Culture of Yorkshire - Music - Folk Music

Folk Music

Yorkshire has a rich heritage of folk music and folk dance including particularly Long Sword dance. Folk songs were collected in the region from the nineteenth century, and it probably had more attention than other northern couinties, but its rich heritage of northern and industrial folk song was relatively neglected. It was not until the second folk revival in the 1950s that Nigel and Mary Hudleston began to attempt to redress the balance, collecting a large number of Yorkshire songs between 1958 and 1978.

Yorkshire folk song lacked the unique instrumental features of folk in areas like Northumbria and was chiefly distinguished by the use of dialect, particularly in the West Riding and exemplified by the song On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at, probably written in the later nineteenth century and using a Kent folk tune (almost certainly borrowed via a Methodist hymnal), but often seen as an unofficial Yorkshire anthem. Most Yorkshire folk songs were not unique and tended to be adapted to fit local geography and dialect, as with probably the most commercially successful Yorkshire song, Scarborough Fair, recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, which was a version of the Scottish ballad The Elfin Knight. One unusual piece of music is the unique choral folk song, probably derived from an 18th century ballad, known as the Holmfirth Anthem or Pratty Flowers.

The most eminent folk performers from the county are the Watersons from Hull, who began recording Yorkshire versions of folk songs from 1965, and members of which are still performing today. Other Yorkshire folk musicians include Heather Wood (b. 1945) of the Young Tradition, the short-lived electric folk group Mr Fox (1970-2), The Deighton Family, Julie Matthews, Kathryn Roberts, and the Mercury Prize nominated Kate Rusby.

Yorkshire has a flourishing folk music culture, with over forty folk clubs and thirty annual folk music festivals. In 2007 the Yorkshire Garland Group was formed to make Yorkshire folk songs accessible online and in schools.

Read more about this topic:  Culture Of Yorkshire, Music

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