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Fiction_And_Folk_-_Making_Filk_Music_Together by trifo13

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									Title:
Fiction And Folk - Making Filk Music Together


Word Count:
554


Summary:
The word "Filk" is a combination of "fiction" and "folk." Filk music originated as songs composed by
dedicated film or TV fans, usually relating to science fiction and fantasy programming. The word originated
in the '50s in an article about the practice of science fiction fans singing self-created songs while meeting at
conventions geared for the sci-fi and fantasy fan.


While the practice goes back to the fifties, it has developed a genre and following that continues to th...



Keywords:
website hosting, filk music, fiction, folk, science fiction, fantasy, fandom, songwriting



Article Body:
The word "Filk" is a combination of "fiction" and "folk." Filk music originated as songs composed by
dedicated film or TV fans, usually relating to science fiction and fantasy programming. The word originated
in the '50s in an article about the practice of science fiction fans singing self-created songs while meeting at
conventions geared for the sci-fi and fantasy fan.


While the practice goes back to the fifties, it has developed a genre and following that continues to this day
on the Internet and at social gatherings attended by "filkers." By the late seventies there were weekend
conventions focused solely on filkers and filking. Websites and events have formed around what has
become a cultural phenomenon and while there may be no established stars working in the genre, there are
award programs for "Excellence in Filking" and a Filk Hall of Fame.


Today the world of filking remains essentially true to its origins: science fiction and fantasy fans singing
together at gatherings. They are drawn from the worlds of Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Star Wars and
games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Song topics can cover any aspect of the sci-fi world: computers,
homesteads on Mars, space battles and time travel. Those gatherings may be completely devoted to filking
today and may include an entire range of talent, from highly accomplished musicians to the amateur science
fiction fan who only wishes to raise his or her voice.


Through email lists and websites, filkers have opened up lines of communications and organizations that
reach into other countries and continents. The concept of the musical product had expanded somewhat,
although not without debate. Songs of an anarchic or nonsensical bent dealing with familiar social
phenomena have been referred to as filk tunes; there has been an ongoing discussion among purists as to
whether or not Weird Al Yankovic qualifies as a filker. A good resource for Filk FAQs and other websites
can be found at http://www.electricpenguin.com/filking/columns/filkfaq/.


Filking can also be identified as simply the social network that has evolved around the original practice. The
electronic tools at hand for maintaining that network are part of the current definition of the filk community.
The websites with songs, lyrics and musical tools posted are an important part of the community's binding.
It's also fair to say that openness characterizes the filker movement, or community, or organization. It's not
your ability to sing that qualifies you, it's your enthusiasm for the process and perhaps your appreciation of
the disassociation with social norms that the songs represent.


Filking remains, for the most part, the folk music of the science fiction and fantasy fan set. Some songs are
bawdy, many are parodies of original mainstream works, and nearly all are performed on acoustic
instruments to the uniform applause of other gathered filkers. There are CDs out there these days and a
plethora of MP3 files to be found on many Internet sites. There are perhaps eight gatherings a year held
around the nation that are dedicated exclusively to filking.


There is another form of purity to the art form, other than its unique music. It is far enough off center that no
one has found a way to build a business model for it and filking remains the personal creations and sole
property of filkers.




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