The Folk-Song Society wax cylinder recordings in the English Folk Dance and Song Society wax cylinder collection. Context, history, and reappraisal

King, Andrew Stewart (2016) The Folk-Song Society wax cylinder recordings in the English Folk Dance and Song Society wax cylinder collection. Context, history, and reappraisal. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis establishes the provenance, and attribution of the Folk-Song Society’s (FSS) collection of wax cylinders, and for the first time offers a comprehensive catalogue of all of the recordings known to have been made between 1905-1915.
Part I is a general evaluation of the development of folk song collecting in the 19th Century, definitions of folk music, and how the work of the newly formed FSS differed from that of previous collectors. After discussing the founding of the FSS it then looks at the development of early recording media, noting that commercial recording companies ignored folk music in the British Isles but also how recordings were used by ethnomusicologists, and the reaction of the FSS to this technology.
Part II evaluates each FSS member who collected with the phonograph. Major luminaries such as Sharp, Broadwood and Vaughan Williams all made recordings and are considered. The final chapter looks at the 1949/50 EFDSS survey of the phonographs, analysing from manuscripts what was still extant at that time and what was subsequently discarded.
In the process of conducting this research I catalogued two major collections (Leather’s and the Broadwood/MacRae papers) that hadn’t previously been analysed. MS collections of the other collectors and their publications, especially material in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society has also been utilised.
The appendices contain a complete catalogue of the extant FSS phonographs as well as individual listings of all of the recordings made by each collector. These catalogues prove that the FSS made the best part of 200 recordings, but as only just over a third of these have survived, and few of these were attributed, such activity has either been ignored or misrepresented in previous research. In writing this thesis I have established that the FSS far from ignoring the possibilities of the phonograph actively embraced it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music > M1495 Vocal music > M1497 Secular vocal music > M1627 Folk, national and ethnic music
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 10:04
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 13:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61113

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