Cecil James Sharp
was the founding father of the folklore revival
A roots revival is a trend which includes young performers popularizing the traditional musical styles of their ancestors. Often, roots revivals include an addition of newly-composed songs with socially and politically aware lyrics, as well as a general modernization of the folk sound.After an...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.
Sharp was born in Camberwell
Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is a built-up inner city district located southeast of Charing Cross. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth.-Toponymy:...
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
, the eldest son of James Sharp (a slate merchant who was interested in archaeology, architecture, old furniture and music) and his wife, Jane née
Bloyd, was also a music lover. Sharp was educated at Uppingham
Uppingham School is a co-educational independent school of the English public school tradition, situated in the small town of Uppingham in Rutland, England...
, but left at 15 and was privately coached for the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...
, where he rowed in the Clare College
Clare College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1326, making it the second-oldest surviving college of the University after Peterhouse. Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens on "the Backs"...
boat and graduated B.A.
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
Sharp decided to emigrate to Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
on his father's suggestion. He arrived in Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...
in November 1882 and early in 1883 obtained a position as a clerk in the Commercial Bank of South Australia. He read some law, and in April 1884 became associate to the chief justice, Sir Samuel James Way
Sir Samuel James Way, 1st Baronet , English-Australian jurist, was a Chief Justice from 18 March 1876 until 8 January 1916 of the Supreme Court of South Australia, which is the highest ranking court in the Australian State of South Australia.Way was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1836...
. He held this position until 1889 when he resigned and gave his whole time to music. He had become assistant organist at St Peter's cathedral soon after he arrived, and had been conductor of the government house choral society and the cathedral choral society. Later on he became conductor of the Adelaide Philharmonic, and in 1889 entered into partnership with I. G. Reimann as joint director of the Adelaide school of music. He was very successful as a lecturer but about the middle of 1891 the partnership was dissolved. The school was continued under Reimann, and in 1898 developed into the Elder conservatorium of music in connexion with the university. Sharp had made many friends and an address with over 300 signatures asked him to continue his work at Adelaide, but he decided to return to England and arrived there in January 1892. During his stay in Adelaide he composed the music for two light operas, Sylvia
, which was produced at the Theatre Royal Adelaide, on 4 December 1890, and The Jonquil
. The libretto in each case was written by Guy Boothby
Guy Newell Boothby was an Australian novelist and writer.-Biography:Boothby was born in Adelaide, son of Thomas Wilde Boothby, who for a time was a member of the South Australian Legislative Assembly. Guy Boothby's grandfather was Benjamin Boothby , judge of the supreme court of South Australia...
. He also wrote the music for some nursery rhymes which were sung by the cathedral choral society.
Return to England
In 1892 Sharp returned to England and on 22 August 1893 at East Clevedon, Somerset, he married Constance Dorothea Birch, also a music lover. They had three daughters and a son. Also in 1893 he was taken on as a music teacher by Ludgrove School
Ludgrove School is an independent preparatory boarding school for about 200 boys, aged from seven or eight years to thirteen. It is situated in the civil parish of Wokingham Without, adjoining the town of Wokingham in the English county of Berkshire.-History:...
, a preparatory school then in North London. During his seventeen years in the post, he took on a number of other musical jobs.
From 1896 Sharp was Principal of the Hampstead Conservatoire of Music
The Hampstead Conservatoire was a private college for music and the arts at 64, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, London.The building, previously the Eton Avenue Hall, was reconstructed in 1890...
, a half-time post which provided a house. In July 1905 he resigned from this post after a prolonged dispute about payment and his right to take on students for extra tuition. He had to leave the Principal's house, and apart from his position at Ludgrove his income was henceforth derived largely from lecturing and publishing on folk music.
Folk music of England
Sharp taught and composed music. Because music pedagogy of his time originated from Germany and was entirely based on tunes from German folk music, Sharp, as a music teacher, became interested in the vocal and instrumental (dance) folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....
of the British Isles, especially the tunes. He felt that speakers of English (and the other languages spoken in Britain and Ireland) ought to become acquainted with the patrimony of melodic expression that had grown up in the various regions there. Sharp became interested in traditional English dance when he saw a group of morris dance
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers...
rs with their concertina
A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has a bellows and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel perpendicularly to it...
player William Kimber
William "Merry" Kimber , was an English concertina player and Morris dancer who played a key role in the twentieth century revival of Morris Dancing, the traditional English folk dancing...
at the village of Headington Quarry
Headington Quarry is a residential district of Oxford, England, located east of Headington and west of Risinghurst, just inside the Oxford ring road in the east of the city. To the south is Wood Farm. Today the district is also known colloquially as "Quarry"...
