Montag, 27. September 2010


No TWO PEOPLE, not even the professors, have been able to agree completely on a definition of folk music. The Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary of Folklore lists many, which only partly overlap each other.

One definition says: "A folk song must be old, carried on for generations by people who have had no contact with urban arts and influence. A folk song must show no trace of individual authorship."

At the other end is the definition of the late Big Bill Broonzy, the blues singer. He was asked if a certain blues he sang was a folk song. "It must be," he replied, "I never heard horses sing it."

Face it: folk traditions will change as the folks who inhabit this earth change. The real traditional folk singer, who lived in past centuries and learned and sang his songs within a small folk community, sang a song because he thought it was a good song, not because he thought it was old.

Likewise, most sensible guitar pickers and singers today sing a song because they feel it is a good song, not because they have previously screened it to be sure it is traditional. The person who beats his breast and says "I will sing nothing but a folk song" is either fooling himself or trying to fool someone else.

Pete Seeger, The Incompleat Folksinger,
New York, NY, 1972, p. 62.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen