The Ulster-Scots Musical Revival. Transforming Tradition in a Post-Conflict Environment

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This paper describes the Ulster-Scots Musical Revival which started in the late 1990s, and argues that neither Hobsbawm & Ranger’s conception of “invented tradition” nor Rosenberg’s theorisation of folk revivals as appropriations of tradition are adequate to understand this ongoing musical and social movement. By comparing the Ulster-Scots revival with earlier “Irish traditional music” revivals, I will argue that the Ulster-Scots movement is significantly different both from Irish revivals and from the American folk revivals theorised in Rosenberg’s volume, in that it is not the appropriation of a working-class music by a middle-class constituency, but a deliberate transformation of tradition undertaken by members of the originating communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalÉtudes Irlandaises
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013


  • Ulster-Scots
  • Northern Ireland
  • cultural heritage
  • collective identity
  • music

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