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True Traditional Music

Jerry Rasmussen 22 Nov 09 - 04:36 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Nov 09 - 04:42 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Nov 09 - 04:43 PM
Dan Schatz 22 Nov 09 - 04:49 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Nov 09 - 04:55 PM
Jo Taylor 22 Nov 09 - 05:03 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Nov 09 - 05:05 PM
Jo Taylor 22 Nov 09 - 05:18 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 22 Nov 09 - 06:09 PM
Smokey. 22 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 22 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 Nov 09 - 07:08 PM
Smokey. 22 Nov 09 - 07:14 PM
Jack Campin 22 Nov 09 - 08:49 PM
Dan Schatz 22 Nov 09 - 08:58 PM
Smokey. 22 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM
John P 22 Nov 09 - 09:20 PM
Smokey. 22 Nov 09 - 09:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Nov 09 - 10:28 PM
John P 22 Nov 09 - 10:56 PM
John P 22 Nov 09 - 11:07 PM
Smokey. 22 Nov 09 - 11:16 PM
Forget Me Not 23 Nov 09 - 12:33 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 12:57 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 04:14 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 04:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 04:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 04:35 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM
Young Buchan 23 Nov 09 - 05:29 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 05:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 06:12 AM
Jack Campin 23 Nov 09 - 06:41 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 06:44 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 23 Nov 09 - 06:44 AM
Young Buchan 23 Nov 09 - 06:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 07:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 07:32 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM
Waddon Pete 23 Nov 09 - 07:53 AM
Spleen Cringe 23 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM
artbrooks 23 Nov 09 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 23 Nov 09 - 09:02 AM
EnglishFolkfan 23 Nov 09 - 09:05 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 23 Nov 09 - 09:20 AM
Abdul The Bul Bul 23 Nov 09 - 09:37 AM
John P 23 Nov 09 - 09:45 AM
John P 23 Nov 09 - 10:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM
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Subject: True Tradional Music
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 04:36 PM

He could remember hearing the music around the house since he was a little kid. His dad played guitar and some of his buddies would stop by the house and they'd sit around all evening playing. They'd play some of the old songs like Mule Skinner Blues, Gotta Travel On, or He's In The Jailhouse now, and every once in awhile somebody would be fooling around and they'd come up with a new song. The chords were simple and almost anyone could join in after a time or two through the chorus. The songs were about the things that were happening in their daily lives; drinking, cars, trying to get that pretty girl to dance with you at the Saturday night dance. The music was in their blood, and they wanted to carry it on. They tried to imitate the old-timers whose music they'd grown up with: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis or the Coasters. When they sang Yakety Yak or Get A Job they felt like the songs were written for them.

As they got older and got their first guitars, they wanted to carry on the tradition. Sure, there were new songs on the radio. There would always be new songs. But you could hear a little bit of Chuck Berry in Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles were doing Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins. They felt good, carrying on the tradition.

They were rock and rollers and they sang the songs that had defined their lives and their community. True traditional music.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 04:42 PM

Well, some tradition, anyhow.


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 04:43 PM

Is there any music that isn't true traditional music?


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 04:49 PM

Did they all listen to a ten pound radio?

Dan


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 04:55 PM

I mean, if you look at the objectives of The International Council for Traditional Music (formerly The International Folk Music Council) which are: to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries. I think that just about covers it!


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 05:03 PM

Sitting in a pub on Dartmoor, playing trad. English tunes (16, 17 18c?).

One of the old boys says: "That's luvverly, Now us'll play some proper old tunes."

It's a long way to Tipperary...
Pack up Your Troubles...


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 05:05 PM

And of course you know better, eh, Jo?


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 05:18 PM

No - apologies if you think I was being scathing.

I just found it mildly amusing that the 400-year-old tunes were perceived as being 'not old'.


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Subject: RE: True Tradional Music
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:09 PM

Or talking to the last family member of a traditional street band and finding "The Moon Shines Bright" in their repertoire. Lovely old carol. Then finding out (too late, we'd rehearsed it and it sounded beautiful) that Jim meant "The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin..."
Oh bugger.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM

They were rock and rollers and they sang the songs that had defined their lives and their community. True traditional music.

Perfectly true, and an unbroken tradition at that, which is still growing in a global sense. Rock and roll has both literally and in spirit already transcended most cultural barriers and influenced many other musical genres and I think it will, as is often claimed, 'live forever'.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM


I just found it mildly amusing that the 400-year-old tunes were perceived as being 'not old'.



...or, not proper!


