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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Spleen Cringe Is Folk Dead (114* d) RE: Is Folk Dead 19 Oct 12

To expand on the above.

We live in a multi-cultural society. We also live in a society where there are loads of folk festivals, folk gigs at art centres and pubs and clubs up and down the country, loads of young musicians playing folk music as performers, at sessions and so on. Despite the BBC changes, we have more folk music on the radio than ever before - whether it be BBC local radio, community radio or internet radio. The folk awards are a televised national event. Labels and promoters proliferate. And you can't nmve for morris dancers, mummers and assorted lovable lunatics! We should probably even celebrate the fact that folk influenced indie pop musicians like Mumford and Sons are incredibly popular.

What has changed - and this has nothing to do with multiculturalism - is that the old model of the folk club as the main place for hearing folk music is declining. With a few notable exceptions it is probably in terminal decline and will probably die off with the last of the diehard 60s/70s folkies. But what that really means is that things have moved on and that the standard-issue folk club is not necessarily the model that many people want now.

Our multicultural society means we are exposed to all sorts of culture and music and arts we might not have been otherwise, and make no mistake, every culture has its own folk and traditional music. I love the fact that as well as going to listen to traditional English folk, in my city I can also hear sitar recitals, Balkan gypsy music and so on - it's a real pleasure and privilege. People with different cultural backgrounds living side by side also presents fantastic opportunities for artists and musicians to do cross-cultural collaborations and I hope we see more of this (though this is nothing new - you only have to check out some of the stuff the Jon Renbourn Group put out in the early 1970s to see that).

If we have a folk music that is scared of and threatened by multiculturalism we have a folk music that deserves to die. An interest in the musical heritage of these islands does not depend on a paranoid seige mentality. If anything will kill it, that will.

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