Traditional Music and Identity in Northern Ireland
by Fintan Vallely
The book looks at the present-day booming Traditional Irish music scene and notes that while there is enthusiastic participation of Northern Ireland Catholics therein, Protestants have largely absented themselves. In fact not only are Protestants in general indifferent to the explosion of this music’s Irish ‘new-culture’ life in the expanding EC, but many Loyalists, at the cutting edge of Britishness in NI, have perceived the music as being actively hostile to Union with Britain, implicitly Republican.
This, the author demonstrates, is in spite of the history of ‘Traditional’ Irish music which is no more than the one-time available popular music of all on the island of Ireland, and though by origin dominantly and distinctively Irish, has significant Scottish and English pedigree. This genealogy is traced through myth and modern history, and the National-identity moulding of the Victorian era.