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Important new article on Cecil Sharp

DigiTrad:
SEEDS OF LOVE


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Vic Smith 18 Apr 19 - 12:42 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 19 - 06:45 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 19 - 02:16 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Apr 19 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Apr 19 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Apr 19 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 19 Apr 19 - 04:11 AM
Jack Campin 19 Apr 19 - 04:45 AM
The Sandman 19 Apr 19 - 07:07 AM
Gordon Jackson 19 Apr 19 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Cj 19 Apr 19 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 19 Apr 19 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Apr 19 - 10:40 AM
Gordon Jackson 19 Apr 19 - 10:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Apr 19 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 19 Apr 19 - 01:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Apr 19 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 19 Apr 19 - 02:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Apr 19 - 02:56 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 19 - 03:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Apr 19 - 04:27 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 19 - 04:39 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Apr 19 - 05:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Apr 19 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 19 Apr 19 - 06:48 PM
RTim 19 Apr 19 - 07:04 PM
meself 19 Apr 19 - 07:20 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 03:44 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 04:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 04:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Apr 19 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 20 Apr 19 - 05:17 AM
Jack Campin 20 Apr 19 - 05:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 05:55 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 20 Apr 19 - 07:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 07:36 AM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 08:06 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 08:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 08:43 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 08:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 11:00 AM
meself 20 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM
Jack Campin 20 Apr 19 - 11:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 12:40 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 01:06 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 01:26 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Apr 19 - 02:18 PM
Jack Campin 20 Apr 19 - 02:26 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 03:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Apr 19 - 03:10 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 19 - 03:12 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Apr 19 - 04:02 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 04:12 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 04:36 PM
The Sandman 20 Apr 19 - 04:40 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 19 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Apr 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 19 - 06:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Apr 19 - 09:16 AM
Jack Campin 21 Apr 19 - 10:38 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 19 - 11:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Apr 19 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,SB 22 Apr 19 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Rigby 28 Apr 19 - 11:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 19 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 29 Apr 19 - 07:00 AM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 19 - 08:04 AM
Richard Mellish 29 Apr 19 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Rigby 29 Apr 19 - 12:20 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 19 - 01:22 PM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 19 - 02:19 PM
The Sandman 29 Apr 19 - 02:36 PM
Vic Smith 29 Apr 19 - 02:37 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 19 - 02:50 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 19 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Rigby 29 Apr 19 - 03:42 PM
Brian Peters 30 Apr 19 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 30 Apr 19 - 10:47 AM
Brian Peters 30 Apr 19 - 10:56 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 19 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 30 Apr 19 - 04:01 PM
Brian Peters 01 May 19 - 03:52 PM
Brian Peters 01 May 19 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,BP 01 May 19 - 04:03 PM
Brian Peters 01 May 19 - 04:22 PM
Steve Gardham 01 May 19 - 04:34 PM
GUEST 01 May 19 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 01 May 19 - 05:22 PM
meself 01 May 19 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,dangyankee 01 May 19 - 09:54 PM
Jim Carroll 02 May 19 - 02:00 AM
Jack Campin 02 May 19 - 02:20 AM
The Sandman 02 May 19 - 03:02 AM
Brian Peters 02 May 19 - 04:55 AM
Vic Smith 02 May 19 - 06:26 AM
Brian Peters 02 May 19 - 06:45 AM
meself 02 May 19 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 02 May 19 - 11:50 AM
meself 02 May 19 - 01:14 PM
The Sandman 02 May 19 - 04:13 PM
Brian Peters 02 May 19 - 04:42 PM
Rigby 02 May 19 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Guest 02 May 19 - 05:31 PM
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Subject: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Apr 19 - 12:42 PM

I post this with some trepidation because I can see that the subject has the potential of becoming one of those dreary exchanges of dogged opinions from entrenched positions that are the curse of Mudcat. I hope sincerely that does not happen here....
Dr. Sharif Gemie is a retured Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of South Wales and has contribited an article called The Oak and the Acorn to the estimable Musical Traditions website. The article's sub-title is of help here - Music and Political Values in the Work of Cecil Sharp.

I find much to agree with and much to disagree with in what he writes about one of the most important figures of the first folk song revival and certainly, I find it very stimulating. Sharp and his legacy has been the focus of a lot of folk song research and several different conclusions have been reached by those writing about him. I find Gemie's article fresh and incisive from a person who I have never heard of before. For me the most successful aspects are the way he tries to analyse the methods and motivations behind Sharp's approach.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 19 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for the heads up, Vic. I also found the article stimulating. I don't know if I disagree with anything except his comparison of Steve's book and Bert's. You state 'much to disagree with'. I'd be interested to know what you didn't agree with.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 02:16 AM

Thanks, Sharp was an extra ordinary man , a Curates Egg


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 03:21 AM

Interesting article. Thanks. It sets Sharp in context, much as Lloyd's work can be seen in the context of 20th century communist and Marxist thought.

A couple of points about the early sections to spark discussion:


The article expresses surprise that Sharp supported 'Liberal' candidates. Off the top of my head I can't recall the date when 'Labour' candidates became common. Lots of folk calling themselves 'socialist' were involved with the Liberals in the early days.

Also, not sure that 'backward looking enthusiasms' is at odds with Fabian beliefs. For example, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts movement looked backwards in various ways, but William Morris is regarded as a 'socialist'. The writer makes this point himself later in the piece.


