Filk music sounds interesting. Where can I learn more?
There are many filk resources on the Internet,
and the number is growing rapidly. This is a sampling which
is by no means complete or even systematic...
On Fidonet: The Filk Echo, maintained by
This is also gated to the Usenet ("net news") as
and you can find a webified copy of the "Filk FAQ" on
Good discussion, ranging from new songs (and critiques thereof)
to questions of what "works" at a filksing, to the perennial
debate about where (and if) filk's boundaries can be found.
(The older newsgroup, alt.music.filk, still
exists but is mostly inactive except for spam and as a place to post ballads
too bawdy for r.m.f.)
There are many filk-related web pages; I've listed a few here to get you started. (Yes, I know that too many of these are LOST LINKs; it's been too long since I've maintained this page. "Working...")
You also might want to explore the Filker's Bardic Ring, which ties together many filk-related webpages. (To join the ring, go here.)
There's also http://www.filk.de/engl.htm,
which provides links to German filkers. (Can't read German? Don't panic;
this page, and a surprising percentage of the songs, are in English...)
Don't just sit there reading -- sing something! Here's when and where...
Filkers at play
These pages were selected in large part because their authors included
at least a few of their own songs. Some of the collections are in fact
quite extensive. The folks indicated in bold are suggested starting
points -- folks who produced a lot of output of consistantly high quality,
and who may be a good starting point for folks not familiar with the genre.
(If a name isn't so marked, it does NOT necessarily mean that
person isn't a "big-name filker" -- it may just mean I haven't gotten
around to updating that entry yet.)
- Joe Bethancourt. Joe may be best known (under the name Ioseph of Locksley) for his songs related to the Society for Creative Anachronism, but his output goes well beyond that. He's a skilled performer on stringed instruments generally (and banjo in particular), and a Primary Source on traditional Appalachin music.
- Melissa Binde
- Michelle Bottorff
- Rich Brown
- Gary Erlich, aka Electro or (occasionally) Gorgeous Gary of the Guavas
- LOST LINK:Infilktrators Ink -- reportedly New Zealand's first and longest running filk performing group.
- Leslie Fish lyrics and autobiography (page hosted by Eli Goldberg; see also the Virtual Filksing below). Leslie's work runs from protest songs to anthems of the space age to settings of Rudyard Kipling's poems to humor.
- Pavel Fomitchov's Songs of the Elves -- Russian filker, includes some Tolkein- and Kipling-inspired work. A first-cut translation of one of the songs is available, courtesy of Maureen O'Brien
- Avram Grumer
- LOST LINK:Judith and Dave Hayman
- Bob Kanefsky. Bob, sometimes referred to as "the Songworm," is a highly celebrated parodist -- but don't be fooled into thinking "parody" necessarily means "light humor". Bob's songs stand very well on their own, though knowing the song and/or story which helped to inspire them will further enhance your enjoyment. Indeed, some are so effective that they are now better-known and more often performed than the originals. It should be noted that Bob applies a very strict test when deciding whether to publish a work -- it has to favorably impress the artist whose song he is borrowing. One interesting outcome of this is that his recordings (Tapeworm cassettes, and now the Roundworm CD) often feature artists performing Bob's responses to their own work.
- Bob "Blars" Larson
- Steve Macdonald
- LOST LINK:Mark Osier
- Puzzlebox -- Paul Kwinn, Taunya Gren, and Alisa Garcia, occasionally joined by Luis Tomas Garcia. Good material, good arrangements, tight harmonies.
- LOST LINK:Maggi Rohde (includes an excellent list of filksongs available on the Web)
- Mike Rubin was taken from us far too soon, but he left us a goodly number of well-written songs. (Page hosted by Avram Grumer.)
- Steve Savitzky. My personal favorite among Steve's songs is The World Inside the Crystal, but he's written a lot of Good Stuff.
- Kay Shapiro, Ye Moderator of Ye Echo (see above). Includes the Filk FAQ.
- Tom Smith. Sometimes billed as "The World's Fastest Filker", Tom is famous for "instafilks"; he's been reported to have written one before the song he was parodying had ended. (There are a few other folks who can give him a run for his money...)
- LOST LINK:W. Scott "Cosmo" Snyder. "The guitarist drank Fey Whiskey but he still could play the song..." Cosmo can play that song; get him to demonstrate.
- Urban Tapestry. Toronto-based trio.
- Dave Weingart. Includes some MP3 recordings of himself in performance.
- Kaminniy Zal -- Russian filker; the soundfiles have English titles. Includes some Tolkein-inspired work.
- A few of my songs are on line too.
- Eli Goldberg's Virtual
Filksing is collecting filk performance audio clips in RealAudio 3.0 and
Filk organizations and disorganizations:
People helping to foster the growth of filking, in various ways.
- Interfilk -- a filk music "fan fund".
- FilKONtario -- yearly filk festival in the Toronto area, sponsors of The Filk Hall or Fame.
- GaFilk -- Georgia's filk club, and the GaFilk convention. (2001 subtitle title: "My God -- it's full of Ghoti!")
- Kathy Mar's Dandelion Conspiracy
- Los Angeles Filkers Anonymous
- M.A.S.S. F.I.L.C, supporting filk in the vicinity of Massachusetts. Sponsors of ConCertino, one
instance of the "Floating Northeast Corridor Filk Con", which is held
in a different location each year. Other members of that rotation are
Concerto (Philadelphia area), Contata (NY Metropolitan area) and
Conterpoint (Baltimore/Washington area). MASSFILC also runs regular housefilks, and helps to run filk programs at area SF conventions.
- San Diego Filk Fandom
- Swarthmore Warders of Imaginative Literature (SWIL) filk collection
- WiGGLe homepage -- a general resource for information on filk in the UK.
- Xenofilkia -- a filk magazine/APA (Amateur Press Association). 6 issues a year, many songs/poems in every issue.
Topic-based filk indexes (indices?)
- Maureen O'Brien's "Darn Near All the Filk on the Web" indexes web-published filksongs by subject -- good resource!
- LOST LINK:Babylon 5-related verse and song.
- Honor Harrington-related filks, based on David Weber's popular military-SF novels.
Purveyors of fine filk:
A few places where you can buy published filk -- sheet music, recordings, and so on.
"More, More! I'm still not satisfied!"
If you just can't get enough, here are a few hints on how to find Still More Filk on the Internet.
- The YAHOO
index has a filk page. They also have a
list of filkers, and a list of
They list us under Novelty, which is a trifle disappointing... but I
suppose we're novel enough, and/or based on enough novels, that I
shouldn't complain too loudly. The lists are
rather short; easiest way to fix that is for each of you to add
yourself to the appropriate slot.
- So does NewHoo -- with the advantage that the editors are in fact filkers themselves, so it's a bit better organized/maintained. Again, if you have a filk-related webpage you should probably nominate yourself for inclusion rather than waiting for others to find you.
- You could try an
Altavista search for "filk". Or ask one of the other search engines.
There are also items which most filkers would agree definitely aren't filk but which are science-fiction-related music in some sense:
Some of Walkabout's folk links may also be useful and interesting to filkers.
Of course the best way to learn about filk is to attend a filksing -- at a science fiction convention, at a filk festival, or one of the "house filks" organized by the clubs you'll see mentioned in the above pages. Music is meant to be heard, not read!
The Caterwaul / Joe Kesselman / firstname.lastname@example.org (sic!)