Mudcat Café message #2707168 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123001   Message #2707168
Posted By: Piers Plowman
24-Aug-09 - 06:39 AM
Thread Name: nouveau 'folk'
Subject: RE: nouveau 'folk'
Subject: RE: nouveau 'folk'
From: Darowyn - PM
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 04:15 AM

"Traditional folk:-
1. Like a scene from a Thomas Hardy novel. Country people in a village pub, accompanied by fiddle, concertina or whatever instruments the village Waits had managed to scrounge. [...]
2. Like a post-war Junior School. [...]

3. Like Peter Pears at The Maltings, or Kathleen Ferrier. [...]

4. Like a fifties Folk Group. [...]

5. Like Bob Dylan and/or Joan Baez. [...]

6. Like the New traditionalists. [...]

There are so many traditions, even in one small country, that either everyone is traditional or, nobody is. How many times does something have to be repeated before it becomes a tradition?"

I liked your list and thought it was very well put. A few items could probably be added for the US, Great Britain and Ireland, but they would have to be for Germany and other German-speaking countries. What "folk" means and how "folksong" or "folk music" ("Volkslied", "Volksmusik") is perceived is somewhat different here. I'm sure it's the same in other countries/cultures. "A wide field" as Mr. Briest would say in Theodor Fontane's _Effi Briest_.

A very small quibble (not that people interested in folk music would ever quibble, of course): My recollection of the passages involving folk music in Thomas Hardy don't involve concertinas. Hardy wrote about the demise of the tradition of playing stringed instruments in church (the Melstock quire) in "Under the Greenwood Tree". Of course, Hardy was a fiddler himself and the son and grandson of string players, as I'm sure many people here know. As both a folk music and a Thomas Hardy anorak, I felt I had to post this. Maybe a harmonica, concertina, accordeon, guitar or other mass-produced instrument occurs in Hardy, but I don't remember any such passages. I haven't read all of his novels or poems, though.