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Recordings of Traditional English Music

Charley Noble 23 Jun 12 - 09:40 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 12 - 09:50 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jun 12 - 10:07 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 12 - 11:14 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jun 12 - 11:27 AM
DMcG 24 Jun 12 - 12:32 PM
johncharles 24 Jun 12 - 01:04 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 12 - 01:09 PM
johncharles 24 Jun 12 - 01:25 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jun 12 - 01:43 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Jun 12 - 01:47 PM
johncharles 24 Jun 12 - 02:11 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 12 - 03:24 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 24 Jun 12 - 06:10 PM
johncharles 24 Jun 12 - 07:58 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jun 12 - 08:47 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Jun 12 - 02:06 PM
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Subject: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 09:40 AM

I'm not sure if anyone has linked to this British Library website featuring publicly accessible recordings of Traditional Music in England: click here for recordings!

The recordings begin in the early 1970s and come from these collections:

Bob Davenport Archive
Bob and Jacqueline Patten Collection
Desmond and Shelagh Herring Collection
John Howson Collection
Keith Summers Collection
Nick and Mally Dow Collection
Reg Hall Archive
Roy Palmer Collection
Steve Gardham Collection
Terry Yarnell Collection

There are about 30 "shanties" in the collections.

I was actually looking for older BBC recordings from the 1930s but was unable to find any.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 09:50 AM

I've never understood why our collection (around 500 tapes of English and Irish field recordings) have never appeared on these lists - it is documented as the Carroll/Mackenzie Collection and part of the BM/NSA collection.
Via the previous curator, Lucy Duran, we donated our recordings to the then National Song Archive in the late 70s, effectively turning it from what was then largely an African/Asian anthropology/musicology archive into one catering for all traditional music collections.
It was through the efforts of people like Lucy Duran, Reg Hall, Malcolm Taylor and others, us included, that the 'Bright Golden Store' project was initiated which brought in some of the collections mentioned in the BL index.
Eventually the project ran its course and the money dried up, still leaving a huge number of collections untouched.
I don't think there are BBC recordings that date back to the 30's Charlie, but if anybody is interested in a sadly neglected English collection, the NSA/BM holds the Percy Grainger Collection, made in Lincolnshire around 1908.
There are shanties in the massive J M Carpenter Collection, made in Britain in the 1930s and now being worked on, I think in Aberdeen.
There is a copy of this at Cecil Sharp House.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 10:07 AM

Jim,
Off the top of my head all of the above list were digitised as a job lot by Andrew King under the heading 'Traditional Music in England Project' c2002. Your recordings as you say were donated much earlier than this and as part of a different project, which is presumably why they are not accessible under the same conditions. If you email Janet Topp-Farjion who occasionally chips in on the Tradsong website she might be able to see that your collection is put into the same availablity as the collections above. Indeed it's something I'd like access to certainly.

Yes Julia, Vic, David et al are based at Aberdeen Univ. working on Carpenter. We occasionally get updates on their work at TSF meetings.

Regarding shanties, there are definitely some in my collection from 2 different singers, one an ex captain and the other an old Cape-Horner.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 11:14 AM

Thanks Steve - will do,
While I have it in mind, another important collection missing from the list is that of MacColl and Seeger.
After we had deposited our recordings we suggested to them that they do the same, which they agreed to do.
These would include all the Scots Traveller material (Stewarts et al), and the Radio Ballad actuality, including the Elliots of Birtly.
Particularly interesting were the recordings of Ben Bright, a merchant seaman who was first recorded by Carpenter in Swansea, but who fas re-discovered by Charles Parker working as an escapologist's assistant on Tower Bridge in London in the 1970s.
Bright had sailed under canvas and (presumably around the time Capenter met him), jumped ship in California, went fruit picking, and became an activist in the IWW (the Wobblies) working with T-Bone Slim, among others.
MacColl, Seeger and Parker recorded him in depth and Ewan and Peggy produced a fascinating little monograph based on the interviews entitled 'Shellback, reminiscences of Ben Bright, mariner'.
MacColl's song, 'Shellback' was inspired by the interviews and many of the terms used in the songs were Bright's.
The collection, which is also housed at Ruskin College, also incudes a great deal of English Traveller material recorded for their book, 'Songs of the Travellers'.
One of the important collections is that of Charles Parker; I know it is housed at the C.P. Archive in Birmingham Central Library but I have no idea how accessible it is.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 11:27 AM

There seems to be lots of collections around the country that need more exposure. EFDSS are working with various Collections outside of the VWML currently as The Full English, an extension of the Take6 website. The NSA are also trying to make recordings more accessible to all. Interested parties should start making enquiries and giving quiet nudges in the right directions. Perhaps EFDSS and NSA can look at some of these when they have their current projects are up and running.

When you say 'monograph' does this mean the material has been published somewhere?


