Mudcat Café message #2289143 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #2289143
Posted By: Tootler
15-Mar-08 - 01:20 PM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?

I agree that last Sunday's shanty sing was an excellent afternoon. Good singing, good choruses and a good mix of traditional and songs with known composers whether recent or otherwise.

I very much liked your Wife's song about the Robin Hoods Bay rescue. As well as being an excellent song in its own right, it is, IMHO, a good example of a recently composed song which has been influenced by traditional song.

As to the subject of the thread, I think some of the discussion around the nature of traditional song and the 1954 definition is something of a red herring. Surely the question is about whether the folk process is still operating both on traditional song and on more recently composed song.

I think that as long as people are singing songs from memory and interpreting them in their own way, the answer must be "yes" because inevitably individuals in interpreting the song will incorporate changes either deliberately, or because they forget something and have to improvise, or they because make a 'mistake'. Most of the changes will be lost, but sometimes they will be taken up and a variation of the song will arise. It is, I think, a natural evolutionary process and will occur in any popular genre of music where the convention is to sing from memory, but I think that changes are more likely to be accepted in folk music because that is seen as being a natural part of the form.

Incidentally I this applies as much to instrumental music as it does to song.