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 07:08 PM

Pedantically speaking, (what else would you expect from me?)

If all music is traditional, no music is traditional.

Once the definition of a term has been broadened to include everything, the term loses all linguistic value.

One of the most fundamental uses of language to make distinctions and categorize, although that is certainly not its only use.

Once a term has been rendered linguistically useless, you have to throw it away and start with a new one. You try to define it as precisely as possible but that's not easy. Somebody else starts broadening the definition.

Rinse and repeat ad infinitum

As a dairyman friend of mine says, "Soy milk is NOT milk."

Russ (Permanent GUEST and Proud Pedant)


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 07:14 PM

The making of (all) music can be said to be a tradition because we've (presumably) always done it as long as we've been able.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:49 PM

I've sometimes got an odd reaction to 18th century Scottish slow airs (which are pretty much my favourite kind of tune). People can find them so alien they don't recognize them as being Scottish at all, and think they have to come from Eastern Europe or the Orient.

Those tunes were perhaps never all that well established in tradition, but they did better than Carolan, and it's surprising they've slipped so far out of public consciousness. It's not that people don't like them when they hear them, they just don't know where to place them.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:58 PM

Sandy Paton put it best. Songs aren't good because they're traditional; they're traditional because they're good.

Dan


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM

Surely it's the singing of the song that is traditional, (or 'a tradition') not the song itself?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: John P
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 09:20 PM

Using a process based definition, pretty much everything but classical music is traditional. Using a music based definition, there is a body of music that exists as a discreet genre that is usually called "traditional folk music" or just "traditional music".

We all know that everything has to be included in a process based definition of "traditional". So what? Who's arguing about that? Since this is a folk music forum, and since the term "traditional music" is widely used by folk musicians to denote a specific genre, why bother starting this kind of thread here?

I don't give a rat's ass about whatever some bunch of academics came up for definitions. Academic musicology is pretty far around the circle from traditional music making; it is not at all pertinent to how we generally refer to different genres of music, and doesn't have any bearing at all on what we like to listen to and play.

If you want to redefine the phrase "traditional music", please go do it somewhere else. Find a different phrase to denote music that came from the people. Stop trying to steal the name of the genre of music that a lot of us play.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 09:35 PM

Who's arguing?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 10:28 PM

I'm not trying to change the definition of the word "traditional music." I just find it interesting that many of the qualities that we ascribe to traditional music also relate to other forms of music where new generations draw upon previous generations of music for inspiration and the subject matter reflects the daily life of ordinary "folks". I know third generation rock and roll and rockabilly friends who in their own way are carrying on a tradition.
I think we all share the same general definition of traditional music being music of the past. Reallllly past.

Gosh, you mean I have to leave now? :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: John P
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 10:56 PM

Surely it's the singing of the song that is traditional, (or 'a tradition') not the song itself?

In my book, it's the song itself. Worrying about "a tradition" is just academics. I'm not sure what you mean by "the singing of the song" being traditional. Can you elucidate?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: John P
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 11:07 PM

I'm not trying to change the definition of the word "traditional music." I just find it interesting that many of the qualities that we ascribe to traditional music also relate to other forms of music where new generations draw upon previous generations of music for inspiration and the subject matter reflects the daily life of ordinary "folks".

Well, yes. I've always thought that if we were to define traditional music only as the music that comes from normal folks playing in a non-academic manner, rock and rap are both more traditional than traditional music in today's society. Doesn't make them traditional music, though. They're still rock and rap. I suppose the existence of definitive, original versions of the songs would also cause some problems for defining them as traditional music.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 11:16 PM

Sorry not to be more clear, John. I'm not sure I can.. It's only an opinion though.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Forget Me Not
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 12:33 AM

Jack, what is is that people find so 'alien' about Scottish slow airs?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 12:57 AM

I once had an LP record of Waulking Songs From Barra [part of a Scots Tradition series] to review, and was struck by the 'oriental' sound of the music. To check, I played brief extracts from a couple of tracks to all visitors who came to the house for a few days and asked what they thought it was — they all, EVERY ONE, said something like "Arabic' or 'oriental'. I assumed, as I said in the review I eventually wrote [for The Times Educational Supplement, I think it was] that this had something to do with the particular *form* the minor·or·modal intervals took; but a closer actual technical explanation I could not establish.

I record this as a possible answer to ForgetMeNot's above question.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 04:14 AM

If you want to redefine the phrase "traditional music", please go do it somewhere else. Find a different phrase to denote music that came from the people. Stop trying to steal the name of the genre of music that a lot of us play.

