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popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad

r.padgett 20 Nov 11 - 07:45 AM
johncharles 20 Nov 11 - 07:35 AM
Will Fly 20 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM
Will Fly 20 Nov 11 - 06:50 AM
Vic Smith 20 Nov 11 - 06:42 AM
The Sandman 20 Nov 11 - 04:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Nov 11 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Big Nige 19 Nov 11 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 19 Nov 11 - 08:23 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Big NIge 19 Nov 11 - 02:31 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 02:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Nov 11 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Nov 11 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Big Nige 19 Nov 11 - 12:45 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 12:44 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 11:50 AM
Vic Smith 19 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM
dick greenhaus 19 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 08:30 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM
johncharles 19 Nov 11 - 06:44 AM
Will Fly 19 Nov 11 - 06:40 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM
BTNG 18 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM
John P 18 Nov 11 - 07:21 PM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Nov 11 - 05:25 PM
Bert 18 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,999 18 Nov 11 - 04:50 PM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 04:10 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 18 Nov 11 - 03:38 PM
John P 18 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM
Morris-ey 18 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,SteveG 18 Nov 11 - 02:57 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 02:40 PM
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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:45 AM

Never knew John!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:35 AM

Ah! the harmonium. Father arrives home after a good sunday afternoon drink and young son (me) is summoned to pump the harmonium while father strokes the keys to accompany his renditions of Nelly Dean and Abide with me; Happy days.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM

Harmoniums - now you're talking!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM

I love 'em. Then I'd also like to hear more use of sitars, tablas and harmoniums in English folk... ;-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 06:50 AM

I'm not a great fan of shruti boxes either but I suppose that singing with one is on the same principle playing as the smallpipes - which have a two or three drones and a chanter.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 06:42 AM

It might be just me but the current vogue amongst young singers for singing songs to the drone of a Shruti Box - effectively one chord - seems to be a retrograde step. If a song can be sung to one of those contraptions then to my ears it would be better sung unaccompanied.
The only advantage of a Shruti Box would be to hold a singer to a key when they might otherwise drift.... but that is not necessarily the end of the world in traditional singing. Listen to Sarah Makem singing I Courted A Wee Lass (The first track on Volune 1 of "The Voice of the People). Her pitch shifts slightly up and the over-compenates drifting down below her opening pitch. It is still a magnificent example of traditional singing.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 04:52 AM

apologies, steve , pastures of plenty can be played with one chord, or one chord with a six added, it is a great song, and a good one for starting children singing and playing.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 09:37 PM

Paul Downes once told me he did a gig with Ronnie Drew. Ronnie was pissed as the proverbial newt, but sang a mesmeric version of Shoals of Herring whilst just bashing an E chord throughout.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:24 PM

Bert, I'm in the UK mate. a long way from Colorado Springs U'm afraid, but thanks for the invite. Not very good with words but can play a bit, so may be we could have we could have helped each other. Take Care


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:23 PM

The point I was trying to make is that it's not just commercialisation that's moved the music away from its roots. The reason folk music dwindled almost to nothing was because popular taste changed. For it to become popular again, even among a relatively small number of people on the folk scene, it had to adapt.

The way the music is performed in folk clubs is very different from how it was performed in the tradition. I chose that clip of Dick's singing to illustrate a typical revival folk performance - that's the sort of thing I do too, as do most amateur and professional folk performers. Whether the style is "folk", electrified like Steeleye, or classical like Britten, it's still moved away from the roots. Dick's performance in that clip (or mine here for that matter) is no more authentic than Steeleye's or Britten's interpretations.

That's not a criticism. I love the way folk music is performed in the revival. It's certainly closer to the roots than some other interpretations, which I guess is what GSS is getting at.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

pastures of plenty has two chords tonic and related minor based on 6, eg d major b minor


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM

Pastures of Plenty, Woody Guthrie. One chord.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM

...it seems they border on being a mutual admiration society.... I've been to some of those too. They will never improve though, unless you do say what you really think.

By the way, Where do you live? If it's anywhere near Colorado Springs, you could come along to The Front Range Songwriters.

Here's what I was told by Rick Fielding when I wanted to follow his practicing tips.

Bert..Do Not attempt these things at home! T'will destroy your naive charm, and songwriting innocence!! Love your CD by the way.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big NIge
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:31 PM

Bert, Sorry mate but am surrounded by them, in my area we have got Song Writers Clubs, Song Writers Courses, Song Writers Sessions etc etc, and from a Intrumentalists perspective,(which is what I am), it seems they border on being a mutual admiration society. I am continually asked what do I think of this song or that song etc, and what I say and what I really think are usually two different things. Of course there are good singer songwriers, my personal favorite is Paul Simon, and he uses a lot more than three chords. Most amateur self penned songs could be improved substantialy by adding in a few colour tones like augmented, diminshed, b and sus9's, flat 5's,etc etc. Too much emphasis on words not enough on music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM

The Barley Mow can be accompanied with one chord which is why I usually sing it acapella.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:18 PM

if only i could find a song with one chord.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:01 PM

Thats how music is. Tonic, sub dominant, dominant - sometimes a relative minor.

