Bob the fiddler
Interesting article on Bob Dylan by Fintan O’Toole in the Irish Times.
One quote; ‘Nevertheless, Dylan’s plugging-in crystallised a crucial moment in cultural history: the monetising of folk culture. The emerging cult of Dylan as poet, as individualist artist, was also the death of a notion of folk songs as a collective possession. Dylan was turning something that was loosely possessed into something that was definitively and individually owned.
All great folk songs were written by someone. Large elements of them are made of collective tropes, and often of stock phrases and repetitions, that don’t belong to any one singer. But the really good ones have the stamp of an individual personality and vision. Dylan wasn’t the first folk singer to infuse traditional materials with touches of personal genius.’
Was wondering how this applies to newly-composed ITM tunes. You know the way some tunes sound like they’ve been around for generations, even though they were composed recently…Most composers don’t seem to mind if their compositions become part of the wider tradition, while others think their work is being ‘stolen’.