Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond
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Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond represents the first interdisciplinary volume of essays on an intricate cultural field that can be experienced and interpreted in manifold ways, whether in Ireland (The Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland), among its diaspora(s), or further afield. While each of its contributors addresses particular themes viewed from discrete perspectives, collectively the book contemplates whether 'music in Ireland' can be regarded as one interrelated plane of cultural and/or national identity, given the various conceptions and contexts of both Ireland (geographical, political, diasporic, mythical) and Music (including a proliferation of practices and genres) that give rise to multiple sites of identification. Arranged in the relatively distinct yet interweaving sections of 'Historical Perspectives', 'Recent and Contemporary Production' and 'Cultural Explorations' its various chapters act to juxtapose the socio-historical distinctions between the major style categories most typically associated with music in Ireland - traditional, classical and popular - and to explore a range of dialectical relationship(s) between these musical styles in matters pertaining to national and cultural identity. The book includes a number of essays that examine various movements (and 'moments') of traditional music revival from the late 18th century to the present day, as well as chapters that tease out various issues of national identity pertaining to individual composers/performers (art music, popular music) and their audiences. Many essays in the volume consider mediating influences (infrastructural, technological, political) and/or social categories (class, gender, religion, ethnicity, race, age) in the interpretation of music production and consumption. Performers and composers discussed include U2, Raymond Deane, Afro-Celt Sound System, E.J. Moeran, Seamus Ennis, Kevin O'Connell, Stiff Little Fingers, Frederick May, Arnold Bax, and Morrissey.