The English Folk Dance and Song Society
These pages are hosted by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the longest running society in England dedicated to promoting the folk arts. With a headquarters in Regent's Park Rd, London and members all over the world, the EFDSS has an important part to play in passing on the traditions and culture of England to those who wish to carry them onward.
The hub of the Society's work is the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, a significant multi-media collection in care for the nation. Most of the major collections of tunes and songs are scanned and available online. An ever increasing number of the dance and tune books documents have been transcribed into ABC format, that display as a score alongside the original, the tunes can also be played online.
The Society is a publisher of books, audio and video and all current titles are sold by mail order or from the Folkshop.
The quarterly magazine is English Dance and Song which includes online enhancements in the form of audio and pdf files on its web site.
The EFDSS also host the web site for the Traditional Drama Research Group, whose interests are in Mummers Plays and traditional street drama.
The Morris Ring
The Morris Federation
The Morris Federation began as an organisation for female sides only. In 1980, it opened its doors to mixed sides and in 1982 it became open to any morris side, regardless of gender. A year later, the word 'Women's' was dropped from the name. The Federation has always taken the view that the dances themselves are more important than the gender of the dancers who perform them. It seeks to encourage all who are interested to experience the pleasure of morris dancing and to strive for the highest standard of execution of which they are capable.
Open Morris began in 1979 as a loose organisation of East Anglian dancers, following efforts by one of the (then) few mixed Morris sides in the country to find local friends and sympathisers.
At that time there was much rivalry between members of the all-male Morris Ring (founded in 1934) on one side and the Women's Morris Federation, which came into being in the mid 1970's on the other. Both organisations agreed that Morris Dancing shouldn't involve a mixing of the sexes! (Although "WMF" did later become the Morris Federation and expanded its membership to include male and mixed groups).
Folk Arts England
FolkArts England (FAE) was a national development agency for Folk, Roots and Traditional Music. It was funded by Arts Council England and incorporated The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) and published Direct Roots, the guide to folk, roots and related music and arts. FAE was dissolved on 4 March 2014 (qv Companies House), although AFO still exists.
The Folklore Society
The Folklore Society (FLS) was founded in 1878 and was one of the first organisations in the world devoted to the study of traditional culture. The term 'folklore' describes the overarching concept that holds together a number of aspects of vernacular culture and cultural traditions, and is also the name of the discipline which studies them.
The Folklore Society's interest and expertise covers topics such as traditional music, song, dance and drama, narrative, arts and crafts, customs and belief. We are also interested in popular religion, traditional and regional food, folk medicine, children's folklore, traditional sayings, proverbs rhymes and jingles. web site
The Folk Camps Society
The Folk Camps Society is a not-for-profit holiday organisation run by its own members. The Society was founded in the early 60s when a group of folk enthusiasts decided it would be fun to go on holiday together, eat together and make their own entertainment without spending a fortune. They run holidays under canvas with an emphasis on folk dance, music and song. web site
The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club
The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club is a national club that promotes all forms of Dulcimer, i.e. Hammered or Plucked Dulcimer, and the Mountain (Lap) Dulcimer. The club has regular newsletters and hosts both national and regional events. web site
The Traditional Song Forum
TSF is an informal organisation of researchers and enthusiasts for traditional song and traditional singing whose aim is to encourage research and dissemination of information about traditional song. There are usually three meetings a year in different parts of England where there are presentations of topics related to song research and where members can discuss aspects of their research or use of song with colleagues.
Society for Storytelling
Active since June 1993, the SfS is an open organisation which welcomes anyone with an interest in oral storytelling