You've got a name for your precious genre - and that name is F*lk. Again I cite the objectives of The International Council for Traditional Music (formerly The International Folk Music Council, who gave us Karpeles' 1954 Definition) which are: to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries.

Surely it's the singing of the song that is traditional, (or 'a tradition') not the song itself?

The very act of singing and playing music is traditional - an unbroken continuity of musical action going back 50,000 years along with the rest of human culture. Listen to any music - any human being singing any song - and what you are hearing is the product of thousands of years of human musical creative tradition. No music is more traditional than any other.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 04:19 AM

Sorry Suibhne — but I am sure you must realise how near you are tending to that Fucking Horse...


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 04:33 AM

I love that Fucking Horse, MtheGM - as Crow Sister said, it was given to us as magical Patronus against the soul-sucking lifelessness of the Folk Dementors. But don't listen to me, listen to the ICTM, whose objectives are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries. Hell, even according to the 1954 Definition all music is Folk Music - depending on how one defines community...


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 04:35 AM

Oops, that should have read: to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries. Hell, even according to the 1954 Definition all music is Folk Music - depending on how one defines community...


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM

Oh, goody. I am just going to play one of my favourite folk records. 'Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerti, nos 1-6', it says on the label. Beautiful. How I do love Folk Music, to be sure... Such exquisite fugal counterpoint.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Young Buchan
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 05:29 AM

To MtheGM

I had the same record and used to play it when I was a student. One day my Nigerian housemate said how much he enjoyed hearing African music coming from my room, even though he did not recognise the dialect.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM

SO'Ps Definition
"Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Musical Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad",
'Now that's what I call a definition!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 05:42 AM

WOT! NO BACH?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:12 AM

So how isn't the music of J.S Bach traditional? It's certainly traditional enough for the ITCM who include classical (and by default Baroque) in their inclusive remit, but obviously you lot know better! JSB was writing as part of an ongoing living traditional cultural process he was both developing and contributing to, an idiomatic genre he certainly didn't conjure forth out of thin air, nor yet the technologies that made it's performance possible (organ / instruments / playing traditions / singing traditions). He was a master of his idiom and passed it on suitable enriched for the next generation for further development. Any hey, Folkies, here's a seasonal hint - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring makes a cracking counterpoint to The Sans Day Carol, especially if played on the medieval bagpipes - as my mate Ian Harrison did at our Christmas gig at The Grapes in Sheffield back in 1991...

'Now that's what I call a definition!

But that's folk as flotsam - and flotsam is any old shit that floats. It all happens in the name of folk and it fits rather quite snugly with your precious 1954 Definition too, saving the usual hang-ups on how we define community. So, nappy-rash notwithstanding, old man - what's the problem?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:41 AM

Jack, what is is that people find so 'alien' about Scottish slow airs?

I don't know. To me, they're all part of the same idiom as the dance music (which people never have any problem locating in time and space). People's perceptions of music are much more context-dependent than they are usually willing to admit, and the old slow airs are performed so rarely there isn't a standard context for them. Perhaps if I was playing them on an accordion and wearing a tartan waistcoat, listeners would find it easier to fit them into their conceptual scheme.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:44 AM

Fine, Suibhne — except that you have overdefined what was a useful categoric term to the point where it has become completely useless for any purpose of communication. So what do you propose to replace it by?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:44 AM

"Perhaps if I was playing them on an accordion and wearing a tartan waistcoat, listeners would find it easier to fit them into their conceptual scheme."

Hehe.. That did mek me laugh!


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Young Buchan
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:53 AM

Why should we want to define traditional music?

There seems to be a strong feeling amongst some people that we want to use it to oppress people – You can't sing that here: it's not traditional: piss off. I've known that happen – Ewan McColl, NTMC, Ken Loveless all come to mind. I don't object to that, provided it's clearly advertised on the tin, but it's no part of my plan for world domination.

I recently received a substantial sum of public money to study traditional dance, and have spent it all in lap dance clubs, which I believe meet the wide definition of the ITMC. Well, actually I haven't, but I would like to think that if I had at least most of you, dear tax paying readers, would have the decency to feel outraged. For academic projects involving public funding I think some kind of definition that is tight as a duck's anus is more than just justifiable.

But most of all, as some people have already said, we want a definition because we want to communicate clearly, and in this situation we need to make the definition fairly tight, so that we all know what we are really talking about. Only if someone then tries to use that definition for function one above does that prove a problem. And to that end I like the old IFMC definition involving Continuity, Variation and Selection.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:24 AM

So what do you propose to replace it by?

