June 04, 2008

Folk Music: All Over YouTube

A month ago, I had posted a comment on this YouTube video, of a trio of young people "sing[ing] number 276 out of the blue book (Bridgewater). We number three, so the [treble] section is left out. This is the conclusion of a trip back from the 108th annual Southwest Texas Singing Convention, held at Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in McMahan, Texas, 30 March 2008." I wrote:

And, as far as I can tell, Youtube's only recording of 276.

Today, someone replied,

Not any more, since May 8 there's a clip at watch?v=A7CWwgt_2IM Great song! This trio deserves a milkshake--

In short, every page of the Sacred Harp is gradually being added to YouTube, making the website a valuable compendium. (That song, Bridgewater, composed by Lewis Edson in 1782, is also printed on page 276 of the red book, The Sacred Harp.) Just search for Sacred Harp & the page number you desire to hear. So far, I appear to remain YouTube's only recording of 68b, but that could all change by July or August.

In related news: I was discussing Bulgarian folk music with a Bulgarian coworker of mine. (His attitude: "Bulgaria is shit. That is why I'm here working shit jobs.") When I told him there was a growing scene of interest in Bulgarian folk music, & that I had friends who study it in Los Angeles & will be traveling to the Balkans to perform, &c, he was somewhat surprised, but mysteriously asked: "What kind of Bulgarian folk music? The good kind or the shit kind?" I said, you know, the women dancing in a circle, et cetera, & he said "Oh, good, the good kind."

I challenged Mr Quill, currently living in Bulgaria for undisclosed purposes, to, with all haste, find some of the "shit kind" & send it back. He writes:

When Bulgarians say folk music, they actually mean chalga. This was confusing for me for a while. Although, he may have been referring to Folklore, which is also awesomely shitty. Maybe stuff like this:

It's true, it's a bit Andy Williams, but anything with people dancing in a circle in 7/8 time isn't shitty by my strict defecation meter. I could see how young people growing up in any country would cringe at cheesy televised displays of their cultural heritage, & perhaps prefer, for instance, 1980s American death metal. Thank God American television contains no traditional American folk dance & hymnody, accompanied by synthesizers & sweeping camera shots - our marginalization is again a blessing. Let them do to Sousa what they will.

1 comment:

pele said...

I think the song you have posted is a Macedonian tune, many of which are well-loved in Bulgaria. Starting with a similar song http://sweetemploy.blogspot.com/2008/02/makedonske-narodne-pesme.html
this video-post goes on to feature the best musical theater by Esma Redzepova that I could find on youtube. (Her voice was appropriated by an abominable movie in 2006.)
I find chalga to be refreshing in moderation: