Truth, beauty and authenticity in folk music

Ingrid Hamberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The meeting between dance and music is a meeting of people: a social event. In addition to the direct act of dancing, there are countless other forms of connection at a social dance. The fiddler provides both a foreground and a background in this tapestry, both masking and organizing chaos in the gathering. While the specifics of a tradition’s music and dance vary over time, I argue that there are certain meaningful constants, embodied by the
community, that bind the music to the dance, which cannot be replaced by recorded music. This article is largely based on my experiences and observations over some twenty-five years, primarily in Seattle, WA, USA, but also in Rauland, Norway. I have experienced the folk dance and music community both as an integral member and leader, and as a guest. I have been an insider and an outsider, a dancer, a musician, a student and a teacher. Here, I focus on this community and the individuals that compose it. I discuss some of the players
and sites of these interactions – and their interdependences. I suggest that folk dance and music communities need not seek to fit into the aesthetics of other genres, but should engage in a discussion defining folk-aesthetics. I argue that a determination of truth, beauty, and authenticity can only be made from within the community that is producing a given folk expression.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationÓn gCos go Cluas
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Dancing to Listening
EditorsLiz Doherty, Fintan Vallely
PublisherAberdeen University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-1-85752-073-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventNorth Atlantic Fiddle Convention Conference - Northern Ireland, Derry/Londonderry, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 20121 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameFiddle and Dance Studies from around the North Atlantic 5


ConferenceNorth Atlantic Fiddle Convention Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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