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GUEST,Tom Bliss BBC4 Christmas Session (195* d) RE: BBC4 Christmas Session 14 Dec 10

Well, the 'appeal to a wider audience' issue is a moot point, much discussed both here and elsewhere.

Popularising something always risks diluting it, but there's also a danger that if that thing is only ever presented in ways that only the initiated can appreciate, then the pool may empty faster than it fills up. That doesn't mean, of course, that doing the opposite will always have the opposite effect.

Terms like 'dumbing down' are, of course, highly subjective. One man's dumb is another man's lively and real. (There is also the argument that some elements of some traditions actually ARE all about Entertainment-with-a-capital-E - even dressing up and drunken lunacy - but please note my double use of the word 'some.')

Eliza expressed her worries very well above, and she's right that there is danger in going too far down this road - specially if this road is all that's happening. But it's not.

Last Friday and Saturday night we had, as well as this show, two dancing docs which were both very informed and balanced, and some archive shows that were at at times worthy, amateurish and dated. Of course these are attributes that we initiates laud for good reason, but which are less likely to appeal to outsiders.

So, including the Christmas show, overall we had a pretty balanced couple of evenings - with a lot of folk music on display to a very decent-sized audience. It was surely far better that ALL those shows were broadcast than not.

Specifically to Will: I agree entirely. And if the tone of this thread had been "many thanks for putting on such-and-such a folk music based programme. It could have been even better if..." I wouldn't never have put finger to keyboard.

Even if it had been "Actually I thought is was poor in these ways..." as some more thoughtful people said, I'd have lurked on, while perhaps feeling sympathy for the poor mugs who worked very hard on that show, and probably felt they pulled off a pretty decent result.

But in the early stages it was neither of these, and while I'd never expect those who love to have a good old bash at anything that doesn't float their boat to restrain themselves, I do think it's important that they are aware of the effect that their comments may have on their targets (who, in this case, certainly are readers of Mudcat) and perhaps others who might drop by (or be directed here) and take away reasons not to make any more folk shows.


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