Charles Seeger and folkness

The folk revival movement is the result of the common folkness of the folk and the supposedly non-folk surfacing in cities. In the meantime the folk has been doing what it has always done: appropriating all of the non-folkness it could.

Perhaps non-folkness is that which tries not to be folkness, while folkness is that which has not discovered more non-folkness than it could assimilate. The two categories may not be mutually exclusive; they may be two aspects of the same entity.

This according to “The folkness of the non-folk vs. the non-folkness of the folk” by Charles Seeger, an essay included in Folklore and society: Essays in honor of Benj. A. Botkin (Hatboro: Folklore Associates, 1966, pp. 1–9).

Above, Charles plays the harmonium for a family musicale in 1921, with his son Pete on his lap. Below, Pete’s half-sister Peggy Seeger performs The foolish frog, a traditional song with a story that Charles made up to entertain his children.

4 Comments

Filed under Curiosities, Ethnomusicology, Humor, World music

4 responses to “Charles Seeger and folkness

  1. The question of folkness ties in with Whittaker Live’s question today – what constitutes a folksong? http://whittakerlive.blogspot.com

    Like

  2. Very nice song!! How old is she??

    Like

  3. Pingback: Folk lexicon | Bibliolore

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