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Course on Olive Dame Campbell

Desert Dancer 02 Jan 06 - 06:03 PM
Scotus 02 Jan 06 - 07:59 PM
Desert Dancer 02 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM
Scotus 02 Jan 06 - 10:30 PM
LadyJean 02 Jan 06 - 11:48 PM
Scotus 03 Jan 06 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,nickp, cookieless 03 Jan 06 - 03:11 PM
Desert Dancer 03 Jan 06 - 08:25 PM
Abby Sale 04 Jan 06 - 06:10 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Jan 06 - 09:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jan 06 - 10:02 PM
Desert Dancer 21 Apr 06 - 05:50 PM
Abby Sale 22 Apr 06 - 09:05 AM
Desert Dancer 22 Apr 06 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: Ballad study course: Olive Dame Campbell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 06:03 PM

I came on this in the listings for the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina (a wonderful place):

Olive Dame Campbell, Ballad Collector
David Brose, instructor
June 25 - July 1, 2006
   Olive Dame Campbell was a pioneer in the collection of narrative ballads and lyric folksongs that entered Appalachia from Britain. The book English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians, co-authored by Olive Dame Campbell and England's Cecil Sharp, is a classic in ballad scholarship. We will examine Mrs. Campbell's collection of ballads and place her work in the context of ballad collection and study both before and after her influential activities in Appalachia.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Scotus
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 07:59 PM

She, of course, was the inspiration for the movie 'Songcatcher'.

Jack


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM

Heavens, yes, but let's not revive those threads! ;-)

I'll quote again a friend who said that C. Sharp would have had just a nice walk in the woods without O. D. Campbell.

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Scotus
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 10:30 PM

Whoops - hadn't realized I was treading on sensitive corns :-)

Jack


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: LadyJean
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 11:48 PM

I thought J.J. Niles was the inspiration for "Songcatcher". But, of coure, he was a man. (And his voice really was that high. I've met him.)


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Scotus
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:54 AM

"But, of course, he was a man" also lies to some extent behind the prominence that C Sharp gets in the collection co-authored by him and O D Campbell. I believe her name gets less prominence in succeeding editions. Although 'Songcatcher' is fiction there seems to be little doubt that the main character is, to some extent, modelled on O D Campbell.


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: GUEST,nickp, cookieless
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 03:11 PM

SOme inspiration also drawn from Dorothy Scarborough who collected in the 30's and wrote of it in 'A Songcatcher in Southern Mountains'. She makes a point of acknowledging Olive who must have been a fascinating person. I bet that's a great course, any Catter going on it who could write an let us know?


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 08:25 PM

There was a period when it seemed like every other day someone was starting a new thread on the Songcatcher movie, with lots of speculation on the inspiriations, in spite of the fact that there were documents on the web from the movie makers citing Olive Campbell as inspiration. Run a filter search on the title and you want more of that!

On the folk school web site, there's more about her and her role in starting the school, along with Marguerite Butler in starting the school (after John C.'s death).

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 06:10 PM

Now that's curious. My copy of the book is the expanded 1932 set, edited by Maud Karpeles. She accompanied Sharp for the full 49 weeks. With "a few minor omissions" she reproduces Sharp's original introduction. She notes it was preliminary, written after only 9 weeks in the mountains.

She says (and lists) 32 songs, tunes & ballads from the collection of Olive for the 1917 work. She has a credit on the face page as contributing 39 of the 968 tunes in the final cut.

Neither she nor Sharp makes any further reference to Olive.

They both note that John Campbell was very helpful, went to great and generous effort and "gave us the benefit of his very full knowledge of the country and its people."

Certainly nothing to justify the slightest textual, musicological or bibliographical contribution, much less the "co-authored" that Desert Dancer found in the listing. (No dis to DD, obviously.)

Most of the information I have on Olive comes from the school's web site so I can't claim any great knowledge there but Sharp was certainly one of the greatest collectors and musicologists that ever lived. Imagine writing down the tune as it is sung, livetime!

And just was her relationship with Marguerite, anyway? Weren't they "traleling companions" through Europe?

Never mind. Just sassing.


