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Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread

sciencegeek 26 Sep 20 - 06:15 AM
Stewie 10 Sep 18 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Harry 10 Sep 18 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,guest 09 Sep 18 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,guest 09 Sep 18 - 02:48 AM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 18 - 02:22 AM
Wilfried Schaum 15 May 11 - 04:58 AM
Joe Offer 11 May 11 - 10:30 PM
sian, west wales 07 Apr 11 - 05:45 PM
Joe Offer 25 Nov 09 - 10:43 PM
Newport Boy 09 Oct 08 - 03:19 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 08 - 01:52 PM
Joe Offer 05 May 08 - 03:39 AM
masato sakurai 15 Sep 07 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,bigJ 15 Sep 07 - 05:28 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 07 - 04:58 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 07 - 02:00 PM
Wilfried Schaum 13 Sep 07 - 01:48 AM
sian, west wales 10 Sep 07 - 08:34 AM
Joe Offer 11 Aug 07 - 04:34 PM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Jul 07 - 08:21 AM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 07 - 02:24 PM
Wilfried Schaum 06 Jul 07 - 07:26 AM
Wilfried Schaum 05 Jul 07 - 03:54 AM
Wilfried Schaum 05 Jul 07 - 03:22 AM
katlaughing 04 Jul 07 - 10:17 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jul 07 - 06:09 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jul 07 - 06:03 AM
MartinRyan 15 Mar 07 - 06:08 AM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 07 - 03:05 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Mar 07 - 09:12 PM
Joe Offer 11 Mar 07 - 12:11 AM
IanC 24 Jan 07 - 07:30 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 07 - 02:40 AM
open mike 24 Nov 06 - 09:04 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 06 - 05:31 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jul 06 - 05:12 PM
GUEST, 03 May 06 - 09:14 AM
IanC 10 Mar 06 - 05:03 AM
MartinRyan 09 Mar 06 - 05:21 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Mar 06 - 01:59 AM
IanC 02 Mar 06 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,DB 02 Mar 06 - 07:56 AM
IanC 02 Mar 06 - 06:15 AM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 06 - 03:14 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 06 - 03:09 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 06 - 03:05 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 06 - 02:50 PM
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Joe Offer 01 Mar 06 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: sciencegeek
Date: 26 Sep 20 - 06:15 AM

here is a link to Richard Runciman Terry's 200 Folk Carols

social distancing and caroling will be quite challenging this winter

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Sep 18 - 09:09 PM

There is an updated and expanded edition of Bill C. Malone's classic tome on
country music.



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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 10 Sep 18 - 01:48 AM

Dare I suggest . . . . . ????

Roud, Steve. Folk Song in England. London: Faber & Faber, 2017 ISBN 9780571309719

Reviews cited by Amazon:

[A] monumental history of the English folk song. (Kathryn Hughes Guardian)

A remarkably interesting study of this lesser known corner of England's past. He is perhaps the best person to do so, as the creator of the Roud Folk Song Index and an expert on folklore and superstition . . . Roud has done an admirable job pulling together an insightful history - especially considering the difficulty of finding sources for long forgotten social history. Society's elites have no place in this book, in this record of ordinary people, through the unusual prism of folk music. That alone is to be lauded. (Big Issue)

A fascinating tour d'horizon of folk song in all its multifarious contexts . . . Celebrates the sustaining power of song for all those who were making gloves, plaiting straw, picking hops, breaking stones or fighting in the muddy, bloody trenches of Flanders. (Economist)

Roud plots a clear narrative from before the Civil War through to the twentieth century . . . His keen eye for accuracy means the book maintains an impressively clear head throughout . . . The book's welcome sense of humour and clarity means it can be read on several different levels - offering profiles and overviews woven in with enough detail to please the most ardent song collector. After a while, although the title Folk Song in England originally sounds quite lofty, it begins to seem rather modest. There's a whole world in here. (Tessa Norton Wire)

Steve Roud's stunning new tome is a serious and in-depth investigation into our sceptred isle's folk music history; a history filled with mystery, gaps and a million lost songs. Painstakingly researched and handsomely presented, Folk Song in England not only tells the story of the folk music tradition but provides context for the wider social history that provided the backdrop to its development . . . Folklorist Roud clearly knows his stuff and loves his subject, and has cast his net wide in order to provide this definitive history. (Loud & Quiet)

The plain truth is that there won't be a better or more important book about English folk song in any of our lifetimes. (Stephen Hunt fRoots)

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 09 Sep 18 - 04:20 AM

A couple of important English fiddler's tune books:

Bartram, Chris & Wilson, Paul (eds). The William Andrews Tunebook: a Dartmoor Fiddler. Okehampton: The Wren Trust, 1999. ISBN 0951626434

Woolfe, Geoff (ed). William Winter's Quantocks Tune Book: Country Dance and Popular Tunes from the Maunscript of a Nineteenth Century Somerset Village Shoemaker. Crowcombe: Halsway Manor Society, 2007. ISBN 9780955639708.

The latter is still available from Halsway Manor.

I'm surprised that this isn't already here:

Karpeles, Maud (ed). Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs. London: Oxford University Press, 1974. 2 volumes: Vol 1 xxi, 751 pp. Vol 2 xv, 661 pp. Words and music for 413 songs.

Might be worth noting, too, that Bronson's Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads has been republished by Loomis House Press and can be acquired quite cheaply on the internet. Here in the UK, it's printed "on demand" by Lightning Source so it's hard to say how long the binding will last but it is a cheap way of acquiring a set until you can find the original at an affordable price.

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 09 Sep 18 - 02:48 AM

Schreffler, Gibb. Boxing the Compass: a Century and a Half of Discourse About Sailor's Chanties. Loomis House Press, 2018. ISBN 9781935243816

If anyone is considering collecting Chantey/Shanty books, the place to start is this book by mudcat's own Gibb Sahib.

It discusses all the important books on the subject; plus a few not-so-important ones. Of course, some of us will want them all but, if you are more judicious, this will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

It's a very good read in itself, too!

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 02:22 AM

This thread hasn't been refreshed since 2011. There must be some books to add to the Basic Folk Library.

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 15 May 11 - 04:58 AM

Hi Joe,

thanks for refreshing the thread, especially with these refreshing cowboy songs I like to sing.


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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 May 11 - 10:30 PM

Here are two online books of songs collected by the Federal Writers Project in Nebraska, titled Farmers' Alliance Songs of the 1890's and More Farmers' Alliance Songs of the 1890's:

Also take a look at:

Also one titled Cowboy Songs

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: sian, west wales
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 05:45 PM

I posted this in the Welsh Music thread but details also belong here:

"Welsh Traditional Music" by Phyllis Kinney,

Published this month, this is the first book on the subject in English since the 1930s. Here are the details from the publisher:

£24.99 | HB| 9780708323571 | 246x189 mm

Includes musical examples

"A handsomely illustrated volume tracing the emergence of Welsh traditional music through the ages, complemented with musical examples."

Written by an acknowledged authority in the field.

Enables non-Welsh speakers to access the rich traditional musical heritage of Wales.
Provides a historical and social framework/context for the genre.
Written to appeal to both general and specialist readerships.
Includes over 200 musical examples.

Author Details:

Phyllis Kinney is an acknowledged authority on Welsh traditional music. She has both performed and published extensively in the field of welsh traditional music.

UK Distribution (ex Wales):

NBN International|| Tel: 01752 202301| Fax: 01752 202333

Wales Distribution:
Welsh Books Council|| Tel: 01970 624455 | Fax: 01970 625506

University of Wales Press
10 Columbus Walk, Brigantine Place, Cardiff, CF10 4UP
Tel: (0)29 2049 6899 Fax: (0)29 2049 6108

1, The Oral Tradition
2, The Watershed
3, Manuscript to Print
4, Edward Jones and Traditional Airs
5, Seasonal Festivities
6, Carols, Ballads and the Anterliwt
7, The Early Collectors: Iolo Morganwg and Ifor Ceri
8, The Great Change
9, The Momentum Continues
10,J. Lloyd Williams and the Welsh Folk-Song Society
Appendix 1: Cerdd Dant         
Appendix 2: Printed Music Collections by publication date         


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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:43 PM

I think that perhaps the most interesting and valuable collection of folk songs published in the United States is the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (7 volumes, Duke University Press, 1952-1964). I would think it would still be under copyright protection, but I've discovered it's available for download at
I guess that means I should sell my extra set cheap....


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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Newport Boy
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 03:19 PM

Joe - There's a little typo in the Countries/England section:

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, RALPH and LLOYD, A. L. "The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs" (Penguin, 1975)
Originally published in 1959, reprinted 1968 and 1875. A lovely collection of English songs, all of which are in the Digital Tradition database and a mudcat thread HERE.


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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:52 PM

Take a look at this Reference List on Canadian Folk Music

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Subject: RE: Songbooks: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 May 08 - 03:39 AM

Here's an interesting online collection of songbooks: - The John Patrick Collection

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 08:01 PM

Gordon's work in the post above (Date: 17 Jan 04 - 02:45 AM) is an LP with liner notes. The book by Gordon is:
Robert Winslow Gordon, Folk-Songs of America (New York: National Service Bureau [Publication No. 73-s], Dec. 1938, 4+110 pages).
Mimeographed, and without tunes.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 05:28 PM

I just tried to access the Digital Appalachia sound files. I get Realplayer then a message saying "Realplayer requires additional components to play this presntation. Please wait while the software update is located"
Then there's a message: "There is no software update available from Real to support this content"

Has anyone else had this problem or am I just being stupid (nothing unusual)?
    Hi, BigJ. You may want to use Windows Media Player of Quicktime to play MP3 files, since RealPlayer has significant limitations. See my more-detailed answer in this thread (click).

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 04:58 PM

You might add to the list:
Dear Far Voiced Veteran - Essays in honour of Tom Munnelly Ed. Anne Clune, (mainly Ireland & UK) Pub. Old Kilfarboy Society 2007 (available from OAC website).
The Glenbuchat Ballads. Eds David Buchan and James Moreira, (Scotland) University Press of Mississippi 2007
A History of Europesn Folk Music, Jan Ling, University of Rochester Press
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:00 PM

Here's an online resource that shouldn't be missed: Digital Library of Appalachia. Check under "music" for a huge collection of MP3 recordings of traditional music.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 01:48 AM

Lucky you

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 08:34 AM

Three new (and new-ish) books from Wales which might be of interest to some:

THOMAS, Wyn, "Cerddoriaeth Draddodiadol yng Nghymru: Llyfryddiaeth / Traditional Music in Wales: Bibliography", (Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Third edition: August 2006), ISBN 1-84527-080-0, a bilingual publication with sections broken down into
Main Printed Collections
Research Publications
Research Dissertations.
14.50 UK pounds

HARPER, Sally and THOMAS, Wyn (eds), "Cynheiliaid y Ga^n / Bearers of Song", (Cardiff: University of Wales Press), ISBN 978-0-7083-2081-5, a bilingual collection of essays in honour of Phyllis Kinney and Meredydd Evans;
Part 1 being 3 'tribute' poems,
Part 2 Articles: "Chasing Fragments: Iolo, Ritson and Robin Hood" (Mary-ann Constantine), "Aelwyd Angharad: The Historical Context" (Hywel Teifi Edwards), "The Best Composer: Ieuan Gwyllt and the Welsh Melody" (Rhidian Griffiths), "Music in the Commonplace Book of Phillip Powell of Brecon c. 1630 - 35" (Sally Harper), "Dressing Women in Tunes" (Daniel Huws), "On the Trail of the First Literary Volume Publishd in Welsh by a Woman" (Rhiannon Ifans), "Ffarwel i Aberystwyth: Jennie Williams and the World of Welsh Folk Song" (Wyn Thomas)
Part 3: Bibliographies
45.00 UK pounds (yikes)

HARPER, Sally, "Music in Welsh Culture Before 1650: A Study of Principal Sources" (Ashgate Publishing -, 2007), ISBN 978-0-7546-5263-2, a book deserving a much better title as it is a very 'accessible' read covering

Part I: The Sources and Practice of Medieval Cerdd Dant
Cerdd Dant: A Welsh BArdic Craft in Context
Mastering the Bardic Crafts: Oral and Written Sources
Harp and Crwth in Early Medieval Wales
The Players of Cerdd Dant and their Social Code
Gathering the Documentation of Cerdd Dant
The Historical and Theoretical Sources of Cerdd Dant
The Robert ap Huw Manuscript and Other Welsh Tablature

