Talk:Folk music

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Former good article Folk music was one of the Music good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
January 25, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted


Multiple Issues[edit]

I've applied a multiple issues template that addresses what I see as the article's major problems. For some specifics:

  • Citations - The Origins and Definitions section is amply footnoted. However, after this, there are just three citations for the entire remainder of the article.
  • POV - Because of its global nature, this is an extremely difficult topic to cover, even more so because some editors, particularly from the US and UK, have difficulty maintaining objectivity regarding their individual countries. As a result, material is often added here and there, sometimes completely out of context, to bolster their personal perspectives. An example (pro-Canadian, in this case) is the insertion of a list of artists who won the Order of Canada in the middle of a discussion about folk music and folk rock in the 1960s. This sort of thing happens at every turn. If Dylan is mentioned, then someone feels compelled to add Donovan to the statement.
  • Cleanup - This covers a multitude of problems:
    • Definition of folk music - The article fumbles around a great deal in defining exactly what is meant by the term folk music, and while I understand the difficulty, the "arguments" need to be summarized, rather than repeated several times over, then left up in the air. I'm not saying the definition should be pinned down (it can't be), only that the issue should be presented more succinctly.
    • Accuracy - The article is laden with unfounded statements that amount to original research. Original research is often difficult to prove, especially when material is un-sourced, but it becomes fairly obvious when what is being said is plainly not true. For example, Dylan's John Wesley Harding was not a folk rock album (see Michael Gray, Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, p. 349-350), and this and the related assertions were apparently made up from personal opinion and limited knowledge.
    • Style and grammar - Considerable editing is needed. Two notable examples are the lead paragraph and the first paragraph of the Origins and Definitions section. In case it's not apparent, I'll throw in a few edits (tomorrow) to make the point.
    • Coherence - The article frequently jumps from here to there and rarely completes a line of thinking. A "good" example is the The Folk Revival of the 1950s in Britain and America section. The section only touches on the 1950s, and in five short paragraphs attempts to address everything from early country to the present. Ultimately, it ends up saying next to nothing of note.

I'm not exactly sure what to suggest as remedies, but I'll try. A total reorganization and rewrite would help, including the identification of sub-topics, each of which would need to be developed as separate sections. The US-UK chauvinism issue also needs to be put to rest, but can only be if editors are willing to set aside their prejudices. Finally, I believe that citations should be required, and in case that isn't clear, I mean they should be mandatory. Without verifiability, anybody can add anything, editors cannot edit what's been added, and readers cannot be assured of what they read. Allreet (talk) 07:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello Alreet! Your points:

  • Citations - yes. As you say elsewhere a good deal of this article had been put together from personal enthusiasm and knowledge and lately edited into rough proportion, but the Origins and Definitions section has just been rewritten from scratch, using all decent previous wiki cites together with Scholes and Lloyd.
  • POV - yes the article has been biased hopelessly in favour of English speakers. The eastern bloc needs citations, Spain needs adding and there should be notes on Africa, America and Asia. I just added a world-coverage tag but removed it when I knocked the American and British sections down to reasonable proportions. It's worth considering whether to make a Contemporary folk page. However, note that Dylan and Donovan appear in a quote that simply waves a hand at sixties contemporary English and American folk.
  • Origins and def: this section summarises the available cited definitions - the sources and redaction are to be found just above. It does so with the minimum of synthesis and in the most coherent way I could devise and only repeats itself in order to show authorities agreeing and disagreeing. Only one source - Seeger - gives a multiple definition and this is used to end several succeeding paragraphs, showing the authorities he is referring to for each of his definitions, pointing out that they differ according to whether folk music is more or less related to art music, popular music and primitive music and that they arose in a historical order. I was surprised how long this took to lay out, but it is laid out, as I say, as tersely and neutrally as possible. Obviously, any further arguments will simply make the thing longer and more complex - its present length is determined by what the sources say. I'd be interested in your ideas as to alternative presentations, but there is no "fumbling to define exactly" because no other post-contemporary summary of definitions than Seeger's/Middleton's is available. If you have a source that says something all embracing about those three classes of definition, or adds more? Otherwise the thing IS up in the air and I am glad you got that impression: it shows there is a clear and neutral presentation of the upintheairity of it all, structured according to the only source that takes in all the arguments.
  • Accuracy. Right again, but please note that the article does not say BD's JWH is a folk rock album. I spent some time last night looking over the folk rock and electric folk articles and the citations are often slack so, if you have good sources, please get stuck in. Try finding out why Michael Clarke left The Byrds!! Apart from Dyl and the B, and "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", what albums would you say led to USA folk rock and country-rock? American Rubber Soul? It was really about 1970 before a lot of those things - working man's dead, the new riders, desperado, the outlaws, Neil Young - that whole western thing....
  • Style and grammar - certainly, but it is pointless until citations and extra sections are added.
  • Coherence. Some of the sections are merely paragraph dumps. All I can say is that they are dumped more concisely, comprehensively and coherently this week than last week! The lede should reflect the article; the article's structure should follow notable authorities - I mean in the order and mode of presentation - as well as obvious historical-geographical orders. A lot of the subgenre material has perfectly good pages of its own, so this page should, in my view, be like a directory and wikilink to as many pages as possible, avoiding duplication and ensuring coherence and comprehensiveness with all those branching pages. Redheylin (talk) 23:47, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Redheylin, thanks for the quick - and remarkably thorough - response. I'm currently at work, so I don't have much time, other than to note a couple things. I turned to this article while looking for models or ideas for the Folk Rock page, which is even more problematic, despite the fact that a) folk rock basically has a 40-year history while folk music is ageless; b) folk rock is more confined to the US/UK as a term, so the comparable world music genres don't have to be developed here; and c) folk music sources could fill a library, while folk rock would take up an aisle - and that's counting related bios (minus Dylan, who needs his own aisle). Regarding c), I posted a critique similar to the one above on Folk Rock's talk page, but there I included links to about a dozen sources available through Google Books. The answer to your Michael Clark question is probably in one of these, most likely Turn! Turn! Turn!, Eight Miles High or Mr. Tambourine Man. As for JWH, by the time of its release folk rock had already peaked, so it would be more accurate to cite Bringing It All Back Home. I'll relate more on the Folk Music article later, probably on your Talk page. Allreet (talk) 18:18, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
There is a lot I agree with above (especially about citations). Rather than go over every point I would like to suggest the structure of the article is the main issue and need to be sorted first. Starting with a definitions section is a must, but after that is it to be an expanded version of the Folk rock template, with sub-genres, related articles and regional/national scenes all summarized? It seems logical but it will make for a very big article and many of the sub-articles are very poor and will difficult to summarize. A second issue is the existence of the Traditional music article. Does it mean that all traditional folk music (which frankly is most of it) should be dealt with there? Or (since deletion seems unlikely) do we just ignore it focus on making this a workable page?--Sabrebd (talk) 19:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad there's some consensus and wikimanship. Allreet, I have been really talking about country rock. Folk rock - really means the Byrds, no? Love? Early Airplane? Lovin Spoonful? I agree about "Bringing it all", and I'd cite American Rubber Soul again. And the 12-string Rickenbacker. By the way, I tend to go along with using electric folk to define the English traditional variety. However, early Fairport and maybe Lindisfarne and a few others, are often far closer to folkrock than English folk.
Sabre, the Traditional music page IS an issue. Looks like it has been co-opted because of the dominance of contemporary folk on this page. However, as the definitions show, traditional music worldwide can also be tribal, court or art music, which are excluded from some "non-contemporary folk" definitions. For example ragas can be traditional but are court, classical or art music. But folklore is also "traditional" according to definitions, folk songs are attributed "Trad arr..." and there is a "traditional folk" category of grammy. So the page deserves to exist and I hope it can be steered, like this one, into a world-wide context. I'd like to keep the contemporary folk-popular subgenres to a minimum, mostly just a sentence and a link otherwise, as you say, the page will get too big. Failing that, we can have a Contemporary folk page.
I agree that the surrounding articles are often poor and that that makes it difficult to progress here. I wanted to nail the "folk" definition first (that accounts for the repetition of authorities). I'd like to add world sections and a "nature of folk" section, and link to as many articles as poss. I'd like to avoid and remove repetition and redundancy and add cites all round. How about if we split up, take a page each and call each other in to look at, discuss and harmonise the results? Redheylin (talk) 00:47, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan to me. As there is a decision to be made over what to include and who will do it, I have set up a project sandbox, here: Talk:Folk music/Sandbox. Just to make clear that this is other editors are welcome to contribute, just let us know.--Sabrebd (talk) 17:30, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Pastiche and parody[edit]

