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A New History of Ireland Volume VIIIreland 1921-84$
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J. R. Hill

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217527.001.0001

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Music in independent Ireland since 1921

Music in independent Ireland since 1921

(p.621) Chapter XXI Music in independent Ireland since 1921
A New History of Ireland Volume VII

Joseph J. Ryan

Oxford University Press

The ten volumes of lyric verse with musical settings by Sir John Stevenson that Thomas Moore published had found wide favour in polite society on both sides of the Irish Sea. Their success in focusing attention on Ireland's rich treasure of folksong was never in doubt. The fruits of Moore's labours advanced the notion of the Irish as a nation of people especially gifted in musical expression. Indeed, the excellence of the musical heritage contributed significantly to the cultural arguments in favour of Ireland's separate nationhood. The store of traditional song was adequate corroboration of the country's claim to be regarded among the most musically endowed of the western world. This was truly the art of the people; a venerable oral tradition, predominantly monophonic, small in structure, with a repository of melody of undeniable beauty.

Keywords:   John Stevenson, Thomas Moore, Ireland, folksong, nationhood, traditional song, musical heritage, oral tradition

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