Mudcat Café message #3885904 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162917   Message #3885904
Posted By: Iains
31-Oct-17 - 06:37 AM
Thread Name: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
My opinion is that folk music today originates from a far wider base than travellers and that the artificial constraints of the 1954 definition of folk artificially restrict it and deny that the process is alive and kicking.

1)From 1954: "Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission."
If that process still occurs in the digital age then the moon is made of green cheese. To believe that process is an integral part of modern folk creation wipes out a vast body of modern work.

2)From 1954: "The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community."
I can only say to the above:"get real! Who lives in electronic isolation today in the western world?

3)from 1954:"The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives. In a multicultural world of constant movement how on earth do the criteria above apply? Community implies a degree of stability that probably no longer applies in many places. Who actually lives in their birthplace today?

4)From 1954:"The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning the re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character". I am afraid I totally disagree with the above constraint. That eradicates Turlough O'Carolan,for a start, and how much of his music is played in sessions?
   I believe folk is alive and well and constantly evolving(as I have stated before) The only corpse I celebrate is the narrow defintion exemplified by shaw and carroll. although Jim's opinions seem to change with the phases of the moon and state of the tides. But if anyone else wishes to misquote me to score a dubious point, feel free. Rest assured I could not care less.