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Nicholas Carolan

(b Jamestown, Co. Dublin, May 5, 1919; d Naul, Co. Dublin, Oct 5, 1982). Irish traditional musician, singer and collector. Having learnt uilleann piping from his civil-servant father and worked in publishing, Ennis became a music collector for the Irish Folklore Commission in ...

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Paul F. Wells

(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA ...

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Jeff Todd Titon

(b White Plains, NY, Sept 4, 1925; d Bangor, ME, Aug 1, 2009). American folklorist, folksinger, and song collector. Ives was educated in English (MA, Columbia) and folklore (PhD, Indiana University), and taught for more than 40 years at the University of Maine. His travels in Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada brought him into contact with the traditions of local song-making and storytelling, particularly among men working in the woods in lumber camps and as guides. Ives’ reflexive studies of New England song-makers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries show a keen intelligence and generosity of spirit. His eight books concentrated on deceased working-class songsters and storytellers (Larry Gorman, Lawrence Doyle, Wilbur Day, George Magoon, and Joe Scott), and on creativity within traditional forms. He claimed that vernacular literature and song had social and aesthetic values that transcended its sentimentality. His teaching and writing inspired two generations of New England folklorists, and he was active as an educator and public speaker throughout the state of Maine, where he is remembered with affection. He founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore, which later became incorporated into the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, and which houses thousands of recorded interviews, photographs, and artifacts related to traditional music and lifeways in Maine and the Maritimes....

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Nicoletta Demetriou

(b Lefkonoiko, May 5, 1904; d Nicosia, May 10, 2004). Cypriot church cantor, Byzantine music scholar, and folk song collector and singer. He studied Byzantine music with Stylianos Hourmouzios in Nicosia (1921–4). He continued his studies in Byzantine music with Ioannis Sakellarides and Spyros Kapsaskis at the National Conservatoire of Athens, where he also studied Western music (...

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H.C. Colles and Frank Howes

(b Perth, Oct 1857; d Edinburgh, Nov 22, 1930). Scottish singer, folksong collector and editor. Her father, David Kennedy, was her first teacher, and she completed her studies under Mathilde Marchesi in Milan and Paris. From the age of 12 she acted as her father’s accompanist. This background, together with her striking musical abilities, brought her to a leading position in promoting interest in the Gaelic songs of the Hebrides, although she was neither the first nor the most highly qualified collector in this area. Her published arrangements were criticized as being too free, but she defended them on the ground of the variability of the songs according to time, place and singer. This she had learnt from her experience as a collector in the Outer Hebrides, which she visited first in ...

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Susan Feder

(b New York, NY, Sept 22, 1899; d Plainfield, NJ, May 23, 1979). American soprano and folklorist. She studied voice in New York with Cesare Stunai, Henry Russell, and Katherine Opdycke, and made her debut in 1929, as Gounod’s Marguerite, with the Quebec Opera Company, Montreal. During the 1930s, while continuing to sing opera in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere (her roles included Aida, Tosca, and Carmen), she became interested in American folk music and folklore and began collecting songs, particularly from residents of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, about both of which she lectured and wrote articles. Her recital programs (from ...

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Carole Pegg

(b Salford, Lancs, 1915; d Oct 22, 1989). English folk singer, songwriter and collector. He inherited a large repertory of traditional Scottish songs from his parents, William Miller and Betsy Hendry. During the early 1930s he wrote satirical songs. In 1934 he married Joan Littlewood, with whom he formed several theatres, the most famous of which was Theatre Workshop. He changed his name during the Lallans movement in Scotland in the 1940s. He married the dancer Jean Newlove in ...

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Ron Pen

(b Louisville, KY, April 28, 1892; d nr Lexington, KY, March 1, 1980). American Folksinger, folk-music collector, and composer. He began collecting and transcribing songs at age 14 and composed his first song, “Go ’way from my window,” in 1907. A skilled pianist upon his graduation from Louisville’s Dupont Manual High School, he continued his studies at Cincinnati Conservatory and the Schola Cantorum in Paris. A pilot with the US Army Signal Corps during World War I, he published two collections of wartime songs, ...

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Kerala J. Snyder and Geoffrey Webber

(b Magdeburg, bap. March 17, 1664; d Wolfenbüttel, June 6, 1735). German music collector, singer and composer. The son of a brewer, he began his musical education with the Magdeburg Kantor Johann Scheffler, spent two years (1678–80) at the Thomasschule in Leipzig under Johann Schelle and continued his studies at the Johanneum in Hamburg. There he began his professional career as alto and later tenor soloist in the city's Kantorei, interrupted by a year at the university in Leipzig (...

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Juan Pablo Gonzalez

(b San Carlos, Nuble, October 4, 1917; d Santiago, February 5, 1967). Chilean traditional singer, collector, cantautor (singer-songwriter), poet and artist. Parra inherited a folkloric repertory from her parents, singing with members of her family in circuses, theatres and bars in Santiago. From ...

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Jennifer Spencer

(b Aleksandrovka, Bobrov district, 21 June/July 3, 1864; d Moscow, Jan 21, 1927). Russian folksinger and collector of folksongs. From 1899 to 1903 he was a clerk in a Moscow hospital, and for some years took singing lessons from Camillo Everardi. In ...

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Jean R. Freedman

(b New York, NY, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, songwriter, and folksong collector, daughter of musicologist charles Seeger and composer, educator, and folksong anthologist Ruth Crawford Seeger. Peggy learned piano, guitar, music theory, and transcription from her parents. With her brother mike Seeger ...

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Frank Kidson and David Johnson

(b? Edinburgh, c1684; d ?London, after 1752). Scottish singer and folksong collector . His father was Daniel Thomson, one of the king's trumpeters for Scotland. He sang solos as a boy at a Musical Society concert in Edinburgh on St Cecilia's Day 1695...