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Pleasures and perils of compiling a dictionary of Irish traditional music

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1 September, 2012
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Canberra, Australia
Irish Traditional Music as a Contemporary Art Form: The pleasures and perils of compiling a dictionary of Irish traditional music.
An illustrated talk on the concept, artistic and social implications, education value and critical aspects of the 880-page,  2011 encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music. There are surprising challenges raised by such a book – not least that classification implies ‘canon’, the antithesis perhaps of the laissez faire of music-making. Using images, recordings and live music on the flute, the book’s editor Fintan Vallely lays out the genesis of this landmark volume from 18th century ideology through to 20th century organisations, and describes how it is necessary to make sense of the commercialism and globalisation we see in ‘big-stage’ touring shows today.
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