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Flowing TidesHistory and Memory in an Irish Soundscape$
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Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199380084

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380084.001.0001

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Hearth and Clachan

Hearth and Clachan

The Musical Year in Rural Clare

Chapter:
(p.121) 4 Hearth and Clachan
Source:
Flowing Tides
Author(s):

Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380084.003.0005

While inbound musical currents gathered pace throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is naive to assume that the host culture they encountered was hermetically sealed in a remote backwater. Life for most musicians in rural Ireland until the 1960s was governed by the cyclical calendars of season and church, the latter a result of centuries of global cultural flows since the early Christian period. Drawing on ethnographic and musical evidence, chapter 4 investigates this calendar and the socio-religious and the work rituals that held it together. Following the work cycles and feast days of the agricultural year—through Christianized, if thinly disguised, Celtic festivals: Imbolg, Bealtaine, Lúnasa, and Samhain—musicians evoke memories of the cuaird (visit) and house dance, wren days, matchmaking and weddings, May Day rituals, and harvest time dances.

Keywords:   musical year, cyclical calendar, matchmaking, wedding dances, St. Patrick’s Day, crossroad dancing, harvest time dances, musical superstitions, wren boys/wren dances, musical dinnsheanchas

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