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The current state of folk music in UK

Vic Smith 03 Dec 19 - 02:18 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Dec 19 - 01:54 PM
GUEST 03 Dec 19 - 10:26 AM
GUEST 03 Dec 19 - 09:09 AM
The Sandman 02 Dec 19 - 05:48 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Dec 19 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Nemisis 02 Dec 19 - 03:39 PM
Vic Smith 02 Dec 19 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Nemisis 02 Dec 19 - 02:43 PM
Iains 02 Dec 19 - 02:31 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Dec 19 - 02:23 PM
r.padgett 02 Dec 19 - 01:48 PM
The Sandman 02 Dec 19 - 01:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Dec 19 - 07:23 AM
Iains 02 Dec 19 - 05:21 AM
Howard Jones 02 Dec 19 - 05:15 AM
The Sandman 02 Dec 19 - 03:05 AM
The Sandman 02 Dec 19 - 03:00 AM
Iains 02 Dec 19 - 02:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 19 - 07:25 PM
The Sandman 01 Dec 19 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Dec 19 - 04:18 PM
The Sandman 01 Dec 19 - 04:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 19 - 03:54 PM
The Sandman 01 Dec 19 - 03:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 19 - 01:44 PM
Nick 01 Dec 19 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 01 Dec 19 - 11:32 AM
Nick 01 Dec 19 - 11:28 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 19 - 11:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 19 - 10:43 AM
The Sandman 30 Nov 19 - 05:17 PM
The Sandman 30 Nov 19 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM
Vic Smith 30 Nov 19 - 12:18 PM
r.padgett 30 Nov 19 - 10:38 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 19 - 06:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Nov 19 - 05:33 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 19 - 04:09 PM
The Sandman 29 Nov 19 - 03:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Nov 19 - 03:46 PM
Jack Campin 29 Nov 19 - 02:30 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM
r.padgett 29 Nov 19 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 19 - 12:46 PM
The Sandman 29 Nov 19 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Nov 19 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Starship 29 Nov 19 - 10:56 AM
r.padgett 29 Nov 19 - 10:32 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 02:18 PM

Dick wrote: -
however the present situation is that there is a very high standard of children playing trad music in ireland, and in larger numbers than there is in england, despite the much smaller population
I feel that you are rather out of touch with the rapid decline in the funding in schools in the UK, Dick, where funding has been cut beyond a bare minimum. A head of a school in Sussex recently sent round a circular letter to parents asking them each to send in a toilet roll with each child as the school could not afford to buy any more until April. All the peripatetic instrument teachers are gone and many schools are saying that they will have to take music off the curruiculum. The subject is now considered an option extra in a rich area where wany teaching assitants have been made redundant and class sizes rise each year - amongst other horrendous cuts.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 01:54 PM

Only my opinion, Dick, but whilst I agree with much of the sentiment of your post, what a pity about CCE and competitions...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 10:26 AM

slightly rose-coloured glasses re SCOTLAND, i'm afraid....


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 09:09 AM

Under 12 : https://youtu.be/B632isQ_wCM


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 05:48 PM

i was comparing the state of irish trad music[AND THE MANY CHILDREN PLAYING IT TO A HIGH STANDARD[ and the lack of children playing southern english trad instrurental playing in the uk folk revival, of course it is on topic, children playing the music is the future,
iaians brought in the subject of clasical music that has nothing to with the uk folk revival.
the subject of high standard of children playing trad music in ireland and lack of children playing trad music to the same standard in the uk is very relevant.
CHILDREN PLAYING TRAD MUSIC OR NOT PLAYING TRAD MUSIC IN THE UK. will affect the future of the uk folk revival, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT NEMESIS AND IAINS ?
Now this is partly down to CCE AND LARGE GOVERNMENT FUNDING.it is also down to parents thinking that it is important that children play their tradtional music and the preparedness of parents to pay for good instruments and good lessons and good teachers.
it may well be the case that in the uk[other than scotland] parents think it more important that their children play other forms of music other than trad music. however the present situation is that there is a very high standard of children playing trad music in ireland, and in larger numbers than there is in england, despite the much smaller population


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 05:17 PM

'we could be in for some interesting times.' Indeed and hopefully, but Steve has been beavering away in the background at EFDSS for a long time now so he knows it inside out. To be honest I can't think of anyone left at EFDSS who would know even a fraction of what Steve knows. David perhaps, but his province seems to be solely editing the excellent FMJ.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 03:39 PM

Vic
Interesting article and lead up views …. time will tell


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 03:31 PM

Steve Gardham wrote:-
Steve Roud has just been appointed to the EFDSS board.

