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'Occupy English Folk Music!'

BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 12:21 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Nov 11 - 12:23 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Nov 11 - 12:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 12:41 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 12:46 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 07 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 12:59 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 01:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 01:04 PM
John P 07 Nov 11 - 01:06 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 01:11 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 01:14 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 01:30 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 01:36 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 01:38 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 01:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 02:06 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 02:06 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 02:09 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 02:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 07 Nov 11 - 05:06 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 05:14 PM
glueman 07 Nov 11 - 05:34 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 05:38 PM
John P 07 Nov 11 - 08:09 PM
BTNG 07 Nov 11 - 08:17 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Nov 11 - 09:42 PM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 02:03 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 02:15 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Nov 11 - 02:53 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 02:58 AM
theleveller 08 Nov 11 - 03:17 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Nov 11 - 05:09 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 08 Nov 11 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Nov 11 - 10:02 AM
BTNG 08 Nov 11 - 10:11 AM
John P 08 Nov 11 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 08 Nov 11 - 10:22 AM
BTNG 08 Nov 11 - 10:36 AM
Spleen Cringe 08 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM
BTNG 08 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM
glueman 08 Nov 11 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 08 Nov 11 - 10:51 AM
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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:21 PM

differently here, makes people squabble like old married couples.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:23 PM

Damn, I wanted that 300!

I suppose I now need to struggle with Sweeney's torrents of obfuscation.

As for you, glueman - read it again: -

"the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (1) continuity which links the present with the past; (2) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (3) selection by the community which determines the form or forms in which the music survives."

Where are the words "the people" in that? What we plainly see is attention directed to separate communities.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:26 PM

PS - Al, we all think you are a terrific musician, songwriter, and entertainer. We just don't see the conspiracy that you and Lizzie do.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:41 PM

You'll just have to wait for the 99 on the 'This is Folk' thread, Richard. I'm sure it will not be too long :-)

D.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:46 PM

Now's your chance!


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:50 PM

"...tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission.."

So you accept that folk is past, gone and the door closed behind it by the gewgaws of modernity? If you'd have said that a few hundred posts ago we'd have agreed.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

Jeez...Is this tedious thread still going? Lizzie knows how to press all the buttons obviously! The bottom line as I see it, is that all songs were written by someone once...whether it is in 1500 or 2005 matters nothing. Interpretations of such songs will either appeal or not. In the end, who cares?
If you like something....Great!
If you don't....Great!
If you want to suggest that people might like to listen to something you've discovered......Great!
Telling other people that what they ought to enjoy for their listening pleasure is wrong......not so nice. (and ultimately pointless anyway)
I personally don't go much for Lizzies examples of "Good" music, that we all "Must" hear.
It all seems a bit bland and anodyne to me, But Hey! If she likes it fine. It's just that her tastes are obviously different to mine. Therefore, when sh goes on about a new artist, I normally avoid them with a barge pole. (Sort of reverse publicity!)


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:59 PM

Oh here we go again...no that's not what was said at all, and you know it, it's what YOU want to be!...god.... your intolerance is frightening, evolving and gone are count'em...two....two different things, so stop making look like you're right, because....you're not! Get used to it.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:00 PM

still pushing your own buttons then Ralphie boy...gawd you are tedious!


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:04 PM

OMGG TFLA IAIA


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: John P
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:06 PM

So you accept that folk is past, gone and the door closed behind it . . .

Nope. I play it all the time. I innovate with it on a regular basis. It's kind of hard to say something is dead and gone that I do so much and that engages so much of my creativity. Nor are there any closed doors. I add new tunes to the repertoire, as do others. I learn tunes from and teach them to other musicians. I witness melodies and words getting changed as they change hands. I am a member of a community of people who enjoy listening to and playing a specific type of music. Why, oh why is this such a problem for you?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:11 PM

if "folk music" didn't evolve and change, then it would die; but it's still here in't it? Live with it!


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:14 PM

But its closed to new material because recording makes oral transmission of songs unlikely to the point of impossibility in a folk song context. It's alive in other areas like football chants, playground songs, boozy coach trips, where words and tunes are accidentally or deliberately swapped, but extinct in the hallowed back rooms of The Folk Club where the only variation is in delivery. And that doesn't fit 1954.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:30 PM

Oh stop it...I personally never much cared for "1954" it equates for me, to 1984, so that's irrelevant, and so are you, you'll never get it, so I'm not going to waste anymore time with you, than I already have, it's time I can never get back!


