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The Business of Music$
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Michael Talbot

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780853235286

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312717

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The Tarnished Image? Folk ‘Industry’ and Media

The Tarnished Image? Folk ‘Industry’ and Media

(p.217) 8 The Tarnished Image? Folk ‘Industry’ and Media
The Business of Music

Mike Brocken

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the present state of the folk revival, which used to occupy an important place in youth culture but has become a main refuge for the middle-aged and elderly. Historiographical pressures concerning what folk music actually was and how (or, indeed, whether) it should be marketed had minimised economic and cultural progress and instead promoted an inefficient, albeit dedicated, distribution network of information and music. Certain sections of the folk music industry and media have shown signs of rising to the challenge of commerce, although there was still no substantial progress away from the margins of popular music production. Nevertheless, some folk music record labels have shown an ability to become ‘materialist’ organisations malgré eux. Moreover, the folk ‘industry’ continues to harbour a number of manufacturers of specialist musical instruments such as guitars, mandolins, pipes, melodians, bodhrans, flutes, harps, citterns, bouzoukis, whistles and fiddles.

Keywords:   folk revival, folk music, media, popular music, record labels, musical instruments, folk industry

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