Mudcat Café message #715291 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47842   Message #715291
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
22-May-02 - 09:44 AM
Thread Name: How old is Brit trad of music in pubs?
Subject: RE: How old is Brit trad of music in pubs?
The typical "pub session" as we understand it today does seem to be a fairly recent phenomenon in both Britain and Ireland, but in the less specialised sense of a more-or-less informal event including singing and (less often) instrumental music and sometimes dance (including, but not restricted to, traditional material), it seems reasonable to suppose that it goes back as far as pubs do, at any rate.

Some useful references off the top of my head:

Ginette Dunn: The Fellowship of Song: Popular Singing Traditions in East Suffolk (Croom Helm, London, 1980)

Ian Russell: Stability and Change in a Sheffield Singing Tradition (The Folk Music Journal, vol.5 no.3, 1987; EFDSS, London)

Hazel Fairbairn: Changing Contexts for Traditional Dance Music in Ireland: The Rise of Group Performance Practice (The Folk Music Journal, vol.6 no.5, 1994; EFDSS, London)

Chaucer certainly describes instances of social music making in and around pubs (bagpipes were involved, if I remember correctly) but I can't give chapter and verse just now.