Mudcat Café message #3936987 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3936987
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
12-Jul-18 - 07:16 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Steve: You are right to try to ask questions being shied away from.

I am coming round to thinking that the idea of 'folk music' is what they call a 'social construct'. This is perhaps why we have problems defining it.

And from the outset, as far as I can see, people on both sides of the Atlantic have had different ideas about what this is and about how it should be interpreted, so that some early US folklorists viewed African American folk song as providing an insight into the racial difference they so firmly believed existed.

Definitional questions (how does it arise, individual or collective, Barry's 'communal re-creation' theory; how is it passed on) seem to have been into thinking about this subject from the start. I think this is perhaps why it is so tricky to discuss it.

I think Roud attempts to address this complexity when he imagines a diagram with overlapping circles, rather like a complicated Venn diagram of some sort.