Peabody, Anthony (2018) Joe Morley, banjo player, his life, works, and his music. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the life, works and music of Joe Morley, who was one of the most wellknown
and respected players of the banjo, and one of its foremost composers. His life coincided with the last embodiments of the Minstrel troupes, and importantly, with the beginnings of the Pierrot tradition. His career covered the beginnings of the banjo in popular entertainment, through its decline after the Great War, and its resurgence in Concert parties with the advent of the wireless.
The primary aim of this research is to place Morley, his family and his associates within a
clearly defined and accurate historical framework. This has not been achieved before, and
represents a step forward in understanding the music of popular entertainment during his
musical career.
Much of what has been written about Morley was written about the time of his death in 1937,
and in banjo orientated magazines. None of these authors had any information about his
family or his early life, and their accounts are either incomplete or incorrect, and dependent
upon oral tradition.
Morley’s music offers an insight into the changing tastes in popular music from Minstrels, to Pierrots, and finally to the Concert party. This in-depth examination also throws light on
many of the personalities with whom Morley was associated, some well known figures, and some who have now retreated into obscurity.

FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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