it aroush my Mus-hic!

I don't have any problemsh rishing up after I been drinking!

......

Sorry about that fell asleep for a while there, all right now. Git that out of my system - I'll get it cleaned up later...

Look, this thread seems to have got a bit out of control.

We've had a few good suggestions, but I don't think you've been serious enough, except for that obviously over educated Sublime Ashtray guy back there a bit. Obviously he's too educated and serious for us, so Fred will con him into singing all 57 verses of that Kiddie Poem Collection thing he does all the time - The Ravens cry Fowl, or something - while we all sneak out the back.

Now if you don't all behave, I'll have to start banging my gavel!


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: olddude
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:08 AM

There is only two types of music silly people, let me learn ya as my granddad use to say. There is:

1) Hillbilly
2) Western

no other music exists, it was all a dream you had


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM

Are you defining music regarding its source or its style? Songs of an impeccably 1954 folk origin may cease to be folk (for me) when sung by a classical tenor with piano accompaniment, or by a rock band with electric guitars. A song whose origin doesn't meet the 1954 definition but is sung in a more 'traditional' style, may be more acceptable (to me) as 'folk' by a stylistic definition.

Definitions are tools, and you use different tools for different jobs (at least, most of us do). One definition may be a tool to define the field of study for academic research into texts and melody lines, and concentrates on the origins of the material, another may be more concerned with what the performance sounds like.

I like (but don't claim as my own) the definition that 'if you can't carry all your gear from the car to the venue in just one trip, it's not folk music'. One thing I don't do, is claim that my definition has to be, or should be, accepted by anyone else. I really don't care that much.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Hamish
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM

Dark matter. A mobile phone. A formula 1 racing car. Beef Wellington. Gravitational waves. None of these are folk music.

Whereas the Milky Way, an Aldis lamp, a bicycle, pie and mash, oceanic waves are all folk music.

Okay?


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM

I suspect that the Roland Kirk clip is from the "Supershow" performance of that year? These days it has become an (unjustified) much maligned concert but I thought it consisted of some of the top names in Rock and Blues all playing at their peak.
None of it is folk music (except a bit of Buddy Guy if you consider the Blues to be a folk form as I do) however.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

It is indeed from Supershow; I've got the DVD somewhere - buy it HERE.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:48 AM

Oh Dear, I think Hamish has spent too much time Walking About Vaguely ...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM

Now look here, Mr Ashtray, advertising is not allowed - performers are not supposed to make money, you are supposed to give the stuff away for free as per the Conrad Thesis - but if you give us a small voluntary donation, we can just keep all that under the table. If you park your car over there, we'll even glue on a few complimentary doll's heads and bottle tops.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM

1. Symphonic orchestral music
2. Sophisticated modern jazz
3. Atonal music ala Schoenberg
4. Highly developed composed music through the ages including Musica Antiqua
5. Theremin music
6. Anything by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and George Gershwin and the old Broadway show writers. These tunes could never have been written communally in aural tradition.
7. Big Bill Broonzy's dictum about horses misses the point. The role of some individuals in composing music are not duplicable in a folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,Fydeplayer
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM

For me its a style of music not its date - those great storys about Fiddlers Green show that. If we applied Desi C rule of thirty years we exclude - Keith Marsden, Dave Webber, Tony O'Neil, Jez Lowe and some stuff what I wrote!. We can't be Victorian farm workers, north sea herring fisherman or railway navvies from where folk music sprang. Sure people still farm and I have heard many wonderful songs about the land and changing seasons in a style called folk. My local club which states '38 years of the tradition' certainly retains a strong connection with 'historic' songs but allows and encourages new 'folk style' writing.

Do the Folk Police do gigs? or do they have a residency at a club?

Jack the Knife, Won't get Fooled again and Reelin in the Years are not...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

Aldis sell some good lamps.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

Good work, Stringsinger.

I second the point about an instrument which costs more than a house.

I heard somewhere that a Lyon and Healy pedal harp costs $50,000 and it costs $450 to string it. I have fine instruments that cost less than the strings.

This may be a wild rumor. I looked on their site, but they don't give the cost of the instruments. Maybe pedal harps are priced like cars - it depends how tough a bargainer you are.

Now, when Judy Collins did the song with whales in it, were the whales doing folk music?
========
I enjoyed all y'all's posts on John Cage.


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM

Rag Mop...

R-A-G-G M-O-P-P....rag mop... ya da da da de-de...rag mop...

'nuff said...


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Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: MikeL2
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 11:14 AM

Subject: RE: No, really -- what IS NOT folk music?
From: Rob Naylor - PM
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM

<" He proceeded to regale us with Fiddler's Green and was most put out (not to say disbelieving) when I told him it was written by a bloke from Grimsby who's not only still alive, but regularly performing! ">

Hi

I must be Irish.....it was sung by The Dubliners !!!!!! lol

cheers

MikeL2


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