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:36 PM

Well 1954 does or doesn't matter. It's only important if people cite it as meaningful or base judgments on it. If you want to abandon the thing as an irrelevant anachronism it suits me.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:38 PM

*yawn*


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM

The 1954 definition can be very useful as a label. As I said earlier labels are absolutley essential in some case (Poison - Do no swallow, Danger - High Voltage and so on.) It is not quite so essential here but I can fully understand why people would want to make sure that they get 'what it says on the tin.' If you want to see and hear the version of folk music that you enjoy, then it must be very frustrating to go to a folk club and find it is full of Paul McCartny covers or American Indian music. OK - I can already hear the keyboards clicking 'Yes - but that is all good music and how do you know if you like it or not?' That is not the point. The hypothetical club goer may go to a dozen ethnic concerts a year. They may have a collection of evry song the Beatles ever made. But if they want to hear traditional folk music then they should be able to attend a folk club in the reasonable knowledge that at least part of the eveing will be dedicated to that form of music.

If I go, and don't like what I hear, I usualy leave. I can afford to forfeit the door money but I will not waste my time if I don't like it. Some people may not have that luxury. They may be able to ill afford the fee. They may have travelled for two hours by public transport to attend the gig. They deserve to get what they pay for. That is what the label is useful for.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 01:52 PM

"I can already hear the keyboards"

John Tams has Barry Coope on keyboards.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:06 PM

I am pretty sure that his do more than click.

New Model Army had Ed Alleyne Johnson on violin.

Which bit of knowledge is more relevent?

DtG


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:06 PM

Discussing the topic can be like arguing with biblical fundamentalists. One person will insist on oral transition or source anonimity, another will say 1954 is a useful label but not to be taken as gospel. A third will admit it's a lovely idea but it's had its day and a fourth wants to destroy it as a shackle on their human freedom to perform.

My interest in the topic is because while I almost exclusively enjoy the music of what's called the tradition - at least as far as folk goes - I've never had much truck with the idea of it as a living entity any more than a crumhorn or shawm player in a mop cap is making Rennaisance music live. If I play Bruton Town to the tune of Lily the Pink it might fit all kinds of transmissional criteria but it wouldn't be folk music in the eyes of those who care about definitions, nor mine.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:09 PM

That's Renaissance.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:21 PM

if you say so.....and DtG...get a sense of humour...


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM

Got one thanks.

I bought a Leonard Cohen Album the other day. Took back because all I could hear on it was some old bloke whinging...

DtG


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 05:06 PM

Well, I seem to have pressed all the right buttons in BTNGs I-Phone.
Not sure I understand his tirade though...Any help people?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 05:14 PM

whinging...hasn't that been what this whole thread has been?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 05:34 PM

That depends BTNG. If people want to tell others to get a life, or a sense of humour, or suck it up, or trade whatever insults they deem necessary, they forfeit the right to be taken seriously in a logical discussion. I'm happy to visit rough pubs and friendly locals and adjust my behaviour accordingly. Ditto message boards. There's no point coming on like Wittgenstein in the Sluggers Arms or Johnny Mental at the Ritz. Consistency is the key.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 05:38 PM

I've never intended to be serious, this is the wrong forum for that


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: John P
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 08:09 PM

But its closed to new material because recording makes oral transmission of songs unlikely to the point of impossibility in a folk song context.

Only if you copy songs from recordings.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 08:17 PM

funny...I've learned new material (trad. songs, that is) via oral transmission and I can think at least a half dozen other people who have done the same thing...sooooo, once more your argument is bogus...no....I am convinced you want the tradition dead despite your protestations to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 09:42 PM

glueman - no. There are songs that I do that I picked up simply from listening to them being done. But as I've also said before the it is commonplace now to learn songs through an extended oral transmission - one example being youtube - in which one person sings the song to his webcam and another hears it on his computer - not in real time of course - but that's oral transmission with an additional medium interposed.

Most performers learn words from written texts - but think of teenagers who know all the words to pop songs. They have written nothing down in most cases - the input to them is wholly aural.

