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What is Happening to our Folk Clubs

Steve Shaw 31 Oct 17 - 05:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Oct 17 - 05:09 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Oct 17 - 05:05 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Oct 17 - 05:03 AM
Iains 31 Oct 17 - 04:50 AM
Raggytash 31 Oct 17 - 04:43 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Oct 17 - 04:30 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Oct 17 - 04:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 17 - 04:19 AM
Iains 31 Oct 17 - 03:42 AM
Dave Sutherland 31 Oct 17 - 03:34 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Oct 17 - 03:13 AM
RTim 30 Oct 17 - 09:02 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 07:22 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 17 - 06:06 PM
DaveRo 30 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 17 - 05:18 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 17 - 04:37 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 17 - 04:06 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 17 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 30 Oct 17 - 03:59 PM
Iains 30 Oct 17 - 03:34 PM
The Sandman 30 Oct 17 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 30 Oct 17 - 03:12 PM
Iains 30 Oct 17 - 03:05 PM
TheSnail 30 Oct 17 - 03:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 17 - 02:57 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 17 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 30 Oct 17 - 02:35 PM
Iains 30 Oct 17 - 02:31 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 17 - 02:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 17 - 01:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 17 - 01:53 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 17 - 01:39 PM
RTim 30 Oct 17 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Wm 30 Oct 17 - 01:19 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 01:16 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 17 - 12:57 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Oct 17 - 12:53 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 12:48 PM
Iains 30 Oct 17 - 12:32 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 17 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 17 - 11:54 AM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 17 - 11:09 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 17 - 11:02 AM
Iains 30 Oct 17 - 10:05 AM
Vic Smith 30 Oct 17 - 09:38 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 17 - 09:15 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 09:13 AM
TheSnail 30 Oct 17 - 09:05 AM
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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 05:23 AM

Of course he is, Al. Jim said that he was delighted to read Iains' opinion. Where's the beef?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 05:09 AM

why would Iain holding an opinion have any effect on what happens?

the intrinsic value of Shakespeare sustained it through periods of its unfashionability? (is that a word?)
blues music went through a similar sort of thing apparently = particularly acoustic guitar blues. Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt had to make livings doing other stuff.

Iain's allowed an opinion. A bit like you Jim, his absolute certainty that he's right is occasionally worrying.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 05:05 AM

What "misquote?"


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 05:03 AM

As an erstwhile denizen of folk clubs and an active participant in music-making in the spirit of traditional music for several decades, I was interested in joining in this thread. I don't generally take much interest in discussions which argue about the definition of folk music, and, until this thread, I didn't even know there was a 1954 definition. I've reproduced it once and just checked it again. As far as I can see the definition is an attempt at description, not a prescription, there is nothing fossilising in it and I can only conclude that anyone thinking that it condemns folk to its death throes either hasn't read it or is so blinded by some agenda or other that the thing eludes them completely. If you happen to be a gentleman of the right and think that folk is infested by worthless commies such as Ewan MacColl, for example. It's actually a fairly anodyne piece of writing. It changes nothing and seems unimportant to me. It doesn't deserve to be misrepresented, however.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:50 AM

Jim you are talking nonsense. You are the one saying the medium is dead and then turn around and say the opposite. If you want to argue the toss at least have the decency to be consistant. You are the one worrying the 1954 defintion to death, not me. I have repeatedly said it is unfit for purpose and my church is a broad church. Yours would like to bring back the spanish inquisition.

"People like Iain's would destroy any chances of that ever happening by reading the last rites over a living and very relevant entity."

