The English Traditional Ballad: Theory, Method, and Practice
David Atkinson examines the ways in which the body of ballads known in England make reference both to ballads from elsewhere and to other English folk songs. The book outlines current theoretical directions and offers readers an approach for exploring the creation of meaning(s) o... read full description below.
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|Library of Congress
||Ballads, English, History and criticism
||Music & Dance
||College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Description of this Book
Ballads are an intriguing subject for study, not least because of their endless variety. Ballads taken down or recorded from singers separated by centuries in time and by hundreds of kilometres in distance, are both different and yet recognizably the same. In this book, David Atkinson examines the ways in which the body of ballads known in England make reference both to ballads from elsewhere and to other English folk songs. The book outlines current theoretical directions in ballad scholarship: structuralism, traditional referentiality, genre and context, print and oral transmission, and the theory of tradition and revival. These are combined to offer readers a method of approaching the central issue in ballad studies - the creation of meaning(s) out of ballad texts.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||'This is an exceptionally detailed and generally fascinating book...there's plenty here which is very worthwhile and enjoyable.' Musical Traditions '...David Atkinson's latest contribution is so welcome. (He) surveys the field with disarming use of accessible language...This is a book for students, and I'll be recommending it to mine, but it is also a book for singers and lovers of song... Every bookshelf should have this one.' English Dance & Song magazine, www.efdss.org 'This is a valuable, well-documented, fascinating monograph that should be in the collection of any library whose users are interested in ballad studies.' Notes 'I know of no better work on traditional balladry than this. Atkinson is a thoughtful, perceptive, and very knowledgeable ballad scholar... a godsend to graduate students in folklore or cultural studies. Highly recommended.' Canadian Folk Music Bulletin '... one of the most detailed studies of balladry to have appeared so far. It deserves careful study and offers, in exchange, a wealth of factual material about this fascinating subject.' Folk Music Journal
David Atkinson has published widely on ballads in scholarly journals and conference proceedings. For the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library he has catalogued the Maud Karpeles manuscript collection, and compiled an introductory bibliography and discography of English folk song (which is available online). He is a member of the editorial board of Folk Music Journal, and secretary/editor of the Kommission fur Volksdichtung (International Ballad Commission). His central research interests are in ballads and folk songs, extending into theories of tradition and revival. He is currently part of a team working on the James Madison Carpenter Collection of folk song and music, drama, and speech, based at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield.