Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils; the borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county. The county's population and economy is centred on five towns: the county town of Shrewsbury, culturally and important and close to the centre of the county; the county has many market towns, including Whitchurch in the north, Newport northeast of Telford and Market Drayton in the northeast of the county. The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley. There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley and Highley, as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.
The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county in the south. Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties, with a population density of 136/km2; the Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county, though the highest hills are the Clee Hills and the Long Mynd. Wenlock Edge is another significant geological landmark. In the low-lying northwest of the county overlapping the border with Wales is the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, one of the most important and best preserved bogs in Britain; the River Severn, Great Britain's longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley. Shropshire is landlocked and with an area of 3,487 square kilometres is England's largest inland county; the county flower is the round-leaved sundew. The area was once part of the lands of the Cornovii, which consisted of the modern day counties of Cheshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys.
This was a tribal Celtic iron age kingdom. Their capital in pre-Roman times was a hill fort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum, which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys, it was annexed to the Angle kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century, at which time he built two significant dykes there to defend his territory against the Welsh or at least demarcate it. In subsequent centuries, the area suffered repeated Viking incursions, fortresses were built at Bridgnorth and Chirbury. After the Norman conquest in 1066, major estates in Shropshire were granted to Normans, including Roger de Montgomerie, who ordered significant constructions in Shrewsbury, the town of which he was Earl. Many defensive castles were built at this time across the county to defend against the Welsh and enable effective control of the region, including Ludlow Castle and Shrewsbury Castle.
The western frontier with Wales was not determined until the 14th century. In this period, a number of religious foundations were formed, the county falling at this time under the Diocese of Hereford and that of Coventry and Lichfield; some parishes in the north-west of the county in times fell under the Diocese of St. Asaph until the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, when they were ceded to the Lichfield diocese; the county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was embroiled in the power struggles between powerful Marcher Lords, the Earls of March and successive monarchs. The county contains a number of significant towns, including Shrewsbury and Ludlow. Additionally, the area around Coalbrookdale in the county is seen as significant, as it is regarded as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution; the village of Edgmond, near Newport, is the location of the lowest recorded temperature in England and Wales. Shropshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle annal for 1006.
The origin of the name is the Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, which means "Shrewsburyshire". The name may, therefore, be derived indirectly from a personal name such as Scrope. Salop is an old name for Shropshire used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia", it is replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians". Salop however, is used as an alternative name for the county town, which shares the motto of Floreat Salopia; when a county council for the county was first established in 1889, it was called Salop County Council. Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county; the name was not well-regarded locally however, a subsequent campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shrops
Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are made of wood, but there are oboes made of synthetic materials; the most common oboe plays in the soprano range. A soprano oboe measures 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column; the distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore A musician who plays the oboe is called an oboist. Today, the oboe is used in concert bands, chamber music, film music, some genres of folk music, as a solo instrument, heard in jazz, rock and popular music. In comparison to other modern woodwind instruments, the treble oboe is sometimes referred to as having a clear and penetrating voice; the Sprightly Companion, an instruction book published by Henry Playford in 1695, describes the oboe as "Majestical and Stately, not much Inferior to the Trumpet."
In the play Angels in America the sound is described as like "that of a duck if the duck were a songbird". The rich timbre is derived from its conical bore; as a result, oboes are easier to hear over other instruments in large ensembles due to its penetrating sound. The highest note is a semitone lower than the nominally highest note of the B♭ clarinet. Since the clarinet has a wider range, the lowest note of the B♭ clarinet is deeper than the lowest note of the oboe. Music for the standard oboe is written in concert pitch, the instrument has a soprano range from B♭3 to G6. Orchestras tune to a concert A played by the first oboe. According to the League of American Orchestras, this is done because the pitch is secure and its penetrating sound makes it ideal for tuning; the pitch of the oboe is affected by the way. The reed has a significant effect on the sound. Variations in cane and other construction materials, the age of the reed, differences in scrape and length all affect the pitch. German and French reeds, for instance, differ in many ways.
Weather conditions such as temperature and humidity affect the pitch. Skilled oboists adjust their embouchure to compensate for these factors. Subtle manipulation of embouchure and air pressure allows the oboist to express timbre and dynamics. Most professional oboists make their reeds to suit their individual needs. By making their reeds, oboists can control factors such as tone color and responsiveness. Novice oboists may begin with a Fibrecane reed, made of a synthetic material. Commercially available cane reeds are available in several degrees of hardness; these reeds, like clarinet and bassoon reeds, are made from Arundo donax. As oboists gain more experience, they may start making their own reeds after the model of their teacher or buying handmade reeds and using special tools including gougers, pre-gougers, guillotines and other tools to make the reed to their liking. According to the late John Mack, former principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra, an oboe student must fill a laundry basket with finished reeds in order to master the art.
"Making good reeds requires years of practice, the amateur is well advised not to embark on making his own reeds... Orchestral musicians sometimes do this, co-principals in particular earn a bit on the side in this way.... Many professional musicians import their reed cane... directly from the growers in southern France and split it vertically into three parts themselves. Oboes require thicknesses of about 10 millimeters." This allows each oboist to adjust the reeds for individual embouchure, oral cavity, oboe angle, air support. The reed is considered the part of oboe playing that makes it so difficult because slight variations in temperature, altitude and climate will change a working reed into an unplayable collection of cane. In English, prior to 1770, the standard instrument was called a "hautbois", "hoboy", or "French hoboy"; the spelling of oboe was adopted into English c. 1770 from the Italian oboè, a transliteration of the 17th-century pronunciation of the French name. The regular oboe first appeared in the mid-17th century.
This name was used for its predecessor, the shawm, from which the basic form of the hautbois was derived. Major differences between the two instruments include the division of the hautbois into three sections, or joints, the elimination of the pirouette, the wooden ledge below the reed which allowed players to rest their lips; the exact date and place of origin of the hautbois are obscure, as are the individuals who were responsible. Circumstantial evidence, such as the statement by the flautist composer Michel de la Barre in his Memoire, points to members of the Philidor and Hotteterre families; the instrument may in fact have had multiple inventors. The hautbois spread throughout Europe, including Great Britain, where it was called "hautboy", "hoboy", "hautboit", "howboye", similar variants of the French name, it was the
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time, it has been contrasted with classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century. Starting in the mid-20th century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music; this process and period is reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms. Smaller, similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times, but the term folk music has not been applied to the new music created during those revivals; this type of folk music includes fusion genres such as folk rock, folk metal, others. While contemporary folk music is a genre distinct from traditional folk music, in U.
S. English it shares the same name, it shares the same performers and venues as traditional folk music; the terms folk music, folk song, folk dance are comparatively recent expressions. They are extensions of the term folklore, coined in 1846 by the English antiquarian William Thoms to describe "the traditions and superstitions of the uncultured classes"; the term further derives from the German expression volk, in the sense of "the people as a whole" as applied to popular and national music by Johann Gottfried Herder and the German Romantics over half a century earlier. Though it is understood that folk music is music of the people, observers find a more precise definition to be elusive; some do not agree that the term folk music should be used. Folk music may tend to have certain characteristics but it cannot be differentiated in purely musical terms. One meaning given is that of "old songs, with no known composers", another is that of music, submitted to an evolutionary "process of oral transmission....
The fashioning and re-fashioning of the music by the community that give it its folk character". Such definitions depend upon " processes rather than abstract musical types...", upon "continuity and oral transmission...seen as characterizing one side of a cultural dichotomy, the other side of, found not only in the lower layers of feudal and some oriental societies but in'primitive' societies and in parts of'popular cultures'". One used definition is "Folk music is what the people sing". For Scholes, as well as for Cecil Sharp and Béla Bartók, there was a sense of the music of the country as distinct from that of the town. Folk music was "...seen as the authentic expression of a way of life now past or about to disappear" in "a community uninfluenced by art music" and by commercial and printed song. Lloyd rejected this in favour of a simple distinction of economic class yet for him true folk music was, in Charles Seeger's words, "associated with a lower class" in culturally and stratified societies.
In these terms folk music may be seen as part of a "schema comprising four musical types:'primitive' or'tribal'. Music in this genre is often called traditional music. Although the term is only descriptive, in some cases people use it as the name of a genre. For example, the Grammy Award used the terms "traditional music" and "traditional folk" for folk music, not contemporary folk music. Folk music may include most indigenous music. From a historical perspective, traditional folk music had these characteristics: It was transmitted through an oral tradition. Before the 20th century, ordinary people were illiterate; this was not mediated by books or recorded or transmitted media. Singers may extend their repertoire using broadsheets or song books, but these secondary enhancements are of the same character as the primary songs experienced in the flesh; the music was related to national culture. It was culturally particular. In the context of an immigrant group, folk music acquires an extra dimension for social cohesion.
