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Trad music reading recommendations

GUEST,Brian Daniels 26 Nov 09 - 06:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Nov 09 - 06:58 AM
Young Buchan 26 Nov 09 - 08:14 AM
Dave Ruch 26 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM
SteveMansfield 26 Nov 09 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Nov 09 - 08:48 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Nov 09 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 26 Nov 09 - 12:33 PM
Smedley 26 Nov 09 - 12:36 PM
Valmai Goodyear 26 Nov 09 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Nov 09 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Russ 26 Nov 09 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 26 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM
G-Force 26 Nov 09 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Ditties 26 Nov 09 - 01:56 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,Brian Daniels
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:51 AM

Hoping to accumulate a long winter reading list..

What are some good books to read about:

The history and origins of traditional tunes.

The migration of traditional music to North America and it's evolution into various regional styles.

Celtic music and it's various regional styles..i.e comparing/contrasting music from Brittany or Italy to music in Scottland or Ireland.

Traditional Music in a New England or "Yankee" context.

Contemporary "traditional" music and how modern culture has changed it, i.e the impact of recorded music, the relative ease of travel, or even the internet, on how traditional music is played.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:58 AM

Books about Folk that I collected on an earlier post:

1.        'In search of the craic' by Colin Irwin
2.        Song for every Season - Bob Copper
3.        Early to Rise
Songs and Southern Breezes ....both by Bob Copper
4.        Folk - A portrait of English Traditional Music, Musicians and Customs by Bob Pegg
5.        The Ladybird Book of Folk Song,
6.        Deke Leonard's Rhinos Winos and Lunatics - The Legend of Man, a Rock n' Roll Band; the prequel Maybe I Should've Stayed in Bed - The Flipside of the Rock n' Roll Dream
7.        Come All Ye Bold Miners: Lloyd.
8.        English Folk Song Some Conclusions: Sharp.
9.        Last Night's Fun: Carson.
10.        The Fellowship of Song: Dunn.
11.        Song And Democratic Culture In Britain: Watson.
12.        Popular Music In England: Russell.
13.        The Ballad And The Folk: Buchan.
14.        The Stone Fiddle: Tunney.
15.        The Idiom Of The People: Reeves.
16.        Richard Lewis: The Magic Spring
17.        The Betsy Whyte - the lives and ways of the Scots 'Travellers'
18.        Bound for Glory - Woody Guthrie
19.        And a Voice to Sing With - Joan Baez
20.        Singing Family of the Cumberlands, by Jean Ritchie.
21.        Set Into Song, the story of the making of the Radio Ballads, by Peter Cox.
22.        English Folk Song Bibliography: An Introductory Bibliography Based on the Holdings of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
23.        The English Folk Song Bibliography is on-line at http://www.efdss.org/resind.htm
24.        See the previous Basic Folk Library thread
25.        Ewan McColl - Doomsday in the Afternoon - seminal book on travellers' music in general and Belle Stewart in particular
26.        'History and the Morris Dance' by John Cutting
27.        Joe Klein's "Woody Guthrie
28.        "Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers" and "Sound of the Dove"
29.        "All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region" by David E. Whisnant
30.        Strange Affair - by Patrick Humphries, bio of Richard Thompson.
31.        E.V.Thompson - 'The Music Makers'?
32.        Alan Lomax: The land where the blues began
33.        The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad by Wilentz and Marcous
34.        The Invention of Folk Music and Art Music - Matthew Gelbart
35.        Cerddoriaeth Draddodiadol yng Nghymru: Llyfryddiaeth - Traditional Music in Wales: Bibliography"
36.        David Atkinson: 'The English Traditional Ballad'
37.        MacColl & Seeger's 'Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland
38.        Frank & Anne Warner's 'Traditional American Folk Songs'.
39.        Joe Boyd's 'White Bicycles

Good reading


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:14 AM

I thoroughly endorse Les's list. Can I be picky and add three more?

Ginette Dunn   The Fellowship of Song Deals with the tradition in the Blaxhall Ship

John Maguire (OK I know it was actually ghosted!) Come Day Go Day God Send Sunday An interesting study in a mixed Catholic/Protestant repertoire

Hugh Shields Shamrock Rose and Thistle A study of the family/local repertoire of the Butchers


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM

Under the "Traditional Music in a New England or Yankee context" category, I can highly recommend Simon Bronner's "Old-Time Music Makers of New York State"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:43 AM

Ciaran Carson's 'Last Night's Fun' is already on Les' list, but it desserves an entry all of its own in this thraed.

