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Sword Dances of Northern England

nutty 23 Jul 03 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 23 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,MCP 23 Jul 03 - 08:05 PM
nutty 24 Jul 03 - 08:45 AM
CraigS 24 Jul 03 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,MCP 24 Jul 03 - 04:39 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 Jul 03 - 05:09 PM
Herga Kitty 24 Jul 03 - 07:00 PM
nutty 25 Jul 03 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,MCP 25 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jul 03 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,Eliza C 27 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,eliza C 28 Jul 03 - 11:08 AM
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Subject: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: nutty
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 06:13 PM

I recently picked up a copy of "Sword Dances of Northern England" in a second-hand bookshop.

Produced by Cecil Sharp in 1913, it describes in minute detail the Escrick, the Hansworth,the Ampleforth, The Askam Richard, The Haxby Long Sword Dances and the Winlaton and the North Walbottle Short Sword Dances.

I would be grateful for anymore information about Cecil Sharp's work in this area.


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM

Why not ask the librarian at Cecil Sharp House?


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:05 PM

If you mean in the area of sword dance collecting, Maud Karpeles' Cecil Sharp - His Life And Work has information on the collection of sword dances. In summary: He saw his first (Kirby Malzeard) July 1910. This was the "prelude to may more excursions to the north of England in search of Sword Dances, in some of which he was accompanied by George Butterworth. As a preliminary, he sent a reply-paid postcard to the incumbent of every parish in Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham asking if they had ever seen or heard of any such dances...He published 14... and his notebooks contain further examples and fragments.". (If you don't have access to a copy I can scan and send you the relevent pages).

If you mean his work in the geographical area, he did collect a few songs there. (I once looked up his notebooks to see if he collected more songs in Whitby than the version of Stowbrow in the published collection - there was also The Lincolnshire Poacher and The Ship That Never Returned as I recall).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: nutty
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 08:45 AM

Thanks Mick ..... the book is one of three and makes fascinating reading.

Peter ... I hope eventually that all the material held in Cecil Sharp House will become more readily available to all areas of the UK .... preferably by putting it on-line


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: CraigS
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 12:17 PM

There was a book in our local library, which has been sold off in a library sale, which gave material collected from the last surviving dancer of the Kirkby Malzeard side at the turn of the century. It gave the tunes in part, and a song/mummers play, and recorded that the old man said that he had only taught the dancers a part of the dance in order to perform a display at the Ripon millinery festival - implying that there had been subsequent disagreement and the side were not dancing the full dance.


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 04:39 PM

nutty - I've got the 1951 edition of Part 1 (revised MK: Kirby Malzeard and Grenoside long sword, Swalwell and Earsdon short sword and The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance). It's not clear if you have all 3 or not. If not and you'd like a look at this one, let me know and I'll bring it along to some common festival.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 05:09 PM

Manitas might have some more material.... plus he knows one of the people who work in C#H library.

There's a book by Elaine Bratdke (sp - I can't lay my hand on the book to confirm), which covers the history of step and molly dancing, but Manitas has tidied it away and I can't find it. It is very good though, so he says.

When I worked in a library, I "acquired" a bound edition of some of the Esperance dances and some "English Folk Dances" as collected by Mr S, I suspect they are pre WWI editions, although I can't date them accurately.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 07:00 PM

Liz - Iirc, Peta Webb, who is now the Assistant Librarian at C#H, said at Whitby last year that she enjoys the challenge of people ringing up for info.


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: nutty
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 05:50 AM

Thanks again Mick ....number 3 is the only one that I have acquired but I shall certainly be on the lookout for original copies of 1 and 2 .

Why was number 1 revised, I wonder??


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM

I haven't checked, but it looks as though all volumes were revised. There is a two and a half page NOTE by MK explaining the changes. She gives references to works on the sword dance that appeared after the original edition. Then explains some minor changes to figures in Kirby Malzeard and Grenoside, noted by Peter Kennedy in 1947 (these are given as appendix). She also mentions a change to the Askham Richard dance from Part 3, which seems to have been misdescribed in the original edition and is corrected here. She finishes with:

"A few misprints and minor errors have been corrected, but apart from the Double-Sword figures already referred to, the only alteration of importance is that which has been made in the Three-Reel of the Ampleforth dance (see Part 3) with regard to the position of the dancers and the order in which they perform the movements. This revision conforms with the method employed by Cecil Sharp himself when teaching the dance"

Mick


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 11:13 PM

There is a paper by E. C. Cawte in the current edition of The Folk Music Journal (EFDSS, London, 2003) which you would certainly find interesting: Watching Cecil Sharp at Work: A Study of his Records of Sword Dances Using his Field Notebooks.

The material at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is very specialised. There is an ongoing project to make at least some of the catalogues and photographic archives available online, but you have to understand that this is a small, private library, and that it is not funded by the state. Money and resources are very scarce. If you want them to make their holdings available online, you should consider donating money to help them do it.

They also need, very badly, financial help to safeguard the physical integrity of the manuscript collections. They do an extremely good job in far from ideal circumstances; in almost any other country in the "civilised" world, government would be providing proper funding for such a valuable collection of traditional culture. Unfortunately, government in the UK appears to believe that musical "culture" begins and ends with Opera.


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,Eliza C
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM

I wonder if anyone can help me-Keith Thompson of the Goathland Plough Stotts, which is the team I play for, has been in search of Billy Pennock's repertoire for some years. Part of it was supposed to be housed in a library in Wetherby but when he went to reference it he found that it was gone, all the relevant bits were missing. Any ideas? Bit of a mystery really, and as I plan to stsrt teaching the young lads' team some fiddle and local tunes, we would obviously be grateful for anything anyone might know. Sharp did not collect in Goathland itself, though I have played the Sleights tunes he collected. Frank Kidson in Glasgow is my next stop, but any Billy Pennock stuff anyone knows is needed and would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks,
Eliza


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM

I expect you already know about Peter Kennedy's recordings of Billy Pennock, but I'll mention it just in case. You might have a word with Paul Davenport, too, if you haven't already; he and Liz went through the Kidson material in Glasgow a few years back, and may be able to save you some time. They re-discovered a good bit of his stuff at the VWML that had been thought lost, too.


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Subject: RE: Sword Dances of Northern England
From: GUEST,eliza C
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 11:08 AM

Thanks, I'll give him a shout. Meanwhile, I'll keep this fresh in case anyone else knows owt.
cheers,
eliza


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