Is the above your special entry for the misquote of the year award?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:43 AM

Dave, there's simple one contradiction after another. Try reading the thread from the start (if you've the stamina) there's dozens of them.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:30 AM

"What am I missing?"
I am referring to the club scene in England as depicted here
Traditional song still has a life and relevance outside those clubs - see above - it is the clubs who declared UDI, not the music
There has never been so much good traditional music freely agvailable to those who hare to dip their toes - not in my time
If Irish youngsters can be drawn to the music I have no doubt whatever that English kids can
People like Iain's would destroy any chances of that ever happening by reading the last rites over a living and very relevant entity.
I'm delighted he has said what he has - his personal dislike speaks for others - here and elsewhere
What did someone say about "boring old farts"?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:20 AM

"If you accept the 1954 definition then folk as a living medium is dead."
Why do you go on harping about the 54 definition
No club I ever attended over fifty years has even considered the definition as a policy - perhaps you might point out whih ones ever did?
his is just simple dishonesty to defame a type of music you obviously dislike and don't understand
Even the Holby City team can't revive a corpse back to life - the tradition as a living entity may have passed on, but what it produced in its lifetime still entertains and still fills volums - see The Greig Duncan Folksong Collection and Sam Henry's Songs of the People - or listen to the Caedmon Series from the School of Scottish Studies or 'Voice of the People' (now numbering over 20 albums) - redundant - I don't think so!!
This is just cultural vandalism spitefully delivered
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:19 AM

"folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes"
They said exactly the same thing about Shakespeare during various periods of history and there he is still filling theatres and infesting our televisions


I am really confused now, Jim. I am sure you said earlier that the folk medium in England was dying out and now you seem to indicate the opposite.

What am I missing?

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:42 AM

Raggytash. You are lucky that the scene where you are is thriving. The relatively recent revision to the breathalyser limits has caused a lot of grief for rural pubs. Between 2007 and 2012 10% of irish pubs closed, since then a further 1300. That is a lot of venues wiped out, especially in the SW.
There seems to be a lot of nitpicking around here. I think I pretty clearly defined what I thought folk music was, as opposed to the purist's definition. I am not asking anyone to believe or disbelieve me, but if you accept the rigid defintion of 1954 then folk music is no longer being created - you are merely worrying a corpse.
My view is that the 1954 defintion is too rigid and defines a world that no longer exists. Therefore it is no longer fit for purpose.
To argue about the broader definition of folk when trapped in the confines of the 1954 defintion seems rather silly to me. The argument will constantly be at cross purposed and progress zilch.
Maybe I am overlooking something but it seems a pretty simple proposition to me. If you accept the 1954 definition then folk as a living medium is dead. Accepta wider definition and the genre is alive and kicking. I do not see scope for any middle ground.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:34 AM

"no one remembers the last time a member of a folk club audience was eaten by a crocodile".
I was once but everyone thought I was just showing off in my Lacoste sleeping bag.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:13 AM

"Does Folklore have a different definition to Folk Music..."
No it doesn't Tim - both are from 'The Folk' - the largely rural labouring classes
The same applies to folk tales, dance and music
All are sister genres, obviously not the same.
It replaced the term 'popular' - as in Brand's 'Popular Antiquities of Great Britain' - first published in 1777
Child attributed the Ballads to the same source, which is why he entitled his collection, 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads' - popular = of the people.

"like the songs of MacColl and Leonard Cohen"
A further complication
One draws its inspiration from traditional song - one does not.
"It's not surprising Erdoğan doesn't like it"
Hitler took an opposite view and incorporated German folk song and lore into his politics by creating his own.
"So you will understand he's not really that very good."

Misleading Raggy
CCE players rise to a high level to win prizes - that isn't the problem
In order to win competitions you have to play what you are told the way you are told by the committees - playing by numbers
It has frozen their music into a 'Comhaltas' style and has excluded all else, especially Irish music and song which may have originated elsewhere.
Songs that have probably originated in Britain are a no-no, despite having proliferated throughout the singing traditions for centuries.
Competitions are only for winners anyway - they killed off the love of thousands of Irish youngsters living in Britain during the years we were associated with the music there.

"folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes"
They said exactly the same thing about Shakespeare during various periods of history and there he is still filling theatres and infesting our televisions
That is an indication of your personal taste Iains, nothing more
The last living tradition only disappeared in 1974 when the Travellers went into Woolworths and bought portable televisions
They are now running around like blue-arsed flies trying to get it back because they have realised it is an essential part of their culture and identity
Limerick University has a department concentrating on Irish Traveller music and is co-operating with several musical Traveller families, the Dunnes and the Rooneys, to bring it back fro the younger generation.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 09:02 PM

Maybe this should have its own thread - but................

I have a question posed by someone on another media -
"Does Folklore have a different definition to Folk Music..."

Folklore in this case is in addition to Folk Music and includes jokes, to customs, to recipes, to traditional crafts, & dialects, etc..

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 07:22 PM

"As has been said previously the world has moved on and the modes of composition and transmission have changed especially in the western world. You either have to accept that or admit the folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes."

That is your opinion, stated as fact. There is nothing in the above to suggest that you are stating your humble opinion. It's actually a wrong-headed opinion, but that's by the bye. It ill-behoves you to criticise anyone else for doing what you do yourself all the time just because you disagree. That is a very immature attitude.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 06:06 PM

A lot of it was protest-oriented - perhaps more than singer-songwriter in the UK and the US was - but it didn't have to be. Some of it used really high quality literary texts, which might have been taken as making political points or might not.

It's not surprising Erdoğan doesn't like it. I wonder what song genre appeals to stuck-up reactionary control freaks? Perhaps he shares his Spotify playlist with Michael Gove.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: DaveRo
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM

Just been investigating özgün music. It seems to be associated with protest, and is regarded as subversive by the current Turkish regime.

Reference.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 05:18 PM

Something ate my umlauts. The word was "özgün".


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 04:37 PM

Topic Records boss, David Suff, explained to me that our misunderstanding of the words ?folk music? has to do with a marketing conundrum - that "singer-songwriter" was too long a word to keep having to write out - but he also admitted that he wasn?t really sure.

The Turkish music scene has a better way of handling that. Their genre classifications are a bit different to Anglophone ones, but they have a term "?zg?n" (original) which means much the same thing as "singer-songwriter" - a snappy two-syllable word with no derogatory connotations. The genre isn't as popular as it was, but there was never a reason to be coy about the word - you'd find it labelling the bins in music shops.

It would have helped if an Anglophone could have invented something analogous back in 1954 as a simple non-pejorative term for things like the songs of MacColl and Leonard Cohen.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 04:06 PM

I hope people did take note of the irony there !!

Further more in the town I live in, in England is full of music, not sadly to the same standard, and I do realise I live in a town that is not typical of the rest of the country, but music still flourishes.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 04:03 PM

Iains, Sorry about this, you have said much I agree with on this subject, but the town I reside in, in Ireland, is brim full of music.

Not the type the purist would like obviously. Far too "commercial" for them. But just sometimes a young lad who has won 20 All Ireland titles at the tender age of 18.

So you will understand he's not really that very good. He, among many others, play superb music most nights of the week, they even let me in now and again (and by comparison I'm rubbish)

The outlying villages again are full of music and most of the musicians and singers are good, sometimes very good, young and old alike.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:59 PM

'It was west Cork in particular I was thinking of ...'

But you did extend your statement to the entire country. I could argue that perhaps West Cork is not traditionally an area as known for its music as some other parts of the country but most likely we'd be arguing about it until the cows come home. All I can say is that Dick's experience is not mirrored in the areas in the West I am most familiar with.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:34 PM

It was west Cork in particular I was thinking of and as Dick has a vastly greater involvement than I, then I have no hesitation accepting his qualifiers.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:27 PM

'Spontaneous sessions in Ireland have shrunk to almost non existence, accompanied by a dramatic decline in pubs. Likewise performances in bars have had a massive decline over the same time frame'

That is utter nonsense and betrays a complete lack of knowledge and insight with regards what is going on in Ireland.
I disagree, in County Cork, Regulr weekly music sessions, that also go on during the winter appear to be slightly in decline[ i am not referring to paid gigs].