Part II: The Latin Liturgy, its Chant and Embellishment
Sources for the Medieval Welsh Liturgy: An Overview
The Early Welsh 'Clas' Institutions
Anglo-Norman Liturgical Reform
Shaping a New Liturgy: The Adoption of Sarum Use in Wales
Sources with Music I: The Penpont Antiphoner
Sources with Music II: The Bangor Pontifical
Late Medieval Evidence I: The Institutions
Late Medieval Evidence II: Musical Practice

Part III: Welsh Music in an English Milieu c. 1550-1650
Mirroring England: Cultural Imitation and Infiltration
Domestic and Popular Music making I: The Context
Domestic and Popular Music making II: The Repertory
A Welsh Translation of John Case's 'Apologia Musices'
The Post Reformation Church I: Parish and People
The Post Reformation Churth II: Cathedral and Household Chapel

Oh. Price: 60.00 UK pounds (double yikes - glad I got a reviewer's copy!)

sian, west wales

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 04:34 PM

Online lyrics: Bluegrass Songbook - an expansion of the well-known lyrics collection of Motoya Kitagawa.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 08:21 AM


Graham, George Farquhar:
The Songs of Scotland : adapted to their appropriate volumes ; arranged with pianoforte accompaniments by G. F. Graham, .... - Vols. 1 - 3
   Edinburg : Wood & Co., [1848 - 1853]

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 02:24 PM

from Diane Easby:

    Packie Manus Byrne
    Recollections of a Donegal Man
    ed. Stephen Jones
    pub. 1989 Roger Millington
    ISBN 0 9514764 0 8

Fred McCormick says:
    Mike Brocken's Some Other Guys isn't about folk music. It's Mike's MA thesis, which was on cover versions of Beatles songs

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 07:26 AM

Characters: Western (ISO-8859-1)

missing dates in Susanne's bibliography (German books)

Publisher "Pläne" [passim] at Dortmund

Das schönste Land
aut.: Roland, Wolf
publ.: Villingen-Schwenningen : Neckar-Verl., 2001

Alte niederdeutsche Volkslieder
publ: Münster : Aschendorff, 1960

Das kleine dicke Liederbuch
publ.: Schlüchtern : Haeseler und Buhmann

Erk/Boehme: Deutscher Liederhort [Repr.]
publ.: Hildesheim : Olms
publ.: Wiesbaden : Breitkopf & Härtel

Klusen: Deutsche Lieder
publ.: Frankfurt a. M. [u.a.] : Insel-Verl.

Otto/König: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
publ.: [Regensburg] : ConBrio-Verl.-Ges.

Uns geht die Sonne nicht unter
publ.: Köln : Tonger, 1934
publ.: Köln : Westdt. Jugendverl. Mell, 1940

Stern: Lieder gegen den Tritt
publ.: Oberhausen : Asso-Verl. Althoff, 1974
[I only have the catalogues, the publisher's name varies: Asso, Asso-Verl., Althoff in different libraries. Librarian's faults?]

Arnim/Brentano: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
vols.: 3
publ.: Stuttgart : Reclam, 2006

Yeo: Eduard Baumstark ...
publ.: Köln : Dohr
ISBN 3-15-030034-7

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 03:54 AM

susanne (skw) Bibliography

Bobran, Anne-Katrin:
Die Gedanken sind frei oder Die Partei, die Partei, die hat immer recht? : Theoretische Ansätze der Volksliedforschung in der DDR / Anne-Katrin Bobran
Freiburg im Breisgau, Univ., Diss., 1991

Land without nightingales : music in the making of German-America ; [...Centennial conference in April 1992 that celebrated the 100. anniversary of the founding ot the University of Chicago ...] / Ed. by Philip V. Bohlman ...
Bohlman, Philip Vilas *1952-*
University of Illinois
Centennial conference ; (Chicago) : 1992.04.
   Madison, WI : Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, 2002
XIX, 301 S. : Ill., Noten. ; 1 CD (12 cm)
(Studies of the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 292-293) and index
ISBN:         0-924119-04-7

Breuer, Hans:
Der Zupfgeigenhansl : das Liederbuch der Wandervögel / hrsg. von Hans Breuer unter Mitw. vieler Wandervögel
4. Aufl. - 26. - 29. Tsd. - Reprint d. 10. Aufl., Leipzig 1913
   Mainz : Schott
   München : Piper, 1994
227 S. : Ill., überwiegend Noten
(Serie Piper ; 8219)
ISBN:         3-7957-8219-8 ; 3-492-18219-4

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 03:22 AM

Susanne (skw) bibliography

Folklorerezeption in der Gegenwart : Probleme des Folklorismus in den slawischen und baltischen Literaturen; wissenschaftliche Konferenz der Forschungsgruppe Russische und Sowjetische Literatur und Folklore, 25. und 26. Oktober 1989 / Klagge, Ingetraut
   Rostock : [University], 19XX

Vol. 1. 1990 (Rostocker Forschungen zur Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft ; 7)
Vol. 2. 1990 (Rostocker Forschungen zur Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft ; 8)

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 10:17 PM

Wow, great work, Susanne and Joe!!!

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:09 AM

Note this Folk Music Bibliography thread.

-prepared by Susanne(SKW)-

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:03 AM

Amendment to Bibliography thread:

Packie Manus Byrne
Recollections of a Donegal Man
ed. Stephen Jones
pub. 1989 Roger Millington (Lampeter)
ISBN 0 9514764 0 8

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 06:08 AM

That looks an interesting site, Joe - if somewhat awkwardly organised!


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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 03:05 AM

The complete texts of a number of Lomax books are available at (click).

noneAmerican Ballads & Folk Songs by John Lomax
Complete book
noneOur Singing Country by John Lomax
Complete book
noneSongs of the Cattle Trail & Cow Camp by John Lomax
Complete book
noneCowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John Lomax
Complete book

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 09:12 PM

Basic to African-American religious song:
J. B. T. Marsh, 1880's, "The Story of the Jubilee Singers; with Their Songs." Some 128 scores and texts in 1880's or later editions (early ones have fewer songs).

Basic to Children's Games:
Gomme, Alice B., 1894, 1898, "The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland," two volumes, 531pp. Thames & Hudson reprint of 1984 bound in one volume. Many variants.

Frank C. Brown, "Folklore of North Carolina," no longer on line.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 12:11 AM

Masato posted a link to this online book:
Sea songs and ballads (1906)

Author: Stone, Christopher, 1882-1965
The sea song book is just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. is a huge collection of books, movies, sound files, and whatnot - all available for free download. A search for Ballads and Songs will give you an idea - even Brewster's Ballads and Songs of Indiana is available for download.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: IanC
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:30 AM

Thanks, Joe. I'll get round to sorting out the references when I get the chance. Time seems to be difficult to find at the moment.

There are actually quite a few books online now (for example Andrew Lang's Folk Songs) and I really ought to go searching for what is available and add them to the listings.

So keep the references coming.


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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 02:40 AM

from Masato:
    These ballad books are online at Internet Archive: Text Archive.

    English And Scottish Popular Ballads, ed. George Lyman Kittredge (abridged one-volume ed.)

    The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), ed. Francis James Child.

    The English And Scottish Popular Ballads, Volumes I & V, ed. Francis James Child (Folklore Press reprint editions, 1956)

    English and Scottish Ballads, 8 vols., ed. Francis James Child (1860 edition)

    Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 3 vols. (MDCCXCIV and MDCCCXXXIX editions) - Thomas Percy

    Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript : Ballads and Romances, 3 vols. (1867-68) ["Loose and Humorous Songs" is not available]

    Popular Ballads and Songs, 2 vols. - Robert Jamieson

    Minstrelsy : Ancient and Modern (1827) - William Motherwell

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, by Sir Walter Scott, 4 vols., edited by T.F. Henderson (1902)

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: open mike
Date: 24 Nov 06 - 09:04 PM

I would like to include these three magazines in the list
of musical resources:

Sing Out! magazine is published by the same people who put
out the song book Rise Up Singing. is also
the home of the Sing Out! Resource Center in Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania. It houses a collection of folk music recordings,
photos, books, periodicals and much more collected over the
last 50 years. Sing Out!'s mission is to preserve and support
the cultural diversity and heritage of all traditional and contemporary folk musics, and to encourage making folk music
a part of our everyday lives.

Another great magazine is Dirty Linen. Dirty Linen is the
bi-monthly magazine of folk and world music.Want to see?
go to: They say: Accept no imitation!
Click on the fiddle head for guaranteed quality! (their logo)

No Depression is a the bimonthly magazine surveying the past, present, and future of American music. It was launched in September 1995 as a quarterly publication and became bimonthly in September 1996. The name refers to the 1930s Carter Family song "No Depression In Heaven" see:

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 05:31 PM

Here's an online resource to add:
DAS SCHÖNSTE LAND: Historische Lieder aus dem deutschen Südwesten (The Most Beautiful Land: Historical Songs from the German Southwest). The entire songbook is available for download as a PDF file here (click) (60 Seiten, 2,8 MB)
The book includes lyrics and music. Auf Deutsch, natürlich.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 05:12 PM

Here's an addition for online resources: New Zealand Folk Song

You may want to include - Garry's Website is the definitive source for Watersons and Martin Carthy lyrics.

The Copper Family Songbook is at

One more: From White Hall to Bacon Hollow - the song collecting of George Foss So, get back to work, Ian!!!!

-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: GUEST,
Date: 03 May 06 - 09:14 AM

i need something on music from the North Georgia mountains in the late 1700's, early 1800's. can you help me?

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: IanC
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 05:03 AM

Thanks, Martin. I'll look out for it!

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 05:21 PM

Picked up an interesting book at a recent fair.

"Songwriters of Ireland (in the English language)" by Colm O'Lochlainn - he of the "Irish Street Ballads" and "More Irish Street Ballads" mentioned earlier.

This one is a small (65 pages) booklet with biographical details of many of the 19th and early 20th C. authors of well known Irish songs. Seems to be quite scarce - I'd never seen a copy before this one. Worth keeping an eye out for if you're in the sort of place it might turn up in!


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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 01:59 AM

Here's a cool resource for you:
Open WorldCat.
Type in a book title, then type in your ZIP Code*, and it will give you a list of libraries near you that have the book.

*For Canada, use your Postal Code or province. Everyone else use your country name.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: IanC
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 08:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 07:56 AM

I note, in Joe Offer's 1st March list, above, a book on the 'Bonnie Earl O'Murray' ballad. You may be interested to learn that there is another book on this ballad: 'Blood Feud: The Stewarts & Gordons At War in the age of Mary Queen of Scots' by Harry Potter (I kid you not!), Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2002.

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: IanC
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 06:15 AM

Thanks Joe!!!!

A lot of the links etc. are broken after all this time. I'll try to get back to them in a week or two when I've got less other stuff on.


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Subject: Basic Folk Library PermaThread - Online Resources
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 03:14 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Online Resources

Alphabetical pages for online Biographies, Song and Tune Sites, Performers' Sites and Publishers' Sites can be accessed by clicking the appropriate link.

Online Resources - Articles

Cecil Sharp In America
Article "Cecil Sharp In America: Collecting in The Appalachians"

Online Resources - Bibliographies

A Traditional Music Library
A Bibliography of online songbooks etc. with links.

Appalachian Women and Traditional Music (resource)
A bibliography and other links for resources about Appalachian traditional music and women.

EFDSS Folksong Bibliography
David Atkinson's English Folk Song: an introductory bibliography (1999) is now available online via the  English Folk Dance and Song Society. It is not limited to traditional song in England, though that is its main focus.

EFDSS Morris Dancing Bibliography
The EFDSS's Bibliography of books about Morris Dancing (Note the LIBRARY prefix - it also applies to Sword)

The Electric Book Company
A bibliography of e-texts available for sale.

Folklore and Society Series
University of Illinois Press "Folklore and Society" bibliography

David Herron's Chapbook
A list of folk song books in print in Britain and Ireland. Upkept by Dave Heron (Eckersley), The Traditional Song Forum.

Irish Music - Old Books
A catalogue of old books on Irish music.

