1st Edition

Celtic Music and Dance in Cornwall Cornu-Copia

By Lea Hagmann Copyright 2022
    238 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Focusing on the Cornish Music and Dance Revival, this book investigates the revivalists’ claims about Cornwall’s cultural distinctiveness and Celtic heritage, both which are presently used as arguments to promote the English county’s political status as an independent Celtic nation. The author describes two different revival movements that aim at reviving Cornwall’s culture but seem to have entirely different ideas about the concept of authentic Celto-Cornish music and dance. In the first part, historical sources connect Cornwall to its Celtic roots, with an analysis of how the early Cornish revivalists used, changed and adapted this material during the 1980s in order to create a Celto-Cornish revival corpus. In the second part, the book addresses the desire of the Cornish people to express their local and Celtic identities through music and dance, and various practices musicians and dancers have developed to do so. The Nos Lowen movement, which started in the year 2000, is important in this study because it has expanded and newly interpreted the concepts of ‘traditional’, ‘Celtic’ and ‘authentic’.

    1 Cornish Distinctiveness: History and Language
    2 Celtic Traces in Cornish Music and Dancing 
    3 Anglo-Cornish Traditions
    4 The Role Models: Cornwall and Circumambient Revival Movements 
    5 The Cornish Music and Dance Revival: Early Research and Publications  
    6 Developing and Expanding Cornish Music
    7 The Nos Lowen Movement
    8 Dissemination, Institutionalisation and the Second Generation
    9 Conclusion


    Lea Hagmann is a lecturer and postdoc researcher in Cultural Anthropology of Music at the University of Bern, where she is also the Director of Studies in World Arts and Music.

    "Hagmann’s volume therefore cuts both ways: it brings overdue recognition to the existence and significance of Celtic music and dance in Cornwall, while levelling substantial challenges at the corpus. Demonstrating that Cornwall’s diminutive size is no indicator of a lack of cultural complexity, she explores many issues that have wider resonances, not least in relation to ongoing Cornish agendas for greater political and institutional recognition. - Kate Neale, Folk Music Journal