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Woodcut image of lovers parting

Autumn Conference

Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs: Exploring Musical Resemblance

Exploring Musical Resemblance, 10 and 11 October 2020

Book now at

Programme (PDF)

Abstracts and Biogs (PDF)

Organised by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society. 

The third Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs conference will run as an online event, using Zoom.

The sessions will take place from 15.00 (BST) to 17.30 (BST) on each day: Saturday 10 October and Sunday 11 October, with evening music and socialising on Saturday.

The conference aims to bring together researchers working on ‘traditional’ and ‘popular’ tunes as transmitted and transformed in all manner of musical styles and genres, performance contexts, levels of society, historical periods, and geographical locations.

We have a fantastic line up of presentations, highlighting the chameleonic lives of traditional and popular tunes, as they are sung, played, arranged, transformed and written down, in different times, places and circumstances.

Topics include:

  • ‘JOY to great Caesar’: Origins and Influence of Popular Songs on Farinel’s Ground in late Seventeenth-Century England
  • Collecting Tunes in Eighteenth-Century England
  • ‘Known to all the vagrant train’: Ifor Ceri and Music in Georgian Wales
  • Analysing the Jigs in the James Goodman Collection
  • lliterate Lawbreaking Villains? Copying & Copyright in Nineteenth-Century Manuscripts
  • Textural Transformations of a Turkish Modernist: Saygun’s Ten Sketches on Aksak Rhythms, op.58 no.1
  • Influence of Traditional Structures in Creative Processes: Passive or Decisive?

IMPORTANT! Please note the format of the event

All the presentations will be pre-recorded. Conference bookers will be able to access them online from 1 October.

The live conference event on 10 and 11 October will focus on Q&A with the speakers. Attendees should acquaint themselves with the presentations before the live event as speakers will only sum up their papers in a few sentences on the day before the Q&A begins. This should allow plenty of time for discussion.

How to book

Book now via the English Folk Dance and Song Society events page

Tickets cost £10 for one day and £15 for both days. Pre-booking is essential. Bookings can be made any time up to 12 noon on Friday 9 October.

Please note that a separate booking needs to be made for each attendee.