Music In American Life Series
University of Illinois Press "Music In American Life" bibliography.

New College of California Guide to E-Texts
A bibliograhy of online e-texts.

Sources for Printed Music and Song Lyrics
This is part of "Music On & Off the Web: A Suite of Handouts" presented, Fall 1998; Revised April 1999 by Nell Ingalls, Research Librarian, Suburban Library System Reference Service.

The Scottish Folklore Page
A bibliography of books for sale on Scottish Folklore.

Women of Appalachia - Resources
A bibliography and other links.

Online Resources - Book Review Sites

Green Man Reviews
Source of many of the book reviews in these pages

Michael Raven's Songbooks
A review of Song books by Mike Raven.

Online Resources - Collections

American Folklife Centre (Library of Congress) Collections
A list of the collections available at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Includes a wide range of resources.

British and Irish Authors on The Web
Online books by a variety of British and Irish authors from Beowulf onwards. Useful for reference.

Women of Appalachia - resources

Frank C. Brown Collection
Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.

Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection
Anyone interested in making arrangements to hear the field recordings should get in touch with Mr. Terry Simpkins ( He is most enthusiastic about people interested in the Collection.

The Princess Grace Irish Library of Monaco
The Princess Grace Irish Library of Monaco ... has loads of interesting info.

Village Music Project
A study of English Social Musicians from the 17th century onwards from their manuscripts.

Online Resources - Historical Information

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

History of Hymns Archive
United Methodist site. Upkept by William Reynolds.

WPA Life Histories Project
Writers' Project Association descriptions of life from the Federal Writers' Project (1936-1940). There's an online article here.

Online Resources - Miscellaneous

A Million Lives - Biography Resource
Enormous resource for short biographies of nearly everybody.

Canadian Journal For Traditional Music
A large archive of past issues of the journal, all available online, with some excellent articles.

The US Country Dance and Song Society.

Finding Songs in Songbooks & Anthologies: A Users' Guide
"Are you looking for the words and music to a favorite song your grandmother used to sing, or a copy of your favorite Beatles song? These indexes, and our "Song Index" and "Sheet Music" card files, are designed to assist both you and the librarians in locating songs in song books and anthologies." Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Folklib Index
FolkLib Index - A library of Folk Music Links.

Dealer's "for sale" page.

More Music
A music search page.

Music 1 records search
A record search page.

Pro Music Find record search
Another record search page.

The Radio Ballads review
Review of one of the most influential radio series ever broadcast in the UK.

Song Notes: A Companion to the Old Town School of Folk Music
Notes on a song book which Joe Offer claims he would kill for!!!.

Swinburne (1866) Poems and Ballads
Swinburne's most influential poetic work as an e-text.

Traditional MP3s
A page of MP3s of traditional music.

WFMA (World Folk Music Association)
The World Folk Music Association's web page.

Last Updated : 05-10-2003 16:30

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Subject: Basic Folk Library PermaThread - Subjects
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 03:09 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Subjects

Carols and Christmas
Folk Tales
Gypsy Tradition
Historical Events
Individual Songs
Nursery Rhymes, Childrens' Songs and Games

Subject - Carols and Christmas

NOTE: There is a useful reference for carols here.

DEARMER, PERCY et al (eds) "The Oxford Book of Carols" (Oxford Univ. Press, 1928)
By Percy Dearmer, R. Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw (Editors). A firm favourite with choirs for many years, this is a classic collection of traditional carols. Contents here.
Reprinted 1964

EHRET, WALTER and EVANS, GEORGE "The International Book of Christmas Carols" (Walton Music, 1980)
164 easy arrangements with chords for carols from around the word complete with lyrics in the original language as well as English. This special collection also includes historical background information on the observance of Christmas through the years and notes about specific carols to give added understanding. Songs are included from England, Italy, Latin America, Spain, Scandinavia, Poland, Czech Republic, and more. Contents here.

KEYTE, HUGH et al (eds) "The New Oxford Book of Carols" (Oxford Univ. Press, 1992)
By Hugh Keyte, Andrew Parrott and Clifford Bartlett (Editors). More than 700 pages long, this volume contains over 200 carols, along with a discussion of their history, suggestions for performance, and, often, more than one musical setting. Review here.

LANGSTRAFF, NANCY and JOHN "The Christmas Revels Songbook" (Revels Inc., 1985)
This unique collection includes processionals, traditional and ritual carols, children's songs, and rounds drawn largely from traditional sources spanning six centuries. Presented here in arrangements created especially for Revels, the songs are appropriate for school, community, and church use in Christmas, Winter Solstice, or Twelfth night Celebrations. Includes an excellent CD. ISBN 0964083620

POSTON, ELIZABETH "The Penguin Book of Christmas Carols" (Penguin Books, 1979)
50 Christmas carols compiled and edited, with arrangements, translations and notes, and an introduction by Elizabeth Poston. A scholarly work. Each carol is scored for at least four voices and sometimes there is also a descant line. Elizabeth Poston is probably the best arranger of Christmas Carols of the 20th Century.

Subject - Folklore

NOTE: There is a useful introductory article on Folklore here.

FRAZER, JAMES GEORGE, SIR "The Golden Bough" (New York, Macmillan, 1922)
A monumental study in comparative folklore, magic and religion, The Golden Bough shows parallels between the rites and beliefs, superstitions and taboos of early cultures and those of Christianity. It had a great impact on psychology and literature and remains an early classic anthropological resource.
Available online The Golden Bough at

LEACH, MARIA "Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, & Legend" (Harper Row, 1972)
(Originally published 1949-50, new ed. 1972; and a wee while ago in paperback). Edited by Maria Leach. This covers a lot of ground, but falls short in many many respects.

Subject - Folk Tales

NOTE: There is a useful article on Folk Tales by Doug Lipman - here and a comprehensive online resource here.

JACOBS, JOSEPH "English Fairy Tales" (******, 1890)
JACOBS, JOSEPH "More English Fairy Tales" (******, 1894)
In his preface to the first book, Jacobs remarks "WHO says that English folk have no fairy tales of their own? The present volume contains only a selection out of some 140, of which I have found traces in this country. It is probable that many more exist.". His two books are the classic collection of folk tales from England. Illustrated by John Batten.
Reprinted by Dover (1998), these are also available online - English Fairy Tales and More English Fairy Tales.

THOMPSON, STITH "The Folktale" (8 vols) (New York, Dryden Press, 1951)
His Motif-Index tries to list all the little events and personalities one finds in tales and ballads etc., though it's irritating to use sometimes.

Subject - Gypsy Tradition (poems, speech, songs)

NOTE: There is a Gypsy bibliography here.

COUGHLAN, TIM "Now Shoon the Romano Gillie" (Univ. Wales, 2001)
Subtitled "Traditional Verse in the High and Low Speech of the Gypsies of Britain", it is a very weighty tome. However, it reads very well and should be of interest. ISBN: 0-7083-1498-8.

Subject - Historical Events

GREAVES, C. DESMOND "The Easter Rising in Song & Ballad" (London, Kahn and Averill, 1980)
This book contains more than 30 songs with notation concerning the 1916 rebellion including "A Rebel Song (James Connolly)", "The Soldiers of Cumann Na mBan (Brian O';Higgins)", "James Connolly", etc. You can learn not only the songs but the Irish history.

Subject - Individual Songs

IVES, EDWARD ("SANDY") "The Bonny Earl of Murray: The Man, the Murder, the Ballad" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1997)
"The Bonny Earl of Murray" is one of Professor Ives' favorite ballads. In his book, The Bonny Earl of Murray, he gives the reader "the rest of the story" -- the story of the life and death of the Bonny Earl himself. He also traces the path of the ballad through history, following it through stanza shuffles and tune modifications, on and off the concert stage. Excellent review here.

MURPHY, SEAN "The Mystery of Molly Malone" (Dublin, 1992)
Investigates the authorship and history of the classic Victorian song, and the mythology which has grown up around it. The contribution of the book is summarised here.

SCHEIPS, PAUL "Hold the Fort!" (Smithsonian, 1971)
The Story of a Song from the Sawdust Trail to the Picket Line. See also the song ... Bliss, Philip Paul, 1838-1876. "Hold The Fort"

Subject - Mining

GREEN, ARCHIE "Only A Miner: Studies in Recorded Coal-Mining Songs" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1972)
Another important book that could be included under the heading 'Mining'.

LLOYD, A. L. (ed) "Come All Ye Bold Miners" (Lawrence & Wishart Ltd., 1952; revised 1978)
Ballads and songs from the mines. Good review here.

Subject - Murder

BURT, OLIVE WOOLLEY "American Murder Ballads and their Stories" (New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1958)
In her book, American Murder Ballads and Their Stories, Olive Woolley Burt has collected scores of American folk ballads and verses about that sin of most dire consequence, murder. She has also sought out historical accounts (via newspaper articles, court records, and personal interviews) of the actual crimes that inspired the ballads which will prove to be quite helpful in our discussion of the relation of society to culture.

OWSTON, CHARLES E. "Murder, Betrayal and Death: Observations on Traditional Ballads" (Self published, 1999)
Murder Betrayal and Death is a self-financed work that is equally entertaining, both as a reference work or just a good read. It's probably just as well the author decided against listing UK folk songs related to sex alone, though, as the result would have to be the size of an encyclopedia! Available from Charles E. Owston, PO Box 162, Ardara PA 15615, USA. Review here.

Subject - Nursery Rhymes, Childrens' Songs and Games

NOTE: There is an interesting collection of early Nursery Rhymes here.

BUTTERWORTH, NICK "The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes" (Puffin, 1995)
A collection of 14 of the best-loved nursery rhymes which invites young readers to take a fresh look at favorite verses. With bright and witty illustrations, this is one book of nursery rhymes that should surely have a place on every child's night table.

LANG, ANDREW and BROOKE, L. LESLIE "The Nursery Rhyme Book" (London, Warne, 1898)
By Andrew Lang, Reteller of folk and fairy tales, and illustrated by Brooke.

MEEK, BILL "Moon Penny" (Cork, Ossian, 19??)
Subtitled "a collection of rhymes, songs and play-verse for and by children". A Collection of Rhymes, Songs, and Play-Verse for and by Children Gathered in Ireland. Ed. by John Loesberg, music transcribed by Bebhinn Ni Mheara". It's a great book with great illustrations.

O'BOYLE, CARMEL "Cut the Loaf: Irish Children's Songs" (Mercier Press, 1997)
A great little book. A selection of 50 of the most popular songs traditionally sung in English by Irish children. Melody line, guitar chords and piano accompaniments. 132 pages.

OPIE, IONA and PETER "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren" (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1959)
Childrens Games in Street and Playground. Reviewed here and at Amazon here.
Reprinted by Oxford University Press, 1987

OPIE, IONA and PETER "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes" (Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed.1997)
A brand new edition of the classic anthology of nursery rhymes, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes includes over 500 rhymes, songs, nonsense jingles, and lullabies traditionally handed down to young children. With each piece Iona and Peter Opie introduce a wealth of information, noting its earliest known publication, origin, and illustrating changes in wording over the years. 85 illustrations.

OPIE, IONA and PETER "The Singing Game" (Oxford University Press, 1985)
The standard work on singing-games and their history.

Subject - Pirates

FRANK, STUART "The Book Of Pirate Songs" (Sharon, Mass., Kendall Whaling Museum, 1998)
Stuart is the Director of the Kendall Museum & has written nautical/music books as well as penned a few songs & done some recordings in the sea music genre. Excellent book. Covers 62 songs starting back as far as "John Dory" (Child #284) going back to 1575 up to the Music Hall era & the Songsters. The chapters break it up into Old Ballads, Broadside Ballads, Women Buccaneers, Victorian Songs, Songs from Popular Songsters & last Related Ballads. The backround histories to the songs is extremely well researched & well done as are the backround of the song's subjects. The music is written out for most the songs as well as chords. ISBN 0-937854-05-0.

Subject - Poetry

CHAPPLE, JOE MITCHELL (ed) "Heart Throbs" (The Chapple Publishing Co., 1905)
Heart Throbs--In Prose and Verse Dear to the American People--and by Them Contributed in the $10,000 Prize Contest Initiated by the National Magazine, 1904-1905. See also "Heart Songs" (COUNTRIES/USA).

