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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
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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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