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Cellar Upstairs Club dates:

Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street, London NW1 2HR (on the corner of Cobourg Street, near Euston and Euston Square stations; parking is easy), on Saturdays at 8:15pm.  For more info: 020 7281 7700; www.cellarupstairs.org.uk (or the Pub: 020 7387 5440)

Sheila Miller - 28.7.10

New Service from ITMA

The Recent Publications & Acquisitions in Irish Traditional Music listing contains recently published sound recordings, books, theses and articles, serials, and DVDs.  All of these items are immediately available for reference, free of charge, to users of the Archive in its premises at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.  In addition, notice is given of other acquisitions that have been added to the Archive’s collections and will be available when processed.

This new service is an enhanced version of the service that ITMA has been providing to readers of The Journal of Music since 2004.  This service through the Journal has now been discontinued, but all of the listings compiled for it from 2004 to 2010 continue to be available here.  For an introduction to the JMI-ITMA listings click here.

Visitors to ITMA can now avail of free access to the Ireland Collection of the subscription website JSTOR.  This is a fully searchable full-text online collection of over 75 Irish journals, 200 monographs, and 2,500 manuscript pages (including facsimiles of Edward Bunting’s music manuscripts in Queen’s University Belfast), dating from 1780 to the present.


Frank Harte Festival 2010

Once again, the Frank Harte Festival runs on September 24th - 26th at The Teachers Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin.

Invited Guests:

For further information, contact: Micheál Mac Ránaill +353 879898534, Máire Ní Chroinín +353 862940652 or Jerry O'Reilly +353 868161557


William Winter manuscript

Hello Rod

Halsway Manor's web site www.halswaymanor.co.uk now has my 50-page article about all the items in the Winter manuscript, together with an updated index to the published book.  The article includes notation for dance and song tunes that were not included in William Winter's Quantock's Tune Book

For some reason, the article has been included under the 'news' link, so anyone looking for information about the manuscript and the book has to go to three separate places on the site ... hopefully it will be sorted out eventually.

The updated manuscript index has not yet been put on the site, so I'd be grateful if you could refer anyone interested to my e-mail if they wish to view my copy!

Geoff Woolfe - 14.6.10

Living the Tradition

Andrew and Margaret Watchorn are again spreading their skills and knowledge of traditional tunes throughout Northumberland this summer.  Details of the concerts and workshops can be found here.


Latest from ITMA

Irish Traditional Music Archive, 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland. tel: +353 (0)1 661 9699 fax: +353 (0)1 662 4585

Latest selections of Digitised Materials published on our website: www.itma.ie

Visitors to ITMA can now avail of free access to the Ireland Collection of the subscription website JSTOR. This is a fully searchable full-text online collection of over 75 Irish journals, 200 monographs, and 2,500 manuscript pages (including facsimiles of Edward Bunting’s music manuscripts in Queen’s University Belfast), dating from 1780 to the present.


The Larkin Hedge School

June 11th and 12th 2010.  2nd Floor, Spencer House, Spencer Row (off Store St), Dublin 1

All invited to a unique celebration of music, song, poetry, dancing, literature, journalism...  The Larkin Hedge School returns with another broad programme of entertainment, in sessions, discussions and classes.  Founded in 2009 to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the ITGWU by Larkin, the Larkin Hedge School is organised by the Clé Club, a traditional, folk and labour music club which meets weekly in Liberty Hall.

Join the revelry: weekend tickets €20 – Fri/Sat only €10 – A céad míle fáilte to all!

For further information contact: cleclub@gmail.com or visit www.cleclub.wetpaint.com


New May Bradley CD now available

Musical Traditions Records are extremely proud to announce the publication of their first CD of 2010 - May Bradley: Sweet Swansea MTCD349.  It contains 36 tracks, 74 minutes duration, and costs £12.00 from the MT Records website

As with many of the 49 CDs in our main '300 series', this one presents the entire recorded repertoire of a singer hitherto little known, or poorly represented.  Very few people would have even heard of the Gypsy singer from the Welsh Marches, May Bradley, before the publication of Fred Hamer's book, Garners Gay, in 1967.  It contained seven of May's songs: The Outlandish Knight, Sweet Swansea, The Blackbird, Down the Green Groves, On Christmas Day, Cold Blows the Wind, and The Leaves of Life.  When the EFDSS published the Garners Gay LP in 1971, it contained only five of these songs, as did the VWML cassette, The Leaves of Life, published in 1989.  Many of today's listeners will have only heard the three May Bradley songs on The Voice of the People.  This is really very sad, as she's a stunning singer who really should be far better-known.

