Folk art vs Formal art

This extract was extremely influential in my thinking about how folk music differs from formal music

I only today found this piece of paper again, and googled a phrase from it, thus was able to find that it is part of a paper by Teshome H. Gabriel. Actually, he was looking at Third World Cinema, and how it differs from our experience / understanding of cinema in the western world. That being said, it’s also a brilliant comparison of the differences between a “collectively held” understanding and something which is set down in print. We see these differences in different types of music, and we also see these differences in the organisations we work in – the “what’s really going on” vs “what’s presented to us”.

So, have a look at it, and think about how it applies to a situation you are interested in. For me as a musician, it was a revelation because many of the points exactly describe the differences between traditional, “folk” music, and formal, “art” music, and I found it helpful just to see another perspective which articulated what I’d intuitively felt.

folk vs literate art form comparison


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