I don't think it is quite accurate to suggest, as the writer appears to, that 'The Golden Bough' is about 'rural England'. That book went across cultures. Maybe a new paragraph before moving on to discuss mythology in general as opposed to rural England would have avoided entangling disparate ideas here?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 03:37 AM

1 Quotation from Sharp in the USA:


The primary purpose of education is to place the children of the present generation in possession of the cultural achievements of the past, so that they may as quickly as possible enter into their racial inheritance, [so] what better form of music or of literature can we give them than the folk-songs and folk-ballads of the race to which they belong, or of the nation whose language they speak?

Such ideas are contentious and I don't have sympathy for them.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 03:47 AM

(Romantic) dance scene in Wuthering Heights? Remind me where this was!


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 04:11 AM

Very briefly, as a piece of writing, it has little style, and turns well ploughed earth. I agree with Steve, Bert's book while eminently readable was certainly not better than Steve Roud's book.
There are certain statements that are presented as facts, and are very far from the truth, notably:-   'He was not interested in these rural singers as people, but only as unconscious, acorn-producing entities whom some accident of history had bestowed with a strange property.'

We have been here before many times. I have full knowledge of the balancing act of probabilities, however a bit of common sense might dictate that if this last statement had any truth, word might have got round. 'Don't talk to the man on the bike, he thinks he's better than you.'
Interestingly enough I was pleased to witness Brian Peters 'Cecil Sharp saint or sinner' presentation at the Glad4Trad festival earlier this week, and would suggest that this is a more erudite and open minded approach to Sharp's work. It might help the reader in their approach to Gemie's article.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 04:45 AM

There was a presentation about Sharp in America at Whitby a couple of years ago, I forget who did it. One thing that came across was the affection the poor Appalachian farmers had for him, retained long after he'd gone. It's hard to imagine that happening if he'd been as coldly exploitative as that article depicts him.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 07:07 AM

My stepfather met Sharp and described him as being single minded and a boring vegatarian who only seemed to enjoy dancing with fat middle aged ladies The impression i was given was of a man single minded to the point of obsession,who was rather strait laced and who did not have many other interests, now i cannot really comment on whether that was a fair assessment, he visited my stepfathers parents who were piano manufacturers in Stroud. Bentley pianos


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 07:43 AM

I found the piece very interesting (although perhaps a proofreader could have been employed?).

Nowhere did I see an assertion that The Golden Bough was about ‘rural England’.

Also, having been in education in a wide variety of settings, including as a lecturer in a high security prison for fourteen years, I am well aware of the difference between being friendly and being friends. There is no question Sharp was friendly with his informants; anyone involved in any kind of ethnographic research, as well as education in its broadest sense, will know it is vital to form positive relationships in order to elicit cooperation, information … and songs. Such relationships may be genuine or cynical, and may be indistinguishable from each other; in purely practical terms it doesn’t especially matter, as long as everyone is satisfied with the result. For example, when I go into a shop to buy a loaf of bread I might smile (on a good day!), say something about the weather, pay for my bread, give thanks and leave. I am being friendly, not attempting to form a lifelong friendship.

I think Professor Gemie might have made more of Sharp’s contradictory belief in cultural Darwinism, whilst simultaneously believing cultural evolution, at least for the rural poor, should end!

I'm not clear what Sharp's dietary preferences have to do with anything!


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 08:51 AM

"a boring vegatarian who only seemed to enjoy dancing with fat middle aged ladies "

I think this is the inscription on his grave stone?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 09:54 AM

I think Sharp was genuine in his liking for his informants. Once again, I believe that the Folk could tell the difference, just as a shop assistant can.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 10:40 AM

Jack Campin... that sounds like Brian Peters' presentation on sharp in USA.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 10:59 AM

My point was not so much the distinction between genuine and cynical friendliness as between being friendly and being friends. I often take part in friendly discussions on Mudcat, but no one here is what I would term a friend. I'm quite ready to believe Sharp could have been on friendly terms with his informants, without necessarily actually being friends with them.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 12:57 PM

Brian Peters is having this same discussion of Facebook.
This is what I said there:-

I seem to remember a famous film of Sharp morris dancing in his garden with various luminaries of the classical music scene. he looks rather wacky. And there i think you have the whole story. A man immersed in the past who does valuable work - preserving collecting folk songs ets. I suppose the trouble starts to occur with his followers who turn a recognition of the past and its values, into an indifference to the present. These were the years when Armstrong, Biederbecke, Ma Rainey and others were making their own vital contribution to the common tongue. Ignore , indeed purposefully ignore the world you live in, and your artform is headed for trouble.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 01:15 PM

Why?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 01:43 PM

i suppose because less and less people will see the relevance of your music, and will stop relating to it.

then it you get the daily tantrums and name calling and denouncing of modern culture as vacuous that passes for debate on mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 02:36 PM

Sharp had worse rows than anything here on Mudcat and his work started two international Folk Song revivals that have lasted until this day. I would think that counts as relevance.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 02:56 PM

Well if that approach appeals to you...fair enough.

Personally i think the many schisms have made us weak, unimportant politically, artistically (because without an audience, there is no creative criticism), unrepresented and easy to ignore.