I started work on compiling this CD almost exactly three years ago, and soon began to wonder if it would ever be published; information on May Bradley proved to be very hard to find.  Eventually Keith Chandler stepped in to help with the booklet, and his skills as a fact-hunter have finally brought the project to completion.  I am extremely pleased, and proud, to be able to publish it.  This is a very important CD - and one which you will certainly enjoy.

Rod Stradling - 10.5.10

Excellence Award for Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The International Association of Music Libraries has granted the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in London their Excellence Award.  The IAML said:
"This library is a long-established centre of excellence, holding a unique and rare collection of folk-music materials in a wide range of formats.  Special collection catalogues are available online, as are the Roud Folk Song Index and the Broadside index, complementing six major manuscript collections also made available online through Heritage Lottery funding and Cecil Sharp's diaries.  The library has forged effective partnerships with relevant institutions and collections, including outreach activities at eleven local primary schools and websites for children and teachers.  This library targets the needs of its users and continues to update its resources and widen accessibility to its collections.  It is important from many points of view, not least in its preservation of the cultural history of these islands and promoting its holdings very effectively."
Very well deserved, I think.  Congratulations to Malcolm and all the staff - Ed.


Alfred Williams Heritage Society Evening

The first Alfred Williams Heritage Society Folksong Evening will take place on Tuesday, April 20, at the King and Queen pub, Longcot, Oxon, starting at 7:30pm.

Local folksingers will take turns to entertain with traditional folk music, including songs collected by Alfred Williams during his research for his book Folk Songs of the Upper Thames, which he began in 1914.  The event is being organised by the Alfred Williams Heritage Society with the kind co-operation of the pub, plus local residents and folksong enthusiasts John Forster and Chris Park.

We are keen for the event to have a semi-formal format, so folksingers who want to take part are encouraged to do so. It would help if anyone interested in being involved could contact us in advance (please email us).

The evening will also have an educational element to it, including readings, which will explain why Alfred Williams was important in the preservation of traditional English folksong, and will include a special hour-long introduction to folk music for children invited from local schools, led by folk arts expert Chris Park.  The children's session runs from 6pm until approximately 7:15pm, followed by the main event at 7:30pm.

There will be an entry charge of £7.50 to the main event, which includes a jacket potato meal.  All proceeds from the evening will go to society funds, including money raised through a raffle that will be held on the night.  A limited number of tickets are available, so those interested are advised to book early.  Your ticket(s) will be available for collection at the pub on the night.

Tickets may be reserved and paid for by post to: The Alfred Williams Heritage Society, c/o 13 Jefferies Avenue, Swindon, SN2 7HJ (please make cheques payable to the Alfred Williams Heritage Society).

If you need more information or you have problems ordering, please email us: committee@alfredwilliams.org.uk


Alfred Williams Heritage Society

The Alfred Williams Heritage Society was founded in December, 2009.  Most of us know of Alfred Williams because of the song collecting work that he did in the Thames Valley during the period 1914 ? 1916 and from his book Folk Songs of the Upper Thames.  But there is far more to the man than that.  He wrote poetry and produced several beautifully written books about the Thames Valley.  He also wrote Life in a Railway Factory, one of the best pieces of working-class literature to have ever been written.

The Society’s web site, www.alfredwilliams.org.uk contains a wealth of information about Williams, and includes the essay, A Different Drummer - Alfred Williams and the Edwardian Folk-Song Revival, which explores Williams’ role as a collector.  This can be found at: www.alfredwilliams.org.uk/folkhero.html

The Society will be holding a weekend conference about Williams later this year.  It is hoped that there will be papers on his collecting work as part of the conference.  I will pass details on to you when we have a fixed date.

Mike Yates - 31.1.10


The Fife Traditional Singing Weekend, Friday - Sunday 14, 15, 16 May 2010.  The Fife Animal Park, Collessie, Fife

The full details and guest list is now on the website: www.springthyme.co.uk/fifesing

For a first visit to our event we are pleased to welcome Jeff Warner from New Hampshire (Friday evening and a workshop on Saturday morning only) - a singer with an extensive repertoire of old songs from the New England states.  We welcome again local singer Jimmy Hutchison from Newburgh and we welcome back the noted traditional singer Sheila Stewart from Blairgowrie who was unable to be with us last year.  From south of the border we welcome a fine singer Jill Pidd from Yorkshire and the distinctive voice and border ballad repertoire of Terry Conway from Northumberland.  The northeast is represented by Geordie Murison of Stonehaven and (on Saturday only) the great northeast singer Jock Duncan from Pitlochry.  Doc Rowe who has been filming of seasonal events and popular cultural traditions since the 1960s will be presenting a workshop of film from his archive on Sunday morning.

There may still be an additional guest to be added and some of the workshop titles are not yet decided.

