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English Folk Dance and Song Society Unveils New Digital Archive

Thursday, June 20, 2013   (0 Comments)
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A new digital archive that will allow anyone anywhere in the world to explore traditional English folk music and dances tunes will be launched by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) on Thursday, 20 June.

Created in partnership with leading academic institutions, The Full English at is an EFDSS project made largely possible with a £585,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It brings together 12 major collections for the first time in the most comprehensive free searchable digital archive of English folk songs, tunes, dances, and customs in the world.

It will be officially unveiled at a special event at EFDSS' London headquarters, Cecil Sharp House, on 20 June.

Traditional English folk singer, collector, writer, researcher, and EFDSS President Shirley Collins MBE will give the keynote speech.

Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Fay Hield, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls will premiere new music and arrangements, commissioned by EFDSS with a grant from the PRS Foundation for Music, inspired by material Fay has found within The Full English archive.

About The Full English:

In a marriage between tradition and new media, more than 58,400 items from some of the country's most important folk music collections – including manuscripts, notes and letters – have been conserved and digitised, before being uploaded to a central digital archive.

Users can now browse through the collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Frank Sidgwick, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Alfred Williams and Mary Leather wherever they are in the world.

They can search the online archive for free using the song or tune title, people's names, places, the collectors and using unifying numbers such as Roud numbers to find songs and music. It is hoped that further collections will be added in the future.

The Full English Learning Programme:

The Full English is also EFDSS' largest participation project to date with a nationwide community and schools learning programme beginning in July.

Working through nine regional partners, there will be community projects including participatory events and concerts, archive and history projects alongside creative projects in primary and secondary schools and the wider community.

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