Researching and rambling

I’m a rambler. I can talk in circles and absolutely know that I am, and still not be able to stop myself. I think it’s because I have a lot of random thing always swimming through my head and when I converse, they all seem to come to the surface.

I’m in Research Techniques this semester and in this class, I have the semester to research a topic with a question and write about it in a higher level than I would have as an undergraduate. The higher level writing is not easy for someone that rambles. I’m going to take advantage of this medium to do some of my rambling and refining so it doesn’t show up in the assignments as much I have to turn in. Please excuse the construction.

My topic is about English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He wrote a lot of music based on the English folk songs he collected. He also lectured regularly and wrote quite a few articles on the subject of English nationalism and compositions. In his lectures and writings, he talks quite a bit about how England was a nation without its own music for many years because English composers would go to France and Germany to study the art of composition and bring back those French & German styles and try to write English music with those styles. He criticized English composers for not being true to their heritage and not writing music based on English styles yet still calling their music English.

What I’m trying to find is a composer RVW referred to in his criticisms and compare one of his (or hers, I guess, although the number of women composers in England during that time is small) pieces to a piece by Vaughan Williams.

Here’s the hard part – RVW was very critical but he was still an Englishman during the early 1900s. They didn’t name names back then, they were true gentlemen. Lots and LOTS of reading to determine who some of these composers may be. Bonus if I find one that incorporated folk songs into the European style.