Belfast's Traditional Music Scene: A Narrative of Change and Development

Conor Caldwell

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Today Belfast is home to a vibrant traditional music scene. There have never been more sessions, concerts, classes or lectures devoted to traditional music in the north's biggest city. A complex system of promoters, performers and listeners has emerged in a city that is growing in confidence as it moves away from the dark days of the Troubles. But how does this system function? While Dowling (2014) has examined the development of traditional music-making in Belfast as it shifted from a pre-conflict to conflict ridden environment, little research has been carried out into the reasons behind the boom in traditional music-making in a post-conflict setting.

    This paper examines the impact upon the traditional music scene of the first wave of students to arrive in Belfast after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. These musicians, such as Donal O'Connor, Ruadhrai O'Kane and Aidan Walsh have had a lasting impact upon the lives of musicians native to Belfast, helping to bring traditional music to new venues and audiences.

    The work of Belfast-based music schools with varying remits, such as Belfast Trad., and the Andersonstown School of Traditional and Contemporary Music, is also examined for the purpose of illustrating how both adults and young people are being educated about their musical heritage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015
    EventICTM Ireland Annual Conference - DKIT, Dundalk, Ireland
    Duration: 27 Feb 201501 Mar 2015


    ConferenceICTM Ireland Annual Conference


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