I read this with great interest and tried to consider the possible implications for the society. For more than 35 years of my interest and total immersion in all aspects of folk song, dance and drama, I did not join EFDSS because their approach did not seem to coincide with mine. My attitude changed as the influence within it exerted by Malcolm Taylor grew and the society changed direction in a way that liked; I joined in 1998 and have renewed my membership every year since.
However, there are a number of recent changes that make me feel uncomfortable: -
* I think that the society's magazine English Dance & Song is less knowledgeable, less interesting and less relevant to the tradition since Derek Schofield left the editorship.
* The programme of events at Cecil Sharp House have become - can I say - more populist and less academic in recent years
* The flow of excellent publications and re-issues of books funded or partly funded by the society both sides of the year 2000 has dried up.

Steve R. is well known for his stance on the folk revival. Nothing that it can offer, and Steve G. has pointed out his involvement above, can compare with prosyltising and promoting the tradition and encouraging the evidence based research into it. He would distinguish clearly between the tradition and the revival. Personally, I am interested in both but I see the value in viewing them separately and differently.

In the same package as the sheets giving a report of changes in the society's structure, the latest copy of ED&S came the best thing that the society produces - the latest Folk Music Journal
There is a review in it of a book that does not make the distinction that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I am quoting it not for the book itself but for what Steve R. says about it and what this reveals of Steve's current thinking: -

What is at stake here is not simply an arcane debate about definition, as this perspective colours everything that follows in the book. The whole field is seen through the distorting prism of the selected parts of the post-war revival familiar to Watts and Morrissey, and the old 'tradition' is consistently misconstrued and misrepresented to fit. Few 'traditional' singers are named or quoted. Harry Cox gets four brief mentions, while Maddy Prior gets twenty-nine. To demonstrate the comparison of texts, they choose 'A Sailor's Life' and adopt as their base text the version sung by Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention, primarily because it is 'iconic' - and so on.
A somewhat cavalier attitude to history leads to a fair number of inaccuracies or misunderstandings. They still believe that 'Ring a Roses' is about the plague (p. 98); they seem to confuse 'John Barleycorn' and the 'Barley Mow' (p. 123); they get completely muddled with numbers, stating of 'Barbara Allen' (Roud 54, Child 84) that 'Roud has 54 versions, Child has 84' (whereas the real figures are 1,446 and three) (p. 119). More worrying are incorrect historical statements such as, referring to the inter-war years, 'the British [. . .] were generally not equipped with the technology to play 78rpm shellac records' (p. 159), whereas figures given in James Nott's Music for the People (2002) show that in 1930 alone well over 71 million records were sold in Britain.
Cecil Sharp, of course, gets a ritual kicking - he is such an easy target in the post-Fakesong era when it seems that our default position is never to believe anything he says. His reason for wanting folk songs introduced into schools, for example, was simply to make money out of his books (p. 158). Among other charges, he is berated for maintaining that traditional 'folk song' was rapidly dying out and would soon be extinct (p. 177 and elsewhere) - a view, of course, that is anathema to the revivalist who wants to claim continuity and deep roots for their protest songs. But Watts and Morrissey seem to be unaware that this perceived threat to the old ways was not simply invented by the bourgeois mediating collector but was one voiced repeatedly by the singers themselves, who knew full well that the old repertoires and styles were indeed under threat from all sides.
Richard Watts and Franz Morrissey are, according to their biographies, respected academic sociolinguists, but when it comes to 'folk' they are performer/enthusiasts and it shows on every page.


With Steve taking an active part in the running of EFDSS, we could be in for some interesting times.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:43 PM

Sandman can I congratulate you on your impeccable sense of irony relating to the two attached posts below ?

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 03:00 AM

we are talking about the numbers of children playing trad music, plus their profiency ,profiency is not just subjective, for example children of eight upwards playing technically difficult reels, if you do not believe me come and see. one word of advice if you do come [iains] keep your trap shut about brexit your sort of views are not generally popular in ireland

and

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 01:15 PM

iauns please start another thread or stick to the topic, thus is not about classical music in schools, if you dont like it just push off


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:31 PM

thus is not about classical music in schools, if you dont like it just push off
one word of advice if you do come [iains] keep your trap shut about brexit your sort of views are not generally popular in ireland

We have a new resident buffoon! How nice.
This thread is nowt about folk or playing standards in Ireland yet you insist on dragging it in every 5 minutes.
However when music is taught in English schools and ethnic music is studied along with many other styles, this could perhaps explain why young people find their interest drawn to other genres rather than be forced to endure the rambling pontifications of one or two purists.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-music-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-engla

When what is available encompasses:

Musical theatre
Popular music
Jazz
Folk music
Rock
Hip hop music
Blues
Heavy metal
Country music
Classical music
Reggae
Pop music
Rhythm and blues
Electronic dance music
Funk
Punk rock

For young people Folk faces some stiff competition. No real surprise it is struggling to find numerous supporters among their ranks.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:23 PM

Here is a discussion point very relevant to the title.

Steve Roud has just been appointed to the EFDSS board. In his blurb in the latest copy of EDS he writes:
'Folk is about the connections between past, present and future. Whatever new paths the folk arts take in the future it is a fundamental characteristic of the subject that we must be aware of where we came from -- i.e., that we know our own 'tradition'. But it is equally important that we take care to document these new paths as they develop, because they are the traditions of tomorrow.'


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 01:48 PM

As someone who came into following folk music the old way ~ that is through folk concerts and clubs as a "punter" many years ago and being told that's I couldn't sing (lol I know!) I have over the years worked at learning songs and in the last 15/20 years started playing concertina in sessions I find that the popularity of ukuleles and fiddles and whistles is a BIG advance ~ I was given a triangle and marracas I think and that was it ~ recorders I think was possible

It is /was down ot preferred learning methods and I was never one for following booklets and tutorials never mind musical notes ~ DOING was the thing ~ I am really pleased to see that innate musical ability is coming through in folk music: important now is how and where these young professionals can make a living ~are folk clubs set up for these artists?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 01:15 PM

iauns please start another thread or stick to the topic, thus is not about classical music in schools, if you dont like it just push off


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 07:23 AM

I really don't get it.

You say you want to talk about the current state of folk music.

Surely it is relevant that throughout the world and certainly in our country, there are more high quality instruments available at prices we can afford than any point in history.

THe strange thing is that trad artists from Michael Coleman to Leadbelly had access to instruments. You can't help but feel - they must have been exceptionally lucky in that respect - luckier than average folk.

This present situation is MAJOR change that WE have witnessed.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 05:21 AM

we are talking about the numbers of children playing trad music

That latter qualification trad has only just been added. My post fired off without my later additions. I had restricted myself to secondary state schools.One I had in mind was John Major's old secondary school and two others nearby.
https://www.rutlish.merton.sch.uk/departments/music/
https://www.wimbledoncollege.org.uk/page/?title=Music&pid=77
https://www.richardchalloner.com/page/?pid=45
Back in the 60's none of these courses were on offer either as curricular or extracurricular. There are plenty posting here familiar with their own schooling areas. What did they have on offer for musical education. It was not until the days of Blunkett as Education Secretary that he stated the aim of every child learning to play an instrument(around 2003) Music would now appear to be a core educational requirement in secondary schooling at least in the early years. In my day music was restricted to singing, now it encompasses learning to play an instrument and much more besides.
(and don't presume to lecture me. It is unbecoming.)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 05:15 AM

"when I was a kid in the 1960's - you had to be very rich to afford a decent instrument"

I think that depends on your interpretation of "rich" and "decent instrument". High quality instruments have always been expensive, but cheap guitars and violins were widely available, and many weren't bad. If you were lucky you could still find high quality concertinas in junk shops, an impossible dream now. I once met someone who had picked up a beautiful Jeffries concertina in a junk shop for ten bob (50p) - you'll be lucky to get one much under £5,000 now.

