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Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs

A conference is being held on 6-7 October at Cecil Sharp House in London on the history and transmission of traditional tunes and popular airs. It is being jointly organised by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (EFDSS) and the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen.

Researchers have long been fascinated by the recurrence of tunes in all manner of musical styles and genres, performance contexts, levels of society, historical periods, and geographical locations. But many questions remain about the ways in which music is transmitted, experienced and conceptualised.

This conference aims to bring together those working on ‘traditional’ and ‘popular’ tunes within and across the many contexts in which they have been found, including dance, instrumental music, ballad operas and theatrical works, religious music, broadside balladry, blackface minstrelsy, music hall, the pleasure gardens, domestic music-making, national and folk song, and children’s songs. Contributions from various sources have been welcomed and the full programme is to be announced soon.