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Subject: Tradition v orthodoxy
From: James Carroll <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Irish Traditional Music List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 24 Jul 2002 22:40:40 +0100

text/plain (31 lines)

Barry Taylor wrote;
>I'm also sure that all the 'great' musicians and singers
>performed pretty
poorly at some time or other.

Of course they did, but when they did, they worked to rectify the situation,
otherwise they didn't stay "great".

>My guiding dictat is that of the 'traditional' fiddle player (I think it
>Fred Finn, or it equally could have been P. Joe Hayes or Junior Crehan) who
>said to me that everyone makes a unique contribution to the 'tradition' and
>to keep going and not give up!

Yet all those mentioned above had their standards.

Unfortunately, the spectre of "near enough for folk-song" is still stalking
the scene; one of the great arguments still put forward being that anybody
sing folk songs.  I have often heard the argument that working on singing
spoils the pleasure.  I would have thought that the height of enjoyment
comes from doing a thing well; surely nobody enjoys making a hames of
singing, or of anything else.
I think it's true that anybody can sing (unless they have something
physiologically wrong with their vocal apparatus) though, like any other
endeavour, singing comes easier to some than to others and, if you are not
naturally gifted in this way, you have to work at it, the same as with
playing an instrument.

Jim Carroll.

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