Mudcat Café message #3948199 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3948199
Posted By: Jack Campin
05-Sep-18 - 06:40 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Worldwide, harmony singing and solo ballad singing often seem to be exclusive. Among the Kartvelians and the Svan of Georgia, and the Tosk of southern Albania, you get three-part harmony singing but no solo ballads. Among the English, the Laz of southwest Georgia and the Gegs of northern Albania, you get long epic solo ballads but no harmonized folksongs. There are other examples. I'm not suggesting a grand theory but there does seem to be a correlation. And it doesn't seem to be a regional or ethnic one, as the proximity of these divergent cultures suggests. (Instruments may affect it; the Laz and the Gegs both use droney fiddle accompaniment so maybe they don't need voices doing the job).

Did the Welsh ever have a solo narrative ballad tradition, or are they another of the harmonized-only cultures?