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:12 PM

Sure, pubs are closing. A matter of economics and changed life styles. Plenty left though. But that isn't in any way an indicator as to the state of music in Ireland, and that was what I was getting at.

'Spontaneous' sessions. Well, how would you, or anybody, know, when they are spur of the moment they won't be announced, or even   necessarily be held in a public place.

As it happens, if I were so inclined I could go out and play any night of the week. There are more people playing and to a higher standard than ever before. Music is thriving in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:05 PM

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/number-of-pubs-down-by-1-300-over-last-five-years-1.1081600

I did say spontaneous for sessions.

If the venues have shrunk then inevitably so have the performances.
Total number of pubs in Ireland ♎ 7000
Number closed 1300 in last five years

In my own village of four pubs 2 are closed, the other 2 limping.
20 years ago they were all vibrant with plenty of music and you would not know who might start playing. Today maybe the occasional Saturday has some music with a little more during the tourist season. There are some sessions about, but in nearby towns.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:04 PM

Crocodile


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 02:57 PM

who said that?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 02:47 PM

RTim
Your linked article is totongue-in-cheek and riddled with inaccuracies to be of much use - it talks as if no definition has ever been attempted and reached, for a start
One pphrase that did strike me though is this
"Topic Records boss, David Suff, explained to me that our misunderstanding of the words ?folk music? has to do with a marketing conundrum ? that ?singer-songwriter? was too long a word to keep having to write out ? but he also admitted that he wasn?t really sure."
It suggests that nobody really intended that newly written and marketed music should ever be considered as folk (which is in the public domain), but it just happened out of either convenience and/or laziness.
THat makes sense to me and is much in evidence here
"no one remembers the last time a member of a folk club audience was eaten by a crocodile."
A feller was walking along the side of the Thames when he saw a man with a bag over his shoulder into which he reguarly reached and drew out handfuls of powder which he threw into the river,
Intrigued the man asked what the powder was.
"Crocodile repellent" came the reply.
But there aren't any crocodiles in the Thames" he responded
"Effective, innit?"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 02:35 PM

'Spontaneous sessions in Ireland have shrunk to almost non existence, accompanied by a dramatic decline in pubs. Likewise performances in bars have had a massive decline over the same time frame'

That is utter nonsense and betrays a complete lack of knowledge and insight with regards what is going on in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 02:31 PM

"Folk music at its heart has to be predicated on non-written-down transmission and that can't change"
Be nice if just once you qualified it as your opinion rather than stating it as fact.
Again Alan Ng of Irish Tunes Info states his personal view. I have no problem with that- BUT- his view and your view are not definitive.

Steve Gardham. In 1954 I may not have been so harsh, I was describing how I felt the definition applied today. I believe it is in desperate need of revision In the UK and Ireland the world has changed dramatically, not just since 1954 but even in the last 20 years. Anyone with a smartphone can video record a performance. Does anyone seriously believe to be authentic transmission you have to hear it live several times? The notion is ridiculous. Where are the forums to hear native folk in the UK and Ireland. Spontaneous sessions in Ireland have shrunk to almost non existence, accompanied by a dramatic decline in pubs. Likewise performances in bars have had a massive decline over the same time frame. How can the purist definition of folk hold up if the only venues to hear it are organised?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 02:10 PM

no one remembers the last time a member of a folk club audience was eaten by a crocodile.

Last time seems to imply it has happened?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:56 PM

no one remembers the last time a member of a folk club audience was eaten by a crocodile.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:53 PM

well let's look on the bright side.
there is currently no sign of the folk clubs turning into cheese and someone eating them.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:39 PM

"Shoals of Herring is known by just about everyone in folk."
Is folk a place?
The definition was an attempt to analyse and explain a disappearing phenomenon the among workers and peasants of the world - the creation of songs which had been happening forever as far as was known - according to ethnomusicologists like Netl, Bowra and Trask anyway
That process was grinding to a halt and was not being replaced - people were becoming recipients of their culture (or customers for it)
By 1954, with very few exceptions, the song traditions were dead and the BBC team was largely recording singers who not only were not part of a living singing tradition
James Hoggs mother probably summed the situation up when she said to Scott
"there was never ane o' my songs prentit till ye prentit them yourself, an, ye hae spoilt them a'thegither. They war made for singing, an no for reading; and they're nouther right spelled nor right setten down.'"
The definition was never intended to include outsiders from the communities who had latched on to the results for their own interests
The explanation did not include the form that song making took, which varied from country to country - Lomax and the Cantometrics team showed, without too much doubt that the forms and utterances varied from country to country.
Once again, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the clubs in any way, shape or form as they represent no-one but themselve - they are not even a united unit - they work as separate units with their own policies
Attempting to include the internet is equivalent to making e-mail a 'tradition'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:31 PM

Without really wanting to add more fuel to the fire - Has anyone seen the link below from Grizzly Folk - "In search of a Folk Music Definition"...............

https://www.grizzlyfolk.com/folk-music-definition/

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:19 PM

As has been said previously the world has moved on and the modes of composition and transmission have changed especially in the western world. You either have to accept that or admit the folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes.

Putting in the legwork to remove the revivalist lens and to understand and reintroduce those past mechanisms might be a third, preferable course of action.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:16 PM

"As has been said previously the world has moved on and the modes of composition and transmission have changed especially in the western world. You either have to accept that or admit the folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes."

No we don't have to accept that. Folk music at its heart has to be predicated on non-written-down transmission and that can't change. I'm not that bothered about young bucks writing their own songs in the alleged folk mode, etc. (though in some cases it seems that folk is rock and roll with a fiddle in it), as their stuff can still be very good. I'n not that bothered about other influences creeping in. I'm no purist and sometimes the synergy is really good. But I believe in the folk process and the crux of that as far as I'm concerned is oral/aural passing down. I can't speak much about song as I'm a definite tune man, but I've sat in sessions for an awful long time and I can tell straight away if someone is learning his tunes from books. In the words of Alan Ng of Irish Tunes Info,

....most newcomers to Irish (or any other culture's) traditional music must first overcome this fundamental misunderstanding about how to learn to play music well. I urge you strongly to never learn a tune from notation, whether from sheet music or abc code....
...Never learn a tune from notation alone, especially if you are not already an excellent Irish musician. You may not learn tunes fast enough to satisfy your otherwise healthy eagerness, but you will learn them right. And learning tunes by ear is the direct path towards becoming an excellent Irish musician. This is the only way to learn the "nyah," the "draoicht," "lift," "swing," or whatever you want to call beauty.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:57 PM

I don't see that adaptations of the 1954 idea do not allow things to expand. Shoals of Herring is known by just about everyone in folk. Likewise for a tune, who doesn't know Caliope House? Some things just fit in. Others may take more time to get there. Personally, these days, I find the "I've written something with 'meaningful words', therefore it is a 'folk song'" harder to accept.

Please note that I'm not suggesting that the "new song with 'meaningful words'" may not be appropriate for a folk club.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:53 PM

Whilst I agree with most of your post, Iain, it is unfair, I feel, to criticise the 54 descriptors. They describe what was folk music in 1954 and the centuries before that as far as the western world is concerned. That the way the people's music now evolves is different, more conscious, was bound to happen eventually.

What makes the folk scene a great place to be for me is that the old folk music and the new sit happily side by side for the vast majority of us. The only place this causes problems is on Mudcat with threads like this.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:48 PM

I would occasionally cup my ear when playing the harmonica, the better to hear myself in a loud environment. Someone once said to me "Who the bloody 'ell do you think you are, Ewan MacColl?"

