Rambling in the Field of Modern Identity: Some Speculations on Irish Traditional Music

Martin Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues that Irish “traditional” music is modern in its form and history, and explores the ramifications of this thesis for understanding of the peculiarities of Irish modernity and identity. The article exhaustively surveys the historiography of Irish traditional music and uniquely interprets this literature in relation to competing conceptions of identity and modernity articulated by Taylor, Appiah and Žižek. It also interprets Irish traditional music in relation to conceptions of Irish modernity articulated in a wide range of disciplines within Irish studies. Reflecting on the author’s lifelong engagement with traditional music performance, the article argues that the resilience of traditional music within the broader culture is connected to the peculiar character of Irish modernity, and that it suffers from problems of aesthetic exhaustion shared by much modern art in the contemporary conjuncture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
JournalRadharc
Volume5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

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