The most (imagined) Irish place in the world? : the interaction between Irish and Newfoundland musicians, electronic mass media, and the construction of musical senses of place

Osborne, Evelyn (2013) The most (imagined) Irish place in the world? : the interaction between Irish and Newfoundland musicians, electronic mass media, and the construction of musical senses of place. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Newfoundland has been described as “the most Irish place outside of Ireland” (McGinn 2000, 8). As a North Atlantic island and a former British colony, Newfoundland shares many ethnic, geographic and economic similarities with Ireland. The actual musical culture in Newfoundland is a blend of western European immigration and musical technological flows. However, the Irish connection is privileged in discourses of musical cultural heritage. This dissertation examines how interactions both live and meditated by radio, television, and recordings between Irish and Newfoundland musicians have contributed to the construction of musical senses of place as having an Irish foundation. Using three case studies of Irish musicians throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, this dissertation examines the construction of Irishness in Newfoundland music, particularly in relation to instrumental (fiddle/accordion) music and musicians. -- The first case study examines an Irish-American group, The McNulty Family (1920s-1960s). Newfoundland businessman, J. M. Devine (1876-1959) both featured them on weekly radio shows (ca.1944-1974) and sponsored their 1953 tour of the island. Their music was heard regularly during the development of the Newfoundland recording industry and was highly influential in the establishment of local recorded repertoire. -- The second case study examines Ryan’s Fancy, a trio of Irishmen who moved to Newfoundland during the cultural revival of the 1970s. They became an integral part of the community and their (inter)national television show (1975-1977) highlighted rural Newfoundland musical traditions through a folklore-based documentary approach. -- The final case study examines the interactions between Irish fiddler Séamus Creagh and local St. John’s instrumentalists from the late 1980s into the early 21st century. In 2003, Creagh released a joint CD project entitled Island to Island: Traditional Music from Newfoundland and Ireland. This chapter explores how some St. John’s musicians perceive Irish music in relation to Newfoundland music. -- This work demonstrates that Irish music introduced by electronic mass media is a major component of the Newfoundland recording repertoire and construction of musical senses of place. However, there is also a strong sense of Newfoundland music as a related, but separate, entity. It is often through Irish music and recordings that musicians come to discover and appreciate Newfoundland music.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6216
Item ID: 6216
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 421-460.
Department(s): Music, School of
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; Ireland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Instrumental music--Newfoundland and Labrador--Irish influences; Instrumental music--Newfoundland and Labrador--History and criticism; Instrumental music--Ireland--History and criticism; Musicians--Newfoundland and Labrador--Foreign influences; Mass media and music--Newfoundland and Labrador

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