It is conspicuous in immigrant societies, where Greek Australians, Somali Americans, Punjabi Canadians, others strive to emphasize their differences from the mainstream. They learn songs and dances that originate in the countries their grandparents came from, they commemorate personal events. On certain days of the year, such as Easter, May Day, Christmas, particular songs celebrate the yearly cycle. Weddings and funerals may be noted with songs and special costumes. Religious festivals have a folk music component. Choral music at these events brings children and non-professional singers to participate in a public arena, giving an emotional bonding, unrelated to the aesthetic qualities of the music; the songs have been performed, by custom, over a long period of time several generations. As a side-effect, the following characteristics are sometimes present: There is no copyright on the songs. Hundreds of folk songs from the 19th century have known authors but have continued in oral tradition to the point where they are considered traditional for purposes of music publishing.
This has become much less frequent since the 1940s. Today every folk song, recorded is credited with an arranger. Fusion of cultures: Because cultures interact and change over time
The Albion Band
The Albion Band known as The Albion Country Band, The Albion Dance Band, The Albion Christmas Band, were a British folk rock band brought together and led by musician Ashley Hutchings. Considered one of the most important groupings in the genre, it has contained or been associated with a large proportion of major English folk performers in its long and fluid history; the one constant in the band’s history has been the band leader Ashley Hutchings, founding member of arguably the two other pre-eminent English folk rock groupings Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, it has been the home for most of the projects of his long and productive career, though in the 2011 incarnation of the band he has handed over the reins to his son Blair Dunlop. Hutchings formed the band in April 1971 to accompany his wife the singer Shirley Collins on her No Roses album. Dave Mattacks, Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol, from Fairport Convention, beside such luminaries as Lal and Mike Waterson of The Watersons and Maddy Prior, were among twenty five credited backing musicians.
On a short tour, core members were joined by Richard Thompson and his wife Linda Thompson. Several members contributed with Hutchings to the project Morris On, including John Kirkpatrick, Richard Thompson and Dave Mattacks, cumbersomely all their names appeared on the album cover. Hutchings was keen to make a permanent band from these musicians and the first attempt included Royston Wood, Steve Ashley and Sue Draheim in the line-up, but the group failed to gel and he recruited a second band, turning to Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Sue Harris, Roger Swallow and Simon Nicol; the band remained fragile and split in August 1973, but an album was released retrospectively under the title Battle of the Field, on Island Records in 1976. Other material recorded by this line-up appeared on the BBC Sessions CD. From 1974 to 1975, Hutchings abandoned the Albion name and focused on forming the Etchingham Steam Band with his wife Shirley Collins. However, in 1976 he pulled together a new Albion Band, this time with the aim of playing traditional dance music.
It had a huge and unstable membership that included Simon Nicol, Graeme Taylor from Gryphon, the early musicians Phil Pickett and John Sothcott, fiddle player Ric Sanders, plus John Tams, one of folk music’s most distinctive and regarded vocalists. The immediate result was a lively traditional based album The Prospect Before Us under the name The Albion Dance Band. In 1978 they shortened the name to The Albion Band and released, under Tams' direction, what is considered the finest album in the long history of the band Rise Up Like the Sun; the band took part in a 1977 TV show Here We Come A-Wasseling and in 1978-9 collaborated with playwright Keith Dewhurst for a stage adaptation of British author Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford, tracks from which were released as an album in 1980. The band was at the height of its mainstream profile at this point, getting its own BBC Arena documentary that explored their work. While Hutchings was more interested in pursuing theatrical possibilities, many members of the band wanted to be a touring and recording band and, despite critical acclaim, this line-up split.
Tams and Gregory went on to form the nucleus of Home Service. Live material from this period has been released in Songs from the Shows and The Guvnor, Vols 1-4. Hutchings reformed the band around the nucleus of the remaining ex-Fairporters Mattacks, he added three members of Cock and Bull and for the first time on record, opted for a lead female vocalist in Cathy Lesurf of the Oyster Band, whose tones characterize most recordings from this era. The best album of this stable period was Light Shining, on which most of the tracks were original material. However, the reputation of the album has since been marred by accusations that Hutchings plagiarized one of its best songs, "Wolfe," from "Northwest Passage" by Canadian folksinger Stan Rogers. Shuffle Off followed, after which Mattacks left to reform Fairport Convention. Phil Beer on guitar/fiddle/vocals and Trevor Foster on drums joined the band, Under the Rose, A Christmas Present From The Albion Band and The Wild Side of Town followed, the last of, based on a five-part BBC television series presented by Chris Baines.
