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The Preservation of Music and Irish Cultural History
International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Dec., 1996), pp. 123-138
Published by: Croatian Musicological Society
Page Count: 16
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The preservation of traditional music in Ireland may be regarded initially as the outgrowth of antiquarian interest from within the Protestant Ascendancy. With the development of a nationalist political consciousness in the nineteenth century however, music in Ireland rapidly assumed symbolic connotations of emancipation and artistic regeneration which ironically inhibited the growth of an independent art music. The preservation of the ethnic repertory consolidated the notion of Irish music as an immutable fact of the past which could inspire the present in terms of extra-musical thought (political and literary) but which silenced the claim of an original art music upon the Irish mind. Unlike the cross-fertilization of ethnic and art traditions represented by Bartók's achievement in Hungary, the polarised condition of music in Ireland has meant that the preservation of one tradition (represented in the first instance by the great collectors) has not particularly enhanced the cultivation of the other.
International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music © 1996 Croatian Musicological Society