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 09:34 PM

Head on up to Brasstown, Abby, and let us know what secrets Dave Brose reveals! :-)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 10:02 PM

"Co-authored" would refer to the original collection, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians: comprising 122 songs and ballads, and 323 tunes collected by Olive Dame Campbell and Cecil J Sharp (Putnam, New York, 1917). This was published only a year after Sharp's collecting expedition. Olive Dame Campbell had collected the songs which she contributed rather earlier (1907-1910) and she didn't accompany Sharp and Maud Karpeles on their field trip, though her husband John went with them on the first journey, and both the Campbells provided invaluable help with planning, advice, contacts and so on. It is unlikely that Sharp would have visited the region had Mrs Campbell not brought her material to him and offered him help and encouragement; however it is the case that he and his assistant Maud Karpeles did the vast bulk of the collecting.

The next edition (virtually a new book, though issued under much the same title and containing almost all of the material in the first collection together with a great deal more, some of it collected in subsequent, longer trips in 1917 and 1918) appeared as (full title) English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians collected by Cecil J Sharp: comprising two hundred and seventy-three Songs and Ballads with nine hundred and sixty-eight Tunes, including thirty-nine Tunes contributed by Olive Dame Campbell, edited by Maud Karpeles (Oxford University Press, 1932). Later editions specified 274 songs and ballads; maybe there was an error in the count in 1932.

Sharp had died in 1924 and had no hand in the new editions or the re-jigging of the title. His original introduction was retained, but was shortened a little; whether references to Mrs Campbell were reduced I don't know, having seen neither the 1917 nor 1932 editions (some further revisions were introduced in the next edition of 1952), but if her significance as an inspiration and pioneer collector in the region was underplayed in 1932 and later, that will have been down to Maud Karpeles, not to Cecil Sharp.

Her contribution in terms of material to even the first collection was relatively small, and her importance at that time seems to have been more as a groundbreaker, enabler, advisor and generous friend (she wanted the collecting done, and she felt that Sharp was the man to do it). As the pioneer collector in the region, her name got equal billing on the original edition (if we assume alphabetical order; pride of place otherwise. At all events, this was at Sharp's initiative), but maybe Miss Karpeles felt that the revised title reflected more accurately the relative contributions made: that I don't know, of course.

Olive Dame Campbell has disappeared rather in Sharp's shadow; not particularly because he was a man, but because he was a giant in his field. A full re-evaluation would be welcome and informative, and I hope that this is a step towards it.

See also Mike Yates' paper at Musical Traditions:

Cecil Sharp in America: collecting in the Appalachians


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 05:50 PM

Refreshing for people making summer plans.

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Course on Olive Dame Campbell
From: Abby Sale
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 09:05 AM

I happened to acquire the entire Folk School catalog the other day. The OD Campbell course is listed as the sole entry under the "Folklore" section and is a one-week course. There are many "folk crafts" courses - enamelwear, bee keeping, basketry, kaleidoscopes, felt hats, writing, etc.

Under Music, there's a lot on making and playing hammered & mountain dulcimer plus many on "folk" instrument skills - guitar, banjo, flute, autoharp, bagpipes.

And shape note singing.

Nothing else I can find on singing, song or ballad. Zip. Disillusioned am I. Maybe it's just that the likely attenders are already excellent at singing and simply don't need any instruction there.


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Subject: folk song camps
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 06:42 PM

I've done Bob Dalsemer's Dance Caller's Week at the Folk School. It's a wonderful place. But, I agree, in the dozen years since then I've seen little singing in their catalogs. The year I was there there was a Christian Harmony singing school the weekend immediately prior to Caller's Week, and I did that. (We had a Sunday field trip to sing with the folks at a little Baptist church in Ellijay, Georgia, which was pretty cool.) There was a sing-around session every morning, before breakfast, I think. It was nice, but that was hardly a civilised time to hold it! (Of course, that week we were busy dancing every night, maybe it's different during different weeks.)

There's very little available out there that's oriented toward traditional song. CDSS's Pinewoods Folk Music Week in Massachusetts and Augusta Heritage Center's Vocal Week, of which trad's just a part, and classes during Irish Week, and Blues Week, in West Virginia, are among the very few that I know of (and very best, maybe).

And Folk Music Week at Pinewoods, which I'd go to nearly every year if I had the choice is struggling to survive. (Sign up now, folks!!)

~ Becky in Tucson


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