Ón gCos go Cluas: From Dancing to Listening

Liz Doherty (Editor), Fintan Vallely (Editor)

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Traditional music has moved from a primary purpose of servicing dance, to expressing artistic preference. This is particularly so for the fiddle, one of the most versatile, accessible and universal of acoustic instruments. The NAFCo 2012 conference explored its current popularity in North Atlantic musics in terms of the shift of folk cultures’ interest from social process to aesthetic product.
The outer fringes of traditional melody-making now shade into other forms – jazz, contemporary classical, rock and pop – and indeed towards the antithesis of genre, so-called ‘world’ music. Questions that the conference was asked to address included:
Is Alan Lomax’s ‘cultural grey-out’ to become reality?
Will traditional fiddling decompose into a cloud of intermeshed idioms and clichés expounded with fabulous virtuosity but devoid of cultural meaning?

Ón gCos go Cluas heard the voices of more than a hundred speakers from all regions of the North Atlantic, each of them a musician or music teacher; thirty two of these are published here along with a full conference summary.

Edited by Liz Doherty and Fintan Vallely.

Liz Doherty, editor of The Cape Breton Fiddle Companion (2015) was NAFCo’s festival organiser for 2012

Fintan Vallely, editor of Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999, 2011, 2021) was the academic co-ordinator of the 2012 conference. Both played key roles in two significant earlier conferences on Irish Traditional music – Crosbhealach an Cheoil – in 1996 and 2003, the first of which dealt with ‘Tradition and Change’, the second with ‘Education and Traditional Music’. The NAFCo event and the papers in this volume complete the ambitions of the Crosbhealach series by now dealing with the changing role of Traditional musics.

The papers from the earlier conferences are still available in book form.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAberdeen University Press
Number of pages314
ISBN (Print)978-1-85752-073-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventNorth Atlantic Fiddle Convention Conference - Northern Ireland, Derry/Londonderry, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 20121 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameFiddle and Dance Studies from around the North Atlantic 5


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