This book is about the history and practice of recording Irish traditional music and dance, and the variety of documents that exist as a result of the activities of collectors both in Ireland and in North America.
Essay topics range from analyses of nineteenth-century printed documents, to the earliest wax cylinder recordings, to famous, rather large collections, and small all but unknown ones. Authors examine the role of the fieldworker/collector, the impact of broadcasting on regional style, the idea of “Irish” versus “American” style in early uilleann pipe recordings, and the impact of the recording process and marketing on traditional song, amongst other topics. Approaches vary from the analytical—comparing and analysing various settings of tunes and titles—to the personal—reflecting on the impact of one’s own collecting and fieldwork on a regional tradition.
Authors also interrogate how music serves to create and articulate identity, how changing contexts and emic and etic perspectives on music can influence a music’s evolution. From original manuscripts in the National Library, to printed documents, audio and video recordings, and art work, this book examines the reception history of Irish traditional music and dance.
Thérèse Smith is at the School of Music, University College Dublin
July 2012 ISBN 978-185918-492-9, €39 £35, Hbk, 234 x 156mm, 262pp
Ancestral Imprints is available at www.corkuniversitypress.com