Peter Shepheard - 27.1.10

Seventh Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend

The Seventh Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend, 16th - 18th July 2010, at Edgemount Farm, Lumb Lane, High Bradfield, Sheffield S6 6LJ

Those who will have been invited include:

With: Sessions In Local Pubs, Talks on Traditional Music, Real Ale Bar

Weekend Tickets: £20 Per Person to include Camping & Saturday Night Dance

Contact: Mark Davies - 0114 2851479.  Mobile:07850475067.  Email:edeophone@aol.com

North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2010 - Final Call for Papers

Date: Wednesday 14 - Sunday 18 July 2010.  Location: University of Aberdeen, Scotland.  Submission deadline: 31 January 2010

Theme: Roots & Routes

The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland is making a call for papers for the fourth North Atlantic Fiddle Convention.  NAFCo 2010 will celebrate the excellence and diversity of fiddle and dance traditions from countries around the North Atlantic, combining an international academic conference with performances and workshops to create an event devoted to Roots & Routes.

The conference will expand on the theme of Roots & Routes, exploring the ways in which local roots have been transformed through transnational routes in the context of countries and communities that border the North Atlantic.  Thus to be ‘local’ is also to be ‘global’.  No longer will blanket labels such as ‘Scottish fiddling’ suffice.  Scholars/performers need to know if it is Orcadian or Border, West Highland or North-East, Shetland or Cape Breton.  The aim of the conference is to explore our understanding of the interrelatedness of fiddle and dance traditions, and how they are affected and transformed by processes of globalisation to create fresh insights and new perspectives. Possible subjects for papers include:

If you are interested in offering a twenty-minute academic paper, please submit a 250-300 word abstract, 100 word biography, and contact information by 31 January 2010.  The Elphinstone Institute will present abstracts of papers for peer review and anticipates the publication of proceedings.


Email: nafco@abdn.ac.uk   North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, Elphinstone Institute, MacRobert Building, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, AB24 5UA.  Tel: +44 (0) 1224 272996  Fax: +44 (0) 1224 272728.  Website: www.abdn.ac.uk/nafco


Narrative singing in Ireland republished

Hugh Shields' Narrative singing in Ireland: Lays, Ballads, Come-All-Yes and Other Songs' has been reissued by Irish Academic Press - in paperback at €24.95.  It has a new ISBN 978 00 7165 2500 4.  www.irishacademicireland.com/acatalog/IAP_Catalog_More_Music_and_Theatre_Titles_39.html

Best wishes for the Holidays and the pending beginning of the next year of the Common Era (practising being PC).

John Moulden - 23.12.09

Comhaltas Traditional Music Archive online

I'm happy to announce the public availability of the Comhaltas Traditional Music Archive, online today at: http://ComhaltasArchive.ie

The core of the Comhaltas collection is a set of tapes collected by Séamus MacMathúna, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s.  These have been digitised, and we're working on other collections from Cois na hAbhna in Ennis, Co Clare and Ceoláras Coleman in Gurteen, Co Sligo.  We're also scanning the 40-year history of Treoir, our own quarterly journal.

The website is a unified window into the Comhaltas Archive, including audio, video, magazines, print and biographical data.  Of course, we're just at the beginning of posting the content, and we have lots more information ready to go up in the next few months.  In January, for example, you can look forward to the full collection of Comhaltas-produced LPs and cassettes.

One thing that we're particularly excited about is the level of interaction that we're expecting.  As a user of the archive you can suggest people, tunes and keywords for all of our tracks, helping to fill in the gaps for other researchers.  You may also leave general comments on anything that you see.

You are all welcome to browse freely without registering, though audiovisual media will be limited to 30 seconds.  If you create an account (available today), you can hear tracks at their full length, comment on items and request copies of media.  For many of our tracks, agreements with the musicians have meant that we've interrupted the audio every 30 seconds, just to make sure that recordings are not exploited commercially.  If you visit a Comhaltas Regional Resource Centre, you can listen to items in their entirety.  You are always welcome to come by and have a chat with our regional Archivists.

I'd encourage you all to have a look, and let me know (via archive@comhaltas.ie) about any problems that you have.  Of course, as with all new software, we can expect some growing pains as we get everything settled in, so I appreciate your patience in the first few months.

Breandán Ó Nualltáin - 14.12.09

Cecil Sharp's Diaries Online

The EDFSS is putting Sharp's diaries online at: http://library.efdss.org/exhibitions/  These are his only surviving personal diaries, written between 1915 - 1918, and they include descriptions of his collecting experiences in the Appalachian Mountains of North America - where he gathered some 1,600 songs and tunes.

The first of the series of diaries was launched online on Sunday 22nd November, 2009, followed by announcements of more events and content over the coming months.  It is also planned to add a full, annotated transcription in time for Sharp's next birthday in 2010.


