Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Maud Karpeles

Letter No.: 
VWL4894
26th March, 1953.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear Maud
I am so glad you like my new introduction. I advise you not to enter into a controversy about authentic and plagal.
On the question of modulation, you might keep the paragraph as it is and perhaps add a footnote something to this effect. "It might be truer to say that there was no definite scheme of modulation through the keys until the introduction of a tempered scale in the early 18th century."
I think that would cover the matter.
I don't think you can alter what Sharp said without letting yourself into great difficulty. If you think he was mistaken or had changed his opinion I think a footnote is the way to deal with it.
I think your footnote about Dorian and Aeolian is good; also about the pentatonic scale.1
Love Ralph

(R. Vaughan Williams).


1. For a new (probably 3rd) edition of English Folk Song: some conclusions by Cecil J. Sharp, revised by Karpeles and with an appreciation of Sharp by VW.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/2/3/2, f. 99
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Format: 
Letter