What’s the difference between "traditional" and "derivative"?
I can’t find a sliver of difference between them.
I can’t find a sliver of difference between them.
Why do you want to know?
Why should we care?
ormepipes, because these discussions are sometimes about traditional music.
It’s a good question. For something to be derived it needs to have something which is not in the original. Traditionalists may assume some things (tunes) to exist in an original form. But, tradition is not original (I’m making this up). Traditions are the interpretations (of what went before?). It is derived.
Sorry, I didn’t answer the question. ~ I don’t know what the difference is.
"Why should we care?" is a good answer.
But there’s a sense that "traditional" has value where as "derivative" is bad.
I thought traditional was when all the old folks were sitting around playing and derivative was when the young folks were sitting around playing.
Interesting, so what you are saying is that you just have to sit it out until you get old?
I imagine when immigrants came onto Ellis Island & were asked their surname it changed & became a derivative of what was the traditional name.
Plagiarism: you’ll be hearing from our lawyers.
Derivative: we could only win in court if the jury was packed with music critics.
Traditional; even Sonny Bono and the US legislature couldn’t help us collect on this one.
‘Derivative’, to my mind, carries the taint of the pejorative, a bit of a sneer that the subject in question isn’t brilliantly, blindingly original, that is to say, that it sounds as though it owes too much to preexisting works of art in order to have meaning. I wonder if it doesn’t enjoy greater currency in a consumerist worldview that demands that the new replace the old, if only to keep the wheels turning and money changing hands.
‘Traditional’ I think looks at the same thing but from another direction, that for some crazy screwed up wonderful reason thinks it’s a good thing for a creative work to fit within an established aesthetic.
All that aside, MorganYYZ has probably nailed it.
So, what is folk music derived from?
babs, from folk, i think
I suspect this depends on the user of the terms. Legal definitions, personal definitions, maybe even competition definitions must exist.
I think stretching derivative to include the fact that traditional music derived from somewhere is a bit too much for me, as is the idea that "everything is derivative."
I think Fidkid, Jack Campin, and MorganYYZ make good points. Fidkid comes down about where I do. But YMMV. Without definitions as a starting point we’ll just end up shouting at each other. But then, what else is new? 🙂
We talk a good game in our session. But, still we manage to play a few tunes; between the ebb and flow of banter.
Cold weather getting to the rheumatism Gilly?
is that how you spend all your saturdays? Traditional tunes are written by people you like. The rest are derivative.
Derivative is the limit of the ratio of the increment of a function to the increment of a variable in it, as the latter tends to 0; the instantaneous change of one quantity with respect to another, as velocity, which is the instantaneous change of distance with respect to time.
Traditional is of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the older styles.
Traditional means it’s passed on, carried. Derived means comes from. Tradition is the action of passing. When passing something through interpretation, it becomes derived.
Can a new tune be respectful of tradition without being derivative ? . If someone write a new Kerry polka that sounds like a Kerry polka but doesn’t remind anyone of a particular polka is that derivative ? (can different questions contribute to an answer ?)
"Traditional means it’s passed on, carried. Derived means comes from."
That’s a very succinct summary of the modern accepted usage, Jerone.
There is a Middle English explanation of dervative dating from around 1500. It was a treatise on the work of the 4th century grammarian Donatus:
Qwy be þei callyd diriuatiuys? ffor þei take here begynnyng of oþyr, as of me comth meus, of tu comth tuus.
However, there was also a former usage which is now obsolete:
"Characterized by transmission, or passing from one to another."
This might be the one that Mr Gill is concerned with.
Well, it’s obsolete, guv.
Traditional tunes that become embellished might be said to be derivative. Some can get so embellished that they might be better off in becoming obsolete.
Definition of Folk Music, decided by the International Folk Music Council in 1954.
Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission.
The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.
The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.
The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk character."
