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Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree

Katrina Rainbow 19 Feb 09 - 06:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Ed 19 Feb 09 - 08:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 08:22 AM
Katrina Rainbow 19 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM
Little Robyn 19 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM
Austin P 19 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 09 - 05:48 PM
Austin P 19 Feb 09 - 06:53 PM
BobKnight 19 Feb 09 - 07:59 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Feb 09 - 06:56 PM
Joybell 20 Feb 09 - 09:48 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 09 - 01:46 PM
Joybell 21 Feb 09 - 07:46 PM
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Subject: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Katrina Rainbow
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:24 AM

Hi everyone,

I have been a visitor to this site for nearly two years now, looking up lyrics and things but have not posted until now, so "hello"! :-)

For my music course I have to produce a timeline/family tree/mind map type thing of a genre of music of my choosing.

I chose Folk, which I have now decided to narrow down to Folk Music of the British Isles.

I wonder if anyone knows of any timelines etc anywhere on the web, or anything that would be useful to my research?

My friends doing genres such as Metal, Dance, Rock and the like have found examples to learn from on Google Images but I've had no luck with Folk!

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated as at the moment, I'm not quite sure where to begin!

Many thanks,

Katrina

www.myspace.com/katrinarainbow


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:53 AM

The front cover of the album "History of Fairport Convention" has a family tree of Fairport. I don't know of a bigger or more general one but I would be fascinated to see one


Inside the Album

Best of luck

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:06 AM

There's a basic timeline of the last 50 years here


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:22 AM

Thanks from me Ed, that's fascinating. I guess we will all look at timelines and see our favourites missing. Folk is likely to be patchy because so much is local and low key

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Katrina Rainbow
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM

Thanks everyone so far :-) You're so kind :-) I'll let you know how I get on xx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Little Robyn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM

Welcome Katrina.
Don't forget the earlier British collectors on your timeline - Cecil Sharp, Baring-Gould, even the very early Broadside writers and sellers.
Although we may not wish to include them in our trad/folk world, people like Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams were also very busy collecting at a time when most other people weren't interested.
See if you can find the recording "Unto Brigg Fair". Leader LEA 4050, with recordings of "Joseph Taylor and other traditional Lincolnshire singers recorded in 1908 by Percy Grainger".
My copy is sitting on my knee right now - it may be unavailable but someone nearer you should have a copy.
And of course, all the other early singers who were never recorded but may be remembered (or not), the gypsies, the farm hands, the factory workers, the sailors, the fishermen, the bargemen, the lonely shepherds out on the hills, the mothers singing to their babies, the children playing, singing their nursery rhymes and games - where does history start?
I wish you well with your course.
Robyn in NZ


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Austin P
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM

Katrina - sounds like a fun project.

Apropos unto brigg fair by joseph taylor - you can access the notes on my old website archive

Hope this helps.

A suggestion - look at folk customs as well, as these are generally associated with some of the oldest songs.

Some suggested reading:

* For general background on Cecil Sharp etc, find a copy of "the Oxford book of English Folklore".
* For a general debunking of 'ancient survival' theories of folk songs find a copy of Bob Peggs' 'Rites and Riots - Folk Customs of Britain and Europe'.
* 'Rymes Of Robin Hood' by Dobson & Taylor. (Some of our oldest ballads).
* Anything by Roy Palmer!

I have some material you may find useful (too much to post here) send me an email and I will attach the information in the reply.

AP


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:48 PM

Hi Katrina,
Folk songs as a type obviously go back beyond record and print, but generally the majority of the Child Ballads date from the 16th/17th centuries. Most of the Robin Hood ballads were written for reading and pageants in the 17th century (very little evidence that they were ever in oral tradition). Roughly 75% of our oral folksongs in Britain can be traced back to early 19th century broadside printings and another 20% to earlier printings. Thomas Percy collected, largely rewrote and published a very influential collection of ballads mid 18thc which eventually led to wholesale collecting and publishing of ballads in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19thc. In England folksongs first started being noted down and published in earnest c1890-1920 (also in North America). In Britain we refer to this as the first revival. The second revival 1950s onwards was sparked initially by the burgeoning interest in folk music in America..skiffle, blues, bluegrass, country music etc.

This is very much a general overview but at least it will give you some idea of timescales.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Austin P
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:53 PM

If I shulde deye bi this day - me liste noughte to loke;
I can noughte perfitly my pater-noster - as the prest it syngeth,
But I can rymes of Robyn hood - and Randolf erle of Chestre,
Ac neither of owre lorde ne of owre lady - the leste that evere was made.

Piers Plowman 1377


Good point(s) Steve. But the lack of surviving early versions does not mean they did not exist in oral circulation - true, many of the 'traditional' ballads we now have derive from printed broadsides and chapbooks. However, there is no doubt that some of these songs and ballads(esp of Robin Hood) were popular at least as far back as the 14th Century, there are numerous references, but very few original texts.

Whether the were spread via 'Oral Tradition' as driven by minstelry or just plain folk, will probably remain a mystery. Generally they were only written down for the literate - which meant the gentry or the clergy (the latter usually railing againts them!).

Myself I would doubt that any 'ordinary' person really knew all of 'The Gest' (all 457 verses), but we know from extant oral traditions that people can memorise huge amounts. Me, I'd like so see them try after a few pints of scrumpy!

Two of the earliest examples of Robin Hood ballads:
Robin Hood and the Monk 1492
A Gest of Robyn Hood Child: 117, (Wynkyn De Worde edition dated somewhere between 1492-1534)

I do need to get out more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: BobKnight
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:59 PM

Most of the information given so far is on English Folk Song. However if you are studying British folk song, then you can't leave out the contributions of the Scots, Welsh, and Irish. England and Britain are NOT synonomous terms.

Check out the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh, and you need to also check out the significant contribution made by the travelling people. In Scotland, you need to look at the late Jeannie Robertson, her daughter Lizzie Higgins and her nephew Stanley Robertson. The Stewarts of Blair, are important, as is Elizabeth Stewart from Aberdeenshire. Sadly, only Sheila Stewart remains of the Stewarts of Blair, while Stanley and Elizabeth are both still alive.

You could also find more information on the website of the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen University. I'm not sure of the web address, but google it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 06:56 PM

Austin,
When I mentioned the RH ballads I was referring to the ones that have come down to us. 'rymes of RH' could be interpreted as almost anything. The fact is we know most of them were written in the 17th century and nearly as many in the 18th. The 3 or 4 from mss of earlier centuries have no oral evidence. No doubt from the 13th century onwards they existed as stories. Many of them tell pretty much the same story and some of the stories predate the RH legend itself, having come from earlier legends.
Those found in oral tradition in the 19thc and later can be traced back to 19thc broadsides, copied from the earlier printings.

As you say, whether they were ever oral or not in earlier centuries will ever remain a mystery. If the evidence isn't there I'd say the likeliHood is NOT. From prior to the 16thc only a handful of mss remain that tell us anything about the popular ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 09:48 PM

It sounds like a fun project, Katrina. Good luck.
For many years I've been interested in drawing up connections between various songs and sometimes they become a "family tree". We've sung theme concerts using this kind of study.
I'm careful about my sources. I began with the Child Ballads and his notes about them.
Perhaps, for a start it might be easier to make up several family trees. Here are some groups of songs that fit well with that idea:
1. The "Died for Love" songs -- (The Butcher's Boy, Careless Love --so many it's scary) I'd say jump in anywhere and branch out, up, down.
2. The Unfortunate Rake.
3. The Cutty Wren.
You will find yourself heading into other countries -- particulary America but that may not matter.
You'll also find more cousins, brothers and sisters than you will grandparents -- if you know what I mean.
Still -- it sounds great.

Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 01:46 PM

If you look deep enough you will find lots of grandparents and great-grandparents for the 'Died for Love' songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Folk Music Timeline/Family Tree
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 07:46 PM

Yes, that's true Steve -- depending on where you jump in. A lifetime study of the "Died for Love" songs wouldn't be enough, probably.
Joy


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