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Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?

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saulgoldie 24 Mar 11 - 10:52 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM
olddude 24 Mar 11 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,glueman 24 Mar 11 - 05:03 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Mar 11 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 24 Mar 11 - 09:59 PM
Don Firth 24 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM
saulgoldie 24 Mar 11 - 10:27 PM
Amos 24 Mar 11 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 24 Mar 11 - 11:13 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 11 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 11 - 05:46 AM
The Sandman 25 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 07:05 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 11 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Desi C 25 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM
greg stephens 25 Mar 11 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 07:47 AM
Bounty Hound 25 Mar 11 - 07:54 AM
GUEST 25 Mar 11 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 08:05 AM
harmonic miner 25 Mar 11 - 08:05 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Mar 11 - 08:13 AM
Dave Sutherland 25 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM
Gavin A 25 Mar 11 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 10:38 AM
GUEST 25 Mar 11 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 10:46 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 11 - 10:53 AM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,999 25 Mar 11 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 25 Mar 11 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,glueman 25 Mar 11 - 05:39 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 11 - 05:48 PM
Bill D 25 Mar 11 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Mar 11 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 25 Mar 11 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 08:10 PM
Spleen Cringe 25 Mar 11 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 25 Mar 11 - 08:39 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Mar 11 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Mar 11 - 03:57 AM
DMcG 26 Mar 11 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Mar 11 - 04:15 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 10:52 AM

OK, I have seen this reference now three or four times in recent threads. Whatthehell izza "1954 definition" of "folk music?" And I am decidedly NOT trolling for another 500 posts "What is Folk Music" thread.

Saul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM

Folk Song Definition

In 1954 the International Folk Music Council defined folk music as "the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (1) continuity which links the present with the past; (2) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (3) selection by the community which determines the form or forms in which the music survives."
The International Council also stressed the fact that the term folk music, which includes folk songs, can be "applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and subsequently has been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community." Present-day collectors use the term as all-inclusive, covering many varieties of music of the common people.

{Copied from article by Isabelle Mills found by googling}

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: olddude
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 01:01 PM

Well according to the "Folk Sucks" thread going on it has something to do with poo :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 05:03 PM

Debates rage around what the terminology actually means, i.e. continuity, creative, community, form, etc, etc. If it were written in today's post-structuralist (and post everything else) world it would probably read differently (or have a list of footnotes, caveats, interdictions and case studies).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 06:13 PM

It has however an obvious connection with our understanding of other folk arts.

Incidentally a creative use of Google will find my listings and explanations of it on this site. And Gg's obfuscations.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 09:59 PM

Folklore sounds about right. Otherwise - 1954? Don't believe a word of it! Folk is just another style of music; a whole bunch of styles actually. As for Folk Arts, well that's a made-up term as well. All Arts are Folk Arts - I ain't never seen no horse pimp a ride / knit a jumper / tell a story / throw a pot / make a macrame owl / carve a love spoon / make a set of Northumbrian smallpipes / decorate a Christmas Tree / break dance / morris dance / do a Cubist still-life / get a tattoo / crochet a tea-cosy / get crafty with bendy straws etc etc.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM

And we're OFF!!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 10:27 PM

"And we're OFF!!!"

And all I said was...

Saul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 11:05 PM

Folk are people whose primary sense of self is as individual humans rather than as some office, accomplishment, or category of existence.

A


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 11:13 PM

I can see now we're reverting to the pre 1954 definition. in which case I demand a recount, and reclassification as a folksinger - as opposed to a navel gazing, snigger snogger - a definition, I was never comfortable with.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 12:34 AM

I think MtheGM gave a good, sensible answer. If that's the 1954 definition, I like it. It's not overly puristic, snobby, elitist, or posh - and yet it doesn't sell out to navel-gazing singer-songwriters.
Thank you, Michael.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM

Thing is with the 1954 Definition - even Michael's precis - is that there's not a single type of music it doesn't cover. The whole concept of FOLK is predicated on a complete myth i.e that there is a branch of humanity (i.e The Folk) who are somehow different from everyone else. To the Folklorists of old it was the rural peasantry who were entirely innocent of the significance of what they did in terms of cultural process, continuity and tradition on account of their lack of formal education. They were its pure and passive carriers - the unwitting media through whom this stuff flowed from pagan times to the present. Thus the whole notion of FOLK is a grotesque paternalistic fantasy - just read The Imagined Village to see how depressingly true that was, and is still today, if anyone can accept the 1954 Definition as having any more relevance than the Horse Definition which is at least ironical* rather than canonical.