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 12:32 PM

I had a lot of trouble with that site. Even though I clicked into 'recording playable by anyone' I kept ending up at recordings that could only be played by registered HE/FE institutions. :(


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: johncharles
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:04 PM

Dear DMcG,several months ago I wrote to the British Library sound archive about accessibility of their recordings, I also wrote to my MP.
I had a reply from The British Library saying that the Head of the sound archive was on leave for a week. That was 4 months ago. My MP is still working on it.
John


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:09 PM

Steve
'Ben Bright' was privately published and sold at The Singers, and other clubs E&P visited - I doubt if there are any left, but you might try Ruskin or possibly 'The Woring Class Library' in Salford - or Peggy even - now living in Oxford.
I digitised it some time ago, so can send you have a copy (assuming |can find it after my tidying up)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: johncharles
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:25 PM

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have a longstanding interest in english folk music. I have recently been looking at the material held in your sound archive. It is rather disappointing that a lot of the material is only accessible to members of HE or FE institutions. Some material e.g. the doffing Mistress is only available on this restricted basis yet it is easily obtainable via youtube and various other forms on the internet,am I to take it they are all breaching copyright?
I see that according to your information "
You can listen to all the recordings from computers in British Library reading rooms if you have a Readers Pass."
As someone who lives nearly 200 miles north of London this is hardly an attractive option. I believe we pay the same taxes in the North but we do not have access to the same facilities as those in London.
yours sincerely JohnC
REPLY FROM BRITISH SOUND ARCHIVE
Your enquiry has now been assessed by the Sound Archive Information Service, and it has been decided that it would more appropriately be answered by Janet Topp Fargion, Lead Curator, World and Traditional Music, Sound and Vision (janet.topp-fargion@bl.uk). It was transferred there on 5 March. Please note that Janet is on leave until 12 March.
No reply as yet. It's grim up North.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:43 PM

Janet is very helpful and very much into making the traditional music at the NSA accessible. As I said she does receive postings from the Tradsong forum. If you posted a similar message there I'm certain she would respond.

I also live a couple of hundred miles away, but I'm often contacted by people who have listened to songs in my collection on the NSA website.

Jim,
Tidying up, fatal. However if it does come to hand I'd love to see a copy, please.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 01:47 PM

I'd like to see this pursued too.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: johncharles
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 02:11 PM

Dear Steve
as I wrote to the British sound archive I expected them to reply; I am still waiting. It is the large bodyof material which is inaccessible unless you are part of a subscribing FE/HE institution which is the issue I wish to address not the open access material.
john


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 03:24 PM

Steve - pm me an e-mail address please.
John,
I lived in the North of England (L.pool and Manchester) and was acutely aware of how London orientated all things archival were and probably still are.
It would be the same in Ireland if the Irish Traditional Music Archive hadn't put such an effort into making material freely available on the 'net.
Locking material away on shelves goes directly against the way most collectors I know have approached their singers - "We're doing this because we don't want the songs to die" has always been our introductory approach, They might as well have died with the singers if they are inaccessible.
We are getting around it to some degree here in Ireland by setting up local archives - gawd bless the all-too-short-lived Celtic Tiger.
One of the great horror stories of archival beurocracy is of an American collector (who shall be nameless) working with a Traveller singer in the UK, who was suddenly called back home.
He deposited his recordings with a national archive (which shall also be nameless) to save him having to lug them all the way backward and forward to the States.
On his return he was told that he couldn't access his own recordings without written permission from the American institute he was working for - nearly a week's delay at that time.
What do they say - "a camel is really a horse designed by a committee".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM

Things are gradually improving in England at the moment, both on a national level and local. Both local authorities in my area have just had new state-of-the-art history centres built and they are falling over backwards to make stuff accessible. Funding and will are the main issues nationally. EFDSS have recently had 2 massive awards, hence their 2 great projects, Take6 and The Full English. Manchester is waking up with making their broadside collections more accessible. To be honest, what with Gutenberg, Google Books, Univ Collections and all the others it's a job keeping up with it all, and I'm retired!

John, I fully agree with you. The only way is to keep badgering them and as many people as possible to do so.

The funding is still out there, but we need to let the powers that be know there is a demand.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 06:10 PM

For John Charles and others:
Janet Topp Fargion has posted to the Trad Song discussion list about BL collections that are restricted to HE institutions. This is what she wrote:

As far as the idea that "so many of the online archives" are restricted to academic institutions, I'd like to point out that of the 30,000-odd recordings groups as "world and traditional music" on the online site (at http://sounds.bl.uk) the vast majority can be listened to as streamed audio by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Furthermore, anyone can register (in the top right hand corner of the screen) to allow them to create playlists and add notes, tags and comments to the recordings included. Only the David Rycroft South Africa Collection, and the Carole Pegg, Bob and Jacqueline Patten and John Howson Collections within the Traditional Music in England package have access restricted to people within academic institutions. These restrictions were imposed by Carole, Bob and Jacqueline and John respectively as recording rights holders - not by the British Library.

Hope that clarifies the situation.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: johncharles
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 07:58 PM

I confess I have only been interested in The traditional Music in England Archive. It seems that of 12 collections 3 are restricted to FE/HE subscribers and one collection ( miscellaneous) has mixed access. I have not checked the relative size of each of the archives.
john


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 08:47 PM

Nice to get such a good response to this thread. We should probably ask that this be made a perma thread so someone can edit it, keeping the choice bits who have need of the links later.

One of my "Holy Grails" would be to find some recordings of Cicely Fox Smith singing shanties. I know she did some radio programs for the BBC in the 1930s, most likely children's programs, but so far we haven't run across any reference to recordings. Uncle Mac's Children's Hour was one of the BBC programs, which included a short story of hers called "A Deal in Turtles."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Traditional English Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 02:06 PM

refresh


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