Mudcat Café message #1384126 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77564   Message #1384126
Posted By: MurkeyChris
21-Jan-05 - 07:02 AM
Thread Name: Contemporary song in folk music
Subject: Contemporary song in folk music
Hi all,

As you may know I'm a Music & English student at Reading uni, and am doing my dissertation on the role of contemporary song in folk music. By this I mean I will be looking at modern songwriters such as Richard Thompson, Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Leonard Rosselson, Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan, Steve Knightley etc. etc. and analysing how far traditional musical styles feed into their songwriting, and equally how much these songs can be viewed as an element of 'folk music'. I'll be sticking to the English language songs and traditions, and focussing on British music, but feel free to bring up anything from elsewhere you think might be relevant.

As there is little academic literature on the subject, a vast part of my work will be based on the opinions of you lot, the musicians, supporters and fans of the folk music scene. Whilst I'll probably have some more specific questions for you at a later date, I thought it would be a good start to throw the topic out to you all and hear what you have to say.

All comments are welcome, but here's some ideas to think about:

1) What songwriters that I haven't mentioned should I look at?

2) Do you know of any specific books, articles, websites etc. that would be of use?

3) Are you a songwriter yourself? How do you relate to traditional song styles?

4) Are modern 'composed' songs (as opposed to anonymous 'traditional' songs) a part of the folk repertoire and should they be?

5) How important/relevant are 'pastiche' styles of songwriting, e.g. Kate Rusby using antiquated language in her modern songs?

6) Do you have any specific comments on how certain songwriters utilise traditonal styles?

7) Anything else to say on the matter?

Please feel free to ramble away in as much detail as possible, it will be of invaluable help to me. By replying this post I am assuming that you give your permission for me to use your quotes in my dissertation (which will hopefully be reworked into a magazine article for fRoots or the like at a later date). If you don't want me to quote you please say so in your post.

Thanks, Chris