I’m just too lazy this morning to read the whole thread, so apologies if someone else has said this …
For me at least, anything new can’t be traditional. Beyond that …
If I’ve written it, it’s ‘within the tradition’. If you’ve written it, it’s ‘derivative’.
"Definition of Folk Music, decided by the International Folk Music Council in 1954."
It’s about time the International Folk Music Council came and emptied our bins. There’s too much rubbish piled up.
In the sense that all music is probably derived from some ancient hairy bloke/ess blowing down the hollowed-out leg-bone of a woolly rhinoceros, it’s all derivative. Even roots have to have to have roots and there never was a golden age of pure, non-derived folk music. Thank God for that too.
too many haves and not enough have nots
"In the sense that all music is probably derived from some ancient hairy bloke/ess blowing down the hollowed-out leg-bone of a woolly rhinoceros"
I wouldn’t mind betting there was someone who stretched the skin of that rhinoceros over a frame and hit it with one of the ribs. That’s ‘derived folk non-music".
Or is it depraved?
Ha ha. Yep, the spoilers were there right from the word go. And you can bet that that skin-stretcher invented religion whilst he was at it.
"But there’s a sense that "traditional" has value where as "derivative" is bad."
Surely, they are all tunes/styles/versions? and you/we just prefer some of them over others? - personal choice at the end of the day.
We may welcome deversity but we don’t all have to like all aspects of what it gives us.
Just using this thought process ref tunes, there are some I love, some I like and some I would’nt play if you paid me - some of them traditional and some of them derivative. It matters not one jot to me. Am I being unique again? - or is there a wider aspect to this and I’m not understanding the question?
On a personal note, if people like anything I do, well, thats grand! - if they dont, they can move along and that is fine too.
Different in time-span occurences and repetitions
Derivative - one step by one person from a single or narrow source.
Traditional - multiple parallel derivations over multiple steps with a comprehensible overall flow and continuity.
FWIW: On looking at the terms, and their common usage amongst most humans, i found:
"Traditional" seems to imply BEING part of some original/root source.
"Derivative" would seem to imply being evolved FROM the source, or influenced/inspired by the source.
Hence the rather lesser, "not really authentic, not really original", connotation of "derivative".
But this debate seems rather dead-end. As said by others, every musician is a reflection of what they have seen and what they have heard, so what is "traditional"?
Some ancient fiddler of whom we know nothing reliable starting noodling around one day, found a groove he liked, and music was irrevocably changed.
Then every fiddler who liked the stuff started emulating the stuff they liked, as we do today.
Including, possibly, our OP.
If I have that derivative word right,
dose this tell you it ?
Hope I got it right.
Jim, I think you got it just right. James Byrne is a great fiddler. What a sound he gets from the fiddle. You can see him wince when he hit a little squeak. He’s the real deal, all right- the pure drop.
Mairead Nesbitt is fantastic too. She’s not bow syncing. She’s actually playing and dancing at the same time. Great showmanship although it could turn a delicate stomach.
Its hard to use the words "traditional" and "derivative" without an implied value: that one is better than the other. So the tendency for us this board is to denigrate people like Mairead Nesbitt and Michael Flatley. These guys are… what? Derivative I’d say, without taking anything away from their fantastic musicianship. What does Llig think of them?
Sorry… these are the guys I referred to in the last bit. Guidewires. Not quite my taste but I think they are great.
Another word which comes up in talking about tradition is authenticity. Derivative is an antonym of authentic.
I think you guys are using the word "derivative" in a novel and wholly original way.
Not only that, I wince whenever I see or hear the term "authentic" used in relation to trad. It seems to mean something to Americans, but it means nothing to me. Music’s either decent music … or it’s not.
Is there any other way?
Ben Steen, - whoops, sorry, I meant Babs - you’re drifting into your old habit of adding footnotes to messages on virtually every single thread. Please desist.
Love you too!
Tradition is what’s left over after you have run out of ideas
A derivative is an idea that may become the tradition of the future.