What is the purpose of this section? It just seems like a random list. Dlabtot (talk) 05:39, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It is! I lately cut it down, but did not want to chop it summarily. Redheylin (talk) 22:20, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I removed it. Dlabtot (talk) 22:34, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Quote at beginning[edit]

"Every form of vocal and instrumental music we possess has developed out of folk song or dance."

Is this really necessary to be in the article? PotentialDanger (talk) 06:19, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Removing it. Feel free to put it back there if anyone rejects it. PotentialDanger (talk) 06:20, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Breton music[edit]

I put Breton music alongside Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Manx musics where it should be. There is no references about supposely "significant studies" and I would be surprise to know how some researchers can agreed to recognize Welsh, Cornish and Manx musics closer than Gallician or Breton to Irish and Scottish music (or they should include english folk). If one differenciation can be made, it's only for those last two who practicized, kept and developped strong musical cultures with lot of common points to become specific from the rest of Europe. To finally be the main roots of the modern celtic music, mostly a commercial classification. Traditionnal welsh music had a long time ago developed in a completely different way until a romantic revival in 19th century. To be honest, I have no idea of what Cornish and Manx music are, I guess it could have known the same romantic revival. The only thing that could define a celtic culture today, is the language. Welsh is the only one which will surely survive in an extent daily use, difficult to say so in Ireland, Scotland, isle of Man and Brittany. Cornish resisted a lot but not anymore.In Gallicia, if it ever existed, it's dead since the Roman invasion. Telling that, in "modern celtic music", Breton music is even closer to Irish and Scottish music than the others "celtic nations" regarding how much it picked up from those since the 19th century but keeping its specificities. To not only fix on a liguistic point of view, on a musicologic one, let's take the example of Breton music older than the 19th century. Kan an diskan, vocal music, so based on lyrics and not instrument. For sure, it is really specific to Brittany, no traces in other celtic nation. It is in Breton. The language defined its musicality, it would never have been the same in a different language. And Breton is a celtic language. So some researchers can try to figure out in tones and rythmes what is specific from a culture, but it is simple as that.

Or don't speak about celtic music for trad/folk music from I-S-W-C-M-B. Just for the modern wave which now does exist anyway (with english probably being the main language). Or let's try to find another term. Finnis terrae music? That could include our gallician friends! Sorry for the poor english! ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC) Sorry not being a Wikipedia user, I don't know how to do what I request. Reading the reaction on "Breton room" and the "citation needed" about Alan Stivell's international recognition, I though about the fact his "Live at the Olympia" have been cited by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best live ever and his "Chemin de terre" as one of the best album of his year by Melody Maker magazine. I also noticed than, moreover the one in the text, a link to Folk irish music appear at the top but none for the others "celtic" musics. I know some Irish people don't like to see their music classified as "celtic" thinking it's putting what it the base in a common one. It is of course a supposition, it was probably not in the user's mind. But it's not nice for others celtic musicians who liked that much Irish music that they decided to pick up a lot from it (or not)! ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Eastern Europe and The Balkans again[edit]

I dont understand why you insist of merging these two different things. It was all well explained long time ago, see: Talk:Folk_music#East_Europe_and_Balkans —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


Hello, the default state for the article when we are thinking about replacing an infobox filled with inaccuracies and trivia should be, not having an infobox. I would also judge that even a more accurate infobox would still harm the article, because the top of an article should say what the article is about. The lead does that just fine. Please leave my deletion alone. Opus33 (talk) 20:31, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Neither unjustifed assertions ("Should be…") nor special pleading "Please leave my deletion alone." are persuasive. Your opposition to infoboxes ("I wish that infoboxes had never been invented") has already been made clear elsewhere. You made a change, it was opposed; so the correct response is to debate, not start an edit war. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:46, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Info boxes are a fact of life in Wikipedia and as an entity they should be discussed elsewhere. If you could point to the inaccuracies and trivia it can then be debated.--SabreBD (talk) 22:27, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Ok, here it is.

The box clearly reflects the efforts of someone to fill in the fields as best as they could, without imparting (or perhaps even possessing) any serious understanding of the field of folk music. Here are some details to demonstrate this point. I'm quoting from various fields of the deleted infobox.

