Karpeles, Maud Pauline


Karpeles, Maud Pauline
(1885-1976)
   Together with her sister Helen (who late married Douglas 'Kennedy) Maud Karpeles met Cecil 'Sharp in 1911 and fell under the spell of his enthusiasm for English folk 'dance and ' song. The Karpeles sisters were soon included in Sharp's demonstration teams and were closely involved with the 'English Folk Dance Society (EFDS) formed later that year. When Sharp developed neuritis, Maud became his amanuensis and thus became directly involved in the collecting, lecturing, and publishing with which Sharp was busy spreading the gospel. She accompanied him on his seminal song-collecting trips to the Appalachians from 1916 to 1918. When Sharp died in 1924 Karpeles dedicated herself to continuing his work, through the editing of his collections for publication, and also through the EFDS and its successor the 'English Folk Dance and Song Society. One major contribution of her own was greatly to increase the Societies' overseas contacts, and the successful interchange of dance teams from Britain and Europe before the Second World War was largely due to her enthusiasm and organizational abilities. After the war, she almost single-handedly formed the International Folk Music Council in 1947. She also undertook her own collecting projects - dances in northern England and songs in Newfoundland in 1929 and 1930. After the war, as the folk-song and dance revival underwent rapid change and a series of reassessments, some felt that Karpe-les perhaps stuck too rigidly to her role as guardian of Sharp's work and vision. Nevertheless, her first-hand knowledge of the tradition, and her long experience of the revival movement gave her opinions weight and ensured that she remained an important presence throughout her life. She was awarded an OBE in 1961.
   Her own books include Cecil Sharp: His Life and Work (1967), Folk Songs from Newfoundland (1971), An Introduction to English Folk Song (1973); and the major ones edited from Sharp's MSS are: English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (2 vols., 1932), and Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs (2 vols., 1974).
   Obituaries and tributes: ED&S 28:2 (1976), 44-5; 39:1 (1977), 30; FMJ 3:3 (1977) 292-4; Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council 8 (1977), 9-11; The Times (2 Oct. 1976).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Maud Karpeles — (12 November 1885 – 1 October 1976) was a collector of folksongs and dance teacher. Maud Karpeles was born in London in 1885. In Berlin at the Hochschule für Musik she studied piano for six months. In 1892 a women s settlement had been… …   Wikipedia