Mudcat Café message #2708313 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123001   Message #2708313
Posted By: Piers Plowman
25-Aug-09 - 02:33 PM
Thread Name: nouveau 'folk'
Subject: RE: nouveau 'folk'
Subject: RE: nouveau 'folk'
From: theleveller - PM
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 03:34 AM

"[...] It can either be regarded as a museum piece, performed by a rapidly diminishing number of 'curators' to an even faster diminishing audience until, finally, it becomes a dim and distant memory gathering dust in the attic of social history. Or, hopefully, it can be adapted to become a vibrant and enjoyable part of our modern society - perhaps still a minority interest but, nonetheless, a living, evolving thing."

Yes, but then it becomes a different thing. Not necessarily bad, but no longer the same thing, and probably no longer folk music, at least in my opinion. Why do people knock museums? I love museums. I'm as eclectic as the next guy (depending on whom I'm standing next to), but I think it's important to know what folk music really was, as far as this is possible. Obviously, there isn't even agreement on the definition of folk music and the field is too large for any one person to be well-informed about every aspect of it in even a few cultures. I believe there is a value in exploring folk music in one way or another. Not everybody has to be a great expert on folk music.

I think some kinds of music are called folk music but aren't, and I think that tends to make it harder for people to find out that the real thing even exists. For example, what does "folk rock" have to do with folk music? In my opinion, not very much, at least most of the time.

It doesn't really bother me that folk music doesn't attract huge audiences and make lots of money. If it's changed so that it does, it would stop being folk music. This is what I see happening with so-called "World Music", judging from what I hear on the radio. This is what I mean when I use the terms "ethno-pop" or "ethno-kitsch". For awhile, it seemed like there was a growing interest in musical traditions from other countries and now a lot of what I'm hearing is more of a mish-mash, in my opinion. Not that I'm trying to spoil anything for anyone else, if they like it --- that's what makes ball games.