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, research 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', 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 seen here. 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 Hull on 21 November 2015. You can read the notes of that meeting here.
The previous meeting was that held in Newcastle on 9 May 2015. You can see the notes of that meeting here.
You can see the archive of previous TSF meeting notes here
The next TSF meeting will be held in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 24 September 2016.
The main feature of the day will be the first Roy Palmer Lecture to be
given by Steve Roud, whose topic will be 'English Folk Song - Some More
Conclusions' (Details here). There will be another three talks in the afternoon session. Details of the day's programme can be seen here.
Later in the year we will be holding a meeting in Liverpool, on 19 November. A full weekend's programme is being arranged and details will be published here shortly
The next Broadside Day is to take place at the Bodleian Library, Oxford on 25th Feb 2017. This will be a very popular meeting so make a note in your diary.
The Sussex Traditions Project will be hosting the Spring TSF meeting at a Sussex venue (location tbc) on 25 March 2017.
Our Autumn meeting will be in Sheffield 16 September 2017 where, as part of a programme focused on local sings and collectors, the second Roy Palmer Lecture will be given by Ian Russell.
And, while we don't have a date for it, the first meeting of 2018 will be held at Cecil Sharp House in January.
Please make sure that you have these dates in your diary!