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Cecil Sharp

(1859-1924), Musician and collector of folk-songs

Sitter in 2 portraits
The founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early twentieth century. On leaving university, he lived in Australia, returning to England in 1892 and taking various posts to support his composing. He first came across English folk music in 1899, and this encounter was a defining moment in his life. He threw himself into collecting, amassing more than 1,500 tunes over the next four years. In 1902, he published A Book of British Song for Home and School, a mixture of 'national' and 'traditional' songs, and he gave his first lecture in 1903. He spent the rest of his life collecting songs and dances, promoting them through his books and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Cecil Sharp, by Esther Blaikie Mackinnon - NPG 2517

Cecil Sharp

by Esther Blaikie Mackinnon
chalk, 1921
NPG 2517

Cecil Sharp, by Esther Blaikie Mackinnon - NPG 2518

Cecil Sharp

by Esther Blaikie Mackinnon
pencil, 1921
NPG 2518



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