Cecil Sharp

Decades: 2000s


Cecil James Sharp, 22 November 1859, Denmark Hill, London, England, d. 23 June 1924, Hampstead, London, England. Sharp is most commonly remembered for his collecting of folk songs and dance tunes in order to preserve the tradition of popular music. He collected a wealth of material, both in Britain and the USA, where he made regular trips to the Appalachian Mountains, often with his assistant Maud Karpeles (b. 12 November 1885, London, England). Sharp was the third child of nine, having four brothers and four sisters. Cecil, always a weak child, left school in 1874. His early hay fever turned to asthma in later life. His interest in music was largely inherited from his mother, though both parents encouraged him. He entered Clare College, Cambridge, in October 1879, where he read Mathematics. Leaving in 1882, he went to Australia, where he took a job washing Hansom cabs in Adelaide. There followed various jobs as a bank clerk and violin teacher, and eventually he...

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