Interactive Folk Play Atlas

I am pleased to announce the launch of an interactive ‘Folk Play Atlas of Britain and Ireland’ on the Master Mummers website at: www.mastermummers.org/atlas   The initial Atlas features 39 maps under the following headings: There is an introduction to the Atlas at: www.mastermummers.org/articles/Atlas-Announcement.htm

Peter Millington - 28.11.09

Cover pictureBronson single volume

Camsco Music and Loomis House Press are pleased to announce a reissue of Bronson's The Singing Tradition of the Child Ballads.  This is a single volume condensation of Bronson's monumental four-volume work.  It contains the music (and texts) of what Bronson considered to be ballads with the strongest representation in oral tradition; ballads that existed solely in written form are excluded.  All of the material in this abridged version is included in the four-volume edition.

Available from either Loomis House Press (www.loomishousepress.com) or Camsco Music (www.camscomusic.com), priced at £23.75 ($39.95) for softcover or £28.50 ($49.95) for hardcover.


NAFCo 2010

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2010, 'Roots and Routes', 14-18 July 2010

The Elphinstone Institute will again be celebrating the excellence of traditional fiddlers, fiddle music and dance from countries around the North Atlantic in partnership with the Scottish Culture and Traditions project.  From 14-18 July 2010, NAFCo 2010 will combine an international festival with a conference to create an event devoted to the exploration of Roots and Routes from local traditions to transnational movements.

Over the five day event, NAFCo 2010 will showcase more than 40 world-class traditional musicians and dance artists from countries around the North Atlantic including: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, and the USA.  With over 100 events, including workshops (some expressly for the young), sessions, concerts, ceilidhs/dances, and an academic conference, NAFCo 2010 will have something for everyone.

For more information about NAFCo 2010, please go to the website: www.abdn.ac.uk/Elphinstone/nafco


Cover pictureNew MT Records CD - And Then it Happened! Ken Langsbury's Stories

I'm extremely pleased to announce the publication of MT's first CD of 2009 - indeed, the first one for rather a long time!  And Then it Happened! (MTCD348) features brand new, digital, stereo recordings of seventeen of Ken Langsbury's Stories, both old and new.

There can be very few people in England who have not heard Ken tell at least one of his wonderful stories - and once heard, the experience will never have been forgotten!  Only three of them have ever been available on record, and none have made the move to CD format.

All the old favourites are here: Swindle 'em Station; The Fire Brigade; The Man from the BBC; Moreton in Marsh; One Thursday Dinnertime; The Cherry Tree; The Bishop of Worcester; plus ten other new(ish) ones that you probably won't have heard ... a treat in store!

Perfectly timed to make an unforgettable Christmas present for yourself ... and why not some extras for a few friends as well?  Elegantly presented in a DVD case with a 32-page integral booklet containing not only Ken's fascinating life story (well, part of it, anyway), but also transcriptions - or 'translations' - of all the texts.  64 minutes worth of high hilarity for only £12.00; you'll not regret it.  Buy it at www.mtrecords.co.uk now.

Rod Stradling - 10.10.09

Wilgus collection Online

Part of the D K Wilgus collection of ballads and folksongs is now available for online listening.

D K Wilgus and Wayland D Hand established Folklore studies at UCLA, and together founded the Folklore and Mythology Program in 1965.  Wilgus was a folksong and ballad scholar, indefatigable fieldworker, and renowned authority on Anglo-American folksong, 'race' records, and 'hillbilly' music.  He directed five folk music festivals at UCLA.  He was Chair of the Folklore Program for 17 years.  Many of the field recordings of American and Irish folk music in this collection are his or those of David Evans, one of his students (a noted authority on blues).  This collection was originally part of the Folklore and Mythology Department, but in Fall 2002 was acquired by the Ethnomusicology Archive.

Digitization of the field recordings was made possible by a generous grant from the Grammy Foundation. And we are currently working on a new two-year Grammy grant to finish digitizing the entire collection.  To listen to recordings from the collection: http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz00089bvf

Susan E Parker - 7.10.09
University of California at Los Angeles

New EFDSS Arts Council funding

The English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) is delighted to announce that it has become one of Arts Council England's Regularly Funded Organisations and will receive £400,000 of funding over two years.  The funding will enable EFDSS to become a national development agency for folk music and set up a number of exciting new initiatives that will benefit the folk sector.

EFDSS Chief Executive, Katy Spicer stated: "The announcement of this funding is exciting news for EFDSS and the folk arts in general. We are very much on the crest of a folk revival and this money will allow us to be proactive in how we support English folk arts.  We will shortly be announcing a range of schemes to support artists through showcases and partnerships, as well as developing our existing education strategy.

We will also be working towards creating the definitive online resource for both our members and the general public, creating a new website that will make even more of our library and archive collections available."


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