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Author Topic: Mariposa: What is Folk Music?
Boinker
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posted 13 July 2005 10:58 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had a wonderful time this weekend at Mariposa.

(Even had a chance to sing 6 of my original compositions on the open stage.Although well received by a friendly "crowd" of 10 or 20 people, including relatives, no record deal yet.)

But I noticed that although there was much highly listenable and interesting material there was a dearth of political songs lamenting social evils. There were good genre outlaw alt-country in Fred Eaglsmith and the music was all absolutely gorgeous to listen to for the most part. But is Tom Cochrane's "The Big League" folk music or rock? Is there a distinction? I think so. Rock is bombastic excess. Folk like the hilarious and wonderfully talented Arrogant Worms is somehow more succinct, truer in a way. Gordon Lightfoot was great as usual but his songs are so well made they almost sing themselves. Murray McLaughlin was in great form but his discography seems to have ended in 1978 - strange. David Francy writes music and talks about existential type eperiences but the music itself is beautiful and touching often dealing with spiritual matters. What I noticed is that most of the material except perhaps by Len Wallace, the labour singer and squeezebox player, Eaglesmith and The Sweetwater Singers were about personal as opposed to public spiritual journeys. There were no Billy Bragg types there, really.

Any thoughts on the "true nature" of folk music?


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 13 July 2005 11:21 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why do we need to put music into categories?
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 13 July 2005 11:43 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So we can find the specific music we want quickly when we go into the music store without having to sort through all that other stuff?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 14 July 2005 05:04 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I think we could make a definition of folk music.

It is all the music that was made before the days of copyright, and which contained the stories of the specific culture. In other words, it belongs to the 'folk'.

There may come a day when music is returned to the people, althought the industry has to fail first.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 14 July 2005 07:11 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
By that definition, much of what we call "folk music" today really isn't.
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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 14 July 2005 07:18 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
when we go into the music store

music store? is that kind of like amazon or itunes?


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 14 July 2005 09:31 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Willowdale Wizard wrote: "music store? is that kind of like amazon or itunes?"

How times have changed. Beginning I guess in 1960 or 1961, I'd go to the 'record store' to purchase a 33 1/3 or 45 rpm vinyl recording; today these recordings are just to be found in used record stores. Since that time, cassette and 8-track recordings have come and gone, and now I guess CD's are on the way out to be replaced by a smorgasbord of choices. I still listen to a collection of 33 1/3 rpm vinyl recordings, cassette tapes, and a small collection of CD's. I've never moved beyond these, have never downloaded music off the Internet, and I don't have any small personal listening devices. I've never owned a Walkman, for example. But I'm content. I look to the day when I can stock up on discontinued CD's at highly slashed prices.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
praenomen3
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posted 14 July 2005 11:23 AM      Profile for praenomen3        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's an ongoing discussion at Mariposa. In the late 80's, they started calling it a "Roots" music festival, which allowed for a greater range of talent, but also opened up a whole new can of worms. Is Jackson Browne 'folk', 'roots' or neither? How about Melissa Etheridge, or the Voilent Femmes? I happen to think the latter would be more folk than the former two, yet they've all played there. I guess if it extends the musical expression beyond sensitive guys plunking on acoustic guitars, it's worthwhile.
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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 14 July 2005 01:08 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by praenomen3:
Is Jackson Browne 'folk', 'roots' or neither? How about Melissa Etheridge, or the Voilent Femmes?

Hey, I was there in 1989 too!


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BleedingHeart
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posted 14 July 2005 03:03 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rock music for example is usually excluded however the genre is over 50 years old (as old as the blues would have been in 1960).
Many of the African groups come with electric guitars to play their "traditional music".

Is there anyone on Babble who is involved in booking acts for these event?

[ 14 July 2005: Message edited by: BleedingHeart ]


From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 14 July 2005 03:46 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
(as old as the blues would have been in 1960).

I think blues would qualify as 'folk' music by the fact that it grew out of the melding of 'field hollers' and Appalachian folk music.

To this day, no one has a copyright on the traditional blues format, nor the traditional blues lyrics (even though specific songs may be copyrighted).

Rock music I don't believe could ever qualify as folk music by the fact that it has always been copyrighted material, even though it's based on the blues.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 14 July 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Must be folk music, I ain't ever heard cows singing it.

Missed Mariposa this year. Have been hauling electrical stuff around for the past couple of years but my schedule bit me this year.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 14 July 2005 07:42 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Must be folk music, I ain't ever heard cows singing it.

I'm In The Mooooed For Love

Blue Mooooooon

Mooooondance

It's Only A Paper Moooooooon

and of course the famous group

Mooooooooody Blues


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 16 July 2005 09:54 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think we could stand to have a lot more folk moosic on the much moosic channel...

From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 16 July 2005 10:17 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boinker:
I think we could stand to have a lot more folk moosic on the much moosic channel...


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 16 July 2005 11:59 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


...er that should be the mooch moosic channel


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 17 July 2005 03:12 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why do we need to put music into categories?

I think it is useful, for example do you not categorize your own record collection into broad categories?

I do mine alphabetically because it isn't really that large but some people I know have thousands of CDs. Categorization would help.


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Boom Boom
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posted 17 July 2005 03:59 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My 200 LP's are all folk; I have them in three categories: American, Canadian, and English. My caette tapes are divided in these categories: folk, pop, blues, rock, classical. I don't have eneough CD's to sort them out.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 18 July 2005 06:47 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maestro:
Well, I think we could make a definition of folk music.


OH DEAR GOD...Not the "What is a folk song" debate again?

They were already hashing that one out when Peter Yarrow had hair!

[ 18 July 2005: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 19 July 2005 03:01 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
OH DEAR GOD...Not the "What is a folk song" debate again?

Well, you're quite right, a definition of folk music is perforce an arbitrary one. Thus we can all have our own definition, and all will be equally valid.

I define folk music as music over which no one holds a copyright, in other words, it belongs to 'folk'.

One of the slightly hidden aspects of this is that anyone is allowed to add to or change my defined 'folk' music as they wish. There is no copyright, so no one can complain.

If you look back, you'll see that is a property of almost all 'folk' music. Words added over the years by different performers, as well as tune changes as felt necessary.

Those changes which improve the song are kept, and those that don't are discarded.

But hey, you can have folk music any old way you want...


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
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posted 20 July 2005 04:12 PM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
re: a definition (this may be apocryphal mind you) Woody Guthrie said "All music isfolk music. Have you ever seen a horse playing a guitar and singing?"
From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged

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