Derivatives (noun pl) are what have got us into all this mess. As they have done, traditionally, since the South Sea Bubble.
The word ‘Traditional’ derives from the Latin for ‘across’ and ‘deliver’ and has nothing to do with generations or history.
‘Derive’ comes from the same word as ‘rivulet’ and means ‘drain’, or to ‘drain off water’, which more or less explains the word ‘derivative’, and its negative connotations.
I’m not a linguist, but it seems obvious Romans were keen on passing along their customs & *traditions* through generations. Was there no Latin word for this?
"If I have that derivative word right,
dose this tell you it
Hope I got it right.
That’s right, Jim. It’s derivative because there are two bodhrans.
@Babs: Yes, "traditional" come directly from the latin "tradere", meaning to hand down or transmit.
Traditional comes from the Gaelic - trad - which means to wear clothing.
Derivative comes from the Latin - derive - which means to make money.
Therefore, Traditional will give you the shirt of his back but Derivative will sure you paid first.
Strange how this could turn out to be true in ITM.
< Therefore, Traditional will give you the shirt of his back but Derivative will sure you paid first >
And if you go back to my example link’s, well there you may have it, lol.
"traditional" come directly from the latin "tradere", meaning to hand down or transmit."
Not directly - it came from the Latin third declension feminine noun ‘trāditiō’ (acc. trāditiōnem) - A surrender, delivering up - which in turn was derived from ‘trāditus’, which is the perfect passive participle of the verb trādō, trādere.
[But there’s a sense that "traditional" has value where as "derivative" is bad.]
your hearing is accurate. in aesthetic criticism of whatever kind, "derivative" is not a neutral term used synonymously with "derived from." rather, it is a critical pejorative.
however, it is not a pejorative you would use about the work of artists whose project is to play or produce work within the parameters of a traditional form. it is a pejorative used about works which purport to be original. it is also a very subjective critical adjective: one critic’s "derivative" is another’s "homage" or "influence." so, one might find the blues, jazz, and r&b memes in the work of the late amy winehouse "derivative." another might applaud her absorption of and homage to, those influences. same with jack white: there are those who find the very discernible blues/oldtime/bluegrass elements of his work "derivative." others, such as myself, find them to be wonderful influences.
however, somebody like, say, pat o’connor or claire keville are not "derivative" because they play in an old-guard pure-drop style. they are playing traditional folk music within its traditional aesthetic.
Derivatives were invented by Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson.
The Greeks put them to uses as insane and inventive as Greek myth. This made their debts vanish, thus creating a Trojan Horse.
As a result, the pigmy Greek economy is tanking the globe.
This is what Michael Jackson and Laura Bush were planning all the time.
The derivatives are still wriggling their way through civilisation, difficult or impossible to track. We ain’t seen nothing yet.
There are tunes like these, mostly in G minor. Both are possibly connected with purported occurrences of the earth emitting spooky groans.
If you claim to be original, critics can then criticise you as derivative.
But if you claim to be traditional, they have to criticise you for being original.
Does it follow along the lines of ‘those that can, do… those that can’t… do a derative?
Those that really can’t…. are derogative.
"This is what Michael Jackson and Laura Bush were planning all the time."
Now hold on there, Nicholas.
Point 1:Michael Jackson was MUCH closer to the Clintons than to the mysterious and seductive L. Bush, as liberally documented at various respected blogs and fansites.
Point 2: Michael was, even before the Clintons joined forces with George Clooney, Sean Penn, and a former manager of the folk band Suicide Silence, a key part to their self-appointed mission to sell out the USA and all their military defense technology to the Hondurans (reportedly in order to lay claim to their plentiful foxy young interns).
Let us not descend into crazy conspiracy theories here, shall we? This is not some tacky little folky chat room, after all.
Does this mean there is no futures in derivatives even though there must always be a past?
Or that there are always futures as well as pasts in derivatives?