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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Preface [to a Folk Song Collection]

Preface [to a Folk Song Collection]

(p.180) (p.181) Chapter 36 Preface [to a Folk Song Collection]
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The folk tunes collection in this chapter differs from most of those hitherto printed in the Folk-Song Journal in that, while former collections have been gathered from one county, the present tunes represent no less than seven: Essex, Norfolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, Yorkshire, Kent, and even London. It is not suggested that the tunes grouped under the counties are their exclusive property; indeed, the more wonderful fact elicited from the search for folk songs is that the same tune may be heard, with hardly any variation, in Norfolk, Sussex, or Yorkshire. This proves more than anything the fundamental character of the genuine folk song. It will be noticed that a large proportion of the tunes in this collection are modal in character—Dorian, Aeolian, or Mixolydian. The chapter suggests that the Mixolydian and Dorian tunes are more characteristic of agricultural districts, while Aeolian tunes belong more to towns, and to trades such as fishing and cobbling.

Keywords:   folk tunes, Essex, Norfolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, Yorkshire, Kent, Dorian, Aeolian, Mixolydian

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