The song starts and ends in the middle. Soetimes it goes up, sometimes it goes dowm Occasionally theres a sad bit.

Its a bit like objecting to boiling point being hot and freezing point being cold. All triangles having three sides.

Life is a three chord trick. If you can't find what you need with three chords. You're not looking hard enough.

Ewan MacColl wrote a classic song with two chords. Big Bill Broonzy played three chords with more class that Andrew lloyd Webber can get out of a symphony orchestra. (And I bet a musician like Lloyd Webber would agree with me).

Heaven is three chords and the truth. Some people sound shit with twenty chords. Some ethic musicians and modern classicists can bang two dustbin lids together and justify it.

Theres nothing wrong with the basic geometry of music. It can save us all.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM

Dunno about anyone else here, but i know I don't have the social charm to ever hope to get much work as a gigolo..

so I suppose my filthy future in 'folk' would be more in tune with an amateur 'readers wives' approach to music making...


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM

Hmmm pfr. You've got me there, Which of those am I? ;-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM

whatever the leading purpose of the opening 'question'..

this thread debate basically seems to be boiling down to whether
any 'artist' who wants to have a bit of creative fun with trad 'folk' music,

should be regarded as either a 'dirty promiscuous slapper' or a 'conniving gold digging whore'....?????


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM

Nige, You need to get along to a songwriter's club, you will find a lot of good talent.

But wherever you go you will find some who are less talented, that should not be an excuse to criticize all songwriters.

As for 'wearing a bit thin' that also applies to guitarists who all they can do is show off a succession of their latest riffs. That doesn't mean that we should denigrate all guitarists.

Most folk songs can be adequately accompanied by three chords. As Woody is reputed to have said something like "The best of us manage with two", or was that Pete Seeger?

Of course many traditional singers don't use any chords at all.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:24 PM

" popularisation and commercialisation" don't simply man that people charge money to hhear the music; it geenerally refers to adapting the music to fit the tastes of a wider audience (i.e. one that's used to "pop")


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:45 PM

Re Bert above, thats the problem Bert I've heard too many off them, Clubs and Festivals alike. I just happen to think the hackned three chord Triad wears abit thin after awhile, sorry if your are offended by that.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:44 PM

100, sorry leadfingers


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:43 PM

i would not consider John Howson veteran tapes as commercialising the music, yes , people have to buy the cds ,but they are getting traditional songs and tunes from traditional singers without a record producer trying to turn them into a top ten hit.
do you understsnd howard jones?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:50 AM

1954 - don't give a monkeys arse hair roots - I was born in 58 !!!!

so bring on the vintage valve amps fuzz boxes and analog synths !!!!


yeah, but no digital synths.. I'm still a 'trad' folkie....


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM

Bert wrote:-
"Wasn't that commercialization?"


No, that was bowdlerisation.
Our North American friends will want a "z" instead of the "s"


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:17 AM

It's nice to be naughty... :-)

Will Fly, Actually the roots of many traditional songs were naughty. They got cleaned up so that they could be published. Wasn't that commercialization?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM

well they are only commercial in the sense that they dont do it on a unpaid basis, it depends what interpretation of commercial you want to use.
my interpretation is someone whose main purpose is to make their music a hit , but then i had comments from howard jones, trying to suggest my version of burlington fair was[which i have given for free on you tube] was no different from steeleyes all around my hat., howard clearly uses some other interpretation of commercial


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM

If Anderson, Kirkpatrick and Bowen are commercial, we need another word for performances by Lonnie Donegan, Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio and others.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:30 AM

1954 wasn't so much a definition as a stopping place.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM

is it allowed under the 1954 definition


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:44 AM

Mr Fly, a cold shower will soon get you back to your roots.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:40 AM

Yeah - but sometimes it's fun to bugger about, just for the hell of it, Dick. Nothing nicer than getting roots music into a nice compromising situation and giving it a little squeeze in the linen closet, eh? Even giving it a sexy little pat on the bum, from time to time.

It's nice to be naughty... :-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:32 AM

here are some examples of commercialisation that do not compromise the music, alistair andersons concertina workshop tutor, john kirkpatricks melodeon tutor, pete seegers banjo tutor, geoff bowens fiddle tutor or any tutor that shows exisisting traditional styles, is not compromising the music, yes, they are making money, but they are providing an insight into different styles of playing, they are providing insight into the roots of the music.
so commercialisation doesnt necessarily have to compromise the music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM

Captain Byrd's Eye

It is always warming to view your contributions to these threads.

It is most unfortunate you were born 1.5 generations too late.

If you had been squeezing the box 60 years sooner...

