A bio-bibliography of Newfoundland songs in printed sources

Mercer, Paul (1978) A bio-bibliography of Newfoundland songs in printed sources. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Although it is well known that western folk song traditions have been strongly influenced by popular printed literature, folklorists have paid relatively little attention either to the particular literary forms involved, or the traditional uses of these documents. -- This thesis consists of a detailed descriptive bibliography of the major sources of printed song in Newfoundland, as well as a series of biographical sketches of individuals involved in the publication of these songs. Its purpose is to bring together some of the basic data necessary to an understanding of the dynamics of the printed song tradition in Newfoundland. -- The bibliography is based mainly on research in the major libraries and archival facilities in St. John's. Materials have been added from several private libraries, including that of the compiler. The biographies have also been researched in private libraries and archives, as well as in the course of fieldwork in and around St. John's in the period from 1973-1978. -- As a background to the bibliographical and biographical sketches, the major theoretical approaches to printed song are reviewed in the Introduction. It is seen that print, once viewed as an intrusion on the 'natural' processes of oral transmission and variation, has only recently been widely accepted as a normal means of folk song transmission. Folklorists who have adopted this view have found that printed texts provide an original, against which variations can be closely measured. Recent studies of printed song have either treated particular types of popular print, such as broadsides or sheet music, or else they have focused on individual songs which have at one time or another been circulated in printed form. There have been no studies such as the present one, which examines a variety of types of song literature from a particular geographical area. -- The history of printed songs in Newfoundland from the early nineteenth century down to the present, as well as the traditional uses of printed songs in Newfoundland, are discussed in Chapter II. Since the establishment of the first local printing facilities in 1807, print has served as one of the chief means by which songs are circulated in Newfoundland. As well, printed documents have functioned as artifacts within local musical traditions. -- The biographical sketches and bibliographical descriptions occupy chapters III and IV, respectively. The twelve biographies include scholarly and amateur folk song collectors, broadside poets, publishers, and recording artists, in an attempt to provide information on the persons who have most influenced the printed song traditions of Newfoundland. The 208 bibliographical entries cover broadside ballads, popular songsters, sheet music, scholarly folk song collections, and a host of miscellaneous publications. -- In the concluding chapter the bibliographical entries are analysed to show how they reflect the development of printed song in Newfoundland. The potential impact of the various types of publication on local folk song traditions is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7717
Item ID: 7717
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 336-342.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folk songs--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bibliography; Broadsides--Bibliography; Popular music--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bibliography; Newfoundland and Labrador--Bibliography

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