Subject - Railroad

NOTE: There is a bibliography containing most books about trains and railroads here.

COHEN, NORM "The Long Steel Rail" (Univ. Illinois Press, 2000)
About to be re-issued. Review here.

LYLE, KATIE LETCHER "Scalded to Death by the Steam" (Chapel Hill NC, Algonquin Books, 19??)
stories of railroad disasters and the ballads about them. ISBN-0-912697-01-6.
Reprinted 1991

Last Updated : 15-03-2002 16:00

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Subject: Basic Folk Library PermaThread - Instruments
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 03:05 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Instruments

Appalachian Dulcimer
Banjo (5-string)
Banjo (Tenor)
Concertina (Anglo-German)
Tin Whistle

Instruments - Appalachian Dulcimer

NOTE: Further information about the instrument is available here. See also this article on Contemporary Mountain Dulcimers.

BRYANT, LARKIN "Larkin's Dulcimer Book" (Riverlark Music, 19??)
I have been working in "Larkin's Dulcimer Book" and it's great. An excellent, friendly, instruction book for beginning to intermediate players. Larkin's gentle playing presence comes through on the page in encouraging ways and her pie-chart description of musical values is invaluable! Spiral bound. Note/tab.

MAJOR, JAMES "The Dulcimer Chord Encyclopedia" (Mel Bay, 1993)
The first chord book in standard tunings for the Mountain Dulcimer. Thousands of chords, in 6 popular modes, 3 different tunings each. Indispensible for any serious dulcimer player.

REILLY, LUCILLE "Striking Out ... And Winning" (Shadrach Productions, 1992)
For Hammered Dulcimer, the best single text/instruction book on the market is "Striking Out ... And Winning" by Lucille Reilly. It is a very thorough and well written book with excellent diagrams and photographs. As a single entry, it's hard to beat. Amazon review here.

RITCHIE, JEAN "The Dulcimer Book" (Oak Publications, 1963)
Any basic library would be incomplete on Appalachian Dulcimer without Jean Ritchie's "The Dulcimer Book". She is the "mother" of the instrument and there is simple instruction here, with a wealth of folklore and stories about the instrument.

Instruments - Banjo (5 String)

NOTE: A bibliography of The Banjo's history is available here and here is Stuart Tod's Banjo Page. There is another good 5-string bibliography here.

BURKE, JOHN "John Burke's Book of Old Time Fiddle Tunes for Banjo" (Amsco, 1968)
The next best, which should be no 1 except it is a Tune Book and not suitable for a beginner, 'Old Time Fiddle Tunes for Banjo' by John Burke. This book is the favorite of clawhammer style banjo players. Over 70 tunes and a variety of tunings for the experienced player. 96 pages.

LINN, KAREN "That half-barbaric twang: the banjo in American popular culture" (Urbana, Univ. Illinois Press, 1994)
The Banjo in American Popular Culture (Music in American Life). Originally published in 1957.

MULLER, ERIC and KOEHLER, BARBARA "Frailing the 5-String Banjo: An Instruction Manual" (Mel Bay, 1973)
The best all round clawhammer banjo book is 'Muller & Koehler' Pub by MelBay. An excellent instruction for the beginning frailer with lessons in the basic frailing motion, the brush stroke, the pull-off, hammering, drop-thumb frailing, the roll, the triplet and lots of classic songs in tablature to practice. Book and cassette. ISBN 0-87166-878-5.

WEBB, ROBERT LLOYD (comp) "Ring the banjar: the banjo in America from folklore to factory" (MIT Museum, 1984)
The Banjo in America from Folklore to Factory. A history that's enjoyable to read, with pictures from gourd banjos to heavily inlaid Fairbanks banjos.

Instruments - Banjo (Tenor)

SULLIVAN, ANTHONY "Sully's Irish Banjo Book" (Cork, Ossian Publications, 1988)
I (and I would think many other) tenor banjo players started out with Sully's Irish Banjo book. His session books have also proved to be useful for getting a common repertiore of tunes and my set of has been out on more or less permanent loan to others getting started in Irish music for the last 8 years.

Instruments - Concertina (Anglo-German)

NOTE: There is a useful little bibliography for Anglo-German and English Concertinas here.

LEVY, BERTRAM "The Anglo Concertina Demystified" (New York, Front Hall Enterprises, 19??)
A clearly written tutor for the 30 button Anglo concertina. Also pretty useful for 20-button and 40-button Anglo models. Includes 2 cassettes.

Instruments - Fiddle

NOTE: Useful fiddle sites include Fiddler Magazine here and The Hardanger Fiddle Associatiation of America here.
Chris Bartram's article on The Southern English Fiddle Tradition here and An Appreciation of the Donegal Fiddle here.

COOPER, PETER "the Complete Irish Fiddle player" (Mel Bay, 1998)
Peter Cooper has put together an excellent introduction to the world of Irish fiddling. The book progresses through levels of difficulty, introducing the reader to the different tune forms (jigs, reels, hornpipes etc) and the different forms of ornamentation. The book comes with a double cd which has about 75 tunes on it, played slow and fast. It is a bit pricey. Amazon reviews here.

KAUFMAN, ALAN "Beginning Old Time Fiddle" (New York, Oak, 1997)
The 17 tunes presented in this book teach aspiring musicians how to play fiddle in the style of masters such as Papa John Creach, Sugarcane Harris, Howard Armstrong, Remo Biondi, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and Lonnie Johnson. Covering the history of the blues fiddle, it also presents correct ways to introduce and end tunes, right- and left-hand styles, and backup techniques. The accompanying practice CD encourages musicians to play along and learn to achieve an authentic sound.

WILLIAMSON, ROBIN "English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes" (New York, Oak, 1976)
Over 100 tunes, this is an outstanding collection of the traditional music of Britain, graded from easy to advanced. Originally came with a little floppy mini record, now a CD. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it although I later found out that Robin's versions were not always the standard versions that everybody else played.
Reprinted, 1997

Instruments - Guitar

NOTE: Further information about the instrument is available at The Online Guitar Archive OLGA.
There is also a useful history of the (classical) instrument here.

DENYER, RALPH and SUMMERS, ANDY "The Guitar Manual" (Knopf, 1992)
Ralph Denyer's The Guitar Manual gives a grand discussion of different styles, music theory, sound reinforcement, biography, and technique. Book Description The most comprehensive resource available for beginning and experienced guitarists alike, whether acoustic or electric. Completely redesigned and with many more full-color photos than the original, this new edition surveys recent models and profiles current masters, includes an expanded lesson... Read more Reviews on Amazon here.

McQUAID, SARAH "The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book" (Ossian Publications, 1996)
The Dadgad tuning was developed for backing musicians and solo performers. This book explains Dadgad tuning and provides a complete set of chord diagrams, lists twenty-four Irish tunes arranged in guitar tab, and outlines basic music theory and structure with an empathesis on traditional Irish music. The Dadgad Demo Tape by Sarah McQuaid includes all the tunes listed in the book. Sarah McQuaid biography here.

SEEGER, PETE and LESTER, JULIUS "The Folk Singer's Guide to the 12 String guitar, as played by Leadbelly" (Oak Publications, 1965)
To learn from "The 12 string guitar as played by Leadbelly" by Pete Seeger and Julius Lester. I highly recommend this book. It was published in 1965 by Oak Publications. Until TRO/Folkways published my transcriptions of Lead Belly's music in "Lead Belly, no stranger to the blues" it was the only book that explained the way that Lead Belly actually used the 12-string guitar. The tablature is hand written by or edited by Julius Lester and Jerry Silverman. There are extensive personal observations on Lead Belly's music written by Pete Seeger.

SILVERMAN, JERRY "A Guitarist's Treasury of Song" (Mel Bay, 1995)
This huge collection of traditional and folk tunes includes song categories such as love songs, songs of the sea, fun songs, train songs, sentimental songs, and songs based on historic events. Written in simple leadsheet format with complete lyrics and chord symbols. Author/compiler Jerry Silverman contributes program notes for the more obscure tunes in this exhaustive anthology of American song. A good addition to his two-volume Folk Song Encyclopedia.

SILVERMAN,JERRY "Beginning the folk guitar; an instruction manual" (2 vols) (Oak, 1964)
Simplified,detailed course in the first stages of playing the folk guitar. In 2 volumes, Both excellent. Loads of tab and instruction. There used to be LPs (remember them) available to accompany them.

Instruments - Mandolin

NOTE: The Mandolin Page is here and The Bluegrass Mandolin HomePage is here. There is a Mandolin Chord page here.
Other interesting sites include Simple Gifts (Tablature), Comando, Mandolin Cafe and

Instruments - Melodeon

NOTE: There is a useful Melodeon page here.

MALLINSON, DAVID "Mally's Melodeon Methods: D/G System Absolute Beginners" (Mallinson, 19??)
Written by Dave Mallinson, the book is aimed at getting you to beat the bass in time correctly whilst fitting in a few simple melodies. Years of working out an efficient and logical way of playing are thus eliminated. More advanced books are also available from the author here.

Instruments - Tin Whistle

NOTE: A useful online Tin Whistle guide is the Ceolas Penny Whistle Guide.

COTTER, GERALDINE "Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor" (Ossian, 1997)
This is a very good book by Geraldine Cotter (a former all-Ireland whistle champion). There is, separately available, an accompanying cassette by Geraldine of all the tunes in the book with guitar accompaniment.

JORDAN, EAMONN "Whistle and Sing" (2 vols) (****, 19??)
Two collections of Irish songs, reels, airs, jigs, and dance tunes all geared for the whistle and other traditional Irish instruments.

MCCASKILL, MIZZY and GILLIAM, DONA "The Complete Irish Tin Whistle Book" (Mel Bay, 1996)
Quite an instructive book, with some basic music theory, explanation of different grace notes, lots of tunes, and fingering charts to make it easier if you're not a whiz at reading music. ISBN 0-7866-2318-7. Review here. Amazon reviews here.

MCCULLOUGH, L. E. "The Complete Tinwhistle Tutor" (Pittsburgh, PA, Silver Spear Publications, 1976)
I really like this book and would guess that anyone who is already comfortable reading music would have no problem. It's pretty thorough, does a great job of explaining the various ornaments and techniques, and has a bunch of good tunes.

MAGUIRE, TOM "The Tin Whistle Book" (Music Sales Corp., 1997)
A small book for the absolute beginner who wants an introduction to the tin whistle. It's great. Good instruction, kept simple, and lots of practice tunes will keep you busy for months!

OCHS, BILL "The Clarke Tin Whistle Book" (Pennywhistle Press, 19??)
VERY easy format for beginners, and it does not assume learner knows how to read music. Comes with cassette tape. Often comes with purchase of Clarke Whistle. Details of the various deals available here.

WILLIAMSON, ROBIN "The Penny Whistle Book" (Music Sales Corporation, 1977)
This is really good, beginning with very simple yet beautiful tunes, clear instructions for fingering, and really interesting histories of each tune. Check it out. Amazon review here.

Last Updated : 03-05-2002 12:30

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Subject: Basic Folk Library PermaThread - People
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 02:50 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Individuals, Families and Groups

Joan Baez
Albert E. Brumley
Robert Burns
The Carter Family
Larrie Gorman
Woody Guthrie
Ashley Hutchings
Christy Moore
Thomas Moore
Francis O'Neill
Peggy Seeger
Jimmy Shand
Cyril Tawney

People - Joan Baez

BAEZ, JOAN "The Joan Baez Songbook" (New York, Ryerson Music Publishers, 1964)
Containing 66 songs from her repertoire and with illustrations by Eric Von Schmidt, the book became a staple among guitar students and has been reprinted more than twenty times. This book is filled with classic folk songs/ballads/hymns/lullabies, etc. that shouldn't be forgotten. They're songs for adults and children alike that have formed the roots of many current songs and stories.

People - Albert E. Brumley

NOTE: Jim Dixon recommended the whole range of books published by Albert E. Brumley and Sons. Brumley posed a bit of a problem of categorisation as, though he is a publisher, he seems to have also written a number of Gospel Songs such as "I'll Fly Away" and "Turn Your Radio On". Also the books would have come under a number of headings (Gospel, General, Americal), and so been dispersed. Because of this, Albert E. Brumley has his own place here. Notes for individual books are taken from the website, except where noted. Joe Offer has volunteered the general review below.

