Sharp, Joan


Collection date: Jan 1899

Area: London

Joan Sharp (1898-1968): Joan was the 3rd of Cecil Sharp’s 4 children and the one who most took to folk music. She was a member of his women’s folk dance team and she played pipe and tabor at many folk events over many years.

Joan Sharp was born 31/7/1898 at Eton Avenue, Hampstead. She was described by Lavender Jones*, a fellow EFDS dance teacher, as 'very shy but very bright, could play several instruments'. Joan was part of the women's dance team at Burford in 1913 (aged just 15) and attended several Vacation Schools over the years. She went with the EFDS tour to USA and Canada in 1929. 

In the 1930s Joan was the first librarian at what is now the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London. She lived during part of this time with her sister Susannah at Fetcham in Surrey. In the 1950s Joan played in the Benacre Folk Band. 

Joan Sharp died on 23/10/1968 aged 70.

*Hear Roy Palmer's 1988 interviews (Parts 1 & 3) with Lavender Jones (1901-1997) search at British Library 

To hear Joan Sharp playing pipe and tabor, go to Morris Ring: These are 78 rpm Columbia records DB226, 227 recorded in 1930.

For an appreciation of Joan's musicianship, see Richard Shaw Joan Sharp (1898-1968) and the Revival of the English Pipe and Tabor in Folk Music Journal vol12 no.1 2021

Books by Author David Sutcliffe

Cecil Sharp and the Quest for Folk Song and Dance

A new biography of Cecil Sharp, written by David Sutcliffe

£20.00 + p&p

The Keys of Heaven - The Life of Revd Charles Marson

This is the first biography of the Revd Charles Marson.

£6.00 + p&p