|About the Book|
The Companion to Irish Traditional Music represents a landmark in the study of one of the Western worlds most universally recognizable forms of cultural expression. This ambitious volume comes at a time when Irish music and culture is experiencing aMoreThe Companion to Irish Traditional Music represents a landmark in the study of one of the Western worlds most universally recognizable forms of cultural expression. This ambitious volume comes at a time when Irish music and culture is experiencing a genuine renaissance, as evidenced by the popularity of such phenomena as Riverdance.Only a handful of books have attempted to present an overall picture of Irish traditional music, and many of these are now outdated or out of print. Since the late 1960s, the traditional music scene has changed radically: the commercial life of traditional music has mushroomed, bringing with it tremendous growth in what might be called music tourism. At the same time, an energetic revivalism has taken hold, the result of a wealth of new approaches to playing and spirited debate over the influence of traditionalism in Irish music.Fintan Vallely has harnessed the expertise of dozens of specialists who between them present a remarkably comprehensive picture of the field, incorporating ancient history, past ideals, and contemporary ideologies. The companion presents A-Z descriptions of individuals, traditions, and instruments, as well as an analysis of the modern history of traditional music-making. Biographical entries cover significant musicians and composers and central themes- central themes within traditional music, such as the oral tradition, the Bardic system, and the politics of Irish music, are given extended entries.Not just the ideal reference for the interested enthusiast, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music provides a unique resource for every home, school, or library with an interest in the distinctive rituals, qualities, and history of Irish traditional music and song.