But that's my thoughts. they are not shared.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 03:11 PM

Sharps promotion of folk songs to be sung in schools, was a double edged sword, it meant that many generations became familiar with their indigenous culture before the age of eight , it also measnt that some of the songs were sanatised, i understand that Sharp to his credit kept the unsanatised versions and that they were still available ,but not for schools


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 04:27 PM

well i think that was a wonderful thing to do.

i'm very grateful for the folksongs i learned in singing together. althought it did seem a bit tripey at the time.

certainly i was still very negative feeling about folk music - right up until stuff like The Limeliters and The Kingston Trio started coming on the radio.

it was only really meeting people in folk clubs singing the songs that I'd heard as a child in singing together the made me re-evaluate them.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 04:39 PM

Sharp was very different from Alfred Williams in approach to collecting song material, Williams collected everything he heard being sung including glee songs sung solo,Williams work was more important as a historical record of what was being sung at that time


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 05:46 PM

'Williams collected everything he heard being sung'. Not really, Dick. there are no Music Hall songs in his collection so he was also being selective, but in a slightly different way.

I don't really see how any of us can be regretful about the selectivity of all of the collectors, and that includes most collectors since the 50s, as If say Sharp had spent time noting down everything the singers sang we would not have access to the magnificent body of material we have today.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 05:59 PM

well really Dick, isn't that how things are.

We both pursue our musical goals - choosing our separate routes according to how our intelligence , education, cultural background prompts us -and of course the resources at our command.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 06:48 PM

Which in Sharp's case were pretty limited, as was his good health.
Maud Karpeles was head over heels in love with him, a love that was very probably never consummated, or returned by Sharp. This might explain her uncritical biography. Sharps contemporaries found working with him impossible, so is it any wonder that he is still a controversial figure, and the subject of this discussion (which has remained good natured Vic!). I think we are all agreed that of his generation he was the only great collector of Folksong.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: RTim
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 07:04 PM

I respect Williams as a man and as a collector - However he collected NO TUNES, and said that the Tradition was Dead and it should remain so! Sharp, with all his faults, was a more important collector. However - I think Gardiner was the best of all...Discuss!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: meself
Date: 19 Apr 19 - 07:20 PM

The thing to remember is that these people collected what they collected - what they didn't collect was available for anyone else to collect; they can hardly be faulted if no one else was willing and able.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 03:44 AM

i stated a fact there was no implied criticism of sharp
.a comment made by someone who knew him personally and who saw him regularly, it gives a picture of the man and also tells us something about the person who made the comment, however comments from people who saw him regularly are never the less of interest and useful. in providing an overall picture. the fact Rev Gould had 14 children and could not remember their names does not affect the quality of his work but it is of interest in getting a picture of the man ,


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:00 AM

"there are no Music Hall songs in his collection so he was also being selective,"
Nor Victorian tear-jerkers, or op songs of the day, or popular operatic pieces - totally selective
How dare these people only write down folk songs - who on earth did they think they were, Folk song collectors ?
When VWML issued a cassette of our Traveller songs, one reviewer in Dance and Song (I think) slagged us off for not including Country and Western songs
The rot was beginning to set in even then
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:17 AM

Cecil Sharp and the formation of EFDSS is responsible for the appearance of....Peter kennedy as a collector .
peter kennedy was a curates egg, but unlike Sharp, on occasions did not treat his source singers well.CecilSharp made a living out of popularising folk songs through schools and pianoforte arrangements
kennedy was employed for a time by the EFDSS, AND MADE A LIVING BY ANY MEANS HE COULD PROMOTING AND SELLING DG ACCORDIONS, NOT PAYING HIS SOURCE SINGERS SUFFICENTLY AND THEN SELLING BOOKS OF SONGS ETC.HOWEVER HE DID COLLECT A LOT OF MATERIAL AND WAS THE ONLY PERSON WHO WAS ABLE TO RECORD THE EXTRAORDINARY FIDDLER NEILIDH BOYLE.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:18 AM

Kennedy exploited some of his source singers, there is no evidence as far as i know that Sharp did that


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:39 AM

get real - we're talking about the music business. exploitation is endemic. at every level.

you can say people are being used. but in a way, that's better than being thought of as useless.

As Bukka White said of the Lomaxes, I figured it was better to give than receive...

Folk song collectors aren't sent down from heaven with a government grant and a guaranteed pension. they have to pay their bills.
in the end - however they operate - the following generations benefit from their labours - if not perhaps the primary source.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 05:13 AM

Interesting article made better by the discussion on here. Had I just read the article in isolation I may have come away with the impression that Sharp was just a user of people. The comments I have read subsequently have caused me to temper that opinion and realise that he was, as we all are, far more complex than a mere 12500 words can describe. Thanks, Mudcat and all contributors, for helping me further my understanding :-)


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 05:17 AM

Catch up with Brian Peters presentation if you can.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 05:45 AM

I think we are all agreed that of his generation he was the only great collector of Folksong.

Bartok was the same generation and achieved much more. Komitas would have done too, if the genocide hadn't destroyed his people and his mind.

