A conference to be held at Cecil Sharp House, London, on October 6–7, 2017. Organised by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the Elphinstone Institute, 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 how are we to understand this phenomenon?
The topic raises intriguing questions about the ways in which music is transmitted, experienced and conceptualised. In what sense do tunes ‘recur’? Why are some termed ‘super-tunes’ (Marsh 2016)? Do some tunes possess ‘vitality of melody’ (Kidson 1907)? Where do human agency, social structure and cultural values come in?
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. We invite contributions on any aspect of the topic and welcome a broad range of perspectives and approaches, including those drawing on ethnographic research to illuminate melodic interrelationships. Contributions from newer researchers and independent researchers are welcomed.