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TURNING THE TUNE

Traditional Music, Tourism, and Social Change in an Irish Village

Adam Kaul

200 pages, 14 illus., maps, index

ISBN  978-1-84545-623-8 $99.00/£60.00 Hb Published (November 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-808-7 $27.95/£17.50 Pb Published (December 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-961-1 eBook


Hb Pb
 

“...this book is a rarity in understanding the intersection of music, heritage and tourism..."  ·  Journal of Heritage Tourism

The publication of this study is a valuable contribution to the discipline of ethnomusicology and the study of Irish traditional music and tourism within this context. This book is particularly valuable to those interested in the study of Irish traditional music from the ethnomusicological perspective, and students and teachers of these areas will be greatly enhanced by Kaul’s in-depth knowledge of tourism literature.  ·  Ethnomusicology Forum

Kaul’s book offers original insights in a very well-crafted and engaging ethnography. Few studies manage to discuss both an art form and its socio-cultural context, and Kaul does so successfully without compromising the breadth of his discussion. The prevalence of participants’ voices and Kaul’s commitment to allowing ethnography to write theory have resulted in a polyphonic, evocative account. Beyond anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and scholars of Irish and tourism studies, this book is important to all of us researching art forms in their contemporary globalized, commoditized context.  ·  JRAI

“…belongs in any collection strong in Irish culture, music, and economics and provides college-level readers with an engaging study using the form of music to consider Irish culture and tourism. This study of social change within the context of Irish music provides a scholarly study of interest to anthropology and global issues collections alike, surveying the social structure of Irish culture and the impact and reflection of its musical traditions. Any scholarly collection will find this engrossing!  ·  Midwest Book Review

“…a compelling and fascinating study of social change in a particular music practice, making it a useful resource for scholars and students of music and performance. It also makes a valuable contribution to anthropological studies of tourism and globalisation, especially in the way it complicates current orthodoxy about inevitable contestation around issues of ownership and appropriation with regard to identity politics in the global era.  ·  Australian Anthropological Society

"Sensibly, Kaul lets ethnography form the core of his book. Almost all the theory that is involved arises from his ethnographic analysis, not vice versa. He let locals comment on his manuscript and provides generous quotes from his fieldwork interviews...The outcome? A performative account of craic that both academics and the locals of Doolin can readily believe in."  ·  Times Higher Education

"Turning the Tune casts a revealing eye on the impact of tourism and the influx of musicians from outside Ireland on traditional (in every sense of the word) approaches to the making and meaning of Irish folk music...a thoroughly researched and revealing snapshot of Doolin’s thriving musical life."  ·  Songlines Magazine

"An engaging read, Kaul's account of the changing face of Doolin will interest readers with an interest in Irish traditional music--especially those who play it--as well as students of tourism and cultural anthropology."  ·  Book News

"A book of rich description and penetrating insight, Turning the Tune pulls the reader into a complex world of music making and social interaction in an Irish coastal village. Through a compelling reflexive voice, Kaul gives us a vivid sense of present experience and remembered pasts in Doolin, County Clare...This beautifully written book will provide music to the ears of all who take an interest in Ireland, tourism, music and social change."  ·  Tamara Kohn, University of Melbourne

“Adam Kaul has provided his readers with a detailed, admirable account of musical life [in] Doolin, County Clare, arguably the most visible context for Irish instrumental music-making in the world. The immediacy of this narrative not only brings the reader into the inner circle of Doolin’s sessions, but also clarifies, enlarges, and engages the context in ways that may surprise the reader.”  ·  Sean Williams, Evergreen State College

"[This book] addresses some important issues in music study - the commodity, professionalization, the affective content of musical 'identities' - with a keen anthropological eye and a subtle reflexivity. The description of sessions is often excellent - many have tried, few quite so successfully!"  ·  Martin Stokes, Oxford University

The last century has seen radical social changes in Ireland, which have impacted all aspects of local life but none more so than traditional Irish music, an increasingly important identity marker both in Ireland and abroad. The author focuses on a small village in County Clare, which became a kind of pilgrimage site for those interested in experiencing traditional music. He begins by tracing its historical development from the days prior to the influx of visitors, through a period called "the Revival," in which traditional Irish music was revitalized and transformed, to the modern period, which is dominated by tourism. A large number of incomers, locally known as "blow-ins," have moved to the area, and the traditional Irish music is now largely performed and passed on by them. This fine-grained ethnographic study explores the commercialization of music and culture, the touristic consolidation and consumption of “place,” and offers a critique of the trope of "authenticity," all in a setting of dramatic social change in which the movement of people is constant.

Adam Kaul is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.  He is the author of several articles and book chapters about traditional music, tourism, and the economics of musical performance in the West of Ireland, where he has conducted fieldwork for over a decade.

Series: Volume 3, Dance and Performance Studies


LC: G155.I7 K38 2009

BL: YK.2011.a.3550

BISAC: PER003020 PERFORMING ARTS/Dance/Folk; HIS018000 HISTORY/Europe/Ireland; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural

BIC: JHM Anthropology; AVGH Folk & traditional music



Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

  • Conceptual Orientation
  • Conceptual Organization
  • Doolin

PART I: REMEMBERED HISTORY

Chapter 2. The Old Days

  • Ethnography, History and Memory
  • Subsistence and Seasonality
  • Argonauts of the Eastern Atlantic
  • Seasonality Tourism in Clare in 1859
  • (On the Origins of a New Species)
  • Traditional Irish Music of the “Old Days”
  • The Céilí and the Crossroads Dance
  • The Country House Dance
  • The Dance Halls and The Céilí Bands
  • Early Collections and Early Sessions
  • Conclusions

Chapter 3. The Revival

  • A Changing Economy
  • The Folk Revival
  • Internal Changes in Irish Music
  • The Revival Arrives
  • Turning the Tune
  • Conclusions

PART II: MOVING IN AND MOVING THROUGH

Chapter 4. The Celtic Tiger

  • Celtic Tourism
  • Mass Tourists
  • Coach Tours
  • “Travelers”, Working Tourists, and Visitors
  • Conclusions

Chapter 5. Locals and Blow-ins

  • Locals
  • Blow-ins
  • Negotiations of Belonging
  • Conclusions

PART III: CHANGE AND CONTINUITY

Chapter 6. Consolidation and Globalization

