Odcombe Carollers

Songs in Tradition and Print: A talk on the role of print and manuscript in the carolling traditions of the Southern Pennines

Sat 25th November 2017

Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield

Ian Russell will give a talk as part of the Broadside Extra Day at the University of Sheffield organised by the Traditional Song Forum and the University of Sheffield.

Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, 34 Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QY

Saturday 25th November 2017, 10.00am – 4.00pm

More info and tickets

Free of charge.

Here is an extract of Ian's talk:

‘The Role of Print and Manuscript in the Tradition of Village Carolling in the Southern Pennines’.

In this paper I take a historical perspective considering the role of the written word in the development of local carolling in the area of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, which is recognised as one of the most vigorous vernacular singing traditions in England today. It would be tempting to portray this as a simple linear connection beginning with manuscript evidence moving to early examples of print, such as broadsides and chapbooks, then step by step to full-blown printed collections of words and music. However, the evidence points to a much more complex and nuanced interrelationship. Although in oral tradition, the performance of the local carols is considered to be holistic in the sense that each item of repertoire is a distinct unitary artefacts in which there is no separation between text and tune, the written record invariably stresses a dichotomy. Moreover the evidence of print or lack of evidence, reveals contemporary contextual forces related to musical influences, and political/ecclesiastical reform.