I wonder if Sharp carries some of the responsibility for the isolationism of British folk scholarship? The Hungarians knew what the British were up to, but were only reciprocated quite a bit later by Erik Chisholm and A.L. Lloyd, who didn't have that much impact. Sharp seems to have totally ignored the non-Anglophone world.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 05:55 AM

inthose days the map was all red - so the anglophone world was a substantial undertaking.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 06:05 AM

"if not perhaps the primary source."
In thirty years collecting I never once came across a singer who tried to sell us his/her songs - as Walter Pardon told us, "They're not my songs, they're everybody's"
If it had been a question of payment, we would not have been able to afford to spend thirty years doing what we did
We paid our share socially and that was all that was expected of us - I would think the Lomax's were in the same position
Kennedy's dishonesty was in marketing the songs he had been paid to collect and, in some cases, claiming them as his own - I have spent a great deal of time working on the BBC collection and am still astounded at how much remains largely unheard - we were all victims of Kennedy, not just the singers

Still my favourite story of collecting which bears repeating, told to us by veteran Irish traditional music broadcaster, Ciarán Mac Mathúna
He was recording tunes from a very elderly Kerry fiddle player in his home
At the end of the session, he said to the old man, "now there's the question of a recording fee"
The old man thought for a moment, then said, "I have no money in the house at present, but I'm taking a bullock to the market tomorrow, if you don't mind waiting".

The memory of the generosity of those people has never left me - we all did a deal with them that we would make sure their songs, tunes and stories didn't die - I often wonder whether fulfilled our part of the bargain
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 07:30 AM

Maybe I should have said OUR only great collector, but since we were discussing Sharp I thought that was understood. That said I fully accept that Folksong is not governed by national perimeters, even if I am by my ignorance when it comes to Bartok.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 07:36 AM

well yes, but music does have a value. it would have been nice if a bit of the bread that has been generated by English country Gardens, or Brigg Fair had found its way into into Joseph Taylor's pocket.

it was Joseph Taylor, wasn't it? I'm not all that clever at this stuff.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 08:06 AM

however Kennedy made the songs available to those who may not have otherwise heard them. so did Sharp.Jack are you suggestingSharp had a racist agenda?, this would have been out of keeping with hid fabian ideals, would it not is it not more likely that he only had the energy and time to collect songs from the geographical british isles and how they had evolved in appalachia


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 08:29 AM

But neither were owned by Taylor Al, so wouldn't he have to recompense those he got his songs from
Of course they have a 'value' but not necessarily a monetary one

While the singers were living, they should have been given their share of any money actually made from the recordings (we always ascertained that happened), but that's a very different thing from paying them for their time
One of the problems with payment (largely because the singers did't expect it) is once you offered payment your relationship changed - you stopped recording 'friends', which is what most of our singers became
When we received payment for allowing the BBC to use a song we recorded, me made sure the singer knew it came from the BBC and not us
The same with Topic. or from clubs we arranged bookings with, or festivals

I have always suggested that a portion of any money earned from singers who are not part of a musical tradition (more or less all of us) be placed into a fund in order to ascertain some sort of a survival of the material we have been given
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 08:43 AM

its a bit like saying New York belongs to the Indians.
but its so far in the past we don't need to give them anything.

legally you may be right, but morally i think those songs , which came to the attention of bosses and were commercoially exploited and rearranged were given their existence by Taylor's singing and performance.

And i think he should have had some of the dibs, when not too long later it was being played on the radio, used to sell soap etc.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 08:53 AM

"its a bit like saying New York belongs to the Indians."
Am I assuming that you don't thing folk songs should be in the public domain ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 11:00 AM

I'm not totally sure.

folksinging is a funny thing.
I knew Black is the Colour from Hamish Imlach and Joan Baez, and even Derek Brimstone. To be honest I never reckoned much to it, til I heard Christy Moore's version.

he did it in a way that suddenly opened up the song thousands of singers througout the English speaking world.

Does he deserve recognition and rights of possession to his arrangement, I think maybe yes.

Does he deserve ownership of the song for all posterity. No.

Its only what Vaughan Williams and benjamin Britten have got for their arrangements. Why shou;ld it no extend to lowly folksingers in folk clubs.

I'm not an expert, why would I know better than you. just thoughts...


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: meself
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM

Thanks, Dick, for mentioning Peter Kennedy's recording of Neil O'Boyle - I was able to find this fascinating bit: https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Peter-Kennedy-Collection/025M-C. It's mostly talk, but there's some wonderful fiddling as well.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 11:50 AM

Jack are you suggestingSharp had a racist agenda?, this would have been out of keeping with hid fabian ideals, would it not is it not more likely that he only had the energy and time to collect songs from the geographical british isles and how they had evolved in appalachia

The article identifies some racist attitudes he expressed at times, not enough to constitute an "agenda". He just seems to have been remarkably indifferent to the un-Anglophone world. Grainger was closer to being an ideological racist but in his very selective way had a far wider awareness.

Bartok somehow found time to collect a larger number of songs just from outside the Hungarian sphere than Sharp got in his entire career. So it could be done.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 12:40 PM

"Does he deserve recognition and rights of possession to his arrangement, I think maybe yes."
Why ?
Do you think you'd get away with attempting to copyright an 'arrangement' of 'Love M e Tender' ?
In reality, all versions of folk songs are someone's 'arrangements'
We joined the folk scene to get away from the commercial aspects of entertainment, now some people seem to be setting up their own cottage industry
There is so little to be made out of folk song (unless you sell it to'the machine') so why foul up what we had with all this wheeling and dealing

You mentioned Joseph Taylor earlier - a hypothetical situation for you
Say Grainger paid Taylor for a song he'd got from one of his neighbours - well within possibility - would Taylor have to share his ill-gotten gains with his neighbour?