The line-up shifted with Martin Bell joining on violin before the release of Stella Maris in. Martin Bell and Cathy Lesurf left and the group were joined by Simon Care and John Shepherd; this was the most stable lineup in the band's history in terms of albums, producing three: I Got New Shoes, Give Me a Saddle and I'll Trade you a Car and 1990 in the year of that name. In 1990 they were joined by singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Julie Matthews, but although they toured they produced no albums before her departure in 1993; some sessions from this line-up surfaced as Captured in 1995. Trevor Foster and Phil Beer left and were temporarily replaced by virtuoso acoustic guitarist Keith Hinchliffe shifting the emphasis away from electric instruments. In 1993 Hutchings decided to follow this trend turning the band into a small four piece unit comprising himself, Julie Matthews’ replacement Chris While, original member Simon Nicol, Ashley Reed on violin; this allowed them to play small folk club and college venues and gave the Band a whole new direction, now drawing on contemporary songwriters like Beth Nielsen Chapman and Steve Knightley as well as the internal songwriting talent of While and Hutchings.
The first studio album of
Home Service is a British folk rock group, formed in late 1980 from a nucleus of musicians, playing in Ashley Hutchings' Albion Band. Their career is agreed to have peaked with the album Alright Jack, has had an influence on work. John Tams and several other members of the band, have worked in other projects. In 2016 John Kirkpatrick replaced Tams as main singer in Home Service, will feature as such on their next album. Home Service was formed out of members of the Albion Band who had participated in what is said to be the group's most successful album in its long history, Rise Up Like the Sun, their establishment was out of the confusion caused by line-up changes when the Albion Band were playing as, in effect, a house band in Bill Bryden's National Theatre productions in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Lark Rise to Candleford. Members of the group took part in an adaptation of Michael Herr's Dispatches without band leader Ashley Hutchings. In late 1980 eight members began to rehearse together in Southwark and had soon splintered off from the parent band.
The original line-up was: John Tams, Bill Caddick, Graeme Taylor, Michael Gregory, Roger Williams, Howard Evans, Colin Rae and Malcolm Bennett. The large group was somewhat unwieldy and complicated by other projects, including the fact that both Evans and Williams were members of Brass Monkey. Rae soon left and the remaining members chose the name'The First Eleven' and switched to Home Service, which had both associations of Britishness/Englishness and of a bygone world in the defunct BBC Home Service radio station. In 1982 two tracks from what was intended as a demo session were released as a single, "Doing The Inglish", with the B-side "Bramsley", designed to accompany the group's appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival and their transmission on the BBC TV programme A Little Night Music. Bass player Malcolm Bennett left the band to work as Musical Director of the National Theatre's production of Aeschylus' Oresteia and was replaced by Jon Davie. Further recording was delayed by their return to the National Theatre as a supporting band.
Having been joined by keyboard player Steve King while recording, among considerable expectations, they released their eponymous first album in 1984. The album made good use of their two experienced songwriters and Caddick, the arranging talents in the group for a mixture of original songs and traditional tunes; the result was favourably reviewed, but suffered in retrospect from the fragmented nature of the recording process among their busy schedules, leading to a lack of spontaneity. Theatre productions continued to dominate the group's existence Brydon’s trilogy based on the Wakefield cycle of mystery plays known as The Mysteries. Augmented by other musicians, including Linda Thompson on vocals and Andy Findon on saxophone and flutes, they released a selection of the music as The Mysteries in 1985. Findon joined the band as a full member, but Bill Caddick, unhappy with the lack of live work, left the group soon after the end of the play's London run. With this line up the band began working on their third album, attempting to use their considerable talents to the full and overcome the problems that had limited their previous work.