What do MacColl's politics have to do with the "definition" of folk music? If an unconnected area of his life colours your view on his attitude to music, just consider that Wagner was a rabid antisemite, that Britten was inordinately fond of young boys, that Richard Strauss and Furtwangler conducted concerts in wartime Germany in support of Hitler, that Beethoven rarely emptied his pot de nuit to the disgust of his visitors, that Herbert Von Karajan was cheerfully a member of the Nazi party, that Mozart was obsessed with making jokes about poo and bottoms and that Schubert loved prostitutes and he didn't really care how young they were (it killed him in the end). Hope I haven't spoiled anyone's enjoyment of their music...


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:32 PM

I do not know what others think but I find the 1954 definition patronising, pretentious anachronistic bullsh*t.
Linked below is another viewpoint. I can partially agree with him.
As has been said previously the world has moved on and the modes of composition and transmission have changed especially in the western world. You either have to accept that or admit the folk medium is now sterile and consequently in it's death throes.
http://www.prismjournal.org/fileadmin/Social_media/Egenes.pdf

at the end of the day is there any real difference between "over the hills and far away" and "Green fields of France"? In my book there is not - others may argue otherwise (fruitlessly)
I much prefer the wider definition of folk found in both folk clubs and sessions where the repertoire can constantly expand.
Otherwise there is little to hand on to the next generation. Are you content to say "Granny did it this way" and we hand this on because we and our parents contributed sweet FA?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:16 PM

how many are doing the sort of things that occupy much of this thread when they are out and about? Most I know spend most of that time "just doing" and my own conversations when out at a session rarely have anything to do with folk at all.

Bill Jay's book Cyanide and Spirits is an entertaining history of early photography in its social context. He says that when he started researching it, he assumed that the big issue for photography would be the analogous question, "is it art?".

What he found on reading cratefuls of publications written by photographers for photographers was that they didn't care about that at all, and the issue they were really heated about was "is spirit photography real?".


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:54 AM

Well some of us are trying to talk about what happens in folk clubs. I thought this kind of stuff was only supposed to happen in religion and Labour Party threads. I feel safer below the line.

When you get into the "what is folk", "what should a folk club allow", etc. territory, it's probably not to dissimilar to politics and religion here.

The funny thing to me is that while I can get involved in these threads, Mudcat bears little resemblance to the small part of the folk world I know.

Sure, I can agree with a number of observations over the years,lets say from a bad bodhran in a session to politics within an organised folk club. But how many are doing the sort of things that occupy much of this thread when they are out and about? Most I know spend most of that time "just doing" and my own conversations when out at a session rarely have anything to do with folk at all.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:09 AM

I could also call McColl an English folk singer, songwriter, labour activist, actor, poet, playwright and record producer. None of which gives him any particular qualification to define what is or is not folk.

He didn't. The 1954 definition was mainly constructed by Maud Karpeles to reflect a partial consensus among a bunch of ethnomusicologists of the period. If MacColl went along with it, it was simply because it was the clearest thinking on the subject you could find at the time.

Cowdery's paper is a nice summary of what happened.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:02 AM

"I could also call McColl an English folk singer, songwriter, labour activist, actor, poet, playwright and record producer. None of which gives him any particular qualification to define what is or is not folk."
No - his work and contribution to folk music did that
Not the point that was being made through, was it?
"Does stuffing a finger in the ear give the required credibility to define folk"
No - but it's a millennia old technique used by singers for keeping in tune - otr is it only an affectation WHEN IT'S MacCOLL
Moving on
"I think at this point we need something quite off-topic just to bring a bit of light to the gloom..."
Might do the trick Vic
If not...
Was reminded of this while I was having my hip replaced - the nurses thought it was funny
An old farmer in the next village down the coast from here was working in the fields when he jagged his leg on a piece of barbed wire
He didn't do anything about it until, a week or so later it became inflamed and swelled up until at ast the pain grew so great that he went off to Ennis Hospital
They told him he had gangrene and the leg would have to be removed.
His neighbour visited him after the operation and asked how he was
"Good and Bad" came the reply
"Tell me the worst" said his friend
"Well, they operated last night and they cut the wrog leg off"
"That's terrible" said his mat.
"Not so bad - the other one's getting better"


