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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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The Late Mr Frank Kidson

The Late Mr Frank Kidson

(p.221) Chapter 43 The Late Mr Frank Kidson
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

From Frank Kidson's point of view, all traditional deviations from a printed copy are “corruptions.” Kidson's great knowledge of printed sources enabled him to dispose of such spurious “folk songs” as “Caller Herrin,” and to restore to their true traditional origins tunes such as “The Arethusa,” long supposed to be the compositions of eighteenth-century musicians. It must be remembered that Kidson's collection of 84 traditional tunes was published in 1891, when folk song was an unknown quantity except to a few experts and enthusiasts, and when “educated” musicians, at all events in England, despised everything which could not show its trademark. In his introduction to his collection, Kidson thinks it necessary to apologize to the profession for his “homely ditties.” Nevertheless, we realize all through his preface that he was one of the first to recognize the beauty inherent in our traditional song.

Keywords:   Frank Kidson, printed copy, corruptions, folk songs, Caller Herrin, traditional tunes, The Arethusa, traditional song, England

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