The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81116   Message #1487441
Posted By: GUEST,Alistair
18-May-05 - 03:14 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
Thanks for everyone's comments.

I've been looking through Peter Kennedy's 'Folksongs of Britain & Ireland' and the only connections between France & Britain that I have found, so far, in that mighty tome are the songs of the Channel Islands which are essentially French with no English connections and a folksinging fisherman from Cornwall who met with Breton Fishermen but nothing in the text suggests that they exchanged songs. I must admit I havent been through the whole book yet. It is enormous in size and content!

Another big book is Michael Raven's 'English Country Dance Tunes' Two tunes spring out in connection with this subject. First is the tune 'La Rotta' which he says is Italian in origin and was found in a 14th century English church music book. The second is titled 'Fete Champetre' No source is given for this but the name would suggest a French origin. Micael Raven states at the beginning of the section of the book that contains these tunes (Tunes published before 1730) "As a whole they reflect the dominant position held by English musicians in the late Renaissance. Many were published on the Continent and were much admired there." Later he says that tunes such as the 'Volt' and the 'Canario' were part of an "international musical vocabulary" He says that the English versions in his book were taken back to the Continent by English Lute players who were supposed to be the best in Europe.

I highly recommend both books.

I hope that this might jog some memories some where and further musical links across the Channel may be discovered. Certainly Michael Raven's book would suggest that it was common?