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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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Dance Tunes

Dance Tunes

(p.205) Chapter 40 Dance Tunes
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Folk music, like all primitive art, is an applied art—a means to an end; a means of reciting a ballad or marking the rhythm of a dance. It is equally true that a traditional fiddler finds it difficult to remember a dance tune unless he watches the dance, and the dancer is at a loss over his steps without the tune. The attitude of the traditional musician to dance or song was not that of the great artist come to show off his skill, but that of a participator in the general artistic product. Music for a dance of some particular character was required; the musician would, apparently, call to mind any tune that was suitable, or if none were suitable he would adapt some tune, probably a song tune, to the exigencies of the dance.

Keywords:   folk music, applied art, ballad, dance, dance tune, song

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