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Roy Palmer Lecture 2022

What shall we do with folk song music?

The Roy Palmer Lecture for 2022 formed a part of the Whitby Folk Week. It was given by the well-known expert on the music of traditional song, Dr Julia Bishop.


Julia’s topic was: ‘What shall we do with folk song music?’


It’s 115 years since Cecil Sharp published his conclusions on English folk song with his observations on its music. Despite the musical orientation of most early collectors, and subsequent advances in other areas of research into traditional song, our musical understandings seem to be stuck in 1907. Is there any more to be said? What is it that we want to know today? Julia Bishop gives her take on these questions, drawing on examples from her own research.

Julia Bishop has been involved in the collection, transcription and analysis of traditional music for 40 years, when her day job allows it. She completed a degree in music before going on to an MA in folk life studies at Leeds and a PhD in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She now works as a researcher at the University of Sheffield School of Education where she studies children’s folklore, past and present, including musical play. Julia may be better known to some as the organist for the local carol singing at the Blue Ball, Worrall.


We are very grateful to Julia for having given this year’s Roy Palmer Lecture and to Whitby Folk Week for hosting the event.

Details of the 2023 Roy Palmer Lecture will appear here in the Spring.

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