Filk music started off forty or fifty years ago, at science fiction conventions, where people got together late at night to have good old-fashioned folk music song circles. Well, late night circles being what they are, some folks got a little silly and started singing song parodies about their favorite [science fiction] books and authors. Fans started writing song parodies about themselves or each other.
King of Fonts
Filk version of "Eleanor Rigby"
Filk refers to music inspired by science fiction and fantasy and primarily intended for the fan communities. The music is performed at conventions and there seems to be a special emphasis on having fun with it. Sci-fi lyrics are often put to familiar tunes and are frequently humorous. Everyone is invited to join in. The tradition began at science fiction meetings as early as the 's. Attendees would gather in the evenings for socializing and singing folk songs.
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What is Filk Music?
The term "filk" supposedly originated as a typographical error for "Folk Music" in an article about science fiction songs. The genre originated in the early s and filk songs have been recorded since the early s. The BGSU Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives has a large collection of filk materials, including scores, periodicals, fanzines, and books, as well as LPs and cassettes, produced both privately and commercially. If you are searching for filk material, you can search our online catalog for the subject heading Filk music. Using the related subject headings Science fiction -- Songs and Music and Star Trek -- Songs and Music can return a more complete list of resources. To narrow your search, you may limit the searches to return only sound recordings, books, musical scores, or periodicals. The filk community, like many fan groups, maintains an active online presence, runs their own conferences, promotes and helps to publish filk materials, and honors prominent filk performers. While there are many filk resources on the web, two particularly merit further exploration for researchers or performers interested in learning more about filk. Interfilk is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting filk music and supporting filk conventions, which occur regularly in several areas of the United States, as well as Canada, Great Britain, and Germany.
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