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Folk Music Research

03 Nov 04 - 12:32 PM (#1315385)
Subject: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper


I'm now one year into a part time masters and starting to think about my dissertation. I've spent age trawling through the net looking for academic papers and research on Folk Music. I found quite a lot of interesting things out, but I'm still looking for literature.

So I thought, hey why don't I ask those nice people on Mudcat, they're bound to know where heaps of papers are hidden in the net, or to have pdf's squirelled away. So my request is, if you know of any papers on Folk Music I would be a very grateful bunny! (Obviously my dissertation hypothesis isn't that broad, but I'm looking for overview as well as specific, so please don't flame!!)

I am looking at synchronous webcast sessions, so anything on the technology too would be great! If you're interested in taking part in a wecast, take a visit to the smallpiper forum (link below). All you need is isdn (or better), quicktime and speakers.... oh and an instrument! lol.

Smallpiper Forum

03 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM (#1315417)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: DMcG


Since you are in the UK, have you looked at the EFDSS Folk Dance and Folk Song Journals in Cecil Sharp House? (They will also be able to tell you if there is a copy of the Journals nearer to you.) Of course, these are NOT on-line or PDF documents, having been produced in the early part of the 20th century, but you would be hard pressed to get a better selection of folk music articles in one place.

03 Nov 04 - 01:51 PM (#1315475)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Rozza

You could try this one for a start


03 Nov 04 - 01:54 PM (#1315481)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Rozza

Or alternatively, this might be useful.

03 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM (#1315488)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Folkiedave

The Farne Project should give you loads of ideas.

There is tons of work done in the past which needs re-visiting. Violet Alford springs to mind immediately.

There is the "session" - etiquette, repertoire, structure, seems a good one, it'll get you to lots of pubs!!

Best regards,


03 Nov 04 - 02:13 PM (#1315499)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Rozza

Do you lend out glasses to see your website Dave?

03 Nov 04 - 02:22 PM (#1315504)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Rozza

oh and Martin Nail has some good references

03 Nov 04 - 02:56 PM (#1315533)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper

Brilliant stuff!
Keep it coming.
I'm off to the EFDSS library tomorrow (or Saturday), so that should be good! (Might have to leave the credit card at home to prevent any expensive accidents in the shop!)
Thanks again!!!!

03 Nov 04 - 04:34 PM (#1315635)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

Check opening times before travelling, last time I looked they didn't open every Saturday.

03 Nov 04 - 04:44 PM (#1315644)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Burke

The academic literature that you want access to may not be on the internet at all. If it is, it may be in a commercial service that your library may have access to.

Go to your univeristy library.

Find a reference librarian.

You should be shown the appropriate indexes & reference sources for your topic.

03 Nov 04 - 04:58 PM (#1315655)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Desert Dancer

Discussions on the Ballad-L listserve are sometimes quite wide ranging, and the contributors are generally knowledgable and scholarly. The archives are here.

~ Becky in Tucson

03 Nov 04 - 05:19 PM (#1315668)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: breezy

During the early 60s Bob and carol Pegg were involved with 'Folk studies' at the University in Leeds.

They also ran the 'Yorkshire Folk centre' folk club

Bit too purist for me during those days

Maddy Prior may be able to throw some light on the subject as she did a floor spot and secured a gig I do believe.

Give Malcolm at the Vaughan Willy mem lib a call first, I used to go there during my free periods and lunch break from work.

all the best with your work

03 Nov 04 - 05:23 PM (#1315671)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Cats

Try contacting Wren Music in Okehampton, Devon and Martin Graebe in Cheltenham. They have recently completed researching and publishing the previously unpublished Baring Gould manuscripts that were found in the cellar at Killerton. Each year we now have a Baring Gould Festival which is preceded by a study week. Access is available to the manuscripts and plays is a big part and people are helped to research the songs, places, people etc. If you can't find them on the net pm me and I'll give you e mail addresses for them.. I'm sure they will be of great help and their work is of huge importance.

03 Nov 04 - 05:31 PM (#1315681)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Vicki - check out the articles at Musical Traditions, an online magazine. You may also want to take a look at our Basic Folk Library.
-Joe Offer-

03 Nov 04 - 05:52 PM (#1315707)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Joybell

Along with the websites there are lots of great books available secondhand (or from libraries that haven't got rid of their copies yet.) I wouldn't be without:
"The Ballad Tree" by Evelyn Kendrick Wells,
"Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads." by Lowry C. Wimberly.
"Anglo-American Folksong Scolarship Since 1898." by D.K. Wilgus.

Several others given in the bibliographies of these books are also excellent. Good hunting, Joy

03 Nov 04 - 06:20 PM (#1315732)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Ed.

Giving us an idea of the particular aspect of 'folk music' that you intend to focus your dissertation on would be helpful for the many people here who are happy to help, I think.

You mention that you are looking at synchronous webcast sessions, so anything on the technology too would be great!

Is that a thought for your dissertation topic? If so, you need to clarify what you mean by anything on the technology. There are a number of people here who could tell you a lot about that technology, how is has been used etc. but I assume that you're not wanting to write a technical paper?

I apologise if I'm being negative, but I have to say that I worry if someone doing an MA is asking on Mudcat for 'anything academic' to do with folk music.

Define your terms, what you want to research, do a lot of paper based reading, and take it from there.

No offense intended.

03 Nov 04 - 07:32 PM (#1315804)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper

No offence taken!
Have a look at what I've done already.
This would give you a better idea!

click here

I work for an educational research establishment called Ultralab
That also will give you an idea of my background.
My day job is "senior research fellow" (for what it's worth, which is not that much really!) I work at researching teaching music and IT online.

I aready am doing a lot of paper based reading, I just thought I'd ask and see what mudcatters came up with. There is not all that much on the actual aspect of what I am researching. I am researching into holding an online, synchronous session. ie webcasting a session to the world. This will of course be qualitative research and will involve analysing feedback given, in the form of synchronous chat and also a questionnaire given afterwards. What I am performing this side of christmas is just the pilot, so I will be testing the research questions and the basic technology. I already have the webcast equipment up and running and am in the final stages of uploading the website given the instructions. I have my pilot group, but of course it will be open to anyone wishing to take part.

I've already spoken to Malcolm at Cecil Sharp House, 1st and 3rd Saturdays, definitely worth checking their opening times!

As I said, thank you for all the links that you've given. They are most welcome. Some I've investigated already, and some I've not, so they're all really great! So please, keep posting them!!!!! I know that there are a few mudactters out there who know where there may be papers that are not readily available in libraries. What I am doing is not well researched, so I need to leave no stone unturned. I am also not afraid of being flamed! I am also fully aware of the numbers of trolls on the cat, but I can cope with that, So please, keep posting!



03 Nov 04 - 07:53 PM (#1315819)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Malcolm Douglas

That's helpful. The problem so far is that you asked an open question without defining parameters. The more specific you can be about what you want, the more useful will be the responses you get; though of course they will be fewer.

03 Nov 04 - 08:12 PM (#1315834)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Ed.

I'm in total agreement with Malcolm here.

Having looked at your personal page I have to say that you are very easy on the eye!

04 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM (#1316520)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: shepherdlass

Hi Vicki

Welcome to the miseries of folk music MAs. I did a history dissertation on NE folk music last year and it was fascinating and frustrating by turns (so much so that I've continued on to PhD level and am going through the same traumas again). Anyway, I doubt if it would be of use to this particular project - very little emphasis on performance issues. What you're doing sounds much more innovative and groundbreaking. I think you should have a look at Allan Taylor's PhD thesis on songwriters in the revival (Queen's University, Belfast - I think it was 1993) - where he has some interesting analysis of the effect of the folk club audience, venue and expectation on performance. Also - though I'm sure you've already looked at this - MacKinnon's "The British Folk Scene" (OUP, 1993) - which deals with similar issues. These would probably give you some useful contrasts with your webcast.

There was also something in Folk Music Journal from a few years back about the changing face of Irish music and the session, which would be worth looking out for - I'll try and dig out the reference for you, but I couldn't find it just now.

I remember your face from the Whitby programme - somehow we managed to miss you there (probably due to our daughter having chronic toothache, which meant we missed a lot).

If ever you want to have a good whinge about the hassles of putting together a project like this, feel free to send me a personal message - I know how it feels.


04 Nov 04 - 01:22 PM (#1316647)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: Micca

I dont know if this has any relevence but FWIW there was a regular Worldwide session held on Paltalk for a couple of years, which was a session that people indicated their desire to play and took a turn when it came around, the only real rule was "no recordings" so all performances, playing and/or singing were LIVE. the session regularly had Australians, New Zealanders,UKers and USA ers on both coasts taking part so that ,and happened in "real time"even though it was at different times of the day in each place, Many of us participated and it sounds similar to what you may be trying to organise, It was great fun to be involved in, I am sure more details would be forthcoming if required.

04 Nov 04 - 05:36 PM (#1316914)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......

The article referred to is Changing Contexts for Traditional Dance Music in Ireland:The Rise of Group Performance Practice, by Hazel Fairbairn, in Folk Music Journal, Vol6, No5 1994.
I am also studying for a folk music MA. There are a few of us about!I'm on the wrong computer so cookieless at the moment.

Mo B

05 Nov 04 - 06:15 PM (#1318302)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper

Thanks for all of those! I found that article in the VW library yesterday and also the MacKinnon book. I didn't find a huge amount, but I got some good session quotes. I have found a few music technology papers in my 'athens' hunts. Next stop the uni library. It'll pretty much be the same books that I got out last module. Sigh! lol!

I agree with Malcom, I did ask rather an open ended question, I was interested to see what answers I would get and I was interested in all literature and papers that I could get my hands on. Afterall, what comes up could seriously alter the direction of my study!

I would love to chat more with you guys doign phd's and MAs and stuff. Could make it easier to swap stuff!!! Have you guys put any of your stuff online?


07 Nov 04 - 10:51 AM (#1319562)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper

Fancy helping beta test the session thing?

Click here!

All the instructions are there.
We'll be broadcasting for about half an hour from 4pm GMT.
(That's about 10 minutes from the time of this post!)


08 Nov 04 - 08:15 AM (#1320333)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: sian, west wales

You might check out the writings of Anthony McCann which I've found interesting largely because I was, until recently, involved in community development and social economy kinds o' stuff.


06 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM (#1401062)
Subject: RE: Folk Music Research.......
From: kitchen piper

You'll all be pleased to hear that I passed that last module, woo hoo! That's not the end of the webcasting of sessions though. I have one module left and then it'll be back to the webcasting for the dissertation, so watch this space! Want to see what I wrote? (Nervous moment here, should I advertise it on Mudcat) click here.