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VWML Lectures: December 2016 - March 2017

VWML Lectures: December 2016 - March 2017

After the highly successful first Library Lecture series, the VWML is pleased to announce its second series of evening lectures covering folk song, music, and folklore, presented by expert guest speakers.

Tickets for individual lectures are now available (£8 | £6 EFDSS members), as well as season tickets for all four lectures (£28 | £20 EFDSS members).

The latest library lecture series will feature Ian Russell, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen; Angela McShane, Head of Early Modern Studies for the V&A/RCA postgraduate programmes in History of Design and Visiting Fellow at the University of Sheffield; Owen Davies, Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire; and John and Katie Howson, directors of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust.

Book today and join us for an exciting season of lectures, with topics ranging from traditional carols to witchcraft! 


Wednesday 7 December 2016, 7.30pm

'While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night': A Paradigm of English Village Carolling for Three Centuries - Ian Russell

Sheffield is renowned for its carolling tradition in which unique and beautiful variants of well-known (and some less well-known) carols have evolved. But why has one carol above all others become the most widely sung lyric in the English vernacular carolling tradition during the last three centuries? This lecture will summarise the history and development of the carol, ‘While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night’, and provide key examples of the tunes adopted in its musical pathway in tradition.  

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Wednesday 11 January 2017, 7.30pm

Drink, Song and Politics in Early Modern England - Angela McShane

Between about 1580 and 1690, early modern England experienced three interrelated developments. First: the growth of a successful commercial popular music industry, centred on London, that served a socially broad national market. Second: the development of political parties, emerging from the political and religious turmoil of the period, which impinged significantly upon the newly burgeoning popular music industry and its markets. Third: a substantial increase in the per capita consumption of alcoholic drinks across all social classes, for reasons of sociability. This paper briefly explores the unexpected effects of these changes on cultures of politics, drink and song across the whole period.

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Wednesday 8 February 2017, 7.30pm

Witchcraft accusations in nineteenth-and-early-twentieth-century England - Owen Davies

Owen Davies is Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire. He has written widely on the history of witchcraft, ghosts, magic, and popular medicine from the ancient world to the present.

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Wednesday 1 March 2017, 7.30pm

The Heyday of Dulcimer in East Anglia - John and Katie Howson

This presentation will outline the dulcimer playing traditions of England and focus in depth on the remarkable spread of dulcimer playing in East Anglia, highlighting the distinctive instruments and playing style of the region. During nearly forty years of research, John and Katie Howson have discovered a wealth of dulcimer players and makers in East Anglia, with interest in the instrument at its peak from around 1850 to 1930. 

Book now