Mudcat Café message #3880185 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3880185
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
04-Oct-17 - 08:44 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I've now jumped ahead, in reading the book, to 'Folk Song In Its Natural Habitat', the book's Part 3. (I promise to go back and read Part 2 later!) I'm finding part 3 a much speedier read, partly because it is more unequivocally folk-song related, rather than shading off into folk's porous boundaries with other music.

I do feel, overall, that Roud's book is (at least) two books rather than one. And that an analogous specialist writing in another discipline (say, a history of World War II, or a history of European painting, or a history of French jazz) would not have needed an equivalent to the 219 pages that make up Part 1: these can be loosely summarised as 'what is a folk song?'; and 'who collected the folk songs and how?'. Roud does have a habit of saying things like "of course, a history of folk song collection is not a history of folk song" (I'm paraphrasing from memory here), before giving us a near-book-length history of folk song collection. Or stating, that the Revival is beyond the book's remit, but then giving us a 17-page history of the Revival. I think if I'd started the book with Part 2, read onto Part 3, and then regarded Part 1 as a kind of appendix, I'd probably have finished reading it by now and found it a smoother read. Everything in the book is interesting, but I'm not sure it all needs to be in the same book.