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The Making of A Broadside Ballad

Patricia Fumerton, Andrew Griffin, Carl Stahmer, Authors

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Introduction: Why?

In the fall of 2013, we asked ourselves what we’d learn if we made a broadside ballad from the ground up; The Making of a Broadside Ballad provides our answers to that question. The makers of this edition undertook an ambitious training program alongside professional craft workers from across the country, including papermakers, woodcarvers, ethnomusicologists, and printers. We made paper from used clothing, carved woodblocks from planked box-wood, composed ballad-style verse, recovered an early modern tune, set type, printed the cuts and type together, and then performed our product, "The Ballad-Makers Complaint." This document records and reflects on the process of critical making. 

In this introduction, the project’s editors ask the big question – “Why?” – and offer a robust explanation of our rationale and methods.

Andrew Griffin, “Why Making?”
Patricia Fumerton, “Why the Broadside Ballad?”
Carl Stahmer, “Why Edit Digitally: Scalar and the Decorum of Form” 

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