Well...you would not today, be ...a mid-ranking "Schweike"

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The Salvation Army kettles are available for giving or taking. I suggest you drop by for a meal.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: BTNG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM

Well that's that then, all wrapped up neatly and filed in the archives


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: John P
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:21 PM

Any singing of a traditional song is different than the roots it sprang from. Since it's not being sung in the village it came from during the time it was current in that village, it has changed. It doesn't matter, however, if it's a stupid arrangement or a really good one. Some versions sound very folky to us, some sound like bad pop music, some sound like classical music.

If the question is really "Has it left its roots?" the answer is yes, of course. Adding the concept of pop arrangements to the question doesn't change or add anything to the question.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM

"How has modern jazz survived? It is not popular or commercial. How has modern art survived? It is not popular."

Well... I think a lot of people do make a living playing modern jazz, so on that level it must be pretty commercial. And I'd wager that it's probably more popular than folk music. Not science, I know, but far more people I know have a copy of John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' in their collection than any folk music.

Meanwhile, try telling Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and a host of other modern artists that modern art is not popular. Again, it's far more popular than folk music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:25 PM

Coimmercialized folk music (probably starting with the Weavers) was what got many of us, who are interested in trad music, started. I think that the fact that it drifted from its roots is inarguable.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM

Isn't it amazing how people like Big Nige can put down a whole class of musicians without having heard most of them.

Their powers of clairvoyance must be absolutely incredible.

Or more likely they just don't know what they are talking about.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:50 PM

"in the process of getting altered it is taken away from its roots, if by popularising roots music we take it way fron its roots"

##########################################

'Easily grown plants from cuttings would include English ivy, goldfish plants, wandering jew, pothos, crown of thorns, swedish ivy, prayer plant, brugmansia.

Most anything viney is really easy to grow from cuttings. Other plants you can easily grow from dividing baby plants from mother plants.

As soon as your little plants start to show rootbuds switch them into potting mix, before they grow long water roots. Water roots will rot in soil and your cuttings have to grow soil roots to survive and thrive in a pot.'

##########################################

'The Christmas carol What Child Is This? has the same chords and melody as Greensleeves, but has another text: What Child Is This?

Some Greensleeves song trivia:

The musical form of Greensleeves is called a romanesca.

The song is supposedly written by Henry VIII for a woman he tried to seduce, called Anne Boleyn.

Lady Greensleeves was a prostitute, green sleeves were worn by prostitutes as a sign of their profession.

The melody of Greensleeves can be heard in the coda of the Beatles song All You Need Is Love.

The song has been played by many artists and bands, including Leonard Cohen, Rainbow, John Coltrane, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Scorpions, Vanessa Carlton, Neil Young, Jethro Tull, Al Di meola and Jeff Beck.'

###############################################

No comment.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:10 PM

GSS you can't assume neither that people become prepared to compromise artistically for money, nor that the Kingston Trio did'nt like what they were doing.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM

This thread seems to assume that anyone would play any type of folk music for commercial reasons. I don't actually know anyone who says, "I want to get rich. I think I'll play folk music." The real situation is that everyone who plays folk music plays it because they love it, and they play it however they want to. Their playing style is informed by the society they live in. Which is a very traditional way to play .
   mostly true, but not entirely, however some start off playing the music because they love it, then when they realise how difficult it is financially, and if they get the opportunity, they become prepared to compromise artistically, i am sure the kingston trio would have preferred not to have the do wahs in the back ground, but were persuaded to do so by the record producer.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:38 PM

There is very little new in this world. Guy Mitchell was successfully commercialising and popularising songs based on "traditional" material when I was a youngster.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: John P
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM

This thread seems to assume that anyone would play any type of folk music for commercial reasons. I don't actually know anyone who says, "I want to get rich. I think I'll play folk music." The real situation is that everyone who plays folk music plays it because they love it, and they play it however they want to. Their playing style is informed by the society they live in. Which is a very traditional way to play . . .


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Morris-ey
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM

Good Soldier: how has modern jazz survived?it is not popular or commercial, how has modern art survived it is not popular.
your comment is simplistic and a sweeping generalisation.


My aphorism was not meant to be taken too literally (always a mistake on a folk music board) so to explain to the harder of understanding:

If something has too few practitioners it will die;

If it has sufficient practitioners it might survive;

If it has sufficient practitioners and is something that sufficent people want to buy it will certainly survive until fashions change.

Jazz, like folk, is a niche market where there are enough amateurs to keep it going - some can even make a living from it.

Modern art is beyond my understaning but can be hugely commercial.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:11 PM

Steve, I am neither happy or unhappy about any thing on your list.
This has nothing to do with my likes or dislikes.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:57 PM

Just to clarify.
Dick, which of these are you not happy with?

Success
Making money
Altering the songs
Adding accompaniment
Adding OTT accompaniment
All of them
Some of them
Something else entirely.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:40 PM

john,replying to morrisseys statement, get a grip or have a pimms


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