We called ourselves a ‘forum’ because we recognised from the outset that one of the most important reasons for the existence of TSF was to enable those interested in collecting, researching, singing and other aspects of the study of traditional song to meet and to discuss their work with others who would be interested in what they were doing, could offer help and advice – and who could offer some consolation on what is, sometimes, a lonely journey. While electronic communication is great for sharing ideas, documents, and other information, there is no substitute for sitting down with like-minded colleagues every so often and having good conversations, discussions – and even arguments!
A ‘typical’ TSF meeting will fall into three parts. Firstly we will spend time going round those present to hear what they have been doing and to discuss it and to offer help and advice. Secondly (and always very briefly!) we will deal with the business matters of the forum. The afternoon is usually organised as a ‘Forum Focus’ session where TSF members or guest speakers can talk at more length about particular topics – often themed. Having said this, we are very flexible and if it makes sense to depart from this format we will do so.
Occasionally we have run special, whole day sessions such as the ‘Life and Times’ events, featuring a number of collectors talking about their work, or the ‘Broadside Days’ (organised in partnership with EFDSS), which have proved very popular.
We produce brief notes of each of our meetings which are published on this site – though not always for the ‘special’ events. The notes of the most recent meetings can be found using the links below. There is also an archive of past meetings which you can visit. There is, though, no substitute for being there. To help this we move the meetings around the country. The best attended sessions are those held in London and the North though we try to other parts occasionally – usually at the invitation of a local group. You can find details of forthcoming meetings below
The most recent meeting of the Traditional Song Forum was that held in Sheffield on 16 September 2017. The notes of that meeting can be read HERE.
The previous meeting was that held in Lewes on 25 March 2017. You can read the notes of that meeting HERE
You can see the archive of previous TSF meeting notes here – HERE
Dates for future meetings are given in the box near the top right of your screen. More details can generally be found on the ‘News’ page. You can also find details as well as a link to book tickets for the meeting (usually free of charge!) in the ‘Calendar’ page.
The Spring Meeting of the Traditional Song Forum will be held at Cecil Sharp House on 28 April. You can download the programme for the day HERE.
The Autumn meeting of the Traditional Song Forum will be held at Newcastle University on 20 October. It will also be the occasion for the Roy Palmer Lecture for 2018 which is to be given by Grace Toland, the Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Further details will be available nearer the time.
Please make sure that you have these dates in your diary!