The little songbooks, about 50 songs each, are $3.00, or $20 for the set of 8. There are three "Songs of the Pioneers" booklets in the set, one called "Lamplitin' Songs & Ballads," another called "America's Memory Valley." These books are a wonderful collection of corny old songs that are just plain fun to sing, from "I Ride an Old Paint" to "You've Been a Good Wagon But You done Broke Down." The other three are mostly gospel (Brumley wrote "I'll Fly Away" and "Turn Your Radio On"). The other books are "Great Inspirational Songs" and "Christian Hymnsongs" ($4.50 each); and "Radio Favorites" and "The Best of Albert E. Brumley" ($3.00, such a deal). You'll find the most popular hymns in the little booklets, so it might not be worth your while to get these others. I suppose it's sacrilegious to say so, but I find these songs go especially well with a six-pack. Thanks to whoever suggested these books. They're great! -Joe Offer-

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "All Day Singin' & Dinner on the Ground" (Brumley, 19**)
Contains many of the good old gospel songs and food recipes that were used at the all-day singings with dinner on the ground in the days of yesteryear. Over 100 old- fashioned recipes. Many of the beautiful gospel songs, featuring "Turn Your Radio On" and other old-time hymns.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "America's Memory Valley" (Brumley, 19**)
Traditional songs that came from our forefathers, depicting happenings, their values and traditions. A mixed lot of songs from across the nation, songs about romance, tragedy, old plantation songs and much more. A collection of old-tyme songs, pictures and song history. A true treasure!

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Best Of Albert E. Brumley" (Brumley, 19**)
A 160 page souvenir song book and picture album, containing an exclusive collection of Albert E. Brumley songs - believed to represent the best of the more than 800 songs he has written and spans his career. It also contains some of his biography, newspaper articles, illustrations and pictures. If you are a lover of gospel and sentimental songs, and especially if you are an admirer of Albert E. Brumley, this is the book for you ... You'll enjoy the Albert Brumley Songbook. It's "down home" as all get out, complete with recipies for those "All day Singin' and dinner on the ground" get-togethers. My fave? Parson Blaney's "smothered biscuits" (although I'd substitute onion powder for real onions in the "smotherins"). Rick

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Golden Years of Gospel Singing" (Brumley, 19**)
This book takes a look back at the time when people gathered together to sing gospel songs and have dinner on the ground. You'll find an excellent selection of old gospel songs, pictures and a collection of gospel music history.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Great Inspirational Songs" (Brumley, 19**)
"The finest collection of all-time inspirational songs, gospel songs, special songs and standard church songs and hymns available anywhere". Contains 325 gospel songs in shaped notes.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Lamplitin' Songs & Ballads" (Brumley, 19**)
Has the old folk songs, mountain ballads, plantation songs, western songs and songs about mother, home and heaven. Sample songs: "A Child At Mother's Knee", "Silver Threads Among The Gold", "Dreaming Of A Little Cabin", "Two Little Girls in Blue", "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" and others.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Olde Time Camp Meetin' Songs" (Brumley, 19**)
Songs of a by-gone era, made popular in camp meetings and brush arbor revivals between 1850 and 1940. Contains: "Great Speckled Bird", "The Model Church", "Will There Be Any Stars", "Church In The Wildwood", "Keep On The Sunnyside of Life", "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and others.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Radio Favorites" (Brumley, 19**)
A selection of older Sacred and sentimental songs of the past. America's favorite "Songs of the Air". You'll find 124 songs with four part harmony arrangements. Favorites contained in this book: "Just A Rose Will Do", "The Royal Telephone", "I'll Have A New Life", "Lord, Build Me A Cabin In Glory", "Supper Time", "That Glad Reunion Day", "Way Down Deep In My Soul", "The Rainbow of Love", "Looking For A City" and other all-time great songs.

BRUMLEY, ALBERT E. (ed) "Songs of the Pioneers" (3 vols) (Brumley, 19**)
#1 contains a collection of 60 "Golden Oldies" with words, music and guitar chord symbols. Book contains: "After the Ball", "Wildwood Flower", "Little Mohee", "Babes in the Wildwood", "Barbara Allen", "Frankie and Johnnie", "Red Wing", "Little Rosewood Casket", "Put My Little Shoes Away" and many more. #2 has a selection of songs and ballads of the romantic past. This book also contains guitar chord symbols with the music. Book contains: "Billy Boy", "Old Dan Tucker", "The Old Gray Mare", "Casey Jones", "I've Been Workin' On The Railroad", "Little Brown Jug", "The Orphan Girl" and many more. A 64 page book. #3 contains: "Blue Eyes", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Wabash Cannonball", "The Preacher and the Bear", "There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight", "I Ride An Old Paint", "Tom Dooley", "Skip To My Lou" and many more. 64 Pages ... I have the "Songs of the Pioneers" series and except that the print is so small, they're great. Good items to stash in the instrument case, and simple, playable arangements. ~S~

People - Robert Burns

NOTE: The official Robert Burns site here has his complete works electronically (no melodies).

BURNS, ROBERT and ROY G. ROSS "The Merry Muses of Caledonia" (Univ. South Carolina, 1999)
Full title "The Merry Muses of Caledonia : A Collection of Favourite Scots Songs, Ancient & Modern, Selected for Use of the Crochallan Fencibles". This is his collection of bawdy songs, collected and/or written by him. It is not in the "Complete Works" above, not having been published publicly during his lifetime. Amazon review here.

HOVEY, SERGE "The Robert Burns Song Book, Volume 1" (Mel Bay, 1997)
A set of classical arrangements with excellent notes and historical detail. Hovey died in the middle of the project and sadly there will be no volume 2. Review here.

KINSLEY, JAMES "Burns: Poems and Songs" (Oxford University Press, 1971)

James Kinsley's book is a particularly useful example of a book of Burns' songs with melodies, and has been regularly reprinted.

People - The Carter Family

NOTE: A songbook of "Original Carter Family Songs" is Online here.

LEONARD, HAL "The Original Carter Family" (Peer International, 1980)
A Carter Family songbook with a biography by Johnny Cash. It has words and music (with guitar chords) for 11 of their "biggest" songs - No tablature though.

SOKOLOV, FRED "The Carter Family Collection" (Hal Leonard Publishing Corp., 1999)
Subtitled "32 Songs From the Royal Family of Country Music". It contains photos, an introduction, notes on each song, and an article entitled "Guitar Styles of the Carter Family. ISBN 0793588804. List of contents here.

People - Larrie Gorman

IVES, EDWARD ("SANDY") ET AL "Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs" (Bloomington, Indiana Univ. Press, 1964)
With Henry Glassie and John Szwed. Sandy Ives' studies of lumbercamp songmaker Larry Gorman.

People - Woody Guthrie

NOTE: The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives here has a vast amount of information. The Mudcat biography of Woody is here.
Woody's biography from "Rolling Stone" is here and there is another good biography with pictures here.
There is a good Song Site here and a bibliography of books in The Library of Congress here.

GUTHRIE, WOODY "Bound For Glory" (New York, E. P. Dutton, 1968)
Woody's autobiography, illustrated with sketches by the author.

GUTHRIE, WOODY et al "Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People" (Oak Publications, 1967)
This has been reissued. It was compiled by Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.

KLEIN, JOE "Woody Guthrie : A Life" (Delta, 1999)
Klein uses all the resources he could possibly get to tell the life of the most important figure in American Music. Guthrie suffered throughout his life, and the author makes sure the reader understands that. He also points out that Guthrie was not the most polite person, but that he also was one who cared for people. The story of Woody's childhood right up to the time of his death is one that needs to be read by anyone interested in the music of America. ISBN: 0385333854. Amazon Review here.

People - Ashley Hutchings

NOTE: See also Fairport Convention.

HUTCHINGS, ASHLEY "A Little Music" (London, Island Music, 1976)
There are a handful of Fairport Convention Songs in this book by Ashley Hutchings, plus some from his later bands in the 1970's. Description here.

People - Leadbelly

ASCH, MOSES and LOMAX, ALAN "The Leadbelly Songbook" (New York, Oak Publications, 1962)
*** I don't have any further information on this book. Please contact me if you can help. Thanks. Ian ***

People - Christy Moore

MOORE, CHRISTY "One Voice: My Life in Song" (Hodder and Stoughton, 2000)
One of Ireland's best loved singers, he has taken a wholly original approach to this autobiography. At the heart of this unique book are the lyrics to some 250 songs from Christy's career. Reviews here, here and here.

People - Thomas Moore

NOTE: Lesley's biography of Thomas Moore is here and there is another good page, here.

MOORE, THOMAS "Irish Melodies" (10 vols) (Various publishers, originally 1808-1836)
This book is suitable for piano and voice and includes bass amd treble clefs for most selections. There is music of O'Carolan, dance tunes, airs, and harmonised vocal arrangements by Thomas Moore who lived from 1780-1852. Available online here. ISBN 0-931877-27-x.
Last republished as a paperback facsimile of the illustrated 1846 edition by Dover Publications, 2000

People - Francis O'Neill

NOTE: There is a biography of Chief O'Neill here.

CAROLAN, NICHOLAS "A Harvest Saved: Francis O'Neill and Irish Music in Chicago" (Ossian, 1997)
Biography of Francis O'Neill by Nicholas Carolan. Not a tune book, this is simply one of the best presented, most interesting and carefully researched books about the history of the music available. Nicholas Carolan is the Curator of The Traditional Music Archives in Dublin.

O'NEILL FRANCIS "O'Neill's Music of Ireland" (******, 1903)
The largest collection of Irish music ever printed, 1,850 tunes, and contains over 90% of traditional music being played today. This collection was published in 1903, as a result of the efforts of Capt. Francis O'Neill and many traditional musicians attending the Chicago Music Club, circa 1890-1900. Review here.
Reprinted numerous times, most recently by Mel Bay, 1997

People - Peggy Seeger

NOTE: Peggy Seeger's website is here.

SEEGER, PEGGY "The Peggy Seeger Songbook" (Oak Publications, 19??)
Peggy Seeger had her own songbook published about 3 years ago, which is available for about $30. Nice to have what she's done in one book, with some comments on each song.

People - Jimmy Shand

NOTE: There are Jimmy Shand obituaries online at Accordions.Com and The Stage.

CAMERON, IAN and SHEPHERD, ROBBIE "The Jimmy Shand Story" (Scottish Cultural Press, 1998)
A biography of the musician, Jimmy Shand. This book ranges from his boyhood in East Wemyss, Scotland, through the early years as an amateur accordian player, right up to the present day. It includes a listing of Shand's recordings on vinyl, cassette and CD, and also his sheet music compositions. A good review, with a lot of biographical detail here.

People - Cyril Tawney

NOTE: There is a discography with some biographical details here.

TAWNEY, CYRIL "Grey Funnel Lines: traditional song & verse of the Royal Navy 1900-1970" (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987)
A collection of songs from the navy rather than the merchant marine, compiled by the singer and former submariner. Review here.

Last Updated : 05-10-2003 16:30

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Subject: Basic Folk Library PermaThread - Genres
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 02:42 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Genres

Country Music
Cowboy Songs
Hymns and Religious Songs
Military and Soldier Songs
Mormon Songs
Shanties, Sea Songs and Work Songs
Socialist Songs

Genres - Bawdy

LEGMAN, GERSHON "No Laughing Matter" (Bloomington, Indiana Univ. Press, 1968)
Legman was the leading scholar of erotic folk literature, dialog and song. Endless and ground-breaking accomplishments bringing this material to the scholarly community. Happily responsible for brilliantly editing & printing Randolph's long-supressed great Unprintable collection of Ozark bawdy song & expurgated verses. Claimed to have the (perhaps apocryphal) Hugil bawdy collection. Legman obituary and further information here.

LOGSDON, GUY (ed) "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1995)
The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (and Other Songs Cowboys Sing). One of the finest works to come out in recent years on cowboy songs, in addition to being the first good collection of the cowboy's bawdy material. A must for anyone who is a student of cowboy music--or anyone who just likes the sound of dirty subject matter rhyming. Review here. ISBN 0-252-06488-7

RANDOLPH, VANCE "Roll Me In Your Arms" (Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1992)
RANDOLPH, VANCE "Blow the Candle Out" (Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1992)
Two volumes of "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs & Folklore Folk Rhymes & Other Lore. Randolph provides an exposition of the material along with a discussion of its historical context, how the information was collected and some comparisons with other similar treasures. While this book (vol 2) is a bit pricey, it is worth every penny and might be the finest thing to come out of Arkansas in the 1990's. Vance Randolph page here. Note that the 2nd volume "Blow The Candle Out" is not yet out of print. Amazon review here.

