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Irish Music

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Brianna Prime

on 10 February 2014

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Transcript of Irish Music

Brianna Prime, Nathan Quinn, Ben Appel
Irish Music, or Music in Ireland?
Cobblestone Pub, Dublin

Instruments we saw:
Fiddle (violin)/ Guitar
Uilleann Pipes
Concertina ("hand accordion")
Flute
Clarinet
Musicians who come to play are considered working class people. They play for the passion and cultural aspect of the sessions, not the money.
The style of music played was of course Irish Folk and very authentic compared to more touristy areas.
The Cobblestone resides in a working class area beyond the city boundaries. Even though there are few tourists searching for the authentic Ireland, the pub is definitely a hidden treasure of true Irish culture.
Every night there are sessions for anyone who wants to join!
Because the area where the Cobblestone resides in the outskirts of the city, the pub caters to the musical interests of locals and working class Irish residents. Some tourists still find their way to this musically inclined spot but it hasn't lost its authenticity.
Instruments seen here:
guitar
banjo
fiddle (or violin)
accordion/concertina (hand accoridon)
About Taaffe's Pub
Irish musical groups come from all across Ireland to play traditional songs and rhythms to locals and tourists from abroad and other counties
The bands play very upbeat and well known Irish originals from counties across Ireland (example: Whiskey in a Jar)
Live music every day at 5:30 P.M. and 9:30 P.M.
Taaffes is located in the heart of Galway city center, so most of its customers are tourists from all over the world; however, because a lot of the "tourists" are Irish they bring with them the pride from each of their counties. (example: a group of young men from Cork requested songs from their area.)
TAAFFES PUB, GALWAY
King's Head Pub, Galway
Instruments we saw:
Drum Set
Bass Guitar
Electric Guitar
Acoustic Guitar
Conga Drums
The King's Head caters to a younger, more Americanized Irish audience
Party band MASS played many American pop rock songs from the 80s
Irish musicians playing for an Irish audience, but the music is distinctly not-Irish
Is Irish music being eclipsed by American music? Is Irish music dying?
Quay St, Galway
The Baskers
Instruments we saw:
Fiddle (violin)
Acoustic Guitar
Accordion
Bass Guitar
Hand Drums
Buskers are a large part of musical traditions in Ireland, though inherently touristy in nature
Self-described as "Czech Irish Jewish Folk Core"
Touring Europe, yet partially identify as Irish
Where do immigrant sounds and foreign hybrids fit into Irish music?
Does it matter if it's authentic Irish music if it is dedicated to an appreciation of traditional styles?
Gravediggers Pub, Dublin
Instruments we saw:
Voice alone!
Sing-songs are a huge part of Irish pub culture as well as Irish music culture
Rules- join in or pay attention- no side conversations!
Popular songs: Fields of Athenry, Molly Malone, or whatever you feel
Some songs draw heavily from another Irish pub tradition, storytelling
Temple Bar, Dublin
Porterhouse Pub, Dublin
Semiotics of Space
Transcending Borders
Traditional Irish folk band started in Dublin in 1962
Officially dubbed "Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors"
Have become a point of reference for tourists visiting Ireland
Exist in liminal space between rural, traditional music and capitalistic recording industry
Exclusion/Inclusion
Power and Semiotics
Mixing and Classification
"Czech Irish Jewish Folk Core" is a strange mix without a home
"Separation is a part of the process of purification" (Sibley p37)
Aren't pure and can't be separated, makes them a pollutant and a threat
Relegating immigrant music to streets strengthens borders, prohibits mixing
Close-Knit Communal Identity
Irish musical traditions passed down through families and in pubs, children learn at the knees of elders
Uilleann Piper from Cobblestone: learned music from his father with his siblings, passing traditions on to his children, who were at the session as well
Davis and Anderson call tight communities like this "high-density social networks," members all share the same beliefs and values
High-density social networks are usually unreceptive to mixing and change, contradicted by the adoption of foreign instruments and styles
Exclusion and Semiotics
Example: Cobblestone Pub
Outside the city center = less of a "touristy" area
Music played in sessions or perform strictly Irish songs
More working class residents are seen there
Inclusion and Semiotics
Example: Temple Bar
In the city center = tourists' paradise
Play few actual Irish songs and more popular Americanized songs
Example: Temple Bar
Location/Familiarity
Preconception of Irish music
Music people can identify with
Compare this to Cobblestone Pub
Some History
Ancient Traditions, kept alive
during dark ages. Music was a way
of storytelling, entertaining, and socializing.

Music structure: repetitive and lively
-Jig (6/8 time) - versatile and danceable
-promotes inclusion

Instruments:
-Uilleann Pipes
-Harp
-Bodhran
-Imports (guitar, flutes)
The Chieftains
On the edge of Temple Bar
Craft beers, live music
Hard to tell if it's "touristy" or not. Clientele seemed mix of foreign, local.
Sliotar:
Irish Modern Folk Music
Use: Guitar, Drumset,
illen pipe and whistle
Name is from Hurling
Music style:
The vibe is driven by the drum and guitar- harder rock feel. The pipes give it a feeling of tradition.
Set interspersed with flute solos, unaccompanied vocals
Instruments seen here:
guitars
banjos
vocals
Temple Bar, Dublin
- Area designed for Tourists
- Music billed as "Traditional" but really is just tourist appeal
- last night I walked past two bars, both playing the same U2 song
Thanks for your attention!
Any questions?
Object Relations - Theory and Music
O-R theory defined by acknowledgment of "other" - this breaks down during musical sessions.
When playing music, best not to think of "my part," "his part," best not to think at all - just play.
A joint musical piece is a creation of communal force, not separated individuals.
Modern Approach: itemize and sell - commodities.
What am I looking at? Is it Irish? Is it Irish enough for Group X?
Generally agreed on by tourists and city that
this is the "tourist" hangout.
Music reflects this, in that there are hints of Irish traditional music but geared towards an international audience.
i.e. playing the same U2 songs over again
Full transcript