When addressing this type of material Kenneth S. Goldstein, the editor of the series ‘Traditional Singers and Songs’ recognizes a dichotomy of audiences who may be interested in the study of this material, scholar/collectors and hobbyist, dividing them by what they desire out of a study.
“Imperfect grammar, syntax, pitch, tempo, rhythm, etc., do not disturb the scholar; they are a part of the total complex he studies. Those whose interest in folksong is popularly based require an aesthetically satisfying unit for singing and playing-at once perfect as to text and tune.” (Traditional Singers and Songs from Ont. Ed. Edith Fowke, Folklore Associates, Inc. Pennsylvania, USA. 1965 pg.v)

First and foremost the source of our study, the 1928 ‘Old Tyme Songs’ handwritten notebook by Frances Jackson (1911-1946) of Wingham, Ontario, Canada must be distinguished as a partial source. It is unable to provide full information about any of the pieces within as it does not included traditional music notation, chords or melodies. The first person lyrical text would require additional notations, recordings or personal knowledge to perform any of the pieces and create a live musical happening or recreation. Perhaps that is the key term. The text is not sufficient to sponsor recreation of the material on it’s own. This being said I implore readers to not pass by this source as unimportant or insignificant. It is not a songbook. It is not a chart or a highly sophisticated notation system but it did serve as notation to it’s author and thus can provide details about the life and times of the author as well as personal interests and the evolution of the songs themselves.

(Source for the photo)

Further exploration of the material to come soon.

1 comment so far

  1. knowledgetoday on

    I love your site. Keep it up !

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