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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 5 2012 18:44:54
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3289
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Examples of good folk music (in reply to Guest

Lionel,

I think American families gathered together to tell stories, recite poetry, and sing ballads for entertainment when we were still largely an agrarian society. Even after industrialization, and particularly during the Great Depression, families tended to entertain themselves in that manner. During World War II, however, when most of the men were off fighting in Europe or the Pacific, and many women were working in factories, there was less family cohesion.

After the war, everyone just wanted to come home, go to work or enter the university on the GI Bill, buy a house, start a family, and get ahead. Getting together to tell stories, sing ballads, recite poems and other forms of home-made entertainment gave way to television. Now, of course, in most families, if you tried to inject such delightful home-made entertainment such as story-telling, singing, and poetry, everyone would be looking at their SmartPhones to see if they had any text messages.

I agree with you, it is really a great way to enjoy creative entertainment, but I'm afraid it does not excite most people anymore. And that is a shame.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 5 2012 19:17:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3196
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Examples of good folk music (in reply to BarkellWH

Bill, I agree with your account of the course of entertainment and socializing in the USA, in general. There were/are exceptions, however.

My father and mother were from large families. The men went off to WW II. None of the women worked in factories. But after the war the extended families still cohered.

I was as close to my cousins as I was to my brother--pretty close. On my mother's side, gatherings of adults, a dozen or more, often involved games of dominoes or cards. These weren't serious contests, rather they were occasions for conversation.

On my father's side, large family gatherings often centered around the preparation and consumption of meals, or in the summertime, making ice cream outdoors. There were regularly two dozen or more people at my grandmother's dinner table for holiday meals. The women and girls spent hours together in the kitchen preparing and conversing. Often my grandfather had raised and fattened a turkey for the occasion, or the main course resulted from hunting or fishing expeditions by the men and boys. After dinner the men sat and smoked, conversed and told stories. The boys were all ears.

Bird shooting and fishing were social occasions for the men and boys. There was good humored competition to see who was the best wing shot or fisherman. There was lots of conversation. Often there was story telling around a campfire at night, a gathering of the whole expedition, even after the more solitary sport of taking larger game.

My generation learned the art of narration from our elders, but the next generation seems not to have picked it up. Still, at family gatherings nowadays the point is to socialize, not to watch TV or to click on cell phones.

There are games of Trivia, charades, dominoes and cards, all occasions for socializing. Half a dozen people will work together on a large jigsaw puzzle. Kids will play their musical instruments for a sizable audience. Fortunately, the ones who play are good at it.

My 13-year old great-niece won both the costume and presentation contest at a local Renaissance fair. At a family gathering she donned her costume as Catherine of Aragon and reprised her speech to Thomas Cromwell when he told her of the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII. This brought on a general discussion of our family's involvement in English Renaissance history that lasted for a good hour. The two younger generations asked questions, or mentioned things they knew, we old timers answered questions and provided citations, occasionally falling into narrative mode.

My specialities are tales of arrogance, treachery and political miscalculation among our distinguished forebears.

The art of narration survives in the south and southwest. At barbecues, fish fries and clan reunions people sit up until after midnight, maybe sipping a little whiskey or having a beer. People speak for five minutes at a time, narrating interesting or humorous experiences. Then it's somebody else's turn.

But I agree: the habit of socializing seems to be in serious decline. The local classical guitar society sponsors pre-concert dinners at local restaurants. Dinner and a concert aren't cheap. People make polite small talk at dinner, but the relaxed old-time habits of my generation are pretty well gone.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 5 2012 20:29:28
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2012 6:08:40
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Examples of good folk music (in reply to Guest

Another example on how folk music wasnt something that most people could play. At least not everywhere. This is from Co. Donegal in Ireland and the fiddler is John Doherty.



The video is a part of a 50 min program.

For those not having the time or interest in such a long program, I can say that Doherty made a living being a wandering tinsmith, a fiddler and a story teller.
He made simple household things in tin and sold them. Besides that, he played for dance and told stories. Got food and lodging. and was bringing the music around in his part of the world.
The program is gem for those interested in knowing how the world was before all the electronics that we nowadays fill our lives with. It was tough and simple, but I dont think it was with less pleasure or happiness. And in the end, thats what life is all about... And thats it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2012 8:46:21
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Examples of good folk music (in reply to Guest

Richard´s recollection above made me feel how I miss the times of clan meetings in my mother´s house. In respect of my clan this has been lost.

I do not think however the cultural shift to have been caused by electronic means of communication and game.

A study of maybe 10 or 15 years ago compared upbringing and sociology of western, Asian and African culture. With the following insight that the first two were quite ressembling each other, the main comparison in the end took place between Western / Asian and African culture.

With the first displaying a degrading social life, while the African was found still intact.

It turned out that the basic difference in upbringing was proximity between offspring and mother and clan in African culture, whereas the modern premisse in the western / Asian culture is independency from early on.
In the West and Asia, common sense has proclaimed the significance of self-reliance of the individual. That has been a fallacy.
African individuals while not too self-reliant proved to be much more self-confident and socialized.

This is what western and Asian community needs to realize and turn the wheel around.

I claim that in a typical African family all the facility of internet, computer games and mobile phones couldn´t make the people neglect the pulling event of a family gathering.

If only nearly socialized the way humans naturally should, electronics couldn´t surpass social attraction.
-

Having said that: It totally turned me off at last partial clan meetings to see how the youngsters couldn´t appreciate the excitement and entertainment of the gathering, sticking to electronics and leaving for the city right after dinner.
I remember telling two of them like: "You guys are retarded; leaving this vivid event only to find yourself sitting in a bar somewhere, with some cranked cacophony noise bored among bored strangers".

The fault is with their parents, who weren´t intelligent enough to make out the essential drawbacks of the fashionable rap´n baseballcap ambience they left their children to.

Degrading socialisation rather has to do with culture product than with electronic gadgets.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2012 10:19:57
 
theblackcat

 

Posts: 57
Joined: Feb. 2 2010
From: Istanbul

RE: Examples of good folk music (in reply to Guest

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2012 18:41:54
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