It's the best book I've ever read about what traditional music (actually I'd just say *music*) means to people - what is in your mind whilst you're playing or listening, the social aspects of music, and above all it nails the curious and complex blend of practicalities, artistry, experience and happenstance that go into a great night of informal music-making.

Many books have been written about sessions and traditional music from the point of view of a semi-involved spectator - Carson writes his from his position playing his flute in the middle of the session.

Definitely, IMNSHO, one that should be near the very top of the pile when you start your reading.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 08:48 AM

nice to see Ciaron Carson's 'last night's fun' in there.

I'm reading the Paddy Tunney book (Stone Fiddle) at the moment and I have the follow-up next on the pile

I notice Shirley Collins' 'America Over the Water' isn't on your list. That sounds like a book that would be right up the street of the original post - covering migration of English song to the US.

Recently I read 'Class Act', a biography of Ewan MacColl, which is a great read on a number of levels - even if you've no interest in MacColl it's fascinating as an account of the squabbles, successes and culture of the British left-wing in the 20th century.

I also recently read Greil Marcus's 'Invisible Republic', which is ostensibly a book about Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes' recordings, but it's at its best when discussing American old-time music: some of the best writing on American mountain song I've read. It's pretentious, and sometimes opaque in that 70s cultural-studies French-philosophy-influenced way, but the insightful parts are fantastic.


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 10:25 AM

I bought "A Class Act" the MacColl biog, and "Journeyman" The autobiog. I started to read A C A but because it quoted quite a bit from J, I thought it only right to read J first.

fascinating if a bit long and rambling about the time before he left school.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:33 PM

yes, but relevant I think. It sets the scene, puts things like his bossiness in perspective - and gives a context to the surprising fact that he had several of his kids privately educated.


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Smedley
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:36 PM

Clinton Heylin's biography of Sandy Denny ' No More Sad Refrains' has a slightly sensationalist flavour once or twice, but is still very engrossing.


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:48 PM

'I Never Played To Many Posh Dances: Scan Tester, Sussex Musician 1887-1972'
by Reg Hall, published by Musical Traditions 1990 ISSN 0265-5063

'Between the Jigs and the Reels: The Donegal Fiddle Tradition'
by Caiomhin Mac Aoidh, published by Drumlin Publications 1994, ISBN 1 873437 08 0

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:55 PM

oh, also Dazzling Stranger, the biography of Bert Jansch. It's not just a Jansch bio, it's more like a portrait of the 60s revival through Bert-tinted spectacles.


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:59 PM

I'm a yank and a banjo player so the following might not fall within the parameters of your range of interests.

Karen Linn's "That Half-Barbaric Twang: The Banjo in American Popular Culture" (University of Illinois Press)

"America's Instrument: The Banjo in the Nineteenth Century" By Philip F. Gura and James F. Bollman (University of North Carolina Press)

Cecilia Conway's "African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia. A Study of Folk Traditions" (The University of Tennessee Press)

Erynn Marshall's "Music in the Air Somewhere: The Shifting Borders of West Virginia's Fiddle and Song Traditions" (West Virginia University Press)

Gerald Milnes' "PLAY OF A FIDDLE: Traditional Music, Dance, and Folklore in West Virginia" (University Press of Kentucky)

These last two suggestions are georgraphically focused, but WV is a place where traditional music by any definition is still alive. I should also acknowledge that Erynn and Gerry and friends of mine.

I also second the motion for David E. Whisnant's "All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region" (University of North Carolina Press)

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM

Rainbow Quest by Ronald Cohen - USA folk revival 1940-70. Just finishing it now ... an excellent read.

Hamish Henderson's biography by Timothy Neat - vol 1 been out a while, vol 2 just published.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: G-Force
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 01:26 PM

I'm in the middle of reading Bluegrass Breakdown by Robert Cantwell (picked it up for 80 UK pence in a charity shop). Perhaps 'ploughing through' would be more accurate than 'reading'. It's extremely academic but I'm finding it highly enjoyable and utterly fascinating and would well recommend it if you can cope with all the technical language. It touches on most of the subjects in your list.


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Subject: RE: Trad music reading recommendations
From: GUEST,Ditties
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 01:56 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the mammoth 'Rough Guide to World Music' - the latest edition of which is due to be published on Dec 1.

Rough Guides also published some nifty guides to the music of various countries - the Cuban one was pretty good as I recall.


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