  • To say that the "stylistic origins" of folk music are in "traditional music" is not very helpful given that the two words are almost synonyms. To give an analogy: it would not be helpful if I said that the origins of my couch lie in the late 20th century sofa.
  • "Cultural origins = Individual nations or regions." This is just not explicit enough to be helpful; what is needed is a lead and an article, citing reference sources, that explains the process by which folk music arises.
  • "Mainstream popularity = Until the nineteenth century and now sub-cultural genre with occasional mainstream success." This grossly oversimplifies, since different folk traditions died out at greatly varying times (and to greatly varying degrees). It also neglects to point out that some folk traditions are still alive today.
  • "Derivative forms = Popular music" This is not demonstrably true in general, although one could try to make a particular case for country music and other individual pop music genres. Also, it isn't right to gloss over a complicated question (What are the origins of popular music?) in a little infobox formula.
  • "Subgenres = Ballads - Carols - Children's songs - Hornpipe - Jigs - Morris dance - Protest songs - Sea shanties - Traditional music - War songs" Why emphasize these when there are so many others? It's clearly just the ones that the infobox editor happened to be able to think of on the spot.
  • "Fusion genres = Electric folk - Folk metal - Folk rock - New Age music - Neofolk - Space music - Freak folk - Psychedelic folk". Ditto.
  • "Other topics = Roots revival - World music". WP articles already have "See also" sections, which should not be duplicated.

Summing up: whoever filled in the infobox fields in this article was not well-informed or perhaps just was not thinking clearly. Moreover, the fields themselves are mostly ill-considered, because for the most part they cannot be filled in without arbitrariness or loss of distinctions that ought to be made.

Look, let's aim high, ok? We should not be presenting a complicated subject as a series of little formulas. We need to go through the best stuff that's been written about folk music (I'm a big fan of Cecil Sharp's book myself, though it's rather old...) and use it to write a clear up-front presentation, using grown-up tools, i.e. prose paragraphs.

For relevant assessment of why an infobox would not help this article, please consult WP:Disinfoboxes. Sincerely, Opus33 (talk) 22:48, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

  • You should be aware, if you are not already, that there is a debate as to whether traditional music and folk music are the same thing. I do not necessarily agree with this, but there are two articles, one for each. The consensus has been to keep these as separate categories, so this article is dealing with a more limited (and more recent) form of music than might be immediately obvious. The origins in traditional music in the infobox reflects that Wikipedia division. Given those circumstances the place to take that issue up is probably Talk:Traditional music, but it no consensus for change has yet been achieved. As long as that division stands the origins of folk in traditional music is unavoidable.
  • On cultural origins: I am not sure how this could be expressed better given the limitations of space. It is entirely legitimate to refer to this in the box and then explain it in the article. If you wish to produce something in the text with verifiable and reliable sources that does this then that would be extremely helpful.
  • On derivative forms: the origins of popular music in folk music is probably true in general terms, personally I would be open to the listing of more specific genres, although this might be a very long list and that would need to be done with some care.
  • On subgenres and fusion genres: these are almost certainly in there because these are the sub-genres that have articles, and these are meant to be an aid to navigation. If you can identify others that have articles then it would be good to add them.
  • On other topics, perhaps there is a guideline on not replicating see also sections that I am not aware of, if so a link would help resolve this one.
I am all in favour of well written prose paragraphs, but Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia and within this article and the information in the infobox is an additional means of aiding readers. These things can always be improved, but the main effort is probably most productively spent in improving the text of the article and the infobox can then reflect that.--SabreBD (talk) 07:56, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't think you are seeing the point. We shouldn't put errors or trivia at the top of articles. That's just plain editorial good sense. Please stop reverting the removal. Opus33 (talk) 21:42, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I saw the point, but I am not at this time convinced by it. There is no consensus here yet for the deletion you keep carrying out. Please stop until one is established.--SabreBD (talk) 10:13, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Really now -- there's no consensus for keeping it either. Let's do the right thing and go with a sensible encyclopedia, ok? Opus33 (talk) 15:55, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I have suggested on your talk page that if you cannot accept the lack of consensus for your proposed deletion, that we move to a form of dispute resolution.--SabreBD (talk) 16:53, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
All right, guys, this has gotten out of control. I have been watching this squabble unfold without intervening up until now because, frankly, I do not care one way or the other about infoboxes. However, at this point I am weighing in on the side of User:Opus33, who has got a perfectly legitimate list of problems with the content of that infobox, which really needs to be addressed. Can we first debate these seven points (Stylistic origins, Cultural origins, Mainstream popularity, etc.) and decide on how they either are or ought to be dealt with in the body of the article? If these key points can be first set down in prose, then perhaps we can move on to the question of whether they can be reduced to the simplicity demanded of infobox categories. In the meantime, I have once again removed the bone of contention, to keep it from obstructing our view of the real subject: this article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:38, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Third opinion here. While I'm normally a big fan of infoboxes, it would seem in this case that the genre is a little, erm, large to really suit {{infobox music genre}}. There is no reason that, should comparative at-a-glance information be required for this article, that a custom infobox can't be cooked up which would avoid the problems inherent in trying to shoehorn the whole of folk music into one genre template. This would at once obviate Opus33's legitimate concerns, while also avoiding the loss of the at-a-glance value that infobox templates provide. Andy, I think you're more than capable of giving this a go? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:09, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Its a good suggestion, and I have no problem with that as a solution if we can get a consensus on its form and content.--SabreBD (talk) 14:49, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks; I'm quite happy with {{infobox music genre}}. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:21, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Hello, we would be far better off just to retain the article without infobox. (In particular, I think there is no such thing as "at a glance value".) However, as an expedient I could imagine an infobox designed not to attract inaccuracies and trivia. I suggest the following four fields (and no others):

Opus33 (talk) 16:14, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Right. I've made a start to a compromise infobox with this edit; it retains the basic layout while only presently containing Opus33's suggested contents. Now it's just a matter of discussing what does and does not belong in there. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 19:23, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
That was fast! Thank you. I could live with this one. Opus33 (talk) 19:47, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I can live with this, and I appreciate the efforts, but I have to note it was carried out without one of the interested parties agreeing to it.--SabreBD (talk) 06:38, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Chris' good intentions not withstanding, I think its farcical. It says zero about folk music; unlike the proper infobox. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 09:32, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Proposals for additional information which belongs in the infobox are welcome. Sabrebd, I took the initiative because I've worked with Andy before and I think we're of the same mind when it comes to actions speaking louder than words. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 20:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

You Folks Have Tackled a Tough One[edit]

Lets see, the topic includes music from every century in every country in the world. The subject is a term that has so many definitions that it has no definition. And some of the most widely known instances of folk music ( charted stuff from the 60's) violate 90% of the definitions of folk music. And the subject is an English phrase, but yet you need a worldwide definition. And, in many cases, the genre is in the eye of the beholder. We might call a traditional culture's music Folk Music, and they might say that it is not, that it is mainstream current music.