, just outside of Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...
, at Christmas 1899. At this time, morris dancing was almost extinct, and the interest generated by Sharp's notations kept the tradition alive.
The revival of the morris dances started when Mary Neal
Mary Neal CBE , born Clara Sophia Neal, was an English social worker and collector of English folk dances....
, the organiser of the Esperance Girls' Club
The Espérance Club, and the Maison Espérance dressmaking cooperative, were founded in the mid-1890s by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Mary Neal in response to distressing conditions for girls in the London dress trade...
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
, used Sharp's (then unpublished) notations to teach the traditional dances to the club's members in 1905. Their enthusiasm for the dances persuaded Sharp to publish his notations in the form of his Morris Books
, starting in 1907.
Between 1911 and 1913 Sharp published a three-volume work, The Sword Dances of Northern England
, which described the obscure and near-extinct Rapper sword
Rapper sword is a kind of sword dance associated with the North-East of England.-History:The rapper sword tradition was traditionally performed in the mining villages of the Northumberland and Durham coalfield in North East England, especially in Tyneside...
dance of Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...
and Long Sword dance
right|YorkshireThe Long Sword dance is a hilt-and-point sword dance recorded mainly in Yorkshire, England. It is related to the rapper sword dance of Northumbria, but the character is fundamentally different as it uses rigid metal or wooden swords, rather than the flexible spring steel rappers used...
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...
. This led to the revival of both traditions in their home areas, and later elsewhere.
Song books for teachers and pupils
At a time when state-sponsored mass public schooling was in its infancy, Sharp published song books intended for use by teachers and children in the then-being-formulated music curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...
. These song books often included arrangements of songs he had collected with piano accompaniment composed by Sharp himself, arrangements intended for choral singing. Although it has been alleged that, had they heard them, traditional singers (who in England virtually always sang unaccompanied) might well have found Sharp's piano parts distracting, the arrangements with piano accompaniment did help Sharp in his goal of disseminating the sound of English folk melodies to children in schools, thus acquainting them with their national musical heritage.
The schools project also explains Sharp's bowdlerisation of some of the song texts, which, at least among English folk songs, often contained erotic double entendres, when not outright bawdy and or violent. However, Sharp did accurately note such lyrics in his field notebooks, which, given the prudery of the Victorian era could never have been openly published, thus preserving them for posterity. An example of the transformation of a formerly erotic song into one suitable for all audiences is the well-known "The Keeper."
English Folk Dance Society, afterwards English Folk Dance and Song Society
In 1911 Sharp founded the English Folk Dance Society, which promoted the traditional dances through workshops held nationwide, and which later merged with the Folk Song Society in 1932 to form the English Folk Dance and Song Society
The English Folk Dance and Song Society was formed in 1932 when two organisations merged: the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society. The EFDSS, a member-based organisation, was incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee in 1935 and became a Registered Charity The English Folk...
(EFDSS). The current London headquarters of the EFDSS is named Cecil Sharp House in his honour.
Influence on English classical music
Sharp's work coincided with a period of nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...
in classical music, the idea being to reinvigorate and give distinctiveness to English classical composition by grounding it in the characteristic melodic patterns and recognisable tone intervals and ornaments of its national folk music. Among the composers who took up this goal was Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...
, who carried out his own field work in folk song in Norfolk. The use of folk songs and dance melodies and motifs in classical music to inject vitality and excitement, is of course as old as "La Folia" and Marin Marais' "Bells of St. Genevieve" ("Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris
Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris, "The Bells of St. Genevieve" in English, is a work by Marin Marais written in 1723 for viol, violin and harpsichord with basso continuo. It can be considered a passacaglia or a chaconne, with a repeating D, F, E bass line...
"), but the attempt to give music a sense of place was novel to the Historical particularism
Historical Particularism is widely considered the first American anthropological school of thought.Founded by Franz Boas, historical particularism rejected the cultural evolutionary model that had dominated...
of late nineteenth century Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...