Of course for some any instrument would be unaffordable but I would say that most working people would be able to save enough for an acceptable instrument, without needing to be rich.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 03:05 AM

you are generalising from the particular iains.
from your one example you are making an assumption. next, we do not know if you are talking about state schools or private fee paying schools. i could if i wanted generilise from my own particular experience i will not do that, but i will tell you that in my primary school we had as part of the curriculm, folk dancing and folk singing


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 03:00 AM

we are talking about the numbers of children playing trad music, plus their profiency ,profiency is not just subjective, for example children of eight upwards playing technically difficult reels, if you do not believe me come and see. one word of advice if you do come [iains] keep your trap shut about brexit your sort of views are not generally popular in ireland


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 02 Dec 19 - 02:45 AM

I think the conversation concerning the country that has the better playing children is entirely subjective.(as usual)
Are we talkng about a proficiency in playing an instrument,or in performming traditional music. The distinction is not made!

As an aside,but pertinent, the school I went to in SW London now offers
music lesson on a Saturday in an onsite dedicated music centre.When I attended the school that site was occupied by the bombed out wreck of what was the school swimming pool. I had Saturday morning school there for the first year but no music was offered.
Out of curiosity I looked at adjacent schools- all offered music lessons.
I am sure the statistics support the view that music as an available part of the syllabus is far more widespread today than was the case in the 50's/60's.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 07:25 PM

I'm sure they make violins and squeezeboxes as well.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 06:46 PM

irish parents seem to realise the importance of encouraging children to learn music, providing good instruments appears to be a priority, that is my experience based on 30 years


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 04:18 PM

So do the British. Tanglewood are now a UK company, and have the computer built crossroads series. I can not put mine down. Keith Kendrick has just bought one as well.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 04:04 PM

NO. The insatrumental abilty is not so much about guitars[ they indeed make excellent cheaper models]


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 03:54 PM

Interesting. Has the cheapness of Chinese made instruments had the huge impact that it has over here.

I see a lot of complaints aboutlearner folksingers, but the simple fact is when I was a kid in the 1960's - you had to be very rich to afford a decent instrument.

Nowadays all kinds of people are having a go at acquiring instrumental skills. I think its fundamentally a good thing for us. Not sure how it works out for the Chinese.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 03:13 PM

Al it is not about virtuosity , music is not about that ,but in my experience in ireland there are more good instrumental players [some of them children] despite there being a much snaller population than the uk.
some[NOT ALL] of this is attributable to CCE


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 01:44 PM

'Ah but, ah but, ah but, is it Traditional Formby stuff?'

Possibly not - but I think the Formby style is lovely stuff. I'm currently working on a version of The Water is Wide using the riffs from Mr Wu's a Window Cleaner Now.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 12:36 PM

Here's a typical evening of local music from a few years ago. I still know of various similar sessions (including with some of the people from then). Folkish I'd say. 53 songs and tunes in a three hour evening and reasonably diverse. No raffle and no pissing about with long fatuous intros. Some of the titles are wrong as I didn't know the correct ones. Some songs would have been self penned eg the 'Tim' ones. But it wasn't a folk club it was a ???? thing.

