Chapter 9—‘Not the Same, but Just as Nice’: Traditions and
Transformations in Irish Music
Rice, Timothy, James Porter, and Chris Goertzen (eds). 2000. The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 8: Europe. Routledge.
This comprehensive encyclopedia volume includes entries on a multitude of topics and issues relating to the music of Europe. The article on “Ireland,” by Hugh Shields and Paulette Gershen (pp. 378-97—see also separate entry under “Other Sources” below), provides solid information on Irish history, music instruments, performance styles, and cultural context.
Broughton, Simon, Mark Ellingham, and Jon Lusk (eds). 2009. The Rough Guide to World Music: Europe, Asia and Pacific. 3rd ed. Rough Guides.
This is a good resource for information on popular music traditions. Articles provide historical information, cultural contexts for performance, descriptions of selected musical genres, and biographical sketches of selected artists. The entry on Irish music is especially recommended relative to this chapter; other entries (e.g., on other Celtic regions and traditions) are valuable relative to chapter content.
Roote, Deane L. et al., eds. 2009-. Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. Available: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/(by subscription).
Part of the Oxford Music Online gateway, this online resource includes the full text of the 2d edition of the multi-volume New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, with ongoing updates. Articles on music by country or region, musical genres, musical instruments, and well-known performers offer valuable information for fact-checking as well as in-depth research.
Cooper, David. 2009. The Musical Traditions of Northern Ireland and its Diaspora: Community and Conflict. Ashgate.
This book focuses on the cultural dynamics of Northern Ireland in relation to its traditional music. Cooper provides historical information on the region and its music, characterizes its songs and other performance practices, and discusses music of its diaspora in America.
Foy, Barry. 1999. Field Guide to the Irish Music Session. Roberts Rinehart Publishers.
Entertaining and informative. Lots of inside jokes and humor for Irish session veterans, but still a good read.
Hast, Dorothea and Stanley Scott. 2004. Music in Ireland. Global Music Series. Oxford University Press.
An introductory-level text on Irish traditional music (with accompanying CD). The authors discuss performance style, repertoire, and instrumentation using first-hands account of music events. Includes guided listening and hands-on activities.
Kaul, Adam R. 2009. Turning The Tune: Traditional Music, Tourism, And Social Change In An Irish Village. Berghahn Books.
Focusing on a small coastal village in County Clare, Kaul explores the world of music making, social interaction, and social change. He traces the community’s musical history before and after the impact of tourism and the influx of musicians from outside Ireland and explores the commercialization of musical culture.
McCourt, Frank. 1996. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir. Scribner.
Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir provides a visceral slice of Irish (and, briefly, Irish-American) life.
Moloney, Michael. 1992. Irish Music in America: Continuity and Change. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania.
Thorough and informative. Moloney is both a scholar and an excellent performer of Irish traditional music.
Ó Cannain, Tómas. 2004. Séan Ó Riada: His Life and Work. Collins Press.
Definitive biography of the highly influential composer and Irish music revivalist.
Shields, Hugh and Paulette Gershen. 2000. “Ireland,” in Timothy Rice, James Porter, and Chris Goertzen (eds.). Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 8. Europe. Garland, 378-97.
Very useful encyclopedia essay, providing solid information on history, music instruments, performance styles, and cultural context. Much of the information in this reading is directly related to chapter content.
Stokes, Martin and Philip V. Bohlman (eds.). 2003. Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe. Scarecrow Press.
Interesting and provocative collection of essays on the global dimensions of Celtic music, from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany to Canada, the United States, and Australia.
Williams, Sean. 2009. Focus: Irish Traditional Music. Focus on World Music Series. Routledge.
Introduces instrumental and vocal traditions of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Irish diaspora. Includes an accompanying CD with recordings of Joe Heaney, Mick Moloney, Susan McKeown, Karan Casey, and others. The extensive coverage of sean nós and other Irish vocal traditions—much of it relating directly to the more cursory coverage of these topics included in the chapter—make it especially valuable as a supplementary source.