It's not John Renbourn at his best, it's not even the best track on that record. But I chose it because it is very much a crossover between "folk" and "classical" - with a good measure of jazz thrown in, especially towards the end.
It is one of those "essence" questions. I mean some folk play "European Art Music" on guitars with plectrums?
Thank you Bill B, great post.Bill B wrote: ↑Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:36 amyes.
The term classical has a couple of different widely accepted meanings, and none of them have much in common with the term "finger style." European art music is the widest meaning of the term, but then it is also used for a specific subset of european art music from a specific era, between baroque and romantic. It is also used in other disciplines such as visual art, architecture, literature and such. In all of the uses I am familiar with it refers more to the form, structure, or proportions of the work than of the particular technique used in the work. One might compose a piece that had a classical structure but sounded more like heavy metal or bluegrass or whatever and was played with a pick. In such a usage the term classical would have meaning. Contrariwise, if one plays a bit of jazz, blues, pop, metal, bluegrass, flamenco, or whatever, even with the best finger style technique, that doesn't make it classical. If all you mean by it is "played with fingers as opposed to a plectrum" then the term finger style is clearer and thats what I would use.
Now I've been a guitar player long enough and known enough "regular" guitar players to know that a lot of non classical guitarists will use the term classical generally as a sign of respect, to refer to good technique, particularly finger style technique. I don't like this usage for two reasons. One, I have plenty of respect for jazz, blues, bluegrass and other players in their own right. I don't feel like using the term classical to describe what they do is in any way elevating it. Two, I don't like to create this kind of ambiguity. We already have meanings for the terms "classical" and "finger style." there is no greater clarity to be gained by trying to use one term for the other meaning. Im not inclined to think that the addition of "semi-" clears it up any either.
I can't remember ever hearing the term semi-classical outside this post. sure you can use it if you like, but if you want people to know what you mean, I wouldn't. Anyone who knows what you mean by it would also know the term finger style.
There's no connection. Playing techniques exist independently of the music that is performed using them. What we think of as fingerstyle evolved from a folk/blues tradition that has nothing to do with classical music. Even of I use classical technique on a nylon or gut string guitar to play that music, it's still not classical music. Words mean things, and if we get too loose with terminology nothing we say makes any sense.
Not at all! Some of the best music ever created were results of musicans (and composers) gleefully ignoring stylistic boundaries and mix and match whicever way they saw fit.
The folk/blues tradition is firmly rooted in what we call "classical music" today. Practically all standard "folk fingerpicking" patterns are found in Carcassi's guitar school and that is no coincidence. The 19th and ealry 20th century guitarists in rural regions didn't just sit down with their instrument and try to figure it all out on their own. They bought sheet music and they bought tutorials and if there was a teacher available, they took lessons. Carcassi was particularly popular so their style was very much based on his teaching.
How exactly is it 'fair' to suggest that 'some pro musicians'... 'should know better?'