Folk is just another style of music - a multiplicity of styles, genres, artists, bands, labels, venues etc. - however so twisted by nature of this thing we can The Revival, without which of course...

S O'P

* Okay, the usage is complex & far from straightforward, but I use it here to rhyme which canonical AND because it features a lot in the scripts of Whatever Happened to... The Likely Lads as a feature of North Eastern English dialect of which another thread recently enquired as to its autonomous linguistic status.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:46 AM

Compare and contrast:

1954:
"...the creative impulse of the individual or the group"

SA:
"To the Folklorists of old it was the rural peasantry who were entirely innocent of the significance of what they did ...pure and passive carriers..."

??????????


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM

asa usual there is an element[but only an element] of truth in what SA says many early folk song collectors ignored industrial song, however many of the songs written by tommy armstrong, and many other mining and industrial songs, are now part of the tradition.
so how did they become part of the tradition if nobody collected them?
to play devils advocate, agriculture is now considered an industry as is fishing, so perhaps the early collectors did collec t industrial songs , but only from specific areas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:58 AM

Compare and contrast

Seems odd that the evidences for such creativity are everywhere in the old songs and yet we still have such notions as the Folk Process and a more Collective / Anonymous view of a Tradition which has reached us via very specific and highly specialised individuals. Song carriers? Tradition bearers? Contrast and compare? Go figure!

All music is creative at its core; and all communities feature supremely individuals empowed by what has gone before. In this sense (say) Miles Davis is just as much a tradition bearer as Davie Stewart, and well I remember Sun Ra in his twilight years essaying Fletcher Henderson charts from his wheelchair to drive home the importance of that self-same sense of Roots and Tradition to the younger members of both his band and audience.

This is how music works - and Folk Music (as far as it can be said to exist at all) is no different - only in how the evidences have been spun to create an illusion that persists to this day, hence the religiosity, and the righteousness, and the fundamentalism that stands in stark contrast to the reality of the music as it's enjoyed by Folkies the world over. The Tradition of Popular Song is alive and well 10,000 years down the line - many different branches, many different trees, many different forests, none of them quite the same as any other but they're all growing in the same way. And what way is that if it isn't Traditional?

*

On the evidences of a folk club we went to last night (a heaving singer's night at Gregson Lane nr Preston) I still stick to my Folk as Flotsam theory - i.e. that Folk is more about context than it is about content; hell, they were even singing along to I Don't Like Mondays and amongst maybe two or three token Trad songs was Whiskey in the Jar played with guitar and bodhran but sourced from Thin Lizzie. So one one level you have your creative reformers and songwriters, and on another you have your rank and file singers happy to whatever they like. As in Folk, as in any music really...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:05 AM

many of the songs written by tommy armstrong... are now part of the tradition.

Tommy Armstrong songs are always Tommy Armstrong songs - they are traditional because of the idiom in which they were written and which Tommy Armstrong was a master of.

Otherwise it's worth pondering to what extent The Tradition is an illusion of the process of Collection, by which these things were frozen at the point of their collection - dead in the specimen jar!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:12 AM

I do not want any undeserved credit, thank you. The definition I posted above was not *my* precis, Sweeney: I made its source, a writer in a Canadian folk magazine which I found, as I stated, simply by googling, perfectly clear on my post. All I did was copy & paste.

Best

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM

I read somewhere once Folk defined as 'Music of the people and the times, and of the times and the people of those times' The older I get I think Folk is not really defineable and I'm satisfied with that


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:33 AM

The 1954 definition seems a pretty good basis to me, though obviously it's not written in stone and brought down from the mountain. SA's efforts however are circular and carry no information, so appear useless to me as an analytical tool.
The 1954 text attempts to define characteristics of one vast body of music which appears to be somewhat different from other vast bodies of music in the world. It uses the word "folk" when it refers to that body of music. I find that quite a useful thing; it is in no way helped by lots of other people trying to use the same term "folk" to apply to their own particular favourite type of music which does not share the chacteristics referred to in the 1954 (attempted) definition. The category then becomes so broad as to be useful. To those people I would say (as did Bert Lloyd), invent a new word for your new all-embracing category.
To me, many of the various versions of the Wild Rover I have heard are a product of a folk tradition. Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, Richard Thompson's Beeswing and Beethoven's 6th, are not products of a folk tradition.(though of course variants of any these might become so). So I find the distinction usefu, and, where not useful, interesting.
Others, of course, may not.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:47 AM

To me

Well that just sums it up, Greg, does it not?

