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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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Cecil Sharp: An Appreciation

Cecil Sharp: An Appreciation

(p.268) (p.269) Chapter 58 Cecil Sharp: An Appreciation
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

It is now nearly 50 years since Cecil Sharp startled England with Folk Songs from Somerset. Such a wealth of beauty as this volume, containing, to mention only a few, “High Germany,” “The False Bride,” “Searching for Lambs,” and “The Crystal Spring,” was something they had never dreamed of. Where did it all come from? The English knew, on the best authority, that folk music was “all either bad or Irish.” However, Sharp believed, and they believe, that there, in the fastnesses of rural England, was the well-spring of English music. There was already a Folk Song Society in existence which discussed traditional melodies and had to admit, rather shamefacedly, that some of these tunes sung by simple-minded rustics were “sweetly pretty.” It was left to Sharp to declare that here was something of supreme beauty which had grown up, as part of their life, with their language and customs.

Keywords:   Cecil Sharp, England, folk songs, High Germany, False Bride, Searching for Lambs, Crystal Spring, Folk Song Society, traditional melodies, music

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