1 Aches and Pains - Tim 0:20 - 3:19 (2:59)
2 Come By The Hills - Nick 4:25 - 7:10 (2:45)
3 Our Town - Lynne 7:50 - 11:10 (3:20)
4 Hear the Nightingale Sing - Bill 12:04 - 16:30 (4:25)
5 *Fathom The Bowl - John 17:15 - 20:44 (3:30)
6 *Thousands and More - Neil (21:12 - 24:00)
7 Love is Pleasing - Tom (24:11 - 27:25)
8 Farewell to Tarwathie - Ian (27:54 - 32:07)
9 *Up My Family Tree - John (32:55 - 35:55)
10 Tune - Mandolin (37:58 - 40:23)
11 Song - I Wish I Was Single Again (40:40 - 42:11)
12 *I Had a Dream - Stan Graham (42:51 - 47:14)
13 Billy Riley - Paul + 1 (47:35 - 48:55)
14 Oh Row - Paul + 1 (49:10 - 51:05)
15 Tunes - Donald (52:13 - 55:08)
16 Andromeda - Bob (57:00 - 59:59)
17 *Neil Gow - Donald (1:00:42 - 1:03:36)
18 Weaver - Mike (1:04:45 - 1:07:20)
19 *Three Days of Hell - Tim (1:08:58 - 1:12:55)
20 Ticking Away - Tim (1:13:50 - 1:17:00)
21 *Love in America - Nick (1:17:33 - 1:21:09)
22 *I Live Not Where I Love - Lynne - (1:21:40 - 1:25:34)
23 Rose of Allendale - Freda (1:25:55 - 1:29:37)
24 *Pleasant and Delightful - (1:30:05 - 1:34:28)
25 *Bully in the Alley - John (1:35:00 - 1:36:50)
26 Spanish Ladies - Neil (1:37:10 - 1:40:32)
27 The Festival - Tom (1:41:10 - 1:43:59)
28 I Just Dream - Ian (1:44:20 - 1:50:55)
29 Only Neighbour - John (1:51:45 - 1:53:06)
30 *Foxhunters - (1:54:06 - 1:57:42)
31 Money Rolls In - (1:58:12 - 2:00:00)
32 ?? Barley - (2:00:18 - 2:02:26)
33 *All The Young Soldiers - Stan Graham (2:03:40 - 2:07:43)
34 Kibo River - (2:08:09 - 2:10:40)
35 Dave Goulder song - (2:13:18 - 2:16:30)
36 *Floating to Skerry - (2:16:54 - 2:20:12)
37 Gypsy Rover - Mike (2:21:10 - 2:25:32)
38 *Spootiskerry etc (2:26:20 - 2:30:15)
39 *Tunes (2:31:08 - 2:33:05)
40 Tune - Tim (2:34:12 - 2:36:06)
41 Tim (2:37:00 - 2:39:59)
42 Nat Shapiro's Time (2:40:20 - 2:44:35)
43 *All I Want - Lynne (2:45:48 - 2:48:44)
44 *White Rose (2:49:20 - 2:53:12)
45 My Name's Napoleon Bonaparte - (2:53:38 - 2:58:00)
46 Dogger Bank to Grimsby - John (2:58:45 - 3:00:42)
47 Easter Song - Neil (3:01:50 - 3:03:52)
48 Island of Tiree - Tom (3:04:20 - 3:06:50)
49 Dumbarton Drums - Ian (3:07:30 - 3:07:50)
+4 + 53


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:32 AM

' I've never met a lot of folks, they just don't know who I am,
I've always done it my way, and n-one gives a damn'

(quote from Ed Pickford song- Ed was always a realist....)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:28 AM

>>I find the result very life-affirming and a good statement of the healthof the local scene in their part of mid-Kent.

They don't seem to be moving a lot in the video though - is that a cause for concern?

Sounds nice by the way ;)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 11:18 AM

Ah but, ah but, ah but, is it Traditional Formby stuff?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 19 - 10:43 AM

I suppose it depends on what instrument, and where you're looking. Anyway - how many virtuosi do we need?

I think its sad there isn't more cross fertilisation. I've seen loads of jazz bands and folk bands who could do with a kick up the ass from a George Formby type uke.

The Formby fans just seem to do Formby stuff and are content at that.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 05:17 PM

od course that is only my opinion,does not mean that i am any more right than anyone else


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 03:34 PM

in my opinion the standard of instrumental music playing is higher in scotland and ireland than it is in southern england., and east anglia
i think the standard of instrumntal accompaniment for songs is high in the uk.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM

Gavin is coming to my gig in Kent next Thursday. I'll tell him about your post Vic, in case he has missed it. I'll report back honestly about numbers in the club. When I played Gavin's club last year it was packed, with some well known names from Kent attending, however it was a smallish room. (Details of the gig are on a separate thread. I'll revive it next week.)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 12:18 PM

Here is a youtube video - more of a recording rather than a video actually -
Gavin Atkin runs workshops in the playing of traditional English dance tunes. He leads and his wife, Julia plays the keyboard accompaniments. He had gathered 20 people together for his one. Some were long term tune session regulars with others who have been playing their instruments of a relatively short time and others from other musical backgrounds who have participated to see what this folk dance stuff is all about. Of the video, Gavin writes:-
Horsmonden traditional music workshoppers and friends play The Kirkgate Hornpipe at their autumn barndance at Brenchley Memorial Hall on the 23rd November 2019.

I find the result very life-affirming and a good statement of the healthof the local scene in their part of mid-Kent. You can hear it by clicking here


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Nov 19 - 10:38 AM

er NO I cannot agree! Cupping your ear does not make you a traditional singer ~ good grief everybody will be going round claiming to be a traditional singer ~your fault if you open the flood gates ~ Peter Bellamy, Tony Rose, Dave Burland as far as I known ever claimed to be traditional singers!! never mind Causley or Jack Rutter ~ Causley probably would have a great support if he wished to be judged to be a traditional singer ~ does Jack Rutter have any trad folky lineage?

from one of my fb posting!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 06:00 PM

Ah, different Swinton methinks!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 05:33 PM

Could be, Steve. I'll have a listen with new ears when I can borrow some. Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

Not sure which canal you mean. There is Fletcher's and the MB&B in Clifton and the Bridgewater at Worsley but none in Swinton itself. Unless you mean something other than a man made waterway?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 04:09 PM

Dave, to my ears yours is the same tune as Jack's only in a minor key. They at least do seem to be related.
Do you have any connection wi' canal at Swinton?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 03:52 PM

steve, get people to practise with them perhaps?
Bob Lewis is a traditional singer


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 03:46 PM

I found a couple of tunes with the same title, Steve and Jack, but neither were the ones my Dad taught me! I'm no guitarist I'm afraid but this is me playing it on YouTube. Ignore my inane ramblings and at least you will get an idea of the tune. Note that I am wearing my "Folk against facsism" hoody though :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 02:30 PM

A Waltz of the Bells for Dave


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM

>>>if they can prove the family link?<<<<
I'll get a DNA test done tomorrow, Ray :)

re 'traditional singer' I don't think it makes a lot of difference, but if I was writing a paper on it I would be more careful which terminology I used. Those on the music scene in general tend to use terms very loosely. I don't see how we can do much about that.

Current state: to get back to the thread. Just a little summary trying to be fair to both camps.

Most posters here are experiencing a diverse and 'healthy' scene in the areas they are aware of with plenty of people of all ages contributing. Nick's 'full houses' is very encouraging and well deserved.

Folk clubs have declined steadily since about 1980, in terms of average age of attendees, number of clubs, size of audiences, with a few notable exceptions where a dedicated organiser(s) is involved.

The separate issue of the use of paper and electronic prompts is an unfortunate development in some areas and rather than condemn the practice outright we could perhaps do something positive to try to address it. Any serious suggestions welcome.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 01:34 PM

Yep very close to "I sing traditional songs, I am a traditional singer" would fit very many singers ~ but can we contemplate such a big jump and is it correct? I ask

Source singers Steve are Traditional singers; by and large if they can prove the family link? I ask ~ or even community link

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM

Depends on the definition of Tradition. If you mean style and performance, in the manner I was discussing with Jim Carroll earlier in this thread, then learning songs from your parents may not make you a source singer. If there is a singing Tradition in your family of, for example, music hall songs, and you learned them from that Tradition, then you are a Traditional singer in that respect, but you will not be a Traditional Folk singer. Can of worms reopened I think.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 12:46 PM

John Greaves, me mam, Will Noble, John Cocking, Roger Hinchliffe and this is just Yorkshire. As far as I know they're still with us. Yes the use of 'traditional singer' to describe non-source singers is unfortunate but bound to happen, if they sing primarily traditional songs. Probably why many of us now use the term 'source singer' but even that can be problematic. I've learnt several songs orally from non-source singers, but they are my sources. I learnt songs from me mam and grandparents and uncles. Does this make me a traditional singer? I don't think so.

BTW 'Waltz of the Bells' sounds familiar.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 12:45 PM

Asinger of tradstional songs not a traditional singer , he is also good


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 11:32 AM

Just as you say Ray. I got the wrong end of the stick. Meanwhile Dave your tune is indeed a Folk tune, and the radio gleaned song has one foot in the Tradition, it could become a super variant or be transformed.
Down in the fields, and Buttercup Joe were both on 78rpm recordings and both firmly in the repertoires of Traditional singers. The closer you get to Folksong, the further away it flees. My view is don't worry about it, as Martin Carthy said to me many moons ago, 'Go with your heart'. It works for me.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 10:56 AM

Don't know why I was reminded of this poem.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Nov 19 - 10:32 AM

Nick my point is really can Jack Rutter's agent describe him thus ~


@JackRutterer
Folk Singer, Guitarist, Bouzouki Player, Multi-Instrumentalist. // ’Among Britain's finest traditional singers

I then queried the description "traditional" singer and whether there are any traditional source singers left ~ you kindly confirmed that there are indeed "traditional singers" still alive

Jack Rutter then, cannot be described as a "traditional" singer, can he?

My contention is that he could be described as a Revivalist or Traditionalist singer ~ how do you reckon he should be described??

Ray


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