The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance

1st Edition

By Susan H. Motherway


228 pages

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Paperback: 9781138261570
pub: 2016-11-15
Hardback: 9781409434238
pub: 2013-03-15
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pub: 2016-03-09
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In The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance Susan Motherway examines the ways in which performers mediate the divide between local and global markets by negotiating this dichotomy in performance practice. In so doing, she discusses the globalizing processes that exert transformative influences upon traditional musics and examines the response to these influences by Irish traditional song performers. In developing this thesis the book provides an overview of the genre and its subgenres, illustrates patterns of musical change extant within the tradition as a result of globalization, and acknowledges music as a medium for re-negotiating an Irish cultural identity within the global. Given Ireland’s long history of emigration and colonisation, globalization is recognised as both a synchronic and a diachronic phenomenon. Motherway thus examines Anglo-Irish song and songs of the Irish Diaspora. Her analysis reaches beyond essentialist definitions of the tradition to examine evolving sub-genres such as Country & Irish, Celtic and World Music. She also recognizes the singing traditions of other ethnic groups on the island of Ireland including Orange-Order, Ulster-Scots and Traveller song. In so doing, she shows the disparity between native conceptions and native realities in respect to Irish cultural Identity.


’In this innovative work on the local and the global in Irish song, Motherway highlights issues facing music and musicians everywhere: the definition of local identity through music, connections to diasporic traditions, and the engagement of a far-flung audience whose separation from 'tradition' may be both temporal and spatial.’ Sean Williams, The Evergreen State College, USA ’The book will be of relevance to those with interests in ethnomusicology and popular music studies, in addition to globalization theory and Irish cultural history. Not only is this book essential for the robust framework it proposes for ITSP, it should also be recognized for its comprehensiveness and in-depth engagement with a wide variety of song genres. While globalization theory helpfully contextualizes the myriad contexts of Irish traditional song, it is the convincing discussion of sean-nos, Enya, Orange song, and the Afrocelts, among many others, within a single monograph that makes it valuable’. Music and Letters ’I haven't read such a both interesting and entertaining book about Irish Music for a long time. Susan Motherway examines and discusses Irish history, society and culture in a nutshell’. FolkWorld 'Written by a scholar with a deep appreciation and understanding of ’Irish Traditional Music’, this title makes an excellent addition to Ashgate’s Popular and Folk Music Series. … an important contribution to the debates emerging from a much-loved and extremely successful modern musical field. Ashgate are to be congratulated for their dedication to the continuing scholarly engagement with that field'. Popular Music ’There is, unquestionably, some fine writing in this book - wonderfully perceptive and eloquent indeed … notably so in concise, review style descriptions of the process of music-making.’ Folk Music Journal 'The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance is a significant contribution to the body of ethnomusicological texts exploring I

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: mediating the local and the global through song; Defining the local within the global; The temporal divide; The language divide; The ethnic divide; The geographical divide; The political divide; The institutional divide; Irish traditional song in a global context; Discography; References; Index.

About the Author

Susan Motherway is a lecturer in music at the Institute of Technology, Tralee. She studied ethnomusicology at the University of Limerick under Dr John Morgan O’Connell and was awarded a PhD in 2009 for her thesis ’Mediating the Divide: The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance’. Susan received the title of ’Visiting Research Associate’ from Queens University Belfast (2005/2006). She has contributed many articles to the Continuum Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, and The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland. Her papers are published in the Conference Proceedings of ICTM Music & Minorities Conference (2006) and ICTM Ireland’s publication Ancestral Imprints: Histories of Irish Traditional Music and Dance. Susan plays concertina, concert flute and piano. She has been a long-time performer with Siamsa Tire, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland.

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Folk & Traditional