Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye


Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye
(1885-1916)
   One of the most promising of the Edwardian generation of musicians interested in folk music, his work was sadly curtailed by his death in France in August 1916. He came to folk music through his acquaintance with Ralph *Vaughan Williams, and with characteristic energy and enthusiam started collecting songs in 1906 and continued to do so until the First World War. His manuscripts (now at the *Vaughan Williams Memorial Library) contain over 300 songs, collected in various counties, although he is best known for his work in Sussex. In 1911, he joined the *English Folk Dance Society and became a disciple and collaborator of Cecil *Sharp, collecting and editing *morris, *sword, and country dances at his behest and helping with several of his books; he was also an energetic member of Sharp's demonstration dance team. Butterworth's interests as a musician prompted him to use some of the material he collected in his own compositions, and he published a number of pieces which included traditional themes, although he destroyed many of his unpublished manuscripts while in the army. Two of his best-known pieces, A Shropshire Lad and Banks of Green Willow, are still heard regularly today.
   ■ George Butterworth, Folk Songs from Sussex (1913); Michael Dawney, FMJ 3:2 (1926), 99-113; Russell Wortley and Michael Dawney, FMJ 3:3 (1977), 193-207; Ian Copley, George Butterworth: A Centennial Tribute (1985); DNB.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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