Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the Editor of the Morning Post

Letter No.: 
156 Dec. 1903

10, Barton-street

I am very glad to see the letter from Miss Lucy Broadwood on “The Preservation of the Folk-Song.” A suggestion coming from such a well-known authority as Miss Broadwood ought to have good results. The work of collecting and preserving traditional tunes can only be successfully carried out under the guidance of a central authority. Miss Broadwood mentions the Folk-Song Society. Why should not this society undertake the work? The country might be systematically mapped out into districts and a local member of the society appointed in each district to find out the singers of folk-songs, and, if possible, note down both words and tunes. In some districts, however, there might be no one who was capable of noting own a tune correctly. In these cases I feel sure that there are many young musicians – students at our schools of music, for instance – who would be pleased, for a small fee, to spend a day in the country during their holidays, noting down the tunes which had already been discovered by the local members of the Folk-Song Society. I suggest that part of the funds of the society might be well devoted to this purpose.
Yours, &c.
Ralph Vaughan Williams


General notes: 

Printed in The Morning Post, 16 December, 1903, headed "The preservation of folk-songs".

The Morning Post (no.41, 044), 16 December, 1903, p.8.