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Thesis 1

THESIS DETAILS
Thesis Title: Mediating the Divide: The Globalisation of Irish Traditional Song Performance
Degree Type: PhD
Degree Specialism: Ethnomusicology
Supervisor(s): Dr. John Morgan O'Connell
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: Aug 2008
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: University of Limerick
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 2 (Vo.l 1 230pp, Vol. 2 238pp)
Approx. Word Count: 100,000
Thesis Location / Link: University of Limerick
Related Publications: 'Renegotiating Traveller Identity Through Folksong in Ireland' in The Human World and Musical Diversity
THESIS CONTENT
Persons / Composers: Iarla O Lionaird, Celtic Tenors, Enya, Sean Keane, The Pecker Dunne, Christy Moore
Genres / Musical Instruments: Irish Traditional Song
Related Places: Newfoundland
Key Issues / Concepts: Globalisation
Abstract: This thesis concerns the globalisation of Irish traditional song performance. It examines the ways in which contemporary performers attempt to mediate the divide between local and global markets by negotiating this dichotomy in performance practice. In this respect, it will discuss the globalising processes that exert transformative influences upon traditional musics and it will examine the response to these influences by Irish traditional song performers.

The primary concern of this thesis is musical change. First, I will define Irish traditional song from a local perspective and then explore alternative definitions that have developed at a global level. Second, I will examine the synchronic and diachronic development of Irish traditional song to illustrate the changes that have occurred in performance practice. Third, I will discuss the interaction between Irish traditional song and global music culture, looking at the ways in which this interaction has led to the fusion of traditional song with other ethnic genres and/or popular music styles and acquired global standards in the realm of music production. Fourth, I will investigate significant globalising processes that have impacted on the representation of Irish traditional song performance in a global context; the contribution of technology to musical change; the commodification of Irish traditional song; and the professionalisation and institutionalisation of performance practice.

This thesis also examines the strategies of localisation used by performers to project their cultural identity within the global domain. First, I will define Irish identity from a national perspective and explore how this is translated into the global domain. Second, I will examine the concept of national identity from synchronic and diachronic perspectives to illustrate the disparity between national identity and Irelandís cultural history. Third, I will determine how hybrid and diasporic identities entangle language, traditions, places and ethnicities in coercive and creative ways to articulate particular understandings of cultural history. Forth, I will investigate the use of particular universal concepts in order to engage with specific audiences globally.

Contact Details

Current Institution Affiliation: Institute of Technology, Tralee
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