Hats off to you for getting it this far, and with such a large amount of informative material in it. North8000 (talk) 02:25, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Reversion of my addition to the definitions section[edit]

Sabrebd, you reverted my addition of "The term is also commonly applied to contemporary music which has a style or theme similar to the more historical forms of folk music." to the definitions section. In the edit summary you indicated that such was covered later in the article. I would argue that EXAMPLES of such are indeed covered later in the article, and the fact that those examples directly conflict with the "definitions" section highlights the fact that the definitions section needs to have an addition such as this. (Not that my wording is that super :-) ) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:29, 29 July 2010 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 11:05, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

"The post World War 2 folk revival in America and in Britain brought a new meaning to the word. Folk was seen as a musical style, the ethical antithesis of commercial "popular" or "pop" music.." I thought that covered it, but perhaps you could work in something from your addition there ("The term is also commonly applied to contemporary music which has a style or theme similar to the more historical forms of folk music."). A source would also be useful I think.--SabreBD (talk) 13:39, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I see it now. I missed that the first time and misunderstood your edit summary. Scratch what I said. Maybe we could just still tweak / or highlight it.  :-) North8000 (talk) 16:46, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, have a go and then I will take a look later.--SabreBD (talk) 18:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I do think that an expansion of the definition is needed, but because it's difficult to do well and there's no hurry I think that drafting / discussing in the talk section is better. I think that the only definitions currently in there relating to contemporary folk are the "ethical antithesis of commercial "popular" or "pop" music" and "or perhaps even "a rejection of rigid boundaries, preferring a conception, simply of varying practice". I think that the latter could include much that isn't folk,(e.g punk rock :-) )
I know the the following wording is lame sounding, but I think that something like the following is also widely considered to be folk music and is not covered under the current definition:
Music that "The term is also commonly applied to contemporary music which has a sound and style similar to the more historical forms of folk music. This includes music with a gentle sound, and a storytelling, historical, political or contemplative theme and which does not clearly fall under under another genre such as country or religious music. North8000 (talk) 11:25, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
The thing is that whatever changes are made need sources. It is probably best to find the source first and then base the text on that.--SabreBD (talk) 20:45, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure that sources could be found for both well and badly written stuff. I'd suggest a first step of finding/writing something that you and the other regulars here think is good, and then finding sources. Or dropping the idea if y'all think it's bad. North8000 (talk) 21:54, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Nice how it worked out. North8000 (talk) 11:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Anglocenterism in interwikis[edit]

There is some kind of mix-up in the interwikis. A large number of them are about traditional folk music as defined in the introduction of this article. Some of them, including de:Folk, nl:Folk, ca:Folk, br:Folk, cs:Folk, wa:Folk, sk:Folk, el:Φολκ, ru:Фолк-музыка, lv:Folkmūzika, fi:Folkmusiikki, ro:Muzică folk, and pl:Muzyka folkowa are about something different, most likely American folk music revival, British folk revival, Roots revival or some combination of these. I do not even know if the concept of "Φολκ" exist outside the WP:KNOWledge of ignorant natives trying to read record labels from the "big four" international music distributors. However, we cannot tell foreigners how to write Wikipedias and foreign misconceptions do not dictate how the English Wikipedia should be written.

I will be moving the interwikis to American folk music revival, but this issue needs further attention. Someone should find the correct interwikis for the missing languages. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:42, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

The mix-up on the English Wikipedia extends to Traditional music and its interwikis. I cannot see a clear definition or distinction between these article. I will place a {{Merge}} tag on both. I agree that we may need two articles, but I am not convinced the current material is devided correctly between the two. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:43, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

A definition must recognize a word's actual use. To massively (but usefully) oversimplify, folk has 2 mega-definitions:
  • Traditional
  • A style of modern music, best illustrated by the music of the 20th century "folk revival".
I think that the sooner that we recognize this, the sooner we can resolve the quandaries in the folk music articles. North8000 22:08, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm just going to throw in another factor, a linguistic one, that's probably involved. I wouldn't be surprised if many languages other than English have 2 different words for these 2 different senses—one, their standard native term for traditional music of common people, and another, likely "imported whole" as a foreign borrowing from English, as the term for the modern music (Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, whoever). For example, in a hypothetical Romance language called Romance-ese (whose ccTLD is "rm"), the first would be "la musica de la gente communa", and the second would be "el folko". Such a linguistic occurrence has a lot of precedent in life. I bet you can find a discussion of other instances of it in, for example, David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, or certainly another work if not that one. I suspect (but I don't know for sure) that this is what's going on with a lot of these interwiki links. As long as the English Wikipedia has one article for both main senses of the English term "folk music", other Wikipedias will be forced to link both of their articles (eg, "rm:musica de la gente communa" and "rm:folko") to this one same English article ("en:folk music"), even though it probably seems a little silly to them that English still uses one ambiguous name for them both. But it is also conceivable to spin them off into 2 articles, say "en:folk music (music of the common people)" and "en:folk music (folk revival)". — ¾-10 23:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Update: Wait: I didn't realize that academics have already started trying to deconflate this in English natural-language usage. Given that en.Wikipedia already has 2 articles, "traditional music" and "folk music", we should be doing something to prevent forking between them. Not necessarily merging them, but rather having the first main sense covered at "traditional music" and the newer main sense covered at "folk music", with linking between them in their ledes that clearly shows how they're related. — ¾-10 23:31, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This may be a problem that cannot be resolved. I would not be happy with folk music only covering the modern music in a traditional mode. In common English usage folk music means both traditional and non-traditional forms and the article should reflect that, summarising the traditional music article and the (for want of a better term) non-traditional. Unfortunately there is no easy term for non-traditional folk music (it used to be progressive folk, but that is probably not applicable now) and folk revival doesn't really work, since traditional music was central to the revival. Perhaps someone can come up with a better one, in which case this could be a summary of the two branches. Until then this article still needs to cover both and the issues of definition. I cannot see that the difficulty that other languages have linking to that should really dictate this decision.--SabreBD (talk) 07:49, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that just recognizing the "2 mega-groups" under that term will help a lot. Right now our structure here just defines traditional as the core definition and then tries to define all other folk music as variants or offshoots of that. Of course, one could argue that they ARE, but I think that that is not a useful way to organize/describe them. And, of course, there is overlap. I think that Three-quarter-ten's comments go to the core of this issue (rather than being an extra factor) "Folk Music" is an English term, and even in it's own universe-of-use describes 2 mega-categories of music. Then, going outside of the "universe"....somebody who sings 200 year old Korean sea shanties in Korea probably calls them (the Korean words for) sea songs or traditional music, not a term that translates from the English term that includes Bob Dylan or the The Weavers or contemporary folk music. But we ARE writing an article for the English Wikipedia. Plus, the 2 definitions should be acknowledged, but I don't think that they can be or or should be fully separated. I think a good place to start would be to explain this in this article. Maybe we could help readers figure this out more quickly than the 40 years it took me.  :-) Sincerely, North8000 11:25, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that we have confirmed that folk music includes music that is not "Traditional Music." Also, "Folk Music" is a pervasively used term. That, combined with no support for the merge, I think that it would be unthinkable to merge the "Folk Music" article into the "Traditional Music" article. We should probably take the template off or close it out. North8000 14:49, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't have any strong feelings about how to resolve this topic (I won't say "problem", because I guess it's not that problematic; it just leaves people feeling slightly unsatisfied somehow). I agree that the merge tag may as well be taken down. One thing I would encourage would be that "traditional music" and "folk music" always link to each other within their ledes. This will at least make visitors of each page aware of "what's out there" on the other page. Thanks, all, for discussing. Maybe in coming years we will revisit the topic and find that some consensus will emerge on what changes to make to pagenaming, redirecting, and interwiki [i.e., interlingual] linking. At least we know that it's "OK" in the meantime. — ¾-10 22:51, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that 95% of the use of the term "traditional music" is descriptively rather than the title of a genre. Nevertheless, the other 5% (where a genre definition is attempted) might be the start of resolving the un-clarity arising from the two mega-groups within Folk Music. If that happens, it would probably take 5-20 years, and would change things here. Otherwise, I think that the reality is that "traditional music" is a descriptive term referring to one of the two mega-groups within folk music. Maybe the traditional music article music article should be merged into this one. Either way, strong linking between the two (as you suggested) is a good idea. Sincerely, North8000 23:13, 23 December 2010 (UTC) re-edited for clarity North8000 (talk) 14:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
"I agree that the merge tag may as well be taken down". Me too. "One thing I would encourage would be that "traditional music" and "folk music" always link to each other within their ledes" A hatnote would be preferable, explaining that Wikipedia has arbitrarily assigned the name "folk" to largely American styles of post-WW11 popular recorded music and selected "traditional" for music originally called "folk". ""traditional music" is a descriptive term referring to one of the two mega-groups within folk music" - one can hardly say "within" as the two are clearly distinct. It's just a matter of what you call it and, so long as this is immediately clear on reaching any page, either is as good as the other. However the arguments about what exactly (traditional) folk is remain unrepresented here, which they should be. So this is a vote for a clear-cut split between the two, even though traditional European music has been a great influence upon "(pop) folk". This is a matter that calls for clear disambiguation. Redheylin (talk) 00:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Couple of thoughts. I agree that they are mostly distinct, although one could argue that the folk revival is a branch of and from traditional folk music. But I think that this article covers both, leaning more heavily towards traditional music rather than as you describe. I think that this follows the common (double) meaning of "folk music" in the English language. Although it may not matter (this being the English Wikipedia) but does anybody know if other languages use the same word to refer to both types of music? North8000 (talk) 02:29, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

No, they do not. Often where "folk (TM) music" is concerned it is fittingly called by the English word "folk", as noted above in the case of the Greeks. For the other sort there are a range of expressions including "typico", "folkloric", "national", "tradtional" etc. "The folk revival" is something else - has its own page - but "folk" in the music industry basically means "a songwriter who plays guitar". It is an American usage and draws eclectically upon Afro-American and other traditions as well as European folk. It is applied to professional musicians who write their own songs, unlike traditional "folk". Obviously no two forms of music can be divided absolutely: Nationalist classical music draws heavily upon folksongs, but nobody would argue that Vaughan-Williams is a "folk" artist. But it is just a word that has been inadvertently applied to two distinct things, and trying to make them look like the same thing is making the word - which can be clearly disambiguated - more important than a clear representation of the two things it describes. We would not try to shoe-horn Bass (fish) and Bass (music) into the same article, even if the terms were once derived from the same root. Redheylin (talk) 16:06, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much. I think that we would do the readers a service by more thoroughly covering that these are two somewhat separate genres. For two reasons, not sure about a split into two articles: 1. Whatever disambiguation term we come up with for the modern strand will be somewhat foreign to readers. After all, the widespread term for Pete Seeger clearly is "Folk Musician", nothing else. 2. There is a blurring that would be problematic with separate articles. A performer that is called a folk musician can do 200 year old TM songs and Pete Seeger songs and by the common use of the term they are performing folk music. Which article would they be in?
What do you think about splitting this article more clearly, as an "in between" solution? North8000 (talk) 17:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
//Whatever disambiguation term we come up with for the modern strand will be somewhat foreign to readers.// That is true, yet it is better to cause this unsatisfactoriness merely in respect of the title of the article - where the need can be quickly explained - than, by refusing to acknowledge that an ambiguity exists, to fail to delineate the entire subject(s) under consideration, and indeed to perpetuate confusion. Please note that I am proposing the term "folk" be used in the modern sense, since it is there that no alternative exists (except, perhaps, "contemporary folk", which is itself ambiguous). Also, I note that little confusion has been caused by, say, The Rolling Stones recording traditional blues songs - nobody says that, in that case, pop and rock and blues cannot have separate articles. Redheylin (talk) 18:58, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Possible reorganization or split of article[edit]

(continuing thread from previous section) Either way, what do y'all think about a next step of splitting it into two genres within this article? North8000 (talk) 19:07, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Poor compromise Redheylin (talk) 19:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a strong preference either way, but since this is pretty major, I think that we should clarify what we are talkign about and then seek more input. Did I describe it accurately?:


The premise is that what this article calls "Folk Music" is best and most accurately described as two major genres:

  1. Traditional music, per that article.
  2. "Folk Music" roughly meaning the music covered by the Folk music#Folk revival of the 1950s in Britain and America and Folk music#Popular subgenres sections of this article

Redheylin's idea[edit]

Reduce this article to being just about #2, (except maybe with an intro on both) and move the #1 type material to the Traditional music article.

North8000's idea[edit]

Whether it be as the "final" state, or just as a step 1 towards Redheyli's idea, divide this article into the two overall genres of music, and explain them as such.