Otherwise, I'm not proposing an analytical tool, just pointing out that the 1954 Definition doesn't actually say anything that can't be applied to any musical genre on the planet - the Wild Rover, Lady Gaga, Richard Thompson and Beethoven et al. In this sense it is too all embracing. Can all music truly be Folk? Well, if ends up getting played in a Folk Club it can, which is maybe the only place where we find a more conservative reading of the 1954 Definition comes in useful because the 1954 Definition doesn't mention musical genre at all. So, come one come all really...

The category then becomes so broad as to be useful.

Shouldn't that be useless? In which case I both agree and disagree at the same time. As I said elsewhere Folk is a broad church that somehow must include ALLoyd's Folk of Music of Yugoslavia and Gary and Vera Aspey's Seeing Double. Both are Folk albums, both are on Topic, and yet both are about as far away from each other in terms of musical genre as you could wish to get.

Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:54 AM

Desi C: works for me, folk music is the music of the people, all human life is there!

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:57 AM

'The Tradition is an illusion of the process of Collection, by which these things were frozen at the point of their collection - dead in the specimen jar!'

Yup! So get used to it. The BBC2 specials about the particularly unmemorable. The Arts Council Grants for the unoriginal celebrating the not particularly talented in the first place. The endless plaudits for dreary buggers you would cross the street to avoid.

Because the collectors are from the class with all the political power in this country and all the tags of intellectual respectability.

Mao said political power came out of the end of a gun. In this country, it comes out of the srseholes of the middleclasses endlessly jabbering rudely about working class music being worthless, and asserting their own superiority.

Just reading Mezz Mezzrow's autobiography and his struggles to exist whilst creating the jazz that he loved. Face it, if you're an artist - you're an outlaw. If you want to be an artist embrace that as best you can. If you want a place in folk music, get one of those degrees and become a star of festivals, or run an arts centre.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:05 AM

That was me, and I should learn to shut up.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: harmonic miner
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:05 AM

Folk music is the same as

-World music. Music that originates in a world.
-Country music. Music that originates in a country.
-Popular music. Music that a lot of people like.
-Traditional music. Music that is part of a tradition (Death Metal is a tradtion).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:13 AM

Well, no, Al. Have you not grasped that in the era of the Bullingdon club the middle class are as powerless as the working class - but do not yet realise it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for clearing that up Al, I would never have guessed that it was you ;-)
Since we are bringing A.L.Lloyd into this discussion I will repeat that I like his quote:- that to define a folk song is as easy as determining the exact point where dawn breaks and night turns into day.
Anyone who has driven home following a twelve hour nightshift will know exactly what he is talking about.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM

What the OP feared has happened ~~ all he did was to ask, what was the 1954 definition he kept reading about here, which I endeavoured to answer for him; and that he hoped this wouldn't degenerate into another of *those* threads ~~ which is sure as hell what it has done.

I wonder why he didn't just google for himself, as I did for him, and save us all from another of THESE!... AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Gavin A
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 09:56 AM

The 1954 definition is just fine, in itself, and I would prefer to be able to use it this way because it's clear and precise, and a useful concept.

The problem is that for most people the 'f' word long ago lost it's original meaning through the process of semantic change - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_change

For some of us, at least, it's a damned inconvenience that the 'f' word is now so unclear: these days it often just means 'what happens in clubs and festivals' or 'anything performed by players of the acoustic guitar'. At that level it's just a label...

My guess is those of us who are interested in the areas that the 'f' word used to stand for had better get over the fact that most people no longer understand it in the way they do, and simply stop using it except among friends.

In the meantime, perhaps some of the folks who mount the barricades on the other side of the discussion might for a moment reflect that on this side we're saddened by the loss of a word that describes something we're enthusiastic about. Perhaps they could feel just a little sympathy before they start shouting again...

Gavin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:38 AM

'In the meantime, perhaps some of the folks who mount the barricades on the other side of the discussion might for a moment reflect that on this side we're saddened by the loss of a word that describes something we're enthusiastic about. Perhaps they could feel just a little sympathy before they start shouting again...'

In what way have you lost out?

Pre-Donovan there were no great amount of folk clubs. Virtually no folkmusic record shops. No folk degrees. Sod all.

Then folk became a huge artistic movement which captured the imagination of half the planet.

For sharing the term 'folkmusic' with coarse spirits like myself, you have many benefits. And yet you continally bellyache about it, and snipe at everything that isn't fit for the groves of academia Folkmusic For Nice People 101.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:46 AM

MtheGM

I wonder why he didn't just google for himself, as I did for him, and save us all from another of THESE!... AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

You don't have to read the thread do you?

Idiot


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:46 AM

Its like those people who keep saying 'why can't we go back to when gay meant frolic-ing around?'

Answer: because there weren't that many people frolic-ing around in the first place, and someone had a better use for it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:53 AM

Sorry Al ~~ but rubbish. Donovan, 1965 onwards. Folk club movement in major cities ~ London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh (cont p 94) from 1953-4 onwards. Record shops (Colletts &c) opening to cater for it.

Then Dylan, Donovan ··· pffuuit: there went the folk movement, in came the confusion.

Enumerate, please, the 'benefits' rubricated in your last para, of the term having been hijacked for profit by those who have no interest in folk music, but find the bandying of the term can be profitable.

I have never forgotten my disgust with my dear friend Fred Woods, my editor at Folk Review, when he once failed to spike an interview with some stupid 'contemp folk' female who made quite a fair living in [what had become of] the clubs, but actually said "I can't stand all that 'traditional' stuff". He was actually quite shamefaced when I pointed out the anomaly to him, & agreed he should just have paid off the interviewer, who had done the job for which he had been commissioned, but refrained from printing the piece.

Nothing personal against you here, Al, as I am sure you will appreciate; but I feel you were inaccurately harsh to Gavin's perfectly fair point.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM

I can feel the quicksand quiver beneath my feet, and really don't want to get sucked in to this, but...

"we still have such notions as the Folk Process and a more Collective / Anonymous view of a Tradition which has reached us via very specific and highly specialised individuals."

1. The 'Folk Process' is demonstrable. Take a look at Bronson.

2. Nobody's believed in 'collective composition' for decades.

3. 'Anonymity' is simply the fact, except in a few rare cases.

4. All the evidence suggests that singing in communities of a hundred and more years ago was very widespread and not restricted to 'specialised individuals'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:43 AM

Over the years after many fights with Jim Carroll and a few other what I then called anal-retentive old farts--a club to which I belong, although not that chapter--I have come to see the wisdom of their ways. It's a method of preserving and honouring the songs and traditions of lotsa anonymous writers (people with a story to tell or tales of events to laud, revel in or bitch about). It's admirable, imo, although it's not a definition I accept for the music of North America.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 03:38 PM

Well i don't think I've ever impugned anyones right to do whatever folkmusic they like. Theres a lot I find unimpressive about the traddy agenda, and theres a lot they find objectionable and malicious in mine.

However this 1954 business really sticks in my gullet. Of course theres nowt wrong with setting out your beliefs, and parameters. But its how a law is implemented. Maybe some folk thought that Hitler really did plan to find nice homes for the Jews somewhere in the east. When a rule is used to exclude and treat as tenth class citizens another section of the community - then I say that law stinks.

Quite right there were folk clubs before the mid 60's Mike, but by the mid sixties there were three folk clubs in a little town like Grantham. the whole thing mushroomed then. And thats when the internecine stuff really kicked in. And its never really stopped.

Where to start. take the case of the late BBC Folkwaves radio programme. If you listened to it - you'd think there was a folk concert in Sheffield, one in Doncaster, another in Leicester, martin Carthy was on at Dave Sutherland's club, Singers night at The Carrington - and that was about it. In actual fact there was folk music going on all over at little pubs like the Pingle in Sutton in Ashfield, the Golden fleece in Nottingham - God knows how many places in Leicester(not for a week or two but for whole decades!) and they never got a mention cos they weren't part of the folk gang. (Dave S. can back me up over this cos I've seen him in these places!)

