Mudcat Café message #3884619 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3884619
Posted By: Steve Gardham
25-Oct-17 - 04:33 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
You seem to be the only person obsessed with the need to have your terms defined to the nth degree, and also obsessed with the origins.
To the rest of us the origins are irrelevant as the people who set up the 54 descriptors soon realised. Within a few months they had dropped that particular descriptor of anonymity. The rest of us are quite happy to accept the 54 descriptors when describing traditional folksong.

You keep asking us for OUR 'definition' of folksong. Mine will be different from most other people. I won't give you a definition because I don't believe such abstract ideas should or can have definite hard and fast boundaries, but if it helps I will give you the wider descriptors as I believe to be acceptable to the many people I know on the folk scene, both academically and non-academically.

Loosely: Those songs that are sung in folk clubs, folk festivals and the folk scene in general;

those songs that are found in the record shops' racks under the descriptor 'folk';

those songs that are sung by folk singers;

those songs that are identified by being accompanied on recognised folk instruments (usually acoustic as opposed to electric);

those songs performed by performers who refer to themselves as folk singers.

If I really tried I could come up with more descriptors and I'm sure others can add to this list. Included in this description will be many songs that also come under other genres, indeed that fit better into other genres. That's the nature of all widespread types of music in the western world.

You only want to include those songs that are 54 songs and those that have been written in imitation. No problem. I'm inclined that way myself.

Your prerogative is to not like this list of descriptors, but know then that you are alone in your very narrow view of opposing what the world and his wife think is folksong!