Characteristics and Role of Folk Media

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Folk Media
According to Forcucci (1984), "folk music has been with us since the dawn of history" (p. 16). However, it was not until the early 1900s that scholars began to consider folk music as a legitimate facet to be studied as a part of a culture. The definition of folk music has undergone debate for many years. A broad general definition of "folk" music is that it is music of the "folk" or of the people. These folk are sometimes identified as the rural or peasant people of a country (Nettl & Myers, 1976), although Rhodes (1966) believed that folk music exists in all classes of society. Sometimes the folk are considered a particular ethnic group or nationality (Nettl & Myers, 1976). Folk Media is the creative dissemination of information through cultural and performance arts. In traditional societies, folk media: drama, skits, poems, stories, riddles, songs and dance have been popularly and successfully used to disseminate messages and even to pass on wisdom of older generations to the youth.

In different societies the use of folk media is seen in circumcision, betrothal and marriage ceremonies, cleansing and funeral rituals and in all forms of entertainment and festivals. Today the same media can be used for community motivation, mobilizing support and participation in programmes and at the same time for entertainment.

Folk and traditional media have some salient features which advocate its effectiveness and importance. ü    Their appeal is at personal and intimate level.
ü    Cross cultural communication hurdles are not encountered here ; ü    Rapport is immediate and direct ;
ü    Available to all and sundry and enjoyed by persons of different age groups at a very low. cost ; ü    Its impact is much deeper ;
ü    Very useful for community development;
ü    They belong to the community and not to individuals, state or private industry ; ü    No threat of cultural colonialism and foreign ideological domination. ü    Local talent and localized message-would have more credibility than those centralized ones. ü    These media are comparatively cheap.

ü    Acceptability, cultural relevance entertainment value, localized language, legitimacy, flexibility, message repetition ability, instant 'two-way communication etc. are among their virtues. Function & content

To Forcucci (1984), the folk singer's art is storytelling, and the responsibility lies in telling the story rather than entertaining the audience. Because the oral transmission definition of folk music is obsolete and much of the music is transmitted by the mass media today, Forcucci put folk music into two basic categories: traditional folk songs and modern urban folk songs. He gave eight generalizations by which one may define folk music: 1. Folk songs represent the musical expressions of the common people. 2. These songs are not composed in that they are not the works of skilled, tutored musicians. It is more accurate to say that they have been created rather than composed. 3. These songs are ordinarily the product of an unknown person or group of persons. The credits often read: Anonymous; American Folk Song; Traditional; or Southern Mountain Song. [But Forcucci notes that there are folklike songs where the author is known, but that these songs are "patterned to fit the mold of what typical American folk songs should sound like," p. 18.] 4. The words or lyrics of folk songs are usually colloquial in nature to reflect the speech patterns and expressions of a particular people or region. 5. These songs are highly singable, primarily because they were first presented with the singing voice rather than have been written down in musical notation beforehand. 6. Folk songs are simply structured, both musically and verbally. It is their naivete that gives them their charm. 7. These songs can be effectively performed without instrumental accompaniment. When they are accompanied, a less formal instrument (such as a guitar, banjo, accordion,...
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