Becky is a part-time, distance learning PhD student at the University of Sheffield under the supervision of Dr Fay Hield. Her research topic relates to post-1850 ‘Fiddlers’ Tunebooks’ and considers their inclusion in the concept of folk music tradition. Her thesis, entitled ‘‘Fiddlers’ Tunebooks’ – Vernacular Instrumental Manuscript Sources 1860-c1880: Paradigmatic of Folk Music Tradition?’ has just been submitted for examination.
The source of inspiration for this topic was her great-great-grandfather, Thomas Hampton’s fiddle tune book. This handwritten, hand-stitched manuscript book was handed down to her from her grandfather along with Thomas’s fiddle, two fifes and some 19th century printed tunes. The tunebook makes up one of a number of such tune books currently being edited and preserved by The Village Music Project.
If successful in her forthcoming viva, Becky plans to continue her research into earlier tunebooks. Other areas of interest include Playford’s 1651 edition of ‘The English Dancing Master’.