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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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Cecil Sharp’s Accompaniments

Cecil Sharp’s Accompaniments

(p.233) Chapter 47 Cecil Sharp’s Accompaniments
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

It has sometimes been questioned whether Cecil Sharp had the creative impulse in music, but his accompaniments to my mind clearly show that he had. His creative impulse came from the tune he was setting. In all the best of Sharp's accompaniments it is the tune that counts, and the arrangement falls into its proper background. In some cases his accompaniments look wrong, and sometimes even when played by themselves seem awkward, but they stand the important test: that they make the tune sound right. It is true that Sharp had little of the conventional technique of pianoforte accompaniment, as taught by professors of composition, but he developed a technique of his own whose complete success was only hindered by his fear of the harmony professor. As examples of first-rate accompaniments this book suggests “The Cuckoo,” “The Drowned Lover,” and “The Water is Wide.”

Keywords:   Cecil Sharp, music, accompaniments, tune, pianoforte, The Cuckoo, Drowned Lover, Water is Wide

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