Even though I called the second one "my idea", I'm not sure which I think is better. I just want to get a discussion going and somehow head towards explaining the above distinction better than the article does now. What say you all? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Response #1[edit]

First of all, I apologize for neglecting an issue I helped raise two years ago or so. My opinion remains that Folk Music and Traditional Music relate to each other but are separate issues. Specifically, Traditional Music should have its own article addressing international forms, including British/American Folk (though only as briefly as any other subtopic). Folk Music should address Traditional as it roots but focus on the modern British/American sense of the term that developed beginning with the folk revival. To put that another way, in a traditional sense, Folk is a subgenre of Traditional, and in a contemporary sense, meaning what is practiced today, Traditional is a subgenre of Folk. Trying to handle the two in one article would be extremely difficult, as we're finding. More important, I think it would be confusing to readers, who would arrive here looking for one sense of the term - or the other - and would then would be frustrated by our efforts to fit the two pegs in the same hole. (talk) 22:02, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I confirm that my suggestion has been accurately represented, and I concur with the User above. Redheylin (talk) 22:39, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Response #2 [leaning, like #1, toward separate articles that cross-reference each other as needed][edit]

[edit conflict] My own two cents is that they deserve separate articles, with plenty of cross-reference links between them whenever needed. When I think about the traditional music of the Appalachians, I'm talking about true music of the people from centuries past (up till about World War II). People who would pull out a fiddle and make music in the evening in their non-electrified towns and farms. This kind of music truly was of the same type as that of European peasants from centuries past. In fact I even saw an interesting TV documentary showing how musicologists can even trace the many similarities of American Scotch-Irish hill-folk fiddle music of circa 1910 to the Scottish peasant fiddle music of the 1700s. A combination of oral history preservation, storytelling for entertainment, and participatory musical entertainment all rolled up in one, by people who did not have electricity or literacy. I realize that post-WWII folk revival was inspired by that, but it became something different, because it took shape in an era of electricity and audio recordings and literacy and pop culture and money and copyright and brand consciousness. The world of Bob Dylan is just a different world from pre-20th-century folk music. Not that Bob Dylan doesn't have a type of authenticity of his own, but it's a different type, from a different era. My suggestion would be to move the coverage of [old-style] music of the peasants to the article titled "traditional music", but be sure to mention there, via both hatnote and lede, that the term "folk music" can be used as a synonym. And move the coverage of folk revival and its descendants to the article titled "folk music", but be sure to mention there, via hatnote and lede, that the word "folk music" can also refer (as a synonym) to traditional music. That's my view! — ¾-10 22:55, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

By the way, sorry for the repetitiveness of saying something that this audience already understands. I wrote the above before I re-read the discussions further above (and their recent additions today). — ¾-10 23:01, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Response #3 I also lean towards separate articles too, even though the other option is is the one with my name on it.[edit]

With solid explanations and cross referencing in both articles. One caveat, we're talking about moving a huge amount of material into the Traditional music article and substantially changing that article.....we should make sure that the folks there are cool with that. North8000 (talk) 23:59, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


I think the result was to go with Redheylin's idea, including me voting for theirs over mine. This is to:

With strong cross linking and cross explanations between the two articles.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 22:55, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Possible roadmap / implementation work for the reorganization?[edit]

  1. Temporarily add intro in the lead that treats traditional music as a subset of folk music, covered both in this article and the traditional music article. This is necessary to have the articles make sense during the time period where traditional music is covered in both articles. After the split is complete, modify this.
  2. Expand the material in this article on contemporary (since 1940's) folk music. At first, with no titling/labeling changes
  3. Start moving traditional music material to the Traditional music article.
  4. Start rewording this article accordingly.
  5. Finish #1 - #3.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:59, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Update on roadmap[edit]

For the time being I'm trying to develop strong/quality separate halves on contemporary folk music and traditional music. Including possibly absorbing material from the traditional music article. Then we can make the move/split. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:47, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Getting ready to paste material in from traditional music article[edit]

Getting ready to paste in a lot of material from Traditional music article. Surprisingly there is little overlap (just on definitions). I thought of tidying it up first in a sandbox on my user page, but then decided to do it here so that any interested persons can see and get involved. Also, because it will be only a little ragged until tidied up. North8000 (talk) 12:09, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I did it, and started the tidying. North8000 (talk) 12:24, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Building material and information in the folk revival / contemporary folk area[edit]

Right now adding material, key artists and info to these sections. This is temporarily exacerbating the organizational issues with these sections. I figure get the right material in there, and then organize it better. North8000 (talk) 02:37, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Earlier folk revivals[edit]

The article implicitly asserts that certain phenomena prior to the 1890-1920 British folk revival are also called "folk revivals". Does anybody know if this is accurate? (and thus eventually sourcable) When trying to organize that section I recapped this in a sentence, but I have no knowledge in this area and was just recapping what was in the article. North8000 (talk) 11:41, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I am just guessing, since there is no footnote, but perhaps this refers to the Romantic "revival" of the 18th century.--SabreBD (talk) 16:34, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm thinking that we should dial back the wording a bit that says it is called a revival. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:44, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Revival has an accepted and specific meaning in this context.--SabreBD (talk) 15:37, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

What do y'all think of the "notable venues" section?[edit]

Do some of the items in there seem to be cherry picked, not appearing to be any more notable than the thousands of other possibilities? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 13:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to take the anti-folk stuff out of this section.

Section re-organization[edit]

To Sabrebd. Nice! That's where it needed to get to. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. Keep up the good work. Its coming together.--SabreBD (talk) 19:09, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that the new material I added in the contemp section temporarily made it messy, but once it's tidied up I think it will be for the better. Trying to figure out a structure for that section is still a head-scratcher....since there are about 3 different organization schemes for performers (chronological, examples of sub-genres, and role/place in the revival) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 13:13, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Chronological worksheet[edit]

Approx year they became more widely known (usually their first successful album) The Giants are left out. Except as noted, all are in the article. Except as noted, all had some indication (besides in this article) of being folk of some type.

The Gateway Singers 1957 just mentioned
Phil Ochs 1963
The Seekers 1963
Arlo Guthrie 1967
Buffy Sainte-Marie 1964
Tom Paxton (2nd album) 1964
Marianne Faithfull 1965 began as folk, then switched
Simon & Garfunkel 1965 only partially folk
The Mama & the Papas 1966 (more pop than folk)
Alan Stivell 1966
Gordon Lightfoot 1967
Leonard Cohen 1967
Joni Mitchell 1968
Fairport Convention 1968
Pentangle 1968
Steeleye Span 1970
Bruce Cockburn 1970
Steve Goodman 1970
Mr. Fox 1970
Bonnie Koloc 1971
John Prine 1971
Malicorne 1973
Si Kahn 1974
Stan Rogers 1976
The Pogues 1984
Phranc 1985 No folk genre mentioned in her article. Removed from article.
The Knitters* 1985
Steve Earle* 1986
Dave Alvin* 1987
Carrie Newcomer 1991 (solo, 1984 with Stone Soup) Skyclad* 1991
Eliza Carthy 1993
Waylander* 1994
Ulver* 1995
The Corrs 1995
Kate Rusby 1997
Miranda Stone* 1997 Seems Christian music, but has prominence in folk circles
Finntroll* 1999
Spiers and Boden 2001
Korpiklaani* 2003
Chris Castle 2007 dropped, not high notability

"*" = in article mainly as an example of a specialty sub-genre. Others are in due to prominence. North8000 (talk)

When Stivell first became popular (Renaissance of the Celtic Harp) his band included electric guitar and bass and a full drum kit. I believe he's done some more traditional work since, but his emergence on the scene was in a group that placed him closer to many others mentioned here than to traditionalists.
I would also emphatically add the Breton band Malicorne to this list.
Also, we might want to separate the North Americans here from the British and Celtic groups. Admittedly, there is a bit of musical crossover (Fairport covering Dylan, for example), but on the whole the contrast is pretty strong. - Jmabel | Talk 20:24, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've been struggling with a good way to organize & present contemporary folk from the mid 1960's on. I was thinking that two methods would kind of go together....evolution of the genre and chronological. And maybe slightly downplay the more offbeat genres with respect to being the organization organization/presentation. And put the medium and larger scale folk musicians in (weighted by the degree of folkiness...for example the Mama & the Papas were huge, but only slightly folk, so they would get less emphasis) And a sentence on what their main "thing" was/is. Plus I do not have knowledge/perspective on 1/2 of these groups. So my list is just kind of thinking/learning paper while trying to work on / figure out / learn the above. Thanks for your suggestions...I'll put those into this list, but please jump in deeper on this article if you are so inclined. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:44, 2 July 2011 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 20:52, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm only semi-active on en-wiki these days (very busy in real life, and putting most of my wiki effort into the Commons) so I'll probably be more reactive than proactive here, but I'm quite familiar with nearly all of these down to the Pogues (after that, you're off my turf); if there is anywhere specific I can be useful, please feel free to grab me on my talk page. - Jmabel | Talk 21:22, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. One idea....if any thoughts come to mind on any of these, please note them on the list. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 22:31, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Returning to the big question[edit]

We decided to basically split Folk Music into contemporary folk music (this article) and traditional music (at the traditional music article) with lots of cross-linking / cross referencing between them. From a structural standpoint, since then IMHO:

  • This article has been more or less split into two parts along the above lines
  • The contemporary folk music section has been expanded
  • The traditional music section has also been expanded and (except for the info box) all of the material from the traditional music article has been copied into the traditional music section of this article

If we want to go through with this, we could do it now IF such included completely overwriting the traditional music article with the traditional music section from this article. The alternatives would be to stay with the status quo, or to delete the traditional music article and redirect to here, since in the ENGLISH language, traditional music does sort of fall under folk music. Either way, I was thinking that we should noodle on this for a 1-2 months (takes a while to get feedback here) so I'm just bringing it up now to start that process. North8000 (talk) 11:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Sounds great. Thanks to you for leading the work on this, and to several others who pitched in with suggestions and tweaks. I have been keeping an eye on the work via my watchlist, but I haven't had time to study closely, and I knew it was in good hands, so I knew I didn't have to worry about scrutinizing every edit. I agree with allowing a period of rest and reflection, then moving forward with one of the options you mentioned. I think it's great that this content development got discussed and implemented. It's really an example of "the system at work". I just perused the article at its current state, and I think it's excellent. When you look at how far it had to come to get to its current state, it's really impressive. And yet no doubt there will be room for plenty of future refinements as well. Wikipedian magic in action. — ¾-10 23:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you so much! It still has a long way to go but hopefully we have made strides. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 23:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Looks like the Grammy Awards have dropped the term "Traditional Music". That was previously the lead for the Traditional Music article. I'm just in a wait-and-see-and-lets-just-try-to-improve this-article mode on this. The other issue is that "traditional music" can include 80% of the music of the world, so now who knows what it means. But I do plan to focus that portion of this article on "traditional folk music" including changing the section heading. North8000 (talk) 13:03, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Status report[edit]

Traditional Music Section[edit]

Just getting started. Moved in almost everything from the Traditional music article.

Contemporary folk section[edit]

I think that I have the structure, content and organization is in a lot better shape except for the for the notable venues section.. This is going to need some expertise on where the true major venues are. I may slowly acquire that expertise, but I don't have it now. The prose and flow of the wording needs a LOT of work. I felt the time line organization is good, as is placement of groups in that time line. But as a result, there is a lot of "this group emerged in 19XX" type repetition. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:00, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Addition of Hungarian music search site to "See also"[edit]

An individual added the following to the "see also" section and was reverted:

Looks like a huge non-commercial effort by an individual. Do y'all think this has merit as a "see also" or I could work it in as a reference? North8000 (talk) 11:30, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

You can't place it under See also as it's not available on Wikipedia. I think External links would be the best place for it, and if anyone wanted to use it as a reference they can do so. There are lots of collections of folk tunes and songs from all over the place on the Internet now. Hohenloh + 11:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Oops! I meant "External links", not "See Also" North8000 (talk) 11:55, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I guess a criteria might be that they be specifically for folk music, non-commercial, substantial and of reasonable quality. North8000 (talk) 14:33, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Brazil isn't listed in South America[edit]

In spite of Brazil being the biggest (and arguably most influential) South American country and having such rich musical traditions, it wasn't listed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Good point. Got any ideas or material for that? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:59, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the music of Brazil article. I didn't seem much in there that could be identified as folk music or traditional music. I guess there is the native Brazilian music (which is not mentioned in the article) and the music from the last 400 years. But the last 400 years is mentioned only as roots for current music where everything seems just contemporary music. Do you have any thoughts/ideas on that? North8000 (talk) 02:07, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Summary/update on folk music and traditional music article deliberations[edit]

Since my idea would have more impact on the Traditional music article, I have moved the discussion there: Talk:Traditional music#Summary/update on folk music and traditional music article deliberations

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:34, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Dear North, respect to your hard work but this OS; "Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional and contemporary folk music" is self-referential - it says, essentially, "folk music is folk music". Please use a referenced OS. Also - I think most people know they are reading English. Thx. Redheylin (talk) 20:28, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Redheylin, thanks much for the feedback/critique, it is very helpful to have more eyes and input on this. Just so that I understand it fully, could you tell me what you meant by "OS".....sorry that I'm not familiar with the abbreviation. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:22, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
BTW everything I did there was an attempt to summarize sources. "English" was reaching for the fact that it probably only in the English language is the same term used for that particular range of genres and that came about from the evolution of folk during the largest folk revival which occurred primarily in the English-speaking world. But your feedback is an indicator that it does not read that way. Thanks again. North8000 (talk) 10:35, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
OS = opening statement (not operating system!!) The first sentence should give a clear definition, devoid of any circularity. Sorry to criticise your fine job. Redheylin (talk) 02:41, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate the criticism. It is very helpful for the article. North8000 (talk) 11:49, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Sri Lanka section[edit]

This is obviously 10x too huge and at the wrong title level for this article. I've been off-wiki for 9 days and won't be fully back for another few days. I plan to work on that. Possibly via creation of a new article on that and getting the person who put it in to help create a 3-4 sentence subsection on it for this article. North8000 (talk) 10:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. The huge number of sub-headings is problematic as well - a paragraph of a few sentences in a sub-section would do the job much better.--SabreBD (talk) 11:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Also looks like a possible promotional, fan or SPA for Dinesh Subasinghe North8000 (talk) 10:16, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I have copied the entire insertion to Music of Sri Lanka which I will link to from here. Now I'll begin paring it here. North8000 (talk) 10:24, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I worked on, condensed and moved it in as a subsection similar to other countries. Still needs more paring and work. The prose has a mile to go, but possibly due to being written by a person from Sri Lanka, with English as a second language, which is sort of cool. North8000 (talk) 11:49, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

folk music[edit]

i think folk music is relly interesting espesially woody guthrie — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

We're in an effort to make a quality article on it. North8000 (talk) 00:01, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Two tagged bands[edit]

Sensei48 tagged two bands as possibly not worth mentioning here. Thank you Sensei48 for your scrutiny, work and expertise here. We should decide whether to keep them in the article or leave them out:

  • Malicorne (band) They have been in a long time, since before I was involved here. When I was reviewing listed bands, if someone had listed them and they have a Wikipedia article I just left them in. That happened on this one; I just researched a bit to be able to add some time-frame text. In the talk archives someone has basically said that if we want to list semi-notable bands they would be one which would give a more international scope.
  • Si Kahn I put him in but I don't remember why. Probably because he has a Wikipedia article and looks somewhat prominent in the context of the 70's, and doubly so in the context of the "protest" end of the folk music spectrum.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 21:08, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Oh my. North, I did not mean that they were not worth mentioning, rather that I wonder as to the criteria for notability in this section. The French band may well be prominent in their country. Kahn may be talented, but he is obscure, and there are other artists of arguably greater prominence. But I was hoping to start a discussion more than suggesting that they weren't worthy. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 22:48, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Either way is cool and appreciated. Scrutiny of this article by experts such as yourself is very valuable and appreciated for improving it. I think that focusing on items (bands, people, festivals, songs etc.) of highest significance/ notability in a folk music context is a good thing for this article. In half of the areas in this article I don't have the knowledge./expertise to judge that. North8000 (talk) 00:58, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

The new Role of Folk Music during the Depression section[edit]

My first impression was that this sort of appears to be an overly long essay-like expounding on a view/idea that a particular source has. And for it's size it seem a bit short on factual /encyclopedic content. And that it seems to be talking about music in general, including getting into many non-folk genres. Possibly shorten it and limit to folk-specific items? What do y'all think? North8000 (talk) 01:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Agree. It should be deleted altogether. Hohenloh + 07:19, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I'll dramatically pare it. North8000 (talk) 13:38, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi North - I've done some fairly significant editing to the latter sections of the article, including some stuff on the Depression section. I was going to post a friendly note to your talk page, but that's getting a bit crowded so I thought I'd let you know here. Please let me know if you don't like any of the changes and we can work on them. I'd like to do more, time permitting. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 16:34, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Looks great! Regarding the depression section, I had already pared it some, and I think you brought it to the finish line. BTW don't hesitate to use my talk page. I've just been leaving my whole history on there. But there's room for more.  :-) North8000 (talk) 17:56, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Recent Washington Squares Tom Goodkind addition[edit]

I don't have the expertise know if the recent addition of (In the 1980s) "the Washington Squares led by punk/new wave promoter Tom Goodkind and his mates started a beatnik folk revival in Greenwich Village followed by the signing of Suzanne Vega and others, while on the west coast" is a good insight or undue promotional (in the context of this the top level folk music article). Can the poster discuss this? (I invited them at their talk page) Does anybody know? North8000 (talk) 13:51, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

I dialed back the claims and promotional aspect but left them in. North8000 (talk) 11:32, 24 December 2013 (UTC)


I can see that there was a pretty extensive cleanup of this article a few years ago and it seems to be organized pretty well. However, from the first sentence of the lede, it sounds like a good candidate opportunity for WP:CONSPLIT. "Contemporary folk music," as the section is currently called, really seems to be about the folk music genre (and it's successors) that arose in the 1960s and was derived from a specific folk tradition. It is separate from the traditional and largely non-commercial music that makes up the other folk music topic, and it does not include contemporary music of different folk traditions. To me, the general difference is that "contemporary folk music" is a genre with a specific sound while traditional folk music is a category that encompasses many genres and is defined more by its history. They're different concepts and deserve separate articles. —Ost (talk) 14:40, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree. I think that contemporary folk music is a rather distinct topic from traditional folk music. I Am A Sandwich (talk) 04:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree too. I see 'contemporary folk music' as modern music, that seeks to imitate traditional folk music by using traditional instruments and singing in an traditional fashion, whether without any modern elements as I think is often the case in psychadelic folk , or by also adding some modern elements as 'folk punk' or 'folk rock'. <br\> Split the article! CN1 (talk) 23:03, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Agree as well. There is an awkwardness here in trying to blend the two. As someone who remembers vividly the raging, public, and high-profile controversies regarding "authenticity" in folk music - controversy not really touched on in any detail here - I have to shake my head ruefully when I see record companies, Grammys, and music journalists refer to music as "folk" when it is simply acoustic, or primarily acoustic. The term "folk music" is academic in origin (as the article points out, from 19th century Germany), and in most academic departments "folk" still means primarily traditional. Hence, the split would make sense in clarifying the very different rubrics that govern the two styles. Sensei48 (talk) 02:50, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree, PROVIDED it be called 'Traditional folk music' instead with appropriate redirects and such, as per listed above (the reasoning, that is). Aleccat 02:33, 12 December 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aleccat (talkcontribs)

The split was done in 2014, albeit without the renaming. North8000 (talk) 18:13, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Although I think that the renaming of this half to "Traditional folk music" is a good idea. But we should go slow on this. This area has had low participation and many "false starts" have been made moving and renaming etc. North8000 (talk) 14:14, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
So adding specifics, wait until April 2017 for discussions and then convert "Folk Music" to a disambig page, and change the name of this article to "Traditional Folk Music".
Make that to "Traditional folk music"North8000 (talk) 15:23, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Global tags?[edit]

An individual put a large amount of section tags and three global tags on at once. This is a large article built by many editors with many references. I don't think that the global tags are useful or necessary. Could anyone with specific concerns make them know and then I plan to wait 1-2 months and take off the global tags. North8000 (talk) 15:26, 12 February 2017 (UTC)