Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

The current issue of Folk Music Journal includes two important research articles. Frances Wilkins's exploration of songs and tunes from Shetland's musical repertoire that have been inspired and influenced by the islanders' long associations with the sea and seafaring ranges widely in both time and space. She shows how music from these islands has been exposed to and altered by contact with musicians from indigenous populations from far across the Atlantic, in an exciting piece that reveals the potential of ethnomusicology at its very best.

Equally innovative is Mike Heaney's challenge to the received model of the history of morris dancing, which sees the morris diverging into a theatrical tradition involving professional dancers on the one hand, and a tradition embedded in local custom and owing nothing to the professional performance arena. It turns out that the situation was much more complex, that morris dancers were well attuned to the potential of their local customs and rural origins, and that they quite astute enough to exploit them when the opportunity arose.

We have also been able to note the centenary of the birth of dancer, musician, and researcher Pat Shaw, with another of the occasional series of Resources in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library pieces. Marjorie Fennessy has generously donated the Pat Shaw Archive to the VWML, and the centenary offers an entirely appropriate opportunity to bring it to the attention of the research community. For reasons beyond our (or the author's) control, a third article planned for this issue was not ready in time.

We had also hoped to be able to print the first of the newly instituted series of Roy Palmer Lectures, delivered by Steve Roud the week before the journal went to press. However, as an oral and mostly extempore presentation, Steve felt it was not ready for publication. …

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