Genres - Black

ALLEN, WILLIAM FRANCIS et al "Slave Songs of the United States" (New York, Simpson, 1867)
"Slave Songs of the United States", collected by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, was the book that first introduced songs like "Follow the Drinking Gourd","Run, Nigger, Run!" "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" Roll, Jordan, Roll"(and many others) to the wider world. The Dover reprint is inexpensive and wonderful. Amazon review here and another good review here.
Dover (1995) has reprinted the original version, with a preface by Harold Courlander

COURLANDER, HAROLD "Negro Folk Music U.S.A." (Dover, 1992)
Among the first and finest studies of African-American folk music, this book focuses primarily on the origins and musical qualities of typical genres ranging from simple cries and calls to anthems and spirituals, ballads and the blues. Traditional dances and musical instruments are examined as well. Authentic versions of 43 songs are presented, along with a valuable bibliography and discography. ISBN 0-486-27350-4.

DETT, ROBERT NATHANIEL (ed) "Religious Folk Songs of the Negro As Sung at Hampton Institute" (Hampton Institute Press, 1927)
Robert Nathaniel Dett, one of the pioneering black composers and a leading arranger of Negro spirituals, was the choir director at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) from 1913 until 1932. While at Hampton, he published "Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro" (1927), which became one of the standard collections of spiritual arrangements. The spirituals showed a different, more profound character, he wrote in his foreword to "Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro." These hymns of the slaves are "the reverberation of a great cry of soul whose burden is of age-old promises of eternal freedom, of feasts of milk and honey, and of the divine glory of a love all-inclusive." Dett believed "the slave brought with him from Africa a religious inheritance which, far from being shaken in any way, was strengthened by his American experience . . . an Oriental regard for parable and prophecy" and "an ability to improvise his troubles into art-forms." His 1927 edition of the spirituals "in their natural and untarnished settings" included both well-known songs and tunes he had collected from black congregations in the rural South and Midwest.
(reprinted 1972)

EPSTEIN, DENA J. "Sinful Tunes and Spirituals, Black Music to the Civil War" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1977)
Epstein expertly culls available documentary evidence, including contemporary accounts as well as such sources as runaway slave notices mentioning that the slave in question was a fiddler, to fill in a lot of gaps in our knowledge of how African music developed when it was transplanted to North America. The book is well-written and full of groundbreaking research. It's absolutely essential if you are interested in this subject. (Amazon review)

SEWARD, THEODORE F. (ed) "Jubilee Songs As Sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University" (New York: Bigelow and Main., 1872)
The Fisk University in Nashville (for black students) opened in January 1866. George L. White (a northerner and son of a blacksmith) was musical. At Fisk, he trained a mixed chorus of 11 students which by 1870 was giving concerts in nearby cities. Because the university was in dire need of funds, they took to the road for an extensive concert tour to raise money - New York, Boston etc. The first edition of 'Jubilee Songs As Sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University' was compiled by Theodore F. Seward and published in 1872. It contained 28 spirituals. The second edition, published in the same year, had 64 spirituals and the last edition, in 1892, had 139. By that time, according to the publishers, 130,000 copies had been sold. Jubilee Singers site.

WORK, JOHN W. "American Negro Songs" (Crown, 1940)
A big book of mostly spirituals, long intro material re: spirituals & blues. Tunes, lyrics, no chords. 230 Folk Songs and Spirituals, Religious and Secular. From joyous gospel to deeply felt blues, this wonderful collection contains vintage songs sung and played through the years by black Americans - at work, in church and for pure entertainment. Included are spirituals, blues, work songs, and a variety of social and dance songs.
Republished unabridged by Dover (1998).

Genres - Blues

NOTE: There are useful bibliographies of The Blues here and here.
The Blues History site here has some useful information and there is a brief history of The Blues here.
There is an article on Women and The Blues here and an article on The Banjo and The Blues here.

ALYN GLEN "I Say For Me a Parable" (New York, Da Capo, 1993)
The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman. 2 Reviews at Amazon.

BASTIN, BRUCE "Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1995)
Bruce Bastin is probably the leading expert on the blues styles of the East Coast of America, and this book is a superb analysis of the history of blues in a range of regional centres. Amazon review here.

BOOTH, STANLEY "Rhythm Oil" (Pantheon, 1991)
Stanley Booth is from Memphis and the book is basically a series of articles that he has written over the years about music in Memphis. He ties them together very nicely. Some neat stuff about Furry Lewis, Mississippi John Hurt's funeral, Elvis, Otis Redding, and an awful lot about Stax Records amazing stable of artists such as Booker T, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Issac Hayes etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a lot. Amazon reviews here.
Reissued by Da Capo Press, 2000

BROOKS, LONNIE "Blues For Dummies"Foster City CA, IDG Books Worldwide, 19??
This reference includes what you would need to know to use a good songbook well, and to make sense out of all the tune-trading that we blues lovers love to do. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know more about the blues. The biographies and photos alone would be worth the $24.99 cover price. Reviewed in a Mudcat thread by WYSIWYG here.

CALT, STEPHEN "I'd Rather be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues" (New York, Da Capo, 1994)
Skip James' blues sounded like no one else's. Sung in a keening falsetto, accompanied by a guitar in an open minor tuning or by staccato piano runs, James' blues was simultaneously mournful and angry. Stephen Calt's biography is a merciless look at the frustrated and disappointed man that made that music. Review here.

CALT, STEPHEN and WARDLOW, GAYLE DEAN "King of the Delta Blues: Charlie Patton" (Newton Rock Chapel Press, 1988)
This book is the final word in the elusive character known as Charley Patton. 3 Reviews at Amazon.

COHN, LAWRENCE (ed) "Nothing But the Blues: The Music and the Musicians" (Abbeville Press, 1993)
It has the appearance of a large coffee table book but, in content, it is nothing of the sort. It has excellent photos and essays by Sam Charters, Dave Evans, Dick Spottswood, Charles Wolfe, Mark Humphrey etc. ISBN 0-7892-0607-2.

COOK, BRUCE "Listen to the Blues" (New York, Da Capo, 1995)
Based on original interviews, this is filled with profiles of people like Leadbelly, Skip James, Son House and Bessie Smith. With new photos and a new discography, this book is an astute and readable introduction to the Blues.

EVANS, DAVID "Big Road Blues: Tradition & Creativity in the Folk Blues" (Da Capo Press, 1982)
An extraordinarily fine book on the blues based on meticulous, imaginative, and persistently thorough field work. The significance of the book goes beyond the blues to provide a concrete model for an analysis of other genres of oral literature in other cultures. Review here.

FINN, JULIO "The Bluesman: The Musical Heritage of Black Men and Women in the Americas" (London, Quartet, 1986)
A really interesting book. Finn is a blues musician who has read most of the basic blues sources and has put it all together into a rather bitterly written book on the subject. It gives a remarkable insight (if you can put up with the "adult" language).

GODRICH, JOHN and DIXON, ROBERT M. W. "Recording The Blues" (Stein and Day, 1970)
A seminal study of whys and whens of early recording industry. There are 'afterword' essays by the authors, with Howard Rye taking over the mantle of the late John Godrich.

GROSSMAN, STEFAN "Rev. Gary Davis/Blues Guitar" (Oak Publications, 1997)
Fans of fingerstyle guitar will love this CD and the book of transcriptions. Rev. Gary Davis has a distinctive style of playing and singing and is a very (VERY) good guitarist. A better book for beginners might be Stefan Grossman's collection of Mississippi John Hurt tunes. Still, an excellent publication. the CD that comes with the book would be worth the purchase price by itself.

HARRISON, DAVID "The World of Blues" (Studio Editions, London, 1995)
Harrison is the blues reviewer for 'fRoots' (formerly 'Folk Roots') magazine.

LOMAX, ALAN "The Land Where the Blues Began" (Dell, 1993)
You should check out Alan Lomax's book, "The Land Where the Blues Began", it is not only one of the best books on the blues, it is tells about a part of US history that seldom is written about. Reviews here.

OLIVER, PAUL "Blues Fell This Morning: Meaning in the Blues" (2nd ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 1984)
First published in the early sixties, this extensively revised edition of a classic study contains many newly recovered examples of the "blues" as well as a text updated in the light of developments over the past thirty years with respect to Civil Rights reform. Amazon review here. Other books by Paul Oliver include:

    OLIVER, PAUL "Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records" (Cambridge University Press, 1984)
    OLIVER, PAUL "The Story of the Blues" (Pimlico, 1997)
    OLIVER, PAUL "Screening the Blues: Aspects of Blues Tradition" (Da Capo Press, 1968)
    OLIVER, PAUL "Savannah Syncopaters: African retentions in the Blues" (London, Studio Vista, 1970)
Paul Oliver is a major writer on Blues subjects, see the tribute page here.

OLIVER, PAUL et al "Yonder Comes the Blues" (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
By Paul Oliver, Tony Russell, Robert M. W. Dixon, John Godrich and Howard Rye. A reissue in a single volume of 3 short books on aspects of the blues originally published in the 70s by Studio Vista and long out of print.

ONDAATJE, MICHAEL "Coming Through Slaughter" (Norton First Edition, 1976)
Bringing to life the fabulous, colorful panorama of New Orleans in the first flush of the jazz era, this book tells the story of Buddy Bolden, the first of the great trumpet players--some say the originator of jazz--who was, in any case, the genius, the guiding spirit, and the king of that time and place. A haunting, fictional (very few facts known) recreation, recommended reading for anyone interested in early jazz history. Review here.

PALMER, ROBERT "Deep Blues" (New York, Viking Press, 1981)
Palmer's love of the blues shines through in this exceptional book. He's not interested in showing off his knowledge of the form (although that knowledge is exceptional); he's interested in illuminating for the reader the roots of a great indigenous art form and how that form developed in the 20th century. In that effort, he succeeds masterfully. Reviews at Amazon and another excellent review here. ISBN: 0140062238

RUSSELL, TONY "Blacks, Whites and Blues" (New York, Stein & Day, 1970)
The first serious study of interplay between black and white musicians.

RUSSELL, TONY "The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray" (Harper Collins, 1997)
A less scholarly introduction to the blues. This has excellent recommendations for listening to a variety of blues and plenty of photos.

SHIPTON, RUSS "The Complete Blues and Ragtime Guitar Player" (****, 19??)
Starts out with basic blues strums, with picture chords, then into fingestyle blues. Includes a good number of popular songs.

TITON, JEFF TODD "Early Downhome Blues: A Musical & Cultural Analysis" (2nd ed.) (Univ. North Carolina, 1994)
New afterword by the author. New foreword by ALAN TRACHTENBERG. A musical and cultural analysis, with a 19 track music CD.

WARDLOW, G.D. "Chasin' That Devil Music: Searching For the Blues" (San Francisco, Miller Freeman, 1998)
The main focus is on the Delta blues singers of the early 20th century. Review at Amazon

Genres - Country Music

HINTON, Brian "Country Roads: How Country Came to Nashville" (Sanctuary, 2000)
Hinton, an obvious Bob Dylan fan, sets out to follow country music's path and lineage from its Celtic roots in another millennium, to its arrival in Nashville, Tennessee. Review here. Amazon reviews here.

Genres - Cowboy Songs

NOTE: There is a useful Cowboy bibliography here and a booklist by Frank Staplin here.

AXELROD, ALAN and FOX, DAN "Songs Of The Wild West" (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991)
The songs, 45 in all, coupled with the works of art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, reflect every facet of life during one of the most exciting periods in US history. Amazon reviews here.

