Get Started


Folk Song Society

Started in 1898 by Alice Bertha Gomme, Kate Lee, John Fuller Maitland, Alfred Perceval Graves, Lucy Etheldred Broadwood, Frank Kidson, Sir John Stainer, Sir Alexander Mackenzie Sir Hubert Parry, Dr Villiers Stanford, Anne Gilchrist and others. Sixteen like minded people in all with an academic bias rather than performance. The main aim of the society was:

...the collection and preservation of Folk Songs, Ballads and Tunes and the publication of such of these as may be advisable ..

The society published annually "The Journal of the Folk-Song Society" with 'accurate' folk song material for its members from 1899 to 1931 when the society accepted an invitation to join with the English Folk Dance Society to form the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Cecil Sharp joined in 1904 as did Ralph Vaughan Williams soon followed by Percy Grainger, Elgar and Greig.

The two decades at the start of the 20th century saw the bulk of the society's work and the 'boom' in folk song collection drew to a close. Many felt that there were no new ones out there to collect.