Money really does create problems and is best avoided where possible, for all the reasons I've mentioned
A few years ago we recorded a man now nearing 100 - we had first been introduced to him by our late friend Tom Munnelly, back in the 1970s
Joe was a great singer with an extremely important repertoire of big ballads and Tom decided to donate one of his ballads to Phillip Donelan for one of his films (with Joe's permission)
A few months later, the BBC sent another singer (Tom was away) with a miniscule cheque for the use of the song, along with a three-page contract to be signed which gave the BBC sole rights over the recording and the right to broadcast it whenever they chose (typical BBC)
Joe was a fairly successful farmer and didn't care about the money, but when he saw the BBC's demands, he went spare and refused to sing for anybody any more - we lost the opportunity to record one of Clare's finest traditional singers

When we visited him (then 96) he was way past his prime and knew it - we finally managed to persuade him on the understanding that it was for archive only
A totally avoidable minefield spoiled by payment and insensitivity
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 01:06 PM

neil o boyle was an extraordinary fiddler , and only Kennedy was able to talk him into recording on the basis that he could have his say about the state of irish music at that time


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 01:26 PM

what an amazing endition of the air the blackbird by o boyle


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 02:18 PM

Not happy with referring to someone as our 'greatest collector'. In quantity perhaps, But baring Gould knew mountains more about the songs than Sharp did and invested a lot of time in his researches. The other collectors all made their own contributions. Sharp was based in London and was very good at self-promotion. Most of the others were out in the sticks and had little interest in self-promotion.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 02:26 PM

Peter Buchan paid the singers he collected from. Maybe that made some of his successors uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 03:10 PM

Steve , i may have this wrong but i understood Gould bwdlerised the songs but unlike Sharp did not keep the originals,lease correct me if i am wrong


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 03:10 PM

well you are probably right Jim. I know nothing of these matters.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 03:12 PM

"Sharp was based in London and was very good at self-promotion."
Seem s that knocking the pioneers has taken root good and proper - what a pity there isn't anybody to match them nowadays a and those who are have to rely on those they spend so much time pulling down

"Peter Buchan paid the singers "
Did he ?
There's so much dust flying around this great anthologist that it's difficult to know what he did and didn't do
I understood he paid a packman to collect songs for him - different altogether
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 03:16 PM

ok, i have checked and i am wrong Gould did keep the originals, is this a competition as to who was the greates song collector? anywayBaringod was very good at procreation.he sowed the seeds of love frequently


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:02 PM

Jim,

I don't think the Lomaxes were in the same position as you. They were collecting for the Library of Congress and being funded. They also produced books of the material much of which carries the following:
"Words and melody adapted and arranged by John A and Alan Lomax" "Piano arrangement by Charles and Ruth Seeger"
That "cottage industry" already existed in the folk scene before you joined.

On the subject of "Love me Tender" don't sing it, just play the old tune "Ora Lee" it's far more satisfying.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:12 PM

Baring gould
came from a much more privileged bck ground than Sharp , he did not need to be good at self promotion, he was a bit of a dilettante,
Sharp had to go and visit relatives of mine the Grovers Bentley pianos, and he literally danced for his Supper, THEY VERY KINDLY FED HIM,In return he helped their piano sales by promoting folk songs for schools with pianoforte accompaniment,
   When Gould was not preaching or fornicating he did a bit of folk song collecting, he has a reputation for being a fine scholar, if you have a private income this is of course gives you the freedom and timeto be scholarly
In 1872 Baring Gould father died and he inherited the 3,000-acre (12 km2) family estates of Lew Trenchard in Devon, which included the gift of the living of Lew Trenchard parish. When the living became vacant in 1881, he was able to appoint himself to it, becoming parson as well as squire. He did a great deal of work restoring St Peter's Church, Lew Trenchard, and (from 1883 to 1914) thoroughly remodelled his home, Lew Trenchard Manor.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:36 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQaXA2wUVNU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoriFtRVGQs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw-Wxt4FVyM
its not the tune but the way you play them


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 19 - 04:40 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw-Wxt4FVyM


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 02:19 AM

"They were collecting for the Library of Congress and being funded."
I know hoot, but they had the same problem as any collector
I've never been convinced that the "arrangements" done by the Lomaxs were anything more than those did by Sharp, Baring Gould.... or any of the earlier collectors in order to make the raw songs more 'presentable' - not I practice I particularly approve of, but a common one
As I understand it from my friendship with Tom Munnelly, who worked for the Irish Folklore Department, collectors for institutions were paid a wage and anything they collected belonged to their employers
Getting material from such organisations is like trying to get the Pope's autograph
'Love Me Tender' is as vacuous as it ever was, I should imagine with any tune
I loved it when I was a youth, "ut when I became a man, I put away childish things..." (a personal view, of course

I do wish we could get back to learning from the past work of others instead of the very distasteful 'Harkerist' practice of tearing it down
They may have made all the mistakes, bu at least they were there while we still had a living (if ailing) tradition, so they were far more qualified to judge than those reaching into the urn to sift through the ashes of one
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 05:58 AM

I only mentioned the "arrangements" by the Lomaxes because I got the impression from your words:

"We joined the folk scene to get away from the commercial aspects of entertainment, now some people seem to be setting up their own cottage industry"

seem to imply that it is only now that people are copyrighting folk material.

