John Manifold




John Streeter Manifold hu achieved many tbinp in bu life. Poet, scholar, translator, man of letters, musicologist, music teacher, folklorist, and, above all, irrapl'ellible enthusiast for all these vocations, he has also done things like •mmding a chap's banana farm on Buderim Mountain for a while'.

Having graduated with honours in French and German from Cambridge University in I 937 he worked in Germany as a translator until the war. His escape from the Rhineland was aided by a friendly Dutch barge skipper and a Dutch customs officer who happened to share his enthusiasm for sixteenth- and seventeenth ­century English consort music.

After service in Africa and Europe u a captain in the British Anny Intelligence Corps, he settled with his wife Kate in Wynnum in 1950. Already the author of a manual on recorder playing, editor of some consort music by Thomas Morley, and a poet with three volumes of poetry that had won much praise, John Manifold set about the urgent task of gathering Australian folklore, sonp, and ballads. This material he transcribed and edited, teaching words and music to hundreds of adults and children, establishing his own performing group, the Bandicoots, and making and supervising the making of scores of bush instruments. Combining research with practical music-making skills, he produced his essay of bush music, The Violin, the Banjo and the Bones and later edited the words and music of The Queensland Centenary Pocket Song Book and The Penguin Australian Song Book. His major critical and historical work, Who Wrote the Ballads?, set out a number of practical theories about the composition and transmission of oral literature.

The Music In Elizabethan Drama: from Shalcapeare to Purcell, published in 1956, represents his most extended treatment of an earlier oral and written tradition, this time of Renaissance stage performance. It offered the then-novel theory that in Elizabethan and seventeenth-century plays each instrument and combination of instruments had its characteristic use - for signallina the supernatural, for love scenes, for indications of rank, for various battle commands, and so on.

John Manifold is in another of his many roles, one of the most popular poets in Australia. Always concerned with establishing good-natured relationships with readen, his poetry entertains, amuses, and instructs people of many ages. Balladist, political commentator, and lyrist, he balances wit, musicality, and commitment. Even when battling pain and infirmity in a Wynnum convalescent home he is able to rejoice in the art of poetry, saying in a poem called Nineteen Seventy-Nine and Eleven-Twelfths',

Em bellish
The future as you will with hellish
Invention, I've rewon the heart
To write...

Mr. Chancellor, for service to scholanhip, education, musicianship, literature, and the arts of ertjoying life, I present to you John Streeter Manifold, Bachelor. of Arts of Cambridge University, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoru causa.


Doctor of Letters honoris causa