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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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A School of English Music

A School of English Music

(p.17) Chapter 2 A School of English Music
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Not very many years ago, no English musician had a chance of success; he had either to change his name or his nature, so that all our performers were “Signors,” and all the products of our English composers were, in reality, imported from abroad, and suffered much dilution on the voyage. The question during this time was: how to re-awaken English music? Here the pioneers of the English school made a great mistake; they sought a panacea, and sought it abroad. This universal remedy was to be the “folk song”; on the continent its exploitation was in full swing. In former times, musical England came to grief by trying to be foreign. It is useless to invent a style and then model individual utterances upon it. The national English style must be modeled on the personal style of English musicians.

Keywords:   musician, music, English school, folk song, England, foreign, English style, personal style

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