During the years of the First World War
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
, Sharp found it difficult to support himself through his customary efforts at lecturing and writing, and decided to make an extended visit to the United States. The visit, made with his collaborator Maud Karpeles
Maud Karpeles was a collector of folksongs and dance teacher.Maud Karpeles was born in London in 1885. In Berlin at the "Hochschule für Musik" she studied piano for six months. In 1892 a women's settlement had been created in Cumberland Road, Canning Town in 1892...
during the years 1916–1918, was a great success. Large audiences came to hear Sharp lecture about folk music, and Sharp also took the opportunity to do field work on English folk songs that had survived in the more remote regions of southern Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...
, pursuing a line of research pioneered by Olive Dame Campbell
Olive Dame Campbell was an American folklorist.Born Olive Arnold Dame in West Medford, Massachusetts, she married John C. Campbell, American educator, in 1907. After his death, she co-founded and directed the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina in 1925...
. Travelling through the mountains of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...
, North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...
, and Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...
, Sharp and Karpeles recorded a treasure trove of folk songs, many using the pentatonic scale
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the major scale and minor scale...
and many in versions quite different from those Sharp had collected in rural England. Generally, Sharp recorded the tunes, while Karpeles was responsible for the words.
Sharp was greatly struck by the dignity, courtesy, and natural grace of the people who welcomed him and Karpeles in the Appalachians, and he defended their values and their way of life in print.
Sharp's work in promoting English folk song dance traditions in the US is carried on by the Country Dance and Song Society
While at Cambridge, Sharp heard the lectures of William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...
and became a Fabian Socialist and lifelong vegetarian. He was cautious in his public statements, however, feeling that he had much to lose, since, unlike Morris, he was not independently wealthy but dependent on outside funding for his researches. Respectability was important to him, increasingly so as he got older. According to his biographer, Maud Karpeles: "Any display of singularity was displeasing to him; and he followed the convention in behavior as well as in appearance unless there was a very good reason for departing from them. 'It saves so much trouble,' he would say." During the post World War II "second" British folk revival of the 1950s and 60s, Sharp was occasionally chided for this by leftist critics such as Bert Lloyd
Albert Lancaster Lloyd , usually known as A. L. Lloyd or Bert Lloyd, was an English folk singer and collector of folk songs, and as such was a key figure in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s....
. C. J. Bearman writes that "Lloyd was effectively the first to offer public criticism of Sharp and of the first revival generally. This critique was from a Marxist perspective: Lloyd (1908-82) had associated himself with the Communist Party since the 1930s. ... However, he was always more pragmatic than doctrinaire, and he combined criticism of Sharp's philosophy and methods with high and unreserved praise for his motivation and the epic scale of his achievement. Until the early 1970s, the prevailing view of Sharp was one of reverence or respect tinged with moderate criticism. This changed in the 1970s, when David Harker, a Cambridge post-graduate specializing in English literature, initiated a sustained attack on the motivations and methods of the first folk revival, singling out Cecil Sharp and accusing him of having manipulated his research for ideological reasons. These criticisms were quickly taken up by others who were doubtless in part motivated by an understandable reaction to the previous hagiographical treatment of Sharp.
In an attempt to discover some of the facts about Cecil Sharp and his career, British folklorist Mike Yates, who had himself originally shared some of these negative views, retraced Sharp's steps in Appalachia, in the process becoming aware of the scope of Sharp's accomplishment. In the introduction the article, "Cecil Sharp in America"
(1999) that resulted from his investigations, he wrote:
When I had completed my first draft of the article I found that I had totally revised my ideas about Sharp, and I hope that readers will also come to share in these ideas and opinions. Cecil Sharp is, I believe, the most important English folk song collector of the century. His achievements are truly monumental. [The noted American ballad scholar] Bertrand Bronson once said that Sharp's Appalachian collection was the best regional song collection ever made in America. I hope that by reading this article, people will at long last come to realise just how much Sharp gave of himself in the assembly of his collection.
