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Thread: Folk Music that isn't, quite...

  1. #31
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    After Steeleye Span and the Albion band and before the Etchingham Steam Band (sic) Ashley Hutchings and friends had some fun with morris tunes




    There's even a grandson of Morris On but not as good.
    Last edited by Taggart; Dec-19-2018 at 21:57.
    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

  2. #32
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    Folk Music is the type of music I know most about - I wrote an M.A. thesis on folk ballads, and have sung, listened to and danced to traditional music for sixty years, so when somebody says something that I consider to be incorrect, I find it hard to just let it pass.

    I'd like to explore the subject a little more.

    Definition of Folk Music from Dictionary on Google
    :

    folk music
    noun


    • music that originates in traditional popular culture or that is written in such a style. Folk music is typically of unknown authorship and is transmitted orally from generation to generation.
    • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • I agree with Google, but would like to add my own expanded definition of Folk Music, based on my studies & experience.
    • Authorship:
    • Somebody made up the music originally, of course - but exactly who has generally been lost in the mists of time, and the song or tune will pick up variations and alterations in the course of its transmission.
    • Community:
      Folk music is different from art music - it's not meant to be for cultured people to appreciate, but is found among ordinary people living in the countryside - though a working class urban environment also produces folk music. Folk music lives among the people and has not till recently been performed for commercial considerations.
    • Style:
      As far as people writing 'folk music' today are concerned, it's a matter of style.

      I'd suggest that it's important, if a written-today song or tune is to be considered 'folk' that it has the following characteristics:

      1. Played on acoustic instruments / sung live.

      2. Has a simple format. Folk tunes are dance tunes and have 8-bar phrases repeated twice (generally) - AABB. The rhythms are 4/4 (reels, strathspeys, hornpipes) or 6/8 (jigs) or 9/8 (slip jigs)

      3 Songs will be lyrical love songs or tell stories of love affairs, ghosts, or fights, as in the Child traditional ballads. Typically they have verses and will also often have refrains or choruses. They have a definite metre - the most common are Long Metre (4 stresses, a quatrain consisting of 4.4.4.4.) or Common Metre, where the second and fourth lines of a quatrain would have only 3 stresses - 4.3.4.3.

      4. The singing style will not adopt mannerisms from pop or a transatlantic accent when the singer comes from the UK. Most traditional singers were not accompanied, though if they were, the most common instruments would be fiddle or (someone else playing) a whistle or flute. The guitar is now the instrument of choice, but 'a guitar solo' in the middle of a song is already moving it away from the folk genre.

      5. The subject may vary today from stories of love & battle, and be a 'protest song', but it still has to have a folk song style if it's to be considered a folk song. One good example is Bob Dylan. 'Blowing in the Wind' is a folk song (in terms of the 1960s music scene) because it's got verses, a definite point, and a chorus. Something like 'It's all right, Ma (I'm only bleeding)' from the same era is more like a poem put to music. It's not got the simple formulaic style of a folk song, though I admire it very much.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      'Folk music that isn't, quite'
      When I started the thread, I was thinking of folk songs that come from tradition, such as Child Ballads or songs collected from oral tradition, but that are treated as fashionable music in some way - e.g. Electric Folk, Folk Rock, Folk Metal, Progressive Folk.

      I wasn't thinking of someone who sings his own material, which doesn't resemble folk music stylistically, on an acoustic guitar.
    • Or of music performed by a Mongolian rock band..
    • I mean, why on earth would I?
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Dec-21-2018 at 20:43.
    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

  3. #33
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    Here's a rustic folk song, and it is sung without accompaniment. But the style of singing, with elaborate harmonies, and the acoustics, which involve mikes and echoes (I'd say) are 'not quite' traditional.

    For all that - it's fabulous. I love Maddy Prior's pure voice.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

  4. #34
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    Here's a celtic rock band from the 1970's playing an old tune with a modern groove.

    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

  5. #35
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    Or a 1973 pop single

    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

  6. #36
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    Slightly more fey and less of a beat - Sandy Denny with Fotheringay

    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taggart View Post
    Here's a celtic rock band from the 1970's playing an old tune with a modern groove.

    Thanks, Taggart - I admit, I'd never heard of the Horslips, even though they're right out of My Era!

    That's certainly the grooviest King of the Fairies that I've ever heard.

    Searching for another example of Celtic Rock - rock music based on Irish/ Scottish folk music - I came up with this video. The music is quite witty, and the visuals are beguiling.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

  8. #38
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    This is a fiddle tune that I play called 'Seaweed on the Yellow Shore' - look what a trendy commercial New-Age affair that Celtic Woman makes of it, with hunky bodhran players.

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  9. #39
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    My fiddle teacher sent me this link for a book that examines the distinction between folk music and art music, or more particularly, how and why people started making the distinction.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invention-F.../dp/0521178347

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  10. #40
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    Here's Steeleye Span's Version of a Child Ballad, The Knight & the Shepherd's Daughter, Child 110. The words passed down through oral tradition before being written down, and it has all the structural marks of a traditional ballad - but the strong beat & electric bass guitar mark it out as 'progressive' or 'rock folk'.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

  11. #41
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    Nice Breton Folk Song - except, it's swung.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

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