>[...] That said, is there some kind of anti-Western bias
>labeling traditional Irish music as 'folk?' I'm certainly not affended by
>the 'f***' word but I am curious as to the distinction.
"Folk" is too broad a category. For myself, I wouldn't want to be rubbing
shoulders with some of the company that can be squeezed in under *that*
umbrella. That's just personal.
"Classical," on the other hand, can be an equally nebulous term, and
annoying to boot. Here's one def. (Random House College Dictionary): "of,
pertaining to, or [bla bla bla] constituting the formally and artistically
more sophisticated [snoot-in-the-air, of course] and enduring types of
music [well excuuuse me], as distinguished from [the dirty little beggars]
popular and folk music and jazz. Classical music includes symphonies,
operas, sonatas, song cycles, and lieder [and is distinguished by needing
large infusions of money to keep it alive, as well as by requiring the
wearing of stiff suits in the performance and enjoyment thereof]." (Let me
out; I'm getting claustrophobic just thinking about it.)
Whoo-oo, talk about prejudice. You'll note too the fact that even
twentieth century symphonic works will get lumped in under this "classical.
. . enduring. . ." epithet, while the writers of such nonsense as the above
could never consider a three-centuries-old dance tune as "enduring," simply
because it's of the hoi polloi. It's non-formal, un-patronized or
un-published, it's too "easy," and not complicated enough for their jaded
"There is no new way to play Irish music."
Paddy O'Brien of Co. Offaly