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 10:05 AM

I could also call McColl an English folk singer, songwriter, labour activist, actor, poet, playwright and record producer. None of which gives him any particular qualification to define what is or is not folk.
That is the point I was making. What puts him on any kind of pedestal to lord it over the rest of us as being the final arbiter of folk? Does stuffing a finger in the ear give the required credibility to define folk, or is it merely a device to block out dissenting opinions. I like some of his compositions but have not the slightest interest, or belief in his views whether it be on politics or folk music.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 09:38 AM

I think at this point we need something quite off-topic just to bring a bit of light to the gloom.....
I see that Dave Burland's name has been mentioned four times in this thread. Every time I hear Dave's name, I am reminded of the story that he told at Whitby a few years back about his neighbour, Bill, back home in Barnsley.....

Bill said to his wife one evening. "I'm just off down the pub, love, to have a couple of pints with me mates."
The vehemence of her reply surprised him. "That's right! Off you go and spend your time with the bunch of losers. You've been promising to put up that shelf in the kitchen for a month now. I'd do it myself if I could reach up that high.... and the last time you went into our front room, you told me that the room was a bloody disgrace and that you were going to redecorate it. When it that going to happen, eh? No you just go down to the pub and listen to your loser mates moaning about football and the government."
Bill stomped out slammed the door and was still not a happy man when he got to the pub. His mates were there but they were all bent over their newspapers and silence ruled. That did not help his mood.
Eventually someone spoke, "What about that match on Saturday?" Groans all round until someone said, "Call themselves footballers? My granny playing blindfold could do better that some of them!" That exhausted that conversation; silence again.
After long gap another another voice pipes up. Pointing to his newspaper he says, "Have you heard the lastest idea by those daft sods at Westminster?" More groans then another conversation ender - "Don't tell us. We don't want to know." More silence.
Bill thinks to himself, "She's right. They are a bunch of losers. I'd actually be happier putting up shelves and decorating than sitting here."
After some more thought, he calls out, "Can anyone tell me if there is a B&Q in Barnsley?" Lots of thoughtful puzzled faces 'A B&Q' 'In Barnsley' Eventually someone answers him. "No, Bill, I think there's just a 'B'."


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 09:15 AM

"I am afraid I regard MacColl as a communist primarily and I give as much weight to his views and I do those of gary lineker the walkers crisp man and his views on brexit."

Vic
"insults, dishonesty and evasion."
A quick list
What we need is an Authentication Standards Panel. We could call them the Folk Poli.... no, wait a minute.... forget that. It's not such a good idea after all.

?So with my apologies I have to tell the Musical Traditions Club that they have failed the JC test.?

?Why have we allowed one man to highjack this thread?
What sort of personality thrives on such self-absorption and verbal conflict?
Why do so many people try to reason with a person who is clearly incapable of a discussion that can move a thread or topic forward?
Can I make a suggestion? That we ignore his comments, insults, rudeness, demands for explanations and definitions and try to address the interesting question posed in the opening post and only respond accordingly. He may even get fed up and go away.
I am sure that I am not the only one that does not subscribe to the Carrollocentric Universe Theory and find the circumlocution that it entails very trying.?

?And still we are allowing ourselves to be led into engaging with displays of morbid obsession and dishonesty.?

Maybe we can stop this bloodletting and move on - please
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 09:13 AM

Well some of us are trying to talk about what happens in folk clubs. I thought this kind of stuff was only supposed to happen in religion and Labour Party threads. I feel safer below the line.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 09:05 AM

Joe? Are you there?


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