Re "Love Me Tender" I was not defending a bloody syrupy pop song but I do enjoy the up-tempo fiddle version of the tune "Ora Lee".


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 06:30 AM

I was referring to the cottage industries set up by Kennedy - crossed lines, sorry
I'm nort sure h=why the Lomax's did it or whether i was done on their behalf, but the pracice has now got beyond a joke with legal squabbles like that surrounding 'Will Ye Go Lassie Go'
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 09:16 AM

What sort of legal squabbles?
I know Rod Stewart recorded it.
And most people credit to its modern forn to the McPeake family.

But I didn't realise it had got as far as a court case.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 10:38 AM

Court cases in the folk/trad scene are rare - pop is where the rich pickings are for lawyers. The few cases there have been don't constitute a trend you can infer anything meaningful from.

An ongoing irritation is ownership of unpublished manuscripts, where copyright stays with the owner. There's one I'd like to do something with which was completed in 1710-ish - not a note of it has ever entered the public sphere. John Clare's unpublished manuscripts (probably including a bunch of folk material) have been in private ownership since his death - you can see them at a British library but can't copy or publish anything from them, on the say-so of an American academic who bought the rights decades ago and bulmerized them.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 11:12 AM

"I know Rod Stewart recorded it."
The McPeake's took Stewart to court and lost the case because it was proved that it was a traditional song; the 'Braes of Balquidder'
Francie McPeake was still bitter about it when he spoke at the Willie Clancy Summer School a few years ago.

I believe the first court case involving the ownership of a traditional song was over the claimed composition of 'The Wreck of the Old '97'
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Apr 19 - 12:15 PM

I think generally speaking its not a good idea to take people to court who are richer than you and can afford better lawyers.
As Robert maxwell's career proved. he had a whole floor of lawyers working for him.

I resent the fact that one of the companies who had used some of my songs went bankrupt the day before they had to pay any royalties. it was the '80's and regarded as good business practice at the time.

Similarly I had a guitar whose electrics stopped working onstage - three months after the year guarantee was up. This was a Yamaha AC3R - witha n RRP of about a grand. yamaha refused to replace the guitar. i approached the MU and asked them to take action on my behalf, and they refused point blank.

these big corporations are untouchable, and the law is their servant.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 22 Apr 19 - 01:13 PM

'bulmerize' what a legacy ...


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 28 Apr 19 - 11:44 AM

I'm reading John Bird's biography of Percy Grainger at the moment. Grainger was a deeply odd person but his approach to folksong collecting seems a lot more in tune with modern attitudes than Sharp's. Grainger emphasised the use of the phonograph as a collecting tool and insisted that performances should be notated in detail all the way through, rather than being distilled into a representative melody and perhaps a few variations. He was also an internationalist who collected in Denmark and New Zealand as well as in England.

Grainger clearly admired Sharp for his zeal as a collector but thought his arrangements terrible. Interestingly, he offered Sharp half of the royalties for his arrangement of Country Gardens, which was based on a tune that Sharp had collected, and Sharp turned him down.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 19 - 01:46 PM

Grainger produced some very difficult-to-play music, as I recall from my piano-student days. (And Country Gardens was a favorite.)


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 07:00 AM

well according to wiki,grainger was anti semitic and a racist,


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 08:04 AM

I am currently reading John Blacking's "'A common sense view of all music' - reflections on Percy Grainger's contribution to ethnomusicology and music education" [OUP 1987/1990] which rambles more than a bit, but puts a good case for Grainger as a radical pioneer in many different directions at once. At the very least he makes it very clear that there were a lot of things Sharp had no reasonable excuse for ignoring, except that there were a lot of damn silly ideas in circulation at the time.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:07 AM

The Sandman 29 Apr 19 - 07:00 AM
> well according to wiki,grainger was anti semitic and a racist

Possibly, and we may now deplore that, but (a) it was hardly unusual in his day and (b) it seems of minimal relevance to his song collecting.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 12:20 PM

Like many people at the time Grainger attached huge importance to race and nationality in a way that seems alien and a bit repugnant today. It is quite the over-simplification to say that he was straightforwardly a 'racist', though. His opinions were very individual and bizarre, and caused him to make some strange life choices.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 01:22 PM

Grainger, Sharp, et al, were part of the British Empire philosophy that to be foreign was to be "in errors chain" (to quote the Imperial hymn)
His views were very much a reflection of the times he lived in
If people were aware of Charles Kingsley's views of the 'animal-like Irish' they wouldn't let their children anywhere near 'The Water Babies', if they adopted this critical view across the board
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 02:19 PM

You know nothing about Grainger. Shut the fuck up.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 02:36 PM

Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Richard Mellish - PM
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:07 AM

The Sandman 29 Apr 19 - 07:00 AM
> well according to wiki,grainger was anti semitic and a racist

Possibly, and we may now deplore that, but (a) it was hardly unusual in his day and (b) it seems of minimal relevance to his song collecting. I posted as a balance to the following post
He was also an internationalist who collected in Denmark and New Zealand as well as in England


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 02:37 PM

Vic Smith (opening post):-
I post this with some trepidation because I can see that the subject has the potential of becoming one of those dreary exchanges of dogged opinions from entrenched positions that are the curse of Mudcat. I hope sincerely that does not happen here...