Criticisms and debate
Dave Harker's criticisms of Sharp reflected a framework that tends to view any and all folk song collecting, scholarship, and attempts at revival as forms of appropriation and exploitation by the bourgeoisie of the working class, whose tastes Harker considers intrinsically at odds with what he terms the "official culture" of the schools. An expert on printed broadsides, Harker argues against the very existence of an oral tradition: "It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the English folk-song was invented by Cecil Sharp. Of course the songs were collected from singers who were supposed to have learned them through an organic and continuous tradition." Harker sustains that all of what is termed "folk song" in fact originated from broadsides and further maintained it was absurd to claim that late-nineteenth century England possessed a rural culture. In his view the small hamlets of less than 300 people from which Sharp collected were actually centers of the "urban proletariat", whom Sharp had misrepresented as (agrarian) "folk".
In 1972, when the editors of Folk Music Journal
first accepted an article by Harker criticising Sharp and his methods, one member of the journal's board, Pat Shaw, expressed skepticism of Harker's statistics and only agreed to publish it on condition that someone would write an accompanying rebuttal. However, the rebuttal never appeared, and Pat Shaw himself died in 1977, so that Harker's allegations went unchallenged for fifteen years. Harker described Sharp's activities this way:
"folk song" as mediated by Cecil Sharp, [is] to be used as "raw material" or "instrument", being extracted from a tiny fraction of the rural proletariat and . . . imposed upon town and country alike for the people’s own good, not in its original form, but, suitably integrated into the Conservatoire curriculum, made the basis of nationalistic sentiments and bourgeois values. The working people of England rejected, and still have to reject, as children, "folk song" as official culture. In fact, of course, they’d rejected it in its original state before Sharp was born, by creating the first generation of music halls, but that story belongs to history, and not to the analysis of myth.
Harker expanded his allegations in a book, Fakesong
(1984). The following year Vic Gammon commented that Fakesong
was "the beginning of critical work’" on the first folk revival, and also that it had taken on "the status of an orthodoxy in some quarters of the British left." ("Two for the Show. Dave Harker, Politics and Popular Song" in History Workshop Journal:
21 : 147). In the 1990 Folk Music Journal
, Michael Pickering concluded that Fakesong
was "the best example of this kind of work to date... Harker has provided a firm foundation for future work." Harker’s work had, indeed, become an orthodoxy and was being quoted by a number of prominent left-wing historians. In 1993 Georgina Boyes produced her book The Imagined Village - Culture, ideology and the English Folk Revival
, which, following Harker, was also highly critical of Sharp. The writings of Harker, however, and by extension of Harker's followers in the US (such as David E. Whisnant, Benjamin Filene, and Robert Christgau, who have backgrounds in political science, American Studies, and journalism, not ethnography) have now themselves in turn come under scrutiny as overly harsh, exaggerated, distorted, and unjust. In his defense of Sharp, C. J. Bearman took scholars to task for their speedy and uncritical acceptance of Harker's views:
To his credit, Harker has never concealed his political allegiances – he is or was a Trotskyite adherent of the Socialist Workers' Party (Harker 1985, 256-8) – but at the same time, it must be maintained that his is an extreme political position. To accept without question the opinion of a Trotskyite about Sharp and his work is rather like taking one's view of the Communist Manifesto from a member of the British National Party.
In the meantime, Mike Yates, the Folk Music Journal
editor who had originally accepted Harker's article for publication in 1972, began to investigate the ethnography of Cecil Sharp for himself, travelling to America in his footsteps to do so.
I realised that, for the sake of accuracy, I had to do more research into Sharp’s Appalachian trips, if I was to fully understand just who Sharp was and exactly what it was that he had done in the mountains. In the end I wrote an article, "Cecil Sharp in America", which remained unpublished for some fifteen years, until it appeared in Musical Traditions in 1999. By the time I had written the article I had come to see Cecil Sharp as something of a giant - a man who, with unbelievable dedication, had almost single-handedly preserved a whole tradition that would otherwise have vanished under the indifference of a rapidly changing world. And yet, strange as it may now seem, I still held to some of Dave Harker’s views concerning Sharp’s English collecting and prose writing. One man, however, was not so trusting and, unlike Pat Shaw, he was prepared to put his thoughts and findings onto paper.
This man was C. J. Bearman, who in 2001 completed his Ph.D. thesis, "The English Folk Music Movement 1898-1914". Bearman's two papers, "Who Were the Folk? The Demography of Cecil Sharp’s Somerset Folk Singers" in Historical Journal
: 43 (2000):3: 751-75, and "Cecil Sharp in Somerset: Some Reflections on the Work of David Harker" in Folklore
113 (2002): 11 -34), were a devastating deconstruction of Dave Harker’s "orthodoxy", charging Harker with having misrepresenting the data and distorted statistics for ideological reasons.
True, Sharp was lax in asking singers where they learned their songs, but we do know that out of the 311 singers that he met during the period 1904-1909, sixty singers provided provenance for 77 of their songs. Only one of these songs was learned directly from a broadside, while 73 songs came directly from an oral source - parents, grandparents, friends, etc. It could, I suppose, be argued that very few English broadsides were being printed in the first decade of the twentieth century, but most of these singers would have been around at the end of the nineteenth century when broadsides were still being printed.
Does all this nit-picking really matter? Well, yes it does. Because if our foundations are based on false assumptions, then the whole subsequent body of folk song and folklore studies is liable to come tumbling down around us. In the last thirty-odd years writers such as Raymond Williams (who wrote The Country and the City, 1973), Eric Hobsbawn (the editor of The Invention of Tradition, 1983), Ronald Hutton (author of The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Georgina Boyes (The Imagined Village . . .) have all attacked Sharp, taking Dave Harker as their starting point. And much of what they say is wrong. My own beliefs have always been to the left, and it gives me no great pleasure to see respected left-wing writers coming in for such criticism. But, this criticism does appear to be justified and cannot be pushed under the carpet. There are already others seeking to question Harker and his followers. In a recent review in the Folk Music Journal, Mike Heaney has criticised Georgina Boyes for a recent work (Step Change: New Views on Traditional Dance, 2001), where he says that "Factual errors and misrepresentations abound" (Folk Music Journal 2003 page 369).
C. J. Bearman has made a number of extremely serious allegations against Dave Harker’s methodology. "Factual errors and misrepresentations (also) abound" in Dave Harker’s published works, is what he is clearly saying. Perhaps it is time to follow up Dave Harker’s own comment, given above, about Sharp, but now seemingly more applicable to himself -- it’s the one made in 1972 about the story belonging to history, "and not to the analysis of myth". According to Bearman, it was, after all, Harker, and not Sharp, who was creating the myth, and, in the process, jumping to the wrong conclusions.
Maud Karpeles lived on for many decades after Sharp, and gradually succeeded in converting the collected Sharp manuscript materials into massive, well-organised volumes. These books are now out of print, but can be found in some libraries.
- Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, Oxford University Press, 1974; ISBN 0-19-313125-0.
- English folk songs from the southern Appalachians, collected by Cecil J. Sharp; comprising two hundred and seventy-four songs and ballads with nine hundred and sixty-eight tunes, including thirty-nine tunes contributed by Olive Dame Campbell, edited by Maud Karpeles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1932.
For a sampling of English folk songs as they emerged from Sharp's editorial pen along with his piano accompaniments, see:
- English folk songs, collected and arranged with pianoforte accompaniment by Cecil J. Sharp, London: Novello (1916). This volume has been reprinted by Dover Publications
Dover Publications is an American book publisher founded in 1941 by Hayward Cirker and his wife, Blanche. It publishes primarily reissues, books no longer published by their original publishers. These are often, but not always, books in the public domain. The original published editions may be...
under ISBN 0-486-23192-5 and is in print.
Sharp also wrote up his opinions and theories about folk song in an influential volume:
- English Folk Song: Some Conclusions (originally published 1907. London: Simpkin; Novello). This work has been reprinted a number of times. For the most recent (Charles River Books), see ISBN 0-85409-929-8.
The following is a biography of Cecil Sharp:
- Cecil Sharp, by A. H. Fox Strangways in collaboration with Maud Karpeles. London: Oxford University Press, 1933. Reprinted 1980, Da Capo Press; ISBN 0-306-76019-3.
For Sharp's description of Morris Dancing see:
- The Morris Book a History of Morris Dancing, With a Description of Eleven Dances as Performed by the Morris-Men of England by Cecil J. Sharp and Herbert C MacIlwaine, London: Novello (1907). Reprinted 2010, General Books; ISBN 1-15371-417-5.