Song, Songwriting and the Songwriter in the English Folk Song Revival

  • Allan Taylor

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study focuses on Song. I intend to establish the aesthetic criteria by which song can be judged, to analyse the power of song to influence people's perceptions, and to examine and illustrate the compositional process.

I suggest that the context in which song is written and performed is vital to establishing the aesthetic criteria, and therefore I will analyse the phenomenon of the English folk song revival. Incorporated in this analysis is a consideration of the lifestyle of performers, performance itself, the philosophy of the milieu, and the folk club scene and how it operates.

Having established the contextual foundation for song in the English folk song revival I will then analyse the creative process of songwriting through its various but distinct stages. I will specifically focus on creativity and the compositional process as applied to song. This section will be in three parts; a study of four professional songwriters, an analysis of the creative process using myself as a case study and a synopsis of the significant points.
Date of AwardJul 1993
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorJohn Blacking (Supervisor)

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