Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 20 September 1917

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Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 20 September 1917

Postby dbennett » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:41 am

English song collector Cecil Sharp visited the Hindman Settlement School where he collected a version of the song Nottamun Town from singers Una (1900-1989) and Sabrina Ritchie, older sister and cousin of Jean Ritchie.

In England, it was considered a "lost song", not sung since the early 18th century; though the words were preserved on paper, the melody was forgotten. Musicologists in North America discovered people in parts of the southern Appalachian Mountains still singing the song in the early twentieth century. All of these singers were illiterate, and the song had been passed down to them through oral tradition since the 1600s. The song was found in regions as geographically distant as the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield, West Virginia, East Tennessee and North Georgia, though in all cases the melody and lyrics were the same, despite the singers not knowing one another.
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