Jack Campin:-
You know nothing about Grainger. Shut the fuck up.

Your opinion on why Jim knows little about Grainger would be more welcome and more useful.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 02:50 PM

"You know nothing about Grainger. Shut the fuck up."
Good mannered as ever I see
I have a recording of the lecture John Bird gave on him at C#House and I've read up on him extensively to annotate his collection which nestles in our recording archive
I would highly recommend Ms O'Brien's


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 02:54 PM

Whoops
Ms O'Brien's detailed account of his collecting work (can't lay my hands on it to check her fore-name) and I can't be bothered to dig out the Folk Song Journals containing his extensive writings on Lincolnshire singing styles
You really were hiding behind the door wen they were handing out good manners, weren't you ?

Thank you Vic
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 03:42 PM

Jim, is Grainger's collection available anywhere in an accessible form?

I suspect Grainger had quite a complex relationship with Britishness and the empire. As an Australian he was patronised and made to feel provincial in England; and after studying in Germany he came to loathe all things German, but then emigrated to the USA in the first world war so as not to have to fight. He seems to have greatly admired the aboriginal peoples he had contact with, albeit in some sort of 'noble savage' way.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 09:47 AM

Just caught up with this thread, though sadly not before it had drifted off topic.

The article on the Musical Traditions site by Sharif Gemie, as Nic Dow wrote above, ploughs some very well-tilled territory. It also ignores a body of recent published material on the subject, as well as the considerable volume of Sharp's writings online, a knowledge of which might have led to obvious errors having been avoided.

It's particularly inaccurate on the topic of Sharp's relationship with singers, which I've dealt with in some detail, both in the recent presentation that Nic mentions, and in my paper for the FMJ: 'Myths of Merry Olde England: Cecil Sharp's Collecting Practice in the Southern Appalachians'. It is very clear (to reference another comment above) that the relationship in many cases was actually 'friendship' - often sustained over several years - rather than 'friendliness'.

I heartily concur with the comment by 'meself' that:
"The thing to remember is that these people collected what they collected - what they didn't collect was available for anyone else to collect; they can hardly be faulted if no one else was willing and able." Pseudonymous has made some telling points as well.

I've already contacted Rod Stradling, who has agreed to give me the space to post a response that will, I hope, correct some of the more egregious inaccuracies in Dr Gemie's piece, and dispel one or two myths that still cling to Sharp. I won't say any more for now, but will link my article when it appears.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 10:47 AM

Sorry to be dim/cheeky but the paper for FMJ is it available freely on line at all?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 10:56 AM

I'm afraid not - it's one of the benefits of being a member. Big City and University libraries (e.g. Manchester where I live) might take the Journal.

There's an article I wrote for fRoots online, though I should stress this is a general readership piece, not an academic paper.

Appalachian Gold


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 03:03 PM

I don't think it's a good idea to dismiss anyone's contribution to any work of art including collecting based on their character flaws or behavioral mannerisms. This is a kind of censorship and criticism that doesn't serve anyone.

I would propose that most of the elegant artists, performers, composers, painters, authors, collectors et. al. are people that many of us would find ideologically or socially intolerable and that goes for many of the contemporary folk idols extant.

Give Sharp his due. No one else did what he did at the time he lived and I am a grateful recipient of his work.

Many of the musicians that I admire for their efforts are not what I would call "good people".
But to evaluate their contributions on the basis of their idiosyncrasies is fallacious.

Being part of the human family I reserve the right to say that I've done some pretty stupid and ugly things in my life that were not premeditated but out of ignorance.

Let's be charitable to Sharp and pat him on the back for his contributions.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 04:01 PM

Thanks Brian, looked at your piece, enjoyed it, by coincidence it addressed one or two points I had wondered about, so even more worth a look. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 May 19 - 03:52 PM

You're welcome, Pseudonymous.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 May 19 - 03:55 PM

Guest wrote:

"I don't think it's a good idea to dismiss anyone's contribution to any work of art including collecting based on their character flaws or behavioral mannerisms."

This is quite true, but it's even truer when some of the supposed character flaws have been exaggerated or invented by people with an axe to grind. That's not to say that Sharp was a flawless character, but many of the claims made about him have little or no basis in fact.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,BP
Date: 01 May 19 - 04:03 PM

Re: FMJ is it available freely on line at all?

Don't you love the arrogance of bl**dy Academia in deeming plebs not worthy of accessing interesting research and publications? If I had the skills I'd hack and copy the said publication(s) and upload the text for all to read for free. But frankly I can't be ar$ed.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 May 19 - 04:22 PM

A I said before, 'Guest with the same initials as mine', the Folk Music Journal is a publication produced by the EFDSS for the benefit of members who pay a subscription.

Why do you think I should undermine that members' benefit by making it available to everyone?

