Mudcat Café message #3944921 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944921
Posted By: Vic Smith
19-Aug-18 - 09:06 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
In that case, perhaps we can discuss Roud's book?
Now, that would be a really excellent idea! Let's hope that, for a while at least, we can keep the focus on the book itself.
There have been a number of reviews of it that have not been mentioned in the thread with all the other stuff that has been flying about. Now as Steve Gardham has pointed out, the number of people who are qualified to make a full critical assessment of the book are few, so this like one, like some others, reads as a synopsis of the book's contents, but Alex Gallacher's on the website at Folk Radio also makes important points.
I won't reproduce the whole review here as it can be read from the clickable link. The most important point, though Alex is not the only one to make it, is this:-
The book draws and a huge range of sources, the bibliography alone is very extensive. Most importantly, Roud succeeds at furthering our understanding by being objective rather than hindering it as others have maybe done before.

In his Afterword, he notes “As more and more historical sources are digitised and made readily available, we may even be approaching a golden age of folk-song research, if only we have the people to embrace it.”

Folk song research has been bedeviled by the lack of an unbiased clarity of though and approach. It is the fact that Roud assesses the material that arises from his vast amount of research in a way that is objective rather than hindering it as others have maybe done before. that makes the book seem so radical. The way that Roud sees such the possibility of such a positive future for folk-song research is very encouraging.