Oral-Formulaic Theory: Annotated Bibliography

Samuel P. Bayard. "Prolegomena to a Study of the Principal Melodic Families of British-American Folk Song." Journal of American Folklore, 63:1-44.

Adumbrates the rich and complex store of tune families on which performers draw, describing the role of musical formulas and the lack of "authorship" of melodies in the common traditional domain. Also argues that the number of distinctly different folk melodies is smaller than supposed, that groups of closely related airs are correspondingly more inclusive, and that derivative forms are by and large current wherever folk songs in English are sung.
Area: MU, BR, US, FB