Readings

Required Texts

Allen, William Francis, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. Slave Songs of the United States. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 1998. ISBN: 9781565545939. (See a digital version of this text by UNC Chapel Hill.)

Child, Francis James. English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Vol. 1. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003. ISBN: 9780486431505.

Epstein, Dena. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780252071508.

Lomax, John, and Alan. Our Singing Country. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2000. ISBN: 9780486410890.

Ritchie, Jean. Singing Family of the Cumberlands. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1988. ISBN: 9780813116792.

Whisnant, David. All That is Native and Fine. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780807815618.

Descriptions of Recorded Listening Assignments

Fiddling Sampler (PDF)

Rounder Clips (PDF)

SES #

READINGS

READING QUESTIONS

KEY DATES

Unit One: Anglo-Scottish Ballads and Sources of the Traditions

1

Dundes, Alan. “What is Folklore?” In The Study of Folklore. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1965. ISBN: 9780138589448.

Thoms, William. “Folklore.” In The Atheneum. (August 22, 1846). Reprinted in Journal of Folklore Research 33, no. 3 (1996).

Muir, Willa. “Children’s Singing Games,” and “Singing and Listening to Oral Poetry.” In Living with Ballads. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 13-53.

(PDF)

 

2

Gerould, Gordon Hall. “The Nature of Ballads.” In The Ballad of Tradition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1957, pp. 1-14.

Muir, Willa. “Ballad Background II,” “The Northern Scottish Background,” and “Story Material.” In Living with Ballads. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 71-107.

(PDF)

Ballad performances by Craig-Morgan-Robson

3

Gerould, Gordon Hall. “Ballad Characteristics,” and “Ballad as a Record of the Past.” In The Ballad of Tradition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1957, pp. 84-162.

Pound, Louise. “Audience and Authorship as Mirrored in the Ballads.” In Poetic Origins and the Ballad. New York, NY: Macmillan Company, 1921, pp. 95-106.

(PDF)

 

4

Sharp, Cecil. “Introduction,” “Origin,” “Evolution,” “The Modes,” and “English Folk Scales.” In English Folk Song: Some Conclusions. Wakefield, UK: E. P. Publishing, 1977, pp. xix-xxv, 21-41, and 47-91. ISBN: 9780854099290.

Abrahams, Roger. “The Nature of Folk Tunes.” In Anglo-American Folksong Style. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968, pp. 151-164.

(PDF)

 

5

Barlow, Jeremy. Playford: Dancing Master. London, UK: Faber Music, 1985, preface.

Addison, Joseph. “The Spectator.” Journal of Folklore Research, no. 70, 74, and 85: 181-191.

Emmerson, George. “Sang Abune a’ Sang.” In Rantin’ Pipe and Tremblin’ String. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queens University Press, 1971, pp. 53-61. ISBN: 9780773501164.

Harker, Dave. “The Early Mediators,” and “From Thomas Percy to Joseph Ritson.” In Fakesong. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press, 1985, pp. 3-37. ISBN: 9780335150663.

MacDowell, Paula. The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace 1678-1730. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1998, pp. 58-62 and 81-91.

 

 

6

Rieuwerts, Sigrid, ed. “In Memoriam: Francis James Child.” In Ballads into Books. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 1997, pp. 19-27. ISBN: 9783906757346.

———. “‘The Genuine Ballads of the People’: F. J. Child and the Ballad Cause.” Journal of Folklore Research 31 (1994): 1-27.

Child, Francis James. “Ballad Books,” and “Appendix.” The Nation (1858): 30-34.

Kittredge. “Essay on Child.” In The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Vol. I. Edited by Francis James Child. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003, pp. xvii-xxv. ISBN: 9780486431505.

Child, Francis James. “Ballad Poetry,” and “Hind Horn.” In English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Vol. I. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003, pp. xxvii-xxxiv and 260-287. ISBN: 9780486431505.

 

Look over Volume I of Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Choose a ballad to work on and bring it to class.

7

Pound, Louise. “Ballads and Literature.” In Poetic Origins and the Ballad. New York, NY: Macmillan Company, 1921, pp. 106-137.

Finnegan, Ruth. “Transmission, Distribution, and Publication.” In Oral Poetry. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1977, pp. 134-169. ISBN: 9780521213165.

Bronson, Bertrand. “The Habits of the Ballad as Song.” In The Ballad as Song. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1970, pp. 92-111. ISBN: 9780520013995.

(PDF)

 

Unit Two: The Fiddle and the Dance

8

Breathnach, Breandean. “The Dance Music,” and “The Great Collectors.” In Folk Music and Dances of Ireland. Cork, Ireland: Ossian Publishing, 1971, pp. 55-64 and 103-108. ISBN: 9781900428651.

Feldman, Alan. The Northern Fiddler. London, UK: Oak Publications, 1979, introduction, pp. 1-12. ISBN: 0711906823.

MacLeod, Alistair. “Two Selected Stories.” In Island. New York, NY: Norton, 2001. ISBN: 9780393050356.

(PDF)

 

9

Cohen, Norm. “Instruments and Musical Aspects.” In Folk Music: A Regional Exploration. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 2005, pp. 63-82. ISBN: 9780313328725.

Nevell, Richard. “Rows and Circles.” In A Time to Dance. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1977, pp. 11-26. ISBN: 9780312805227.

Ruckert, George. “The Cape Breton Fiddling Tradition.” 2005.

 

Ballad paper due

10

Titon, Jeff. Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2001, introduction, pp. 12-20. ISBN: 9780813122007.

Reiner, D., and P. Anick. Old-time Fiddling Across America. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay, 2000, pp. 12-20. ISBN: 9780786653812. (Excerpts.)

Jenoure, Theresa. “The African-American Fiddler.” Views on Black American Music 2 (1984-85): 55-61. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Southern, Eileen. “Solomon Northrup.” In Readings in Black American Music. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1972, pp. 93-103. ISBN: 9780393098921.

 

 

Unit Three: Toward the Great Confluence

11

Epstein, Dena. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, pp. 30-99, 112-124, and 161-190. ISBN: 9780252071508. (Excerpts.)

(PDF)

Performance by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, ballad singers

12

Chase, Gilbert. “The Ethiopian Business.” In America’s Music. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1987, pp. 232-247. ISBN: 9780252004544.

Nathan, Hans. “The Performance of the Virginia Minstrels.” In Inside the Minstrel Mask. Edited by Annemarie Bean, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996, pp. 35-42. ISBN: 9780819563002.

Winans, Robert B. “Early Minstrel Show Music.” In Inside the Minstrel Mask. Edited by Annemarie Bean, James V. Hatch, and Brooks McNamara. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996, pp. 141-162. ISBN: 9780819563002.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. “The Madcap Days.” In Little Town on the Prairie. 1941, pp. 252-262.

(PDF)

Film Viewing: Serrano, Angel, and Alvaro Toepke. The Language You Cry In. 1998.

13

Chase, Gilbert. “The Negro Spirituals.” In America’s Music. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1987, pp. 213-246. ISBN: 9780252004544.

Epstein, Dena. “Religious Background.” In Sinful Tunes and Spirituals. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, pp. 191-231. ISBN: 9780252071508.

Look over: Allen, William Francis, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. Slave Songs of the United States. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 1998. ISBN: 9781565545939.

(PDF)

Ballad paper revision due

14

Epstein, Dena. “Emergence of Black Folk Music - Slave Songs.” In Sinful Tunes and Spirituals. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, pp. 241-342. ISBN: 9780252071508.

 

Fiddle presentation by Alan Jabbour

15

Williams, Sherley Anne. “Meditations on History.”

Radano, Ronald. “Denoting Difference: The Writing of Slave Spirituals.” Critical Inquiry 22 (1996): 506-44.

 

Performance by Brian Peters, ballad singer

Unit Four: Music in Appalachia

16

Ritchie, Jean. Singing Family of the Cumberlands. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1988, pp. 3-94. ISBN: 9780813116792.

(PDF)

 

17

Ritchie, Jean. Singing Family of the Cumberlands. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1988, pp. 95-256. ISBN: 9780813116792.

(PDF)

 

18

Whisnant, David. “Hit Sounds Reasonable.” In All that is Native and Fine. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1984, pp. 3-102. ISBN: 9780807815618.

(PDF)

 

19

Whisnant, David. “All that is Native and Fine.” In All that is Native and Fine. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1984, pp. 103-180. ISBN: 9780807815618. Also skim “The White Top Festival.” pp. 183-252.

 

Fiddle paper due

Performance and talk by Jeff Warner: Collecting in North Carolina

20

 

 

No class meeting today

Recommended film viewing: Greenwald, Maggie. Songcatcher. 2000.

21

Cohen, Anne and Norm. “Folk and Hillbilly Music: Further Thoughts on Their Relation.” JEMF Quarterly 13 (1977): 50-57.

Goldstein, Kenneth S. “The Impact of Recording Technology on the British Folksong Revival.” In Folk Music and Modern Sound. Edited by William Ferris and Mary L. Hart. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1982, pp. 3-13. ISBN: 9780878051571.

Eacker, Susan A., and Geoff. “A Banjo on Her Knee - Part I: Appalachian Women and America’s First Instrument.” Old-time Herald 8, no. 2.

 

 

Unit Five: The Lomax Legacy

22

Cohen, Ronald. “Sinful Songs of the Southern Negro.” In Alan Lomax: Selected Writings 1934-1997. New York, NY: Routledge, 2003, pp. 8-31, 69-76, and 86-91. ISBN: 9780415938549.

Lomax, John, and Alan. Our Singing Country. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2000, introduction and prefaces, pp. xiii-xxxv. ISBN: 9780486410890.

(PDF)

 

23

Lomax, Alan. “My Heart Struck Sorrow.” In The Land Where the Blues Began. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1993, pp. 3-63. ISBN: 9780679404248.

Wald, Elijah. “What is Blues,” “Race Records,” and “What the Records Missed.” Escaping the Delta. New York, NY: Amistad, 2004, pp. 3-69. ISBN: 9780060524234.

(PDF)

 

24

Cohen, Norm. “Urban Centers and Folk Music.” In Folk Music: A Regional Exploration. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 2005, pp. 207-240. ISBN: 9780313328725.

Walker, Alice. “Nineteen Fifty-five.”

 

 

25-26

 

 

Presentation of class music projects

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments
assignment Activity Assignments