Add to that cds never reviewed, albums launched but never given a single trackspin. Prominent local artists never offered so much as a floorspot at festivals.

then theres the whole demographics business. In the early 70's when loads of brilliant irish folk musicians came over and started playing in the country bands that worked the miners welfare circuits. The Irish theme pub explosion - where (okay some of the old guard couldn't work in the noisy conditions, but plenty could.) Artists like Tommy Dempsey (ex Dubliners an album out on Topic) were gigging in these theme bars - but it wasn't reported or spoke about.

We were in the midst of all this. And none of it registered on the folk seismograph - cos why - well they could always quote that bloody 1954 nonsense - its not really folk! yes it bloody was!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:31 PM

ah.. but now, its who you are in with,.
never mind some of us keep on gigging in folk clubs in the not so fashionable parts of london, still turning out decent nights, and we have got used to being ignored by the folk mafia.If I might quote the words of Tiny Tim , god bless us every one


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:42 PM

We've been out enjoying the sunshine today so I've rather lost the track of this one....

-Popular music. Music that a lot of people like.

Popular as in People; Child called his ballads Popular.

1. The 'Folk Process' is demonstrable. Take a look at Bronson.

Indeed, but what is the Folk Process? Is it random? Deliberate? Or the consequence of the fluidity in which the old songs existed in their Natural Habitat? According to Mudcat it seemds to be the sum total of bad memories and mondegreens.

4. All the evidence suggests that singing in communities of a hundred and more years ago was very widespread and not restricted to 'specialised individuals'.

All music occurs in communities; today, yesterday, or 40,000 years ago. Name the genre and there'll be a community of people doing it, and within that community some who are more dedicated / specialised / gifted than others and respected accordingly.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:39 PM

"And Gg's obfuscations"

None intended Herr Bridge, I was simply pointing out that I have no idea what a word like community means in the C21st. The village community? The seafaring community? The black community? The gay community with boystown and high energy spreading its memes across the airwaves in 1978?
Not obfustication, simply a desire to take language back from Humpty Dumpty's no more or less than whatever he fancies it to mean. Repeat for 'creative', 'form' et al.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM

I still like Anna Russell's definition of folksong: "The uncouth verbal utterances of the people"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:48 PM

Oh dear, Al ~~ Godwin's Law......!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:25 PM

folk? Why, that's easy! Whatever Dick Greenhaus & Susan of DT put in the database!


(actually, that is one way to get an ostensive definition (pointing at numerous examples which we DO agree on)... as opposed to an "intensional" definition.( specifying all the properties required to come to that definition)

I MUCH prefer ostensive....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:21 PM

I think the ostensive definition works.

Q: What is Folk?
A: That is! (points at the mountain range comprised the sorts of music played, pondered over, discussed and enjoyed by fRoots readers, Mudcatters and Folkies the world o'er)

My Folk as Flotsam idea was an attempt at this in a way.

Q: What is Folk?
A: What is played in a Designated Folk Context by Designated Folkies.

In other words not all music is Folk, but all music can be Folk. I think that's the essense of The 1954 Definition when applied to the current Folk Scene all its wondrous diversity, though the actual musdicological criteria is pretty occult!

*

Here's a one with respect of Folk Arts & Folklore - is football folklore? If not, why not? What about Mountaineering and Tennis? What about flower arranging and gardening?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 07:41 PM

2011 definition of poser: Englishman with an Irish soubriquet who pretends he knows what peasants of all nationalities of 200 years ago wanted to do with their music.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:10 PM

Oh Paul, i'd love an irish soubriquet! One with long brown hair, like the girl in the come to ireland advert. Drinking whisky with her, all night by the fireside....just like in the advert.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:31 PM

Paul Burke, why the random nastiness?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:39 PM

Nigel:

It's impossible to say without a pint between us. Sweeney's attitudes are silly and destructive ( viz his views about the immutability of the words, while allowing himself the latitude to make up the tune; just a refection of the fact that ballad collecors forgot to note the tunes)

It's not nastiness; it's surgery.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 09:03 PM

To understand "Folk Music" let us think of the modern - and which came into existence ironically AFTER 1954 - 'industry' called 'The Music Industry' - an industry devoted primarily to making money for the shareholders of the industry companies, and sod the 'artists'.

Indeed, the 'faux-artists' promoted by the industry no longer need any 'music talent', because we can, as in the rest of modern capitalist society, subcontract that out to 'session musos', 'drum machines' or use gadgets such as 'autotune' to fudge things to produce a 'saleable product' aimed at a 'researched market'.

And if you think I'm making this up, remember 'The Chipmunks" LP records and the furore over certain groups such as The Monkees, and The Bay City Rollers, etc, accused of merely being font man puppets for studio musos? And once a 'performer' had to sing and dance at the same time, without amplification? And you have heard the fuss about Pop Idols who mime?

Current "Folk Music" in contrast claims abhorrence at such 'cheap tricks' and pretends to want to get back to 'The Good Old Daze' ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 03:57 AM

who pretends he knows what peasants of all nationalities of 200 years ago wanted to do with their music

All I'm saying is that whatever their intentions were, Paul you can bet your socks they did it as a Community.

Sweeney's attitudes are silly and destructive

Only to the Folk Fundamentalist to whom I grant they might seem a tad iconoclastic, but then again I despise the class-ridden bourgeois paternalism that rests at it's heart & feel its in need of serious revision. Otherwise Folk is as Folk does, which in my experience is very broad & wonderful church indeed despite my own niggling obsessions which are only part of it too.

viz his views about the immutability of the words

I'm a liguistic pragmatist, all words / grammer are mutable according to the underlying (Chomskian) notion of universal grammar which will out regardless. Mutability is all. Just look at how the word Community is used in the 1954 Definition and how it's used by Mudcat in respect of my seach engine: Traditional Music and Folklore Collection and Community. Now feed that back into the 1954 Definition and see what happens; and now do the same for all musical Communities, virtual and otherwise...

while allowing himself the latitude to make up the tune; just a refection of the fact that ballad collecors forgot to note the tunes)

Or maybe the tunes weren't there in the first place? But when I come across a ballad without a tune I might find one that fits (common practise) and in rare cases make one up myself in the Traditional Idiom (or even improvise one if I'm drunk enough). Ray Fisher set Willie's Lady to Son Ar Chistr; we sing it to something that came from a field recording of Swedish fiddle music. But hey, just because all music has ROOTS doesn't mean it's duty bound to sow seeds. Like anuy human activity, it's both Traditional as well as being an end in itself - very often a dead end too, unlike Ray's setting which is pretty much the norm these days. I set The Birth of Robin Hood to a melody from Adam de la Halle's Play of Robin and Marion which does the job too. Mutable you see; I'm not precious about these things though I might occasionally surprise even myself with my tenacious purism, which comes out in other ways too, like when people start grafting fantasy Green Men onto local legends to suit their own nefarious ends, rather than tending a frail tradition which is perhaps something a little different. The tunes I use for Lucy Wan and Long Lankin are my own too, at least they came about on my wee Kemence which does things like that from time to time, but whatever I do I'm always up front about both it & my methods for what its worth.

Anyway - off to Tyneside today, so won't be back in the Mudcat Community until tomorrow. Play nicely now, won't you?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: DMcG
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:14 AM

Compare and contrast the 1954 definition with the key factors needed for Darwinian evolution i.e. inheritance (the 'child' is like the 'parent'); variation (not identical to parent); and selection.   It is so similar that to me the author must have had Darwinism in mind, which would not be surprising given how widespread the idea was. Where this definition is strikingly different to many (but by no means all) other genres that is that the concept of an 'authorative version' is apparently deliberately omitted.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:15 AM

to fudge things to produce a 'saleable product' aimed at a 'researched market'.

Hmmm - I don't see the Folk Scene as being any different to be honest. Besides, I may not have been of the right gender to have ridden the Folkloric wave of the Bay City Rollers (though I knew plenty who were and the experience was real enough) BUT in all honesty my life would be the poorer is if wasn't for The Monkees. How could I live in a world without Last Train to Clarksville or the the supelative guitar playing of Mike Nesmith?

All music is manufactured, otherwise there would be any music; those hoary old Broadsheets to which we owe our precious Oral Tradition didn't grow on trees, just as I'm sure even the most subversive singer/songwriter has researched their market pretty thoroughly!

The more I learn about the Good Old Daze the more I'm glad I was born in 1961...


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