Saturday, September 6, 2008

Beresford Greene Speaks...



Rather uncharacteristically I got up late this Saturday morning. Let it be known that I am not in the best of temper having missed The Regnum City Folk Club last night. To fuel my angst, and more in hope than realistic expectation, I have called up the BLOG to see if what I missed is yet posted. I fully expected to be disappointed. However, the reason for my increased fervour isn't seeing the songs that I missed, nay, it is a discourse on the merits of the unaccompanied song. Oh - do I have things to say about all that!

First of all I must define the words that I will use in some form of glossary. I'm only interested here in getting my meaning over, not in redefining these words for the world to use. Before I do that, let me tell you some of my perceptions. Amongst our number there are all sorts of intellect. There are those who, whether actually so or not, would choose for themselves the great gift of being a smartarse! Then there are those who have never wondered about anything and seem happy as Larry just to be there, an accepted part of it - for once. They wouldn't normally be allowed in - anywhere, - but here, in the Folk Clubs, they seem as welcome as anyone. They are as roundly applauded as the seasoned performer.
When all is said & done I know that I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the local clubs that have given me & my hobby such a welcome. In relation to that I don't care deeply about anything. FACT!
I wish so that I could speak with my doctor, but I know so little about my body!

Glossary: -

Music - Derived from Greek said to be sound(s) organised in time, elements of which are Pitch, Rhythm, Dynamics, & texture. Allied to these are tempo, meter, articulation, melody, harmony, & timbre. {Not though, a noise created by any means whatsoever!}.

Song - Used to describe a composition for the human vocals.

Instrumental - a musical composition without vocals.

Tune, Composition, Melody - A musical piece that may be either with or without vocals

Prose - Writing that resembles everyday speech.

Poetry - Art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities

Rhyme - A repetition of identical or similar sounds in two or more different words and is most often used in poetry & songs.

Lyric - Composition in verse which is sung to a melody to constitute a song

Impress - To affect strongly, often favourably

Entertain - An activity designed to give people pleasure or relaxation.

Hobby - Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward

So what is it that I wanted to say? I wanted to say something like this:-
There seems to be four or five ways to exploit the above. Music, Song, Tune, Rhyme & Poetry. This gets expanded when two are put together as happens in a Composition.

So what did I want to say then? - Although there can be a certain symbiosis when in composition, it often seems to happen that the one is spoiled by the other. A good musical piece would prefer to stand by itself, just as I suppose, would a piece of prose or poetry. Would it be that each segment is as easy to achieve as some would appear to believe. If one had to award merit in terms of difficulty, where would the music or instrumental stand in relation to the lyric? Don't compound this with general merit. Why not then?

Do we speak the more, or do we sing the more? Is singing the same thing as music? What value is an instrumental? Which is the more difficult? Singing, Talking or playing? Ask my cat. She knows! Why don't you then?

What of "Tradition"? Must we forever stay in the past? Yet dare we to let it all go? How far may we progress and, here it comes now, at what speed? Does money & innovation have any place inside a Folk Club? Come along now tell me now, don't hold back. How long is it since whence thee ate? Does it matter? Does it affect the artistic merit? If so, why so?

Get on wiv it!

Berry

P.S. Who was Frank Purslow? responsible for the huge amount of work on the George Gardiner (and Hammond Bros) Song collections. Oh great!
A.L Lloyd? - his father was an AA Patrolman and failed smallholder! Oh great!

3 comments:

Ken (member) said...

Could anyone summarise Berry's discourse in a couple of simple sentences? After reading it, I feel as if someone had taken an electric whisk to my brain. Berry asks the rhetorical question 'So what did I want to say then?' and then signally fails to answer it! Greene for President!

wretched scrivener said...

Thanks for all that Berry. How refreshing it is to find some sensible and intelligent debate on the blog!

Please bear in mind that the opinions expressed were not my own. I just found them interesting. I acknowledge that I am not qualified, nor do I feel obliged, to justify them.

Actually, I use these observations to excuse my own laziness in not mastering any of the instruments I have possessed over the years. I always come to the same conclusion regarding instruments: ... just something else to go wrong! But, I'm still trying. (Interpret 'trying' in any sense you choose!)

St. Anley said...

Berry looks really good in sepia tint. Can't you find bilious Green?