What is a traditional story?
by Norah Dooley and wiki
|The author telling traditional tales to children in South Boston through the literacy program, Read Boston, 2012|
The statement I am working with is: traditional stories are to contemporary 1st person narrative stories as traditional folk songs are to singer-songwriter's songs. Imagine an acoustic performance of Arrow, by Cheryl Wheeler next to a performance by Simon And Garfunkel "Scarborough Fair" or any other traditional ballad of Great Britain.
The song Arrow is a beautiful contemporary love song, with melody and lyrics composed by Cheryl. Scarborough Fair is a song in the public domain; melody by Anonymous ( not the hackers but in the late 16th century sense via late Latin from Greek anōnumos ‘nameless’ ) and words by Anonymous. In the article below I have substituted "story" or storytelling for every citation of song or music. There are way more interesting things to know about folk tales but this will have to do as a start.
|Odetta was a folk singer of the late 20th century revival. She left a career in opera & musical theater to sing folk songs.|
- It was transmitted through an oral tradition.
Before the twentieth century, most people, especially ordinary farm workers and factory workers
were illiterate. They acquired
songsstories by listening and memorizing them. Primarily, this was not mediated by books, recorded or transmitted media. Contemporary yet traditional Singersstorytellers extend their repertoire using broadsheets, songstory books or CDs, but these secondary enhancements are of the same character as the primary songsstories experienced in the flesh. The musicStorytelling was often related to national culture. It was culturally particular; from a particular region or culture. In the context of an immigrant group, folk musicstorytelling acquires an extra dimension for social cohesion. It is particularly conspicuous in the United States, where immigrants and oppressed minorities strive to emphasize their differences from the mainstream. They may learn songsstories that originate in the countries their grandparents came from.
Theymay commemorate historical and/or personal events. On certain days particular songsstories celebrate the yearly cycle. Weddings, birthdays and funerals may also be noted with songsstories...Religions and religious festivalstraditions often have a folk musicstorytelling component especially a set of teaching stories. Choral musicStories at communal events bring children and non-professional storytellers to participate in a public arena, giving an emotional bonding that is unrelated to the aesthetic qualities of the musicperformance.
songsstories have been performed, by custom, over a long period of time, usually several generations.
- There is no copyright on folk
songs. stories. Hundreds of folk songstales from the nineteenth century have known authors but have continued in oral tradition to the point where they are considered traditional for purposes of musicpublishing. This has become much less frequent since the 1940s. Today, almost every folk songtale that is recordedor written is credited with an arrangerauthor.
- Fusion of cultures: In the same way that people can have a mixed
background, with parents originating in different continents, so too
musicstorytelling can be a blend of influences. A particular rhythmicspeech pattern, or a characteristic instrument, cultural detail or element is enough to give a traditional feel to music, stories even when they have been composed recently. The young are usually much less offended by the dilution or adaptation of songsstories this way. Equally a electric guitardigital element can be added to an old songsstory creating a new genre for the art form of storytelling.
- Traditional storytelling is non-commercial.