BIG 3 MUSIC CORP. "American Cowboy Songs" (New York, New York, 19??)
B3-4354-R3 by the 'Big 3 Music Corp., N.Y., N.Y. 66 songs no text.
*** DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS BOOK? - If so, please contact me, Ian ***

CANNON, HAL (ed) "Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering" (******, 1985)
CANNON, HAL (ed) "New Cowboy Poetry: A Contemporary Gathering" (******, 1990)
As tough, lean, and honest as those who create it, cowboy poetry has entered our culture as literature. In these selections from some of today's and yesterday's finest practitioners, Hal Cannon has corralled the best of the genre. How good is it? The poems have the smell of sagebrush and campfire in them. You can't get any higher praise. Here are selections from some of today's and yesterday's finest practitioners: Curley Clark's "The Strawberry Roan", Badger Clark's "A Cowboy's Prayer", Georgie Sicking's "To Be a Top Hand", Baxter Black's "The Big High Lonesome", and Wallace McRae's "The Lease Hound".

FIFE, AUSTIN E. and ALTA S. "Cowboy And Western Songs" (New York, Clarkson and Potter, 1969)
A nice collection of 200 songs with music lines, guitar chords and what appears to be very complete verses. B/w sketches & flourishes by J.K. Ralston. Arranged topically.

LARKIN, MARGARET "Singing Cowboy, a Book of Western Songs" (Knopf, 1931)
Contains 42 songs, including the old favorites and many rarer songs never printed before. Music arranged for piano. Includes partial scores.
Reprinted 1963 by Oak Publications

LEE, KATIE "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle" (Flagstaff Arizona, Northland Press, 1976)
Subtitled "A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse". A very readable, funny book, with lots of history of the West and, in particular, Arizona and Tucson.

LINGENFELTER, RICHARD E. et al "Songs of the American West" (Univ of California Press, 1968)
By Richard E. Lingenfelter, Richard A. Dwyerand David Cohen.

LOGSDON, GUY (ed) "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1995)
See Bawdy Songs above.

LOMAX, JOHN A. and ALAN "Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads"(MacMillan Co., 1938)
If you can hum "Home On the Range", you have been influenced by this book. Without it, folk music as you know it would be different. Seeing in 1908 that the cowboy's way of life was dying, John Lomax went out into the field and onto the range recording and transcribing This collection became the backbone of American folk music and its traditions. Amazon review here.

OHRLIN, GLEN and GREEN, ARLIN "The Hell-Bound Train" (Univ. Illinois Press, 1989)
A Cowboy Songbook (Music in American Life). ISBN 0252060717. ISBN 0252060717.

SILBER, IRWIN and ROBINSON, EARL (eds) "Songs of the Great American West" (New York, MacMillan, 1967)
92 songs celebrate the ups and downs of homesteaders, lumberjacks, cowboys, gold miners, railroad workers, outlaws and others. Complete lyrics, vocal score, simple piano arrangements, chord symbols. Historical notes, 127 period illustrations. Review here.

THORP, N. HOWARD (JACK) "Songs of the Cowboys" (New York, Clarkson N. Potter, 1966)
This was the first cowboy songbook published in America, and Thorp's lyrics were the beginning of the popularization of the American cowboy. This book lists 24 songs that can be learned and sung today. First published 1908.

TINSLEY, JIM BOB "He Was Singin' This Song" (Univ. of Florida, 1981)
A Collection of 60 romantic cowboy and western songs coverning the 50 year golden eera of popular standards between 1905 and 1957. Foreword by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Illus. by Johnny Hampton.

TINSLEY, JIM BOB "For a Cowboy Has to Sing" (Univ. Central Florida Press, 1991)
A Collection of 60 romantic cowboy and western songs coverning the 50 year golden era of popular standards between 1905 and 1957. Foreword by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Illus. by Johnny Hampton.

Genres - Drinking

SHAY, FRANK "My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions: Songs and Ballads of Conviviality" (Macaulay, 1927)
Both illustrated by John Held Jr. I guess you'd call these songs "barroom ballads". They're certainly entertaining, although I wish the book had tunes for more of the songs. There's a More Pious Friends sequel.
Reprinted as a single volume by Dover Publications, Inc., 1961.

Genres - Humour

GOODWIN, GEORGE (Ed.) "Song Dex Treasury of Humorous and Nostalgic Songs" (Song Dex Inc., 1956)
This is an early fake book, designed, I suppose for electronic organs. It has 740 songs, enough to make you cry a big bucket of tears.

Genres - Hymns and Religious Songs

NOTE: For more resources, see the Religion and Music Resource. For John Newton's hymns, see the Olney Hymns site.

The OREMUS searchable Online Hymnal is here.
Oremus contains public domain texts from six Anglican hymnals from the second half of the twentieth century. The hymnals from the United States are The Hymnal 1982 and The Hymnal 1940. From Canada, we have The Book of Common Praise (1938). And from England, but used in many parts of the Anglican Communion, The English Hymnal (1933), Hymns Ancient and Modern, Revised (1950), and The New English Hymnal (1986).

The Cyber Hymnal is here.
This site has over 2,700 Christian hymns and Gospel songs from many denominations. You'll find lyrics, sound, background information, photos, links, MIDI files and scores you can download. The People section is particularly useful.

DEARMER, PERCY and VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, RALPH "The English Hymnal" (******, 1906)
The most incredible collection of folk tunes was used for the hymns in this hymnal, due to Ralph Vaughan Williams being the music editor. Information about the development of The English Hymnal here.

MONK, WILLIAM HENRY (ed.) "Hymns Ancient and Modern" (London, William Cloves and Sons, 1861)
The original English hymnal. The first edition was published in 1861, and the "Standard Edition" in 1916. The 1983 version, published in Norwich by The Canterbury Press, is called the "New Standard Edition". There were also editions in 1922 and 1950.

SANKEY, IRA "Sacred Songs and Solos" (London, Morgan and Scott, 1891)
The standard nonconformist hymnal, originally produced in the USA but universally used in Britain also. The version quoted is the "revised and enlarged" version so there must have been an earlier edition.

SHELDON, JOHN "The Quaker Songbook" (Stainer and Bell, 1981)
I had to include this as it's Britain Yearly Meeting's contribution to the art. Has hymns, carols and songs of love war etc. including "George Fox" and "Simple Gifts". It's unfortunately out of print at the moment, but I've got a copy.

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, RALPH and DEARMER, PERCY "Songs of Praise" (London, Oxford University Press, 1936)
My school hymn book and still one of my favourites. Includes poems such as "Glad That I Live" set to music as well as many hymns in common with "The English Hymnal".

Genres - Military and Soldier Songs

NOTE: There is a useful bibliography here.

DALLAS, KARL "The Cruel Wars" (London, Wolfe Publishing, 1972)
100 soldiers songs "from Agincourt to Dunkirk" with melodies and guitar chords.

DOLPH, EDWARD ARTHUR and EGNER, PHILIP "Sound Off! - Soldier Songs from Yankee Doodle to Parley Voo" (New York, Cosmopolitan, 1929)
DOLPH, EDWARD ARTHUR and EGNER, PHILIP "Sound Off! - Soldier songs from the revolution to World War II" (New York, Farrar and Rinehart, 1942)
Music arranged by Philip Egner, illustrations by Lawrence Schick. These two volumes are the standard work on military and soldier songs for the USA. Some UK and European songs which were well-known to USA soldiers are included.

HOPKINS, ANTHONY "Songs from the Front & Rear" (Edmonton, Hurtig, 1979)
Subtitled "Canadian servicemen's songs of the Second World War". Useful book for Canadian songs. Includes many UK songs as well.

WARD-JACKSON, C H and LUCAS, LEIGHTON "Airman's Song Book" (Sylvan Press, 1945)
"Being an anthology of squadron, concert party, training and camp songs and song-parodies, written by & for officers, airmen and airwomen mainly of the Royal Air Force, its auxiliaries & its predecessors, the Royal Flying Corps ... ".Originally "Music edited by Leighton Lucas and decorations by Biro. The whole set out in chronological order to present a Historical Picture of the R. A. F. through its Own Songs. Indexed with a glossary. 190 pp." It was revised in 1967 (Oxford, Blackwood, 1967, 265 pp).

Genres - Mormon Songs

NOTE: Some information on Mormon Folklore from Utah here.

CHEYNEY, THOMAS E. (ed) "Mormon Songs From the Rocky Mountains" (Austin, Univ. Texas Press, 1968)
Subtitled "A Compilation of Mormon Folksong". A great folk song book with part of scores, many humorous including the unexpected such as "Drunkards from Bonanza" and songs poking fun at the problems of polygamy.

Genres - Shanties, Sea Songs and Work Songs

NOTE: There is a useful bibliography here and a collection of Shanties & Sea Songs here.
(Note: "Sea" is taken to include any large body of water - e.g. The Great Lakes)

ABRAHAMS, ROGER D. "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore" (American Folklore Society, 1974)
Essays on shantying in the West Indies. Surveys the importance, historical and contemporary, of sea shanties in the British West Indies.

COLCORD, JOANNA C. "Songs of American Sailormen" (New York, Norton, 1938)
Chanties and sea songs; introduction by Lincoln Colcord.

CREIGHTON, HELEN "Maritime Folk Songs" (Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1961)
Musical transcriptions and chord symbols by Kenneth Peacock.

DOERFLINGER, WILLIAM MAINE "Shantymen and Shantyboys: Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman" (New York, 1951)
For twenty years, in the United States and Canada, William Doerflinger collected the words and music of the songs of the sailor and lumberman brought together in this book. Here are over 150 rousing sea shanties, forecastle songs, and lumber-woods ballads traditional in the days of sailing hips and logging camps. Review here.
Republished by Meyerbooks, Glenwood, Illinois, 1990.

FOWKE, EDITH FULTON "Lumbering Songs from the North Woods" (Austin TX, University of Texas Press, 1970)
A collection of lumbering songs from Ontario, ajoining areas of Quebec, Maine, New Brunswick, and Michigan.

HUGILL, STAN "Shanties from the Seven Seas" (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969)
Stan was the last living shantyman in the United Kingdom. He was also a scholar who gained his information and songs from primary sources. Referred to as the "shantyman's bible" there are over 400 tunes and lyrics here. Especially well-covered are the sailors' work songs of the 18th and 19th centuries. Good review here.

PALMER, ROY (ed.) "The Oxford Book of Sea Songs" (Oxford University Press, 1986)
This is a very nice collection of songs of the sea. The annotations are brief, but very helpful. The book was out of print, but it was reissued and expanded in August, 2001, as "BOXING THE COMPASS" Sea Songs & Shanties Edited by Roy Palmer. Good review here. Good review of "Boxing The Compass" here.

RICKABY, FRANZ "Ballads & Songs of the Shanty-Boy" (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1926)
Reviewed here.
Reprinted in 1998

TERRY, RICHARD RUNCIMAN "The Shanty Book Part 1" (London, Curwen, 1921)
The book itself is paperback, a bit bigger than A4 and contains the words and (piano) music of 30 shanties along with notes on each of them. The back page contains a list of other books from the publisher - Morris and Country Dances, Folk Songs and Singing Games but nothing of The Shanty Book Parts 2 onward. Apparantly there was a "Part 2", published by Curwen in 1926.

WALTON, IVAN and GRIMM, JOE "Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors" (Detroit,Wayne State University Press, 2002)
I just picked up this terrific book. Ivan Walton, a folklore professor at the University of Michigan, completed virtually all of his collecting and writing by 1952, two years before co-author Joe Grim was born. Walton died in 1968, his work uncompleted. Grimm assembled Walton's work into a fine book, full of lyrics, tunes, sketches, and photographs. The book includes a 15-cut CD of some of Walton's field recordings. This is one delightful book - Joe Offer, born in Detroit and raised on the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan. The book is available from here. The paperback may be a bit cheaper at some of the online bookstores.

WHALL, W. B. "Sea Songs and Shanties" (Brown, Ferguson, 1910)
Whall was a self-opinionated and crusty old mariner, but his book is very well loved. Publishers' notes: "Of all the collections of Sea Songs and Shanties, Captain Whall's is at once admitted to be the most authoritative. With a musical training, young Whall ran off to sea, becoming a really fine seaman and navigator. His musical training served him well, and his fine collection of sea shanties will fill admirers of the sea with a healthy glow of pride in the old days of the sailing ship." The 6th edition (1927) has extensive introductory notes and is thus rather better than earlier editions.
Reprinted 1974 by Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd. Publishers, Glasgow

Genres - Socialist Songs

NOTE: There are a number of online Socialist Songbooks, including Liberator, Raised Voices, Singing of Struggle, The Socialist Songbook and Union Songs
See also The Socialist Action Song Index.

COLLINS, MAL et al "The Big Red Songbook" (Pluto Press, 1977)
Compiled by Mal Collins, Dave Harker and Geoff White. It's a UK Socialist Songbook, probably modelled on the IWW book.

INTERNATIONAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD "The IWW Little Red Songbook" (Columbia, SC., Harbinger, 1995)
Subtitled " Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent". The current edition is the 36th international edition. Contains 103 labor songs to fan the flames of discontent from around the world, with music. Includes songs by Joe Hill, Billy Bragg, Anne Feeney, Utah Phillips, and more. Versions have been published since 1904. The following versions are available online ... 1916, 1917 and 1923. The 36th edition and a reprint of the 1923 edition are available at the IWW website here.

SHEFFIELD SOCIALIST CHOIR "With One Voice" (Privately published, 19??)
The Sheffield Socialist Choir's 10th anniversary songbook. Available online here. Some people talk about "political songs" meaning "protest songs" but there are also songs of solidarity, hope and bright prospects. The songbook contains 124 pages containing 27 songs, their words and music in choral arrangement, what they tell us about those who created them and those who have sung them, anecdotes, photos, cartoons and graphics.

Genres - Spirituals

NOTE: There is a short bibliography here and an interesting article here.
There is a major Shape-Note Bibliography here and a Shape-Note Music Resources site here.
Educational resources from The Spirituals Project are here.
The Mudcat African-American Spirituals PermaThread is here

ALLEN W., WARE C., and GARRISON L. "Slave Songs of The United States" (New York, Simpson, 1867)
The most important of all collections of spirituals by William Frances Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. Slave Songs of the United States is one of the great documents of America. Published shortly after the end of the Civil War, the songs were collected during the war, mostly from among Negroes living on the Islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. An electronic text is available at The University of North Carolina.
Reprinted: 1965-Oak Publications, 1992-Clearfield, 1995-Dover Publications

CONE, JAMES H. "The Spirituals and the Blues" (New York, Orbis Books, 2000)
This book reviews some important interpretations of slave songs by authors such as Allen (Slave Songs of the United States) and Richard Wallaschek (Primitive Music [1893]). Cone then goes on to discuss the theological interpretations of the spirituals in relation to the experience of black slaves. Cone states that his purpose is to, "Examine the statement of black experience in the blues as compared with that in the spirituals, investigating their similarities and dissimilarities from both theological and historical view points". His work here is interesting because it examines the spirituals of slaves as an expression of their feelings and goes on to discuss the various meanings of God and Heaven in their songs.

CRUZ, JOHN "Culture On The Margins" (Univ Princetown, 1999)
This book recounts the "discovery" of black music by white elites in the nineteenth century, revealing how the episode shaped modern approaches to studying racial and ethnic cultures. Slave owners had long heard black song making as meaningless "noise." Abolitionists began to attribute social and political meaning to the music, inspired, as many were, by Frederick Douglass's invitation to hear slaves' songs as testimonies to their inner, subjective worlds. In tracing the emergence of a new interpretive framework for black music, Cruz shows how the concept of "cultural authenticity" is constantly redefined by critics for a variety of purposes from easing anxieties arising from contested social relations to furthering debates about modern ethics and egalitarianism. Jon Cruz is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Review here. Amazon reviews here.

DIXON, CHRISTA K. "Negro Spirituals: from Bible to Folksong" (Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1976)
Crista Dixon's book provides background and stories for specific spirituals, including their Biblical origin. It is very helpful in understanding the relationship of bondage to the Christian orientation of slaves and particularly useful with regard to allegories/imagery in this literature. ISBN 0-8006-1221-3.

DOBIE, J. FRANK "Follow de Drinkin' Gourd" (Texas Folklore Society, 1928)
Those interested in the history of spirituals should read this book. It was reprinted in 1965. A good review here.

EPSTEIN, DENA J. "Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War" (Univ Illinois Press, 1977)
The most detailed history of African-American spirituals up to the publication of "Slave Songs of the United States". The last 2 chapters are about the 3 editors and the publication of the historic collection. The book is well documented from contemporary sources. Amazon review here.

FISHER, M. M. "Negro Slave Songs in the United States" (Russell & Russell, 1968)
Originally published in 1953, this is one of the first scholarly attempts at a thorough socio-cultural analysis of the cultural functions of the spirituals and other slave songs. The Negro spirituals and songs of the antebellum South were more than simple musical expression. They were, in Dr. Fisher's words, the oral historical documents of a people. As decoded by Dr. Fisher, the spirituals reveal data respecting their authors, their dates, their places of origin, their plans to escape, and their protest against slavery. Amazon review here. Biography of Miles Mark Fisher here.

HEILBUT, ANTHONY "The Gospel Sound - Good News and Bad Times" (NY, Limelight Editions, 1971)
A very informative book that gives the reader a genuine understanding of the origin of Gospel music. It reaches very deep into the life and times of the pioneers of Gospel. Each played their own part into evolving Gospel music to make it what it is today. Anthony Heilbut is an expert on the subject of gospel music, one of the most important musical forces in American history. His book is written from the perspective of a scholar, but one with a real passion for the music. Amazon reviews here.
Reprinted: 1997 by Limelight Editions ISBN: 0879100346. (25th anniv edition)

JACKSON, GEORGE PULLEN "White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands" (Dover Press, 1965)
George Pullen Jackson may have exhibited slight "racist" tendencies, but his White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands (originally published in 1933) and other collections (Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America; Down-East Spirituals and Others; White and Negro Spirituals, Their Life Span and Kinship; Another Sheaf of White Spirituals) set the standard for other collectors. More details of Jackson's works, as well as some information on Shape-Note music here. Jackson published a number of other works of note, including "Down East Spirituals" (1953), "White Spirituals In The Southern Uplands" (1933), "Spiritual Folksongs Of Early America" (1937), "White And Negro Spirituals" (1943), "Story Of The Sacred Harp" (1944) and "Another Sheaf Of White Spirituals" (1952).

JOHNSON, J. W. and JOHNSON J. R. "American Negro Spirituals" (New York, DaCapo Press, 1989)
This book stays true to aural tradition and offers outstanding, non-Westernized arrangements of the aural traditional music of African American spirituals. The respect for and love of this fine music comes through in the author's comments, and the transcriptions retain the strong harmonic features that are often "arranged out" of collections of aural traditional music. Amazon review here.
Reprinted 1988 by Da Capo Press. ISBN: 0306800748.

ROACH, HILDRED "Black American Music: Past And Present" (2 vols) (Boston Ma, Crescendo Publishing Co, 1973)
A useful book, written when Ms. Roach was professor at the University of the District of Columbia. The book examines the spiritual aspects of black music, and concludes that the power of black music lies in its ability to protest and transcend oppression.
Second Edition published by Krieger, 1992

SOUTHERN, EILEEN "The Music Of Black Americans: A History" (New York, W.W.Norton & Co, 1971)
This text provides comprehensive coverage of black American music, from the arrival of the first Africans in the English colonies to contemporary developments in African-American history. The book draws on authentic documents, from colonial times to the present, to illuminate the history of black music. The book provides thorough treatment of black women musicians, including Lil Hardin Armstrong, Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, Leontyne Price and Ella Fitzgerald. (When the book was written, Ms. Southern was affiliated with Harvard University.) ISBN: 0-393-95279-7.
3rd edition. W. W. Norton and Company, 1997 ISBN 0-393-03843-2.

Genres - Yiddish

NOTE: There is a useful bibliography of Yiddish Song here.

SILVERMAN, JERRY "The Yiddish Songbook" (New York, Stein and Day, 1982)
Melodies with chord symbols. Yiddish (romanized) words with English translations. Guitar chord diagrams.

Last Updated : 05-10-2003 16:30

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Subject: RE: Basic Folk Library PermaThread
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 02:23 PM

A Basic Folk Library - Dance

Social Dance
Sword Dancing

Dance - Morris

NOTE: The Morris Ring's official bibliography is available here and there is another by Tom Keays here.
There is also a brief Biography of Cecil Sharp here.

FORREST, JOHN "The History of Morris Dancing, 1438-1750" (University of Toronto Press, 1999)
If you are academically inclined I suggest reading this book. I don't necessarily agree with his interpretation of the evidence but he has compiled a lot of interesting material. ISBN 0802009212. Synopsis from Amazon: "This analysis shows that morris dancing does not have pagan or ancient origins. It examines the passage of dance ideas between groups of people who have conventionally been considered folklorically distinct and ties morris traditions into the wider area of communal customs and public celebrations."

Dance - Social Dance

NOTE: A history of Western Social Dance with bibliography here. Includes an online copy of Arbeau's "Orchesographie"
There is an online version of Playford's "Dancing Master" here.

BARNES, PETER "The Barnes Book of English Country Dance Tunes" (Canis Publishing, 1986)
This is a collection of 426 of the most commonly used English traditional dance tunes, for all instruments. Chords are included for piano or guitar accompaniment, and there is an extensive appendix on accompaniment tips for all the various types of dances. This collection has sold thousands of copies all over the United States and is considered to be the standard source for both the Playford and 'barn dance' styles of English traditional dance music. Metal spiral binding to lie flat for easy sight-reading. This book, originally published in 1986, has been completely revised and expanded with new typesetting, 120 new tunes, accompaniment tips, indices and cross-references. "I haven't heard anyone else's comments on it, but I'm enjoying learning tunes from it." Available direct.

RAVEN, MIKE "1000 English Country Dance Tunes" ()
1000 plus tunes, from the 13th to the 20th century. Morris, ceremonial and sword dances, jigs, reels, waltzes, cotillons, polkas, scottisches, marches quadrilles, branles, old English hornpipes, square dances, long dances, mazurkas and galliards not to mention laments, listening music and exotic novelty dances. Available from Hobgoblin Music.

TOWNSEND, A. DAVE "A First Collection of English Country Dance Tunes" (Oxford, Ferret Music, 1982)
Contains 130 traditional English dance tunes. They are part of the common repertoire of musicians playing English music for barn dances, ceilidhs, and country dances.

Dance - Sword Dancing

NOTE: There is a very full bibliography of Sword Dancing books here and a selected one here.

ALLSOPP, IVOR "Longsword Dances from Traditional and Manuscript Sources" (Northern Harmony, 1996)
The book includes full notations of all 27 longsword dances and sword play texts from British sources (mainly from Yorkshire but including dances from Shetland and the Isle of Man). To put this in perspective, Sharp's 3-volume study, "The Sword Dances of Northern England", contains 9 longsword dances. Lots of diagrams and all music for the song- and dance-airs beautifully engraved by John Roberts. There are also photographs of teams and some key sword dance researchers, and maps with each notation to help create a sense of "place" for each dance. Sections are added on the design of swords and locks with graphic representation of existing information on the actual implements used by historical sides, reprints of articles by Trevor Stone and Melusine Wood, and an expanded version of Rhett Krause's article on the shapes and methods of making sword locks. This is a "must-have." These are tried-and-true notations worked out by Ivor Allsop (of Barnsley Longsword, formerly of Handsworth, formerly Squire of the Morris Ring, and a recent EFDSS Gold badge honoree) and used in his teaching at the Whitby festival, at Pinewoods camp, and at many other places.

SHARP, CECIL J. "The Sword Dances of Northern England" (3 vols) (London, Novello, 1911-1913)
This is the standard manual on English long sword and rapper dances, but Sharp's introductions include his interpretations of the history and ritual significance of the dance in all of Europe. In regard to specific dance descriptions, part I includes: Kirkby Malzeard and Grenoside long sword; Swalwell and Earsdon rapper; and Abbots Bromley horn dance. Part II: Sleights and Flamborough long sword; Beadnell rapper. Part III: Escrick, Handsworth, Ampleforth, Askham Richard, and Haxby long sword; Winlaton and North Walbottle rapper. Very thorough and useful dance descriptions, with diagrams, tunes, and photos. It has been reprinted several times, most recently by EFDSS in 1985 (part III is a reprint of the 1951 edition, revised by Maud Karpeles). Different editions include some variations, for example in the material on the Ampleforth dance.

Last Updated : 03-05-2002 12:30

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