The songs so learned are then modified by the creative impulses of the individual.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 02:03 AM

But you don't allow new songs to be described as folk music Richard, so the only variation can be in setting, not material. That to me is a sealed body of work which will only ever disappear further into the past. Lots of traddies accept that and I have no issues with it. The conditions that gave rise to the original material have gone, never to come again probably - although if the world economy heads the way it's going who can say - but it certainly won't be from a club in the sense we have them now.

I'm simply asking for logical consistency.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 02:15 AM

Or better yet, a re-writing of 1954 that acknowledges the social and technological changes that have occurred in the last half century.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 02:53 AM

glueman, again you fly in the face of the definition. Once the new material has been (as I argue it may be) transmitted via the wider understanding of "oral transmission", been modified as described in the definition, and achieved currency in a relevant community, then it has passed the gateway. And therefore Lizzie's views about a conspiracy to stop her preferred music being called folk music are unsustainable.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 02:58 AM

Okay, so how is contemporary music that isn't a football chant, playground song, etc, - in other words, a song recognised by traditionalists as folk music - going to find its way round the 1954 definition. With examples please.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 03:17 AM

The problem with definitions is that they need to change and be updated to stay relevant. Why else would my friend, the renowned lexicographer Tony Cowie, even though he's now 80, be continualkly working on ipdating The Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English? A definition from 1954 is way past its sell-by date.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM

The problem with '54 is it gives the appearance of aperture and inclusion, while effectively closing the thing off. It plays well to certain folk constituencies because it provides legitimacy for their preferences and a stick to beat off dissenters, while providing only a virtual environment for new material. Unless someone can come up with new material that has entered the traditional canon by the approved method, I believe we can declare the definition seriously wanting, if not dead.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM

The question, "what is Folk Music?" has, of course, been debated to death, resurrected umpty trillion times and killed again over and over and over. I suspect that this will go on ... and on and on until the sun becomes a red giant and consumes our planet.

Nevertheless, the truly interesting question is embodied in this thread, i.e. why are some people so desparate to occupy/colonise the Folk Music genre? I've always believed that there exists a vociferous group of 'folk fans' who don't really like Folk Music and don't really understand, or are uncomfortable with, or bored by, traditional material. These people want the genre to be more like the popular music of their particular era - in general they usually seem to want want guitar-based music which "rocks" - even though they can get that anywhere.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 04:50 AM

"...the truly interesting question is embodied in this thread, i.e. why are some people so desparate to occupy/colonise the Folk Music genre?"

No, the truly interesting question is why people continually throw a definition at others in the manner of a fait accomplis but can't provide a single example of transmission that fits the criteria in the half century since it was invented. Surely given the thousands of historic songs that fit the criterion, a few dozen will have entered the canon? A handful? One?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 05:09 AM

"No, the truly interesting question is why people continually throw a definition at others in the manner of a fait accomplis ..."

Off the top of my head, glueman - because they don't want to be occupied/colonised by guitar-based music which "rocks"?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 05:25 AM

Well folk music is either a time capsule heading deeper into history with each passing year, or a living tradition which its proponents claim? If it's alive and sets store by its own definitions, I presume someone can give evidence for the transmission which is so important to its claims of vitality?

IMO the important thing is the singers. If they lay claim to a tune, if they adopt it, it IS folk. What other definition of a living tradition can there be?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 06:13 AM

I presume someone can give evidence for the transmission which is so important to its claims of vitality?

Oral Transmission is the life and soul of any musical genre; it happens billions of times a second in the ever changing flux of musical action on Planet Earth, and quite possibly elsewhere in the universe too, for where there is sentient life, there will be culture, language, technology and, of course, music. That said, I doubt we can call the Ancient Tradition of Triple-Anus Singing of the Blind Moon Priests of the Planet Qwertyuiop Folk Music just because it fits the letter of the 1954 Definition. All music does that, even so-called Folk Music, so best we ditch The 1954 with the Dead Horse and look at other factors instead - such as the usual cultural, aesthetical, musicological factors we would use to figure out what any particular Musical Tradition is all about.

The 2011 Definition of the 1954 Definition - an insane credo the exact meaning of which might only be understood with reference to the conditions of class condescension and social apartheid in which it was conceived. One that implies that The Folk are in every sense inferior to the enlightened scholarly minds that produced it. One that insists that Folk Music can never be understood by The Folk themselves because if ever they do educate themselves, they are no longer Proper Folk. A product of outdated and outmoded paternalism of an outdated and outmoded bourgeoisie / intelligentsia. The credo of a handful of reactionary conservatives for whom Folk Music has the appeal of a religious comfort blanket instead of a living, breathing, joyful, vital and infinitely diverse creative musical universe populated by people who do it because they love it, much like any other musical universe, be it Jazz, Hip Hop or the Ancient Tradition of Triple-Anus Singing of the Blind Moon Priests of the Planet Qwertyuiop.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:02 AM

Leaving this 1954 thing aside for a mo', and all its socio-cultural-political baggage (both real and imagined)I would like to provide a refreshingly different perspective (he said modestly). When I was a child I always liked 'story songs' - or 'narrative songs' as my more pretentious older self calls them. This interest continued through my childhood and adolescence. Meanwhile many of my contemporaries preferred 'guitar-based popular music which rocked'. In my late teens I discovered my local folk club and a veritable cornucopia of narrative songs. Nevertheless, the ubiquitous, guitar-based rocking stuff was waiting in the wings just dying to take over; and in some clubs, of course, it did.

To my mind narrative songs and guitar-based rocking stuff provide different sorts of pleasures (although, of course, there are overlaps). But the guitar-based rocking stuff is, as I said above, virtually ubiquitous and much more popular while narrative songs are a more specialised interest - and there is nothing wrong with that!


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:11 AM

I'm wondering why we need to be catering to glueman in the first place, other than to give it errr him the attention he obviously craves


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: John P
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:18 AM

Glueman, you're repeating yourself and not paying attention to what's already been said on this thread.

You asked. I answered. Here's the answer again:

If you want a song of yours to be accepted by the traditional folk music community, here's how:

1. Play nothing but traditional folk music, with other players of traditional folk music, daily, for 15 years.
2. Write a song or a tune.
3. Play it for your traditional folk music friends.
4. See whether or not they like it and start to play it.

If you want specific examples, I have written at least three tunes that have been played and recorded by other musicians. All of them were changed slightly in the process. Here are a few other examples off the top of my head:

Josefins Dopvals
She Moved Through the Fair
Summertime
Boys of Bedlam
and almost any blues song

I'm sure a quick look through my CD collection would turn up several more.

As for your worries about the 1954 definition, you may want to consider letting it go. I don't know anyone who plays traditional music who pays the slightest attention to it. Most have never heard of it. I was 25 years into a deep focus on traditional music before I ever heard of it. It's academia. Which, to me, makes it almost the opposite of traditional music making. You may find that everything makes more sense if you think about these things less and play traditional music more.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:22 AM

To my mind narrative songs and guitar-based rocking stuff provide different sorts of pleasures

Might I suggest that the two aren't necessarily exclusive and offer you this for both your consideration and enjoyment?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWeFPWa9z38


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:36 AM

"Might I suggest that the two aren't necessarily exclusive and offer you this for both your consideration and enjoyment?"

did he perform all 67 verses..?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM

Can we have an agreement that we'll all ignore BTNG until he/she stops saying things like "I'm wondering why we need to be catering to glueman in the first place, other than to give it errr him the attention he obviously craves". There's no need, B. It doesn't add to the discussion and it just comes across as boorish and unpleasant. And you keep doing it, so it's boring too.


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: BTNG
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM

you'd know all about boring of course


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: glueman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:50 AM

I have next to no interest in rock music or guitars but fail to see what that has to do with the subject in question. I know what trad. means, I'm saying traddies are ensuring it's all in the past tense.
John P I respectfully suggest that hearing a variation of ones own song is not the seamless pluralism and timeless aggregation the definition alludes to. Or do we have that rare thing, a new stab at a definition, one which states how many steps from source is admissible as Folk? And it comes out as 'one'?


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Subject: RE: 'Occupy English Folk Music!'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:51 AM

John P

As for your worries about the 1954 definition, you may want to consider letting it go. I don't know anyone who plays traditional music who pays the slightest attention to it. Most have never heard of it.

I've been involved in traditional music for getting on for forty years and had never heard of the 1954 definition before I joined Mudcat. I have never heard it discussed outside except when I mentioned it to a friend who hase been involved in traditional song far longer than me and far more deeply. She found the idea of someone forming a committee to decide what folk music was hilarious.


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