FOLK SONG & TRADITIONAL MUSIC

QUOTATIONS ( 1981-1990 )



"Contact with tradition through commercially issued field recordings
has resulted not only in revival singers
becoming better informed about folksong,
but has resulted in some of them returning to school
to obtain academic training in folk cultural studies."

Kenneth S. Goldstein, Professor of folklore and folklife, University of Pennsylvania
( "Folk Music and Modern Sound", 1982 )



"I think it can be dangerous not to validate
the music of where you're from.
For me it's traditional. I'm a traditionalist.
I believe in tracing things back to the source and
finding out what the real thing was, and how it changed."

Van Morrison, American-Irish singer ( 1982 )



"From Natchez to New Guinea, all over the world,
it seems to be the destiny of folksong to be changing from a domestic
and ceremonial music for insiders into a public performance music
for an audience including outsiders, perhaps comprised entirely of outsiders."

A.L. Lloyd, music critic and historian, Member of the International Folk Music Council
( "Folk Music and Modern Sound", 1982 )



".... the seventies have brought about an enlargement of the arena
devoted to he study and discussion of American popular and folk music
to include the current and historic activities
of ethnic minority elements of our society."

Richard Spottswood, writer and contributor to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
( "Folk Music and Modern Sound", 1982 )



"It is now widely agreed that some earlier views
of folksong are too narrow."

Georgina Boyes ( 'Traditional Song' conference, Leeds, 20-11-1982 )



"Performers and collectors of folk music take it for granted
that folk music is a living, evolving body of music;
that to understand it, you must first listen to it."

Dena J. Epstein, assistant music liberian at the University of Chicago
( "Folk Music and Modern Sound", 1982 )



"No song exists in isolation, in a social or cultural vacuum."

Michael Pickering ( 'Traditional Song' conference, Leeds, 20-11-1982 )



"While fieldworkers like Lomax gathered and studied folksongs,
the record industry issued thousands of commercial folk recordings,
many of which date from the beginning of this century."

William Ferris, Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi
( "Folk Music and Modern Sound", 1982 )



"In the early days of the post-war folk revival,
I, and I think a lot of other people,
felt that MacColl and Seeger formed a point of reference
against which all other performers should be judged."

Vic Gammon ( "English Dance and Song" (45) 3, 1983 )



"Even in a sane world, after the revolution,
it will not be possible to take concepts
such as 'folksong' and 'ballad' out to be shot."

Dave Harker, English writer ( "Fakesong", 1984 )



"Since traditional musicians call the music 'traditional music',
we might as well call it that too."

Ciaran Carson, writer ( "Irish Traditional Music", 1986 )



Those who grew up in the thirties and forties
now find it difficult to convey the dead hand
of mediocrity and authoritarianism of those days.
Britain was a class-ridden society with rigid barriers
and social problems that nobody seemed to care about.
The mainstream of art, literature, and poetry was largely conformist
and snobbish. Even folk music was mainly a middle-class study.

L. Shepard ( "Singer, Song and Scholar", 1986 )



"Songs have the advantage of being packaged
and wrapped in universal appeal.
Songs are not limited by natural or human bounderies ."

Revd. Cecil Franklin, brother of gospel singer Aretha Franklin ( 1987 )



"Music can be utilized to unite or to divide,
to make war or to make love."

Anthony Seeger, Director of Folkways Records ( 1988 )



"The long-standing failure of folk music scholarship
to take account of individual creativity
is perhaps the most visible testimony to the undercurrent of conservatism
that has satured many of our most entrenched concepts of folk music."

Philip Bohlman ( "The Study of Folk Music in the Modern World", 1988 )



"If we define folk music as music created by the community,
then there is a strong case for saying
that the true late twentieth-century folk-songs
are to be found not in folk clubs but on picket lines and football terraces."

Clive D. Griffin, English and music teacher ("Music matters, Folk music", 1989 )



"Ireland has a folk tradition,
like Jamaica and unlike England,
and Ireland doesn't forget the past
as anyone who has wandered around Belfast will know."

Robin Denselow, ( "When the Music is over", the story of political pop, 1989 )



"Our traditional music is a rural music
that exists at peace with a quieter
and more spacious environment."

Larry Sandberg, ( "The folk music sourcebook", 1989 )



"They wanted to treat it as folk music,
but sean -nós is darker more passionate and ancient than that."

Iarla Ó Lionáird, Irish singer ( about 1989 )



"The composition of songs, usually to pre-existing airs,
some of great beauty, has been the great mean of literary
and artistic expression of the Gaelic people of Scotland."

John L. Campbell ("Songs Remembered in Exile", 1989)



"Looking back on the history of song,
it comes through as a vital part of life,
the sentiment, whether sad , heroic or downright bawdy,
was shared and celebrated by the entire community"

Nancy Marshall, writer, ( 1990 )



"Whatever the definition, folk is always seen as 'real' music,
not imposed on or sold to people but produced by them [...]
Where 'folk' and 'popular' meet,
clearly important sociological consequences must follow."

R. Middleton ("Studying Popular Music", 1990 )



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