And why do you feel the need to adopt such an aggressive and offensive tone?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 May 19 - 04:34 PM

BP2
I am not an academic but I am a member of the EFDSS and pay my subscription, for which I get to support the valuable work done by the EFDSS, the EDS magazine and the annual journal. This is how the system works. Not everything in life is free no matter how much we would wish it. However, there are many places online where similar articles are freely available, Musical Traditions being one of them. Articles in the FMJ are peer reviewed. those on Mustrad are not. I write for both.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 19 - 05:21 PM

Also available free on line is the article I linked above.

And that's a very good point about peer review, SG.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 01 May 19 - 05:22 PM

Above Guest was me.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: meself
Date: 01 May 19 - 08:55 PM

Enjoyed your article - thanks!


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,dangyankee
Date: 01 May 19 - 09:54 PM

"In this instance, Sharp was arguing for the export of English material to the USA. However, when collecting folk songs in the Appalachians he needed to construct an argument in the other direction: that the Appalachian material was relevant to the British of the 1910s. Sharp's writing shows that he felt no uncertainty at all: the Appalachians he met were English. "

That was quite an interesting bit I had noticed in the article, as it would seem that Sharp had an attitude that is very much unlike the attitude of modern England towards early American folk music. Many English tend to shy away from singing American folk songs (and all the while no one bats an eye at someone when they sing an Irish song) simply because they are American; not because they are bad songs or because they are vulgar or crass, but simply because they are American! It is a beautiful thing to see this attitude of Anglo-American amity. I very much like this article, thank you kindly for linking it, good sir.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 May 19 - 02:00 AM

"Jim, is Grainger's collection available anywhere in an accessible form?"
If you were a member I'd ask you to PM me - Joe Offer might be preppared to give yo my e-mail address - happy if he does
As far as Academia is concerned - I really can't see the grouse - I signed up some time ago (cost-free) and have accumulated a large number of fascinating articles - I am allowed so many free per month; could get many more should I wish to pay for doings so.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 May 19 - 02:20 AM

Yet another weird evidence-free comment from an aninymous poster which will doubtless be followed by something grossly offensive.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 May 19 - 03:02 AM

Iwas under the impression sharp thought the music was not just english but from the geographical british isles, there is a difference


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 May 19 - 04:55 AM

That's true, Mr Sandman. Sharp knew that some of the people he visited were referred to as 'Scots-Irish' (i.e. Ulster Scots), and that several of the ballads he collected were common in Scots collections such as those of Kinloch. Although he called his collection 'English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians' he stated that the British diaspora was most likely of Northern English and Lowland Scottish stock. However, he believed (at least partly correctly) that the ballad repertoire was common to both sides of the border and, like a number of writers of his day (and one or two even now!), used 'English' as a synonym for 'British'.

I also don't think it was the case, as dangyankee assumes from the Gemie article, that Sharp was interested - at least initially - in bringing American folk songs back to the UK. What he set out to do was collect songs of the kind he knew from his work in England. But, when he got there, he found himself picking up all kinds of other material of American origin (which Gemie doesn't acknowledge in his article), and that he did bring back, either in the published work or in his (much larger) manuscript collection.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 May 19 - 06:26 AM

Years ago when I was looking at the names of the Sharp's Appalachian informants, I was struck by the number that had common surnames amongst the Aberdeenshire and Perthshire travellers that I have always taken an interest in and who were famed as song carriers. Townsley for instance is a surname that I have only encountered amongst these travellers.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 May 19 - 06:45 AM

That's interesting, Vic. If you put Townsley into one of these surname mapping sites you find the biggest concentration in Argyll / Strathclyde, with numbers also in Dundee, Lancashire and Yorkshire (I remember there was a Townsley at my school).

I did a fair bit of surname research with one of those sites, and found a lot of English names amongst Sharp's singers as well.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: meself
Date: 02 May 19 - 11:14 AM

Minor quibble: didn't the Appalachian people concerned refer to themselves - and don't they continue to refer to themselves - as "Scotch-Irish"?


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 02 May 19 - 11:50 AM

Not until the late 19th century. More recently the label has mainly been used by racial fantasists and Protestant bigots.

I tried a number of different ways to search for "Scotch-Irish" on the Google Ngram Viewer - there is no obvious best form to use, and the results you get depend on details of spaces, dashes and quotes. Not much sign of the phrase before 1860 however you slice it, and it only takes off after WW1.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: meself
Date: 02 May 19 - 01:14 PM

I'm starting a new thread on the 'Scotch-Irish' question, in order to avoid hi-jacking this one.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 May 19 - 04:13 PM

I would have liked to meet Sharp,i was very disappointed with the description my stepfather gave of him.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 May 19 - 04:42 PM

"didn't the Appalachian people concerned refer to themselves - and don't they continue to refer to themselves - as "Scotch-Irish"?

Actually they did in Sharp's day. I was following their modern preference, which is not to be called after a whisky.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: Rigby
Date: 02 May 19 - 05:28 PM

Jim -- I am now a junior training-wheels Mudcatter so should be PMable directly, I hope.


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Subject: RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 May 19 - 05:31 PM

There's something on the terminology on Wiki. It says the terms 'Scotch-Irish' and 'Scots-Irish' are used in the US to refer to certain groups of immigrants.

It also says:

Although referenced by Merriam-Webster dictionaries as having first appeared in 1744, the American term Scotch-Irish is undoubtedly older.

I know wiki doesn't always get things right, but for those interested in following up the thought it is a start.


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