Re: [rumori] radio boy liner notes

From: Don Joyce (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 17:04:52 PST

My definition of folk music is described in formal and procedural terms,
and has nothing to do with specific musical structures or content. Folk
music is a "traditionally based" music practice which is dependent on and
dominated by COPYING tried and true forms (rhythms, melodies,
instrumentation, etc.) and then it EVOLVES in the hands of generation after
generation of individual practitioners. It's not interested in "leaps"
forward, or thinking outside the box, or creative breakthroughs that leave
all tradition behind as the avant guard has always been interested to do.
Folk music takes pride in comforting familiarity, evolving incrementally
and gradually out of what it already is at all times. New words are put to
old music and old words are put to new music, round and round, and back and
forth. Along comes electric guitars and the whole process remains
unchanged. It is NOT new by design and preference.
Modern "folk music" is NOT really folk music in this sense (it merely apes
the sound of the results of the former folk process) because copyright law
has made folk copying into new works legally impossible now, and "new" folk
music must be declared completely "original" to get published - which is a
typically modern sick joke on thousands of years of eagerly and happily
copied folk music when you think about it. All of a sudden, that's a crime.

Yet all the copying goes right on anyway, now carefully and suitably
disguised in it's note for note details to accomodate today's copyright
technicalities. And so it is with ALL other musical forms today, and
classical is no exception. The folk, the popular, the classical, the avant
guard, all of them are now repeating their forefathers (whether they happen
to realize their own genre's precedents or not) because we have reached the
end of the line in formal musical invention. It's ALL about
reinterpretation now - the life-long stock and trade of folk music. Point
out the 2% of music you think is not doing this today. I don't see it.

>>So, let's review. ALL MUSIC has now become various forms of folk music,
>>right? Including the avant guard. You can reiterate music in "new"
>>interpretations in any of these forms forever, but you will always be
>>directly building on some kind of formal invention that has already been
>>discovered by your musical forefathers no matter what you make of it now,
>>which is just as interesting as following the evolution of folk music is.
>>Formally speaking, only reinterpretations are now possible, but with
>>nothing original at it's structural foundation, as remained possible in
>>music for so long. And I'm not a stickler for 1970 because it's just an
>>approximate guess where that Century's true musical form redifinitions
>>actually cut-off for all practical purposes, but it's certainly clear they
>>HAVE cut-off by now.
> hmm...."ALL MUSIC"? Folk music?
> I wanna know your definition of folk music before I agree with that.
>I can think of 3 definitions.....
>first mine...
> a. music that has finally been pried away from academia.....
> b. something that becomes tradition....or put different is actually kept
>stagnant on purpose.
> c. and then the hard in stanza form....I got that
>right from the dictionary.
> if you use any of the above 3 or something close, I'd agree with your
>point but say 99% of all music.
>I still think most modern classical has no general appeal, appreciation, or
>understanding with any portion of the public beyond maybe 2%. It's hard to
>imagine something as "folk" when the public in general does understand or
>take part in it in ANY way. I'm not convinced acceptance will EVER happen.
>If you think of folk, more along the lines of b., then yes....modern
>classical, like all other forms of music, is often fighting to stay
>stagnant instead of moving forward....and the few sad attempts to move
>forward are part of silly academic exercises by the naive.
>Rumori, the Discussion List
>to unsubscribe, send mail to
>with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
>Rumori list archives & other information are at

Rumori, the Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Sharerights extended to all.