The result, Alright Jack, was built around an arrangement of six folk songs by Percy Grainger. There were three other traditional tunes, but the most striking element of the album were Tams' compositions, which bracketed the traditional material on both sides, including the title track, the apocalyptic and uplifting "Sorrow/Babylon" and the haunting "Scarecrow". Alright Jack was the group's greatest achievement and their last. Tams left soon after and the remaining members moved on to other projects, they reunited, without Tams, in 1991 to contribute to the charity compilation All Through the Year and with Caddick toured the UK, recordings of which were released as Wild Life, but they disbanded soon after. In 2011 it was announced; the reunion is taking place to promote a forthcoming album of unheard live recordings from 1986. Current members: John Kirkpatrick - vocals, guitar Graeme Taylor - electric guitar Rory McFarlane - bass guitar, vocals Andy Findon - saxophone and flutes Steve King – keyboards, vocals Michael Gregory - drums, percussion Paul Archibald – trumpet, flugelhorn Nigel Barr - trombone, tubaPast members: Bill Caddick - vocals, guitar Howard Evans – trumpet Malcolm Bennett – bass guitar Colin Rae - trumpet John Tams - vocals, guitar Jon Davie - bass guitar, vocals Roger Williams - trombone, tuba Studio albums: The Home Service The Mysteries Alright Jack A New Ground Live albums: Wild Life Live 1986 Collaborations: All Through the Year Official website
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers wearing bell pads on their shins. Implements such as sticks and handkerchiefs may be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two people, steps are near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid one across the other on the floor, they clap their swords, or handkerchiefs together to match with the dance. The earliest known and surviving English written mention of Morris dance is dated to 1448, records the payment of seven shillings to Morris dancers by the Goldsmiths' Company in London. Further mentions of Morris dancing occur in the late 15th century, there are early records such as bishops' "Visitation Articles" mention sword dancing and other dancing activities, as well as mumming plays. While the earliest records invariably mention "Morys" in a court setting, a little in the Lord Mayors' Processions in London, it had assumed the nature of a folk dance performed in the parishes by the mid 17th century.
There are around 150 Morris sides in the United States. English expatriates form a larger part of the Morris tradition in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. There are isolated groups for example those in Utrecht and Helmond, Netherlands; the world of Morris is organised and supported by three organisations: Morris Ring, Morris Federation and Open Morris. The name is first recorded in the mid-15th century as Morisk dance, moreys daunce, morisse daunce, i.e. "Moorish dance". The term entered English via Flemish mooriske danse. Comparable terms in other languages are German Moriskentanz, French morisques, Croatian moreška, moresco, moresca or morisca in Italy and Spain; the modern spelling Morris-dance first appears in the 17th century. It is unclear why the dance was named, "unless in reference to fantastic dancing or costumes", i.e. the deliberately "exotic" flavour of the performance. The English dance thus arose as part of a wider 15th-century European fashion for "Moorish" spectacle, which left traces in Spanish and Italian folk dance.
The means and chronology of the transmission of this fashion is now difficult to trace. An alternative derivation from the Latin'mos, moris' has been suggested, it has been suggested that the tradition of rural English dancers blackening their faces may be a form of disguise, or a reference either to the Moors or to miners. While the earliest references place the Morris dance in a courtly setting, it appears that the dance became part of performances for the lower classes by the 16th century. Nothing is known about the folk dances of England prior to the mid-17th century. While it is possible to speculate on the transition of "Morris dancing" from the courtly to a rural setting, it may have acquired elements of pre-Elizabethan folk dance, such proposals will always be based on an argument from silence as there is no direct record of what such elements would have looked like. In the Elizabethan period, there was significant cultural contact between Italy and England, it has been suggested that much of what is now considered traditional English folk dance, English country dance, is descended from Italian dances imported in the 16th century.
By the mid 17th century, the working peasantry took part in Morris dances at Whitsun. The Puritan government of Oliver Cromwell, suppressed Whitsun ales and other such festivities; when the crown was restored by Charles II, the springtime festivals were restored. In particular, Whitsun Ales came to be celebrated on Whitsunday, as the date was close to the birthday of Charles II. Morris dancing continued in popularity until the industrial revolution and its accompanying social changes. Four teams claim a continuous lineage of tradition within their village or town: Abingdon, Headington Quarry, Chipping Campden. Other villages have revived their own traditions, hundreds of other teams across the globe have adopted these traditions, or have created their own styles from the basic building blocks of Morris stepping and figures; however by the late 19th century, in the West Country at least, Morris dancing was fast becoming more a local memory than an activity. D'Arcy Ferris, a Cheltenham based singer, music teacher and organiser of pageants, became intrigued by the tradition and sought to revive it.
He first organised its revival. Over the following years he took the side to several places in the West Country, from Malvern to Bicester and from Redditch to Moreton in Marsh. By 1910, he and Cecil Sharp were in correspondence on the subject. Several English folklorists were responsible for recording and reviving the tradition in the early 20th century from a bare handful of surviving members of mid-19th-century village sides. Among these, the most not