Mudcat Café message #2283158 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #2283158
Posted By: Stringsinger
08-Mar-08 - 04:25 PM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
The notion of the "folk process" as a popular concept may be dead but the actual process
goes on. It is necessary to change the concept of "folk process" to fit today's evaluation of it. "Folk music" was co-opted by the popular music business and redefined by it to sell recordings. The actual process is one of modifying, changing and assimilating styles of music that have roots in traditional cultures. This modification might mean "modernizing" them by introducing new musical elements. Example: blues on an electric guitar
or Doc Watson playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".

The "process" in my view is one of assimilating the style(s) of folk music and incorporating them into a new context. Where it gets sticky is when the assimilation hasn't really taken place and "anything" is called folk music. To me that's like saying "Boogie-woogie" piano styles are "classical" music or "rock" music is traditionally chamber music. It's too broad and too loose.

The reason this question comes about is that whoever decides to go into this style of music faces the problem of "authenticity". This may be a red-herring. What is valuable, though, is an understanding of folk music from a historical, cultural and musical point-of-view. In some cases, this might be academically learned but as a musician, I think it's a matter of intensive interest in the idiom and you feel your way.

Frank Hamilton