I'm not proposing anything, MtheGM. That's why we have genres - all of which are idiomatically traditional and are born of traditional process. Call it what you like but don't say that any one music is magically qualified to be more traditional than another, or that folk is somehow different from other musics on account of the fecking folk process. Following this line, most of what happens in the name of folk in this country isn't folk at all, and that which is folk is no-longer actually traditional on account of it being performed by specialists & enthusiasts by way of revival & re-enactment because, as we all know by now, The Tradition and The Folk Process died the death long ago.

These days I avoid the word Folk anyway - the Old Songs of the English Speaking Idiomatic Oral Tradition are the Old Songs of the English Speaking Idiomatic Oral Tradition - the OSESIOT if you like - though they're not entirely Oral of course, as our erudite friends have been thrashing out over on the Music of the people..Don't make me laugh thread. But what is evident is that there was once a rare old tradition of song making and singing going on within an idiomatic discipline as exacting as any other craft or trade, and these songs continue to carry great personal & cultural potency for us today.

Hmmm - yeah I like that - I'm not a folk singer, I'm an OSESIOT singer!


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:32 AM

I would like to think that if I had at least most of you, dear tax paying readers, would have the decency to feel outraged

If you'd received a grant for an ethnographic study of the tradition of lap dancing, YB, I doubt many here would object, just as long as you illustrated your findings with exacting documentary evidences & provided sworn testimony that you remained impartial in your academic objectivity throughout.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM

Gr8, Sweeney. We shall need a mnemonic to remember it by — so how about:


Obsessively Stupid Ethnic Sods I Overcome Triumphantly ?

Or alternatively we could all osesiot off & forget the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:53 AM

"The Folk Process died the death long ago."

?


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM

Getting back to the opening post and thinking about some of the subsequent contributions, I am put in mind of the legendary inheritor of and contributor to the particular tradition Jerry speaks of, the late, great Joey Ramone and his immortal words, "Hey Ho, Let's Go! Hey Ho, Let's GO!"


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:18 AM

We can get into/have gotten into some very interesting, albeit circular, arguments - in fact, we have been arguing this topic (i.e., "what is folk music") for the eight years or so I've been hanging out on Mudcat. Let's see - how about this, from my memory of a variety of different threads: one contributor says that only traditional music is folk; everything else is "popular". Another says that music for which there is a known author cannot be called traditional. Yet a third says that, with adequate research, a single author can be found for every "traditional" song...and lists a number of authors for various Child Ballads as proof. The logical conclusion? There is no such thing as folk music!


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:02 AM

"Once the definition of a term has been broadened to include everything, the term loses all linguistic value."

Yes, 'GUEST, Russ' you're absolutely right and it's a logical point that the 'horse definers' can't get round however much they blather, wriggle and fume.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:05 AM

Hello everyone: I would just like to venture the thought that possibly place has a part in the point that Jack is making. (+ no need to dress up or restrict the instrument Jack!)

I wonder if in the UK one finds Northern English and Scottish ears are more attuned to 'Slow Airs' and further South in the Midlands down to the South coast Morris tunes are more easily responded to/recognised.

All terribly simplistic I know but it is like regional dialects and accents: pre widespread TV programming the Cockney ears of my friends & family had trouble deciphering strong quick speaking Geordie and Glaswegian voices.

I've occasionally found a link between 'slow airs', classical/early music & electronica, but am not a trained musician so it's only 'between my ears' and so I cannot explain it 'technically', sorry.

Re Traditional Music: From this end of a lifetime of music I have vowed not to venture views on this any more, but accept that human-made noise is a wonderful continuum, and our ingenuity with technology is just making all it's genres more widely and easily available to us all: and Yeay to that.

Thanks for the space here to join in.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:20 AM

The whole question of what folk music is is one that has it's value. It's a great soporific.

I'm finding this discussion interesting, though. I don't normally get wound up in all of this but reading the thoughtful, and just funny posts makes me realize that folk music in the UK means something quite different than in the U.S.A. And like any generality, that's not completely true. Back in the fifties and early sixties over this way if I'd even thought about it at any great length (which I didn't) I'd say that traditional folk music was the Child Ballads and Appalachian variants of them. While there are many songs in that tradition that I love, the body of folk music that really attracted me was a mixture of old ballads, early 1900's popular music, early country music, blues and gospel. To folkies, The Carter Family are folk singers. To country music fans, they were early, influencial country music singers. Charlie Poole did a wonderful mixture of old fiddle tunes and breakdowns, liberally seasoned with popular music from the twenties. For Folkways records, Doc Watson was mountain folks, standing on the porch of a run-down house in the Appalachians. To his neighbors, he was this guy who played everything from old ballads and gospel to rockabilly on electric guitar. When they recorded some of the old blues men like Lighnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker, they did folk albums on acoustic guitar, even though they usually played electric guitar. I suppose all of that music sounded traditional to me because it grew out of a tradition that stretched back to the Child Ballads.

Folk Legacy recorded a series of albums that they called something like The Living Tradition, which made sense to me. I've never thought of traditional music dying on a particular date, any more than the music died when Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper died. I think of traditional music as something living and evolving. I don't think it appreciates being trapped in old books or treated like an ancient artifact.

Each of us has our own definition of what traditional music is. Rather than seeing that as a hindrance to communication, I find it an invitation to wonderful, thoughtful conversations. There are marvelous gray areas that defy definition... non "traditional" songs done by "traditional" singers, and "traditional" songs done by "non-traditional" singers. I always thought that Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys did the definitive version of The Boston Burglar. But then, is that song traditional?

It eventually comes down to what it is in the ear of the belistener.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:37 AM

Look folks......IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. It's not important. It's a very very very small part of human life. Just enjoy it for what it is.
Sheesh. Endless droning on and on.
Al


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: John P
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:45 AM

SoP, if you're going to quote me and then answer with the 1954 definition, you should include more of the original quote from me, specifically the part where I said:
I don't give a rat's ass about whatever some bunch of academics came up for definitions. Academic musicology is pretty far around the circle from traditional music making; it is not at all pertinent to how we generally refer to different genres of music, and doesn't have any bearing at all on what we like to listen to and play.

As for my "precious" genre you refer to, can you tell me what you mean by that, or are you just being a jerk? What's so precious about it, or rather, what makes you think I think there's anything particularly precious about it? You say that the genre is called "folk". However, the word has been used to describe so many things by so many people (especially you), that using it in a conversation is pointless.

Some of us like to talk about folk music, and traditional music, and you clearly don't. So, as I said before, go somewhere else and talk about the genre of music, since folk, traditional, classical, rock, and blues don't mean anything to you.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: John P
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 10:06 AM

Back to subject at hand: this is the main reason that I prefer a musical definition for traditional music rather than a process definition. I grew up playing rock and electric blues in small-time local bands. The way we learned music, the reasons we played it, the people we played for, and our level of academic musicianship all fit the process of traditional music making much more than traditional music does in today's society. Traditional music, from a process standpoint, has become academic music -- something of a contrast in terms.

Calling traditional music the "music of the people" in this century is silly. Clearly, rock is the music of the people. Calling rock music "traditional music" is equally silly if you want to have a discussion about folk music.

So what to do? I love traditional folk music, play it a lot, and listen to it more than anything else. It is, to my ear, a distinct musical genre; it sounds different than other genres and that's what I like about it. Since I started out as an untutored rocker and that mindset also fits traditional music pretty well, and I don't want to play music in an academic way, I've decided to stop worrying about the process of traditional folk except as something interesting to talk about on Mudcat. Traditional music sounds like what I want my music to sound like, and that's all that matters.

It doesn't sound like singer-songwriter music, rock, rap, or Bach. Since we need a word to describe it in order to talk about it, and since "traditional music" is traditionally used for that purpose, attempts to do away with any definitions are both irritating and silly.


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Subject: RE: True Traditional Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM

Yes, 'GUEST, Russ' you're absolutely right and it's a logical point that the 'horse definers' can't get round however much they blather, wriggle and fume.

Wrong as ever, Shimrod. For one thing it's not the Horse-Definers that blather, wriggle and fume - rather it's the 1954-fantasists who still cling doggedly to the perverse notion that The Revival is somehow Worthy, as oppose to an ultra-conservative pseudo-academic orthodoxy which has fuck all to do with The Tradition it claims to have - er - revived. For another thing the logical point is that Folk has about as much linguistic value as it does cultural - which is to say, none whatsoever outside of a very narrow band of pendantic enthusiastic hobbyists such as yourself.

And myself too, of course, but as an OSESIOT Singer I'm like the contented Model Railway Enthusiast contentedly working away on his 7mm scale O-gauge replica of Battersby Junction circa 1947. He knows his place in the scheme of things; and he would at least recognise a real train should ever he see one.

but accept that human-made noise is a wonderful continuum, and our ingenuity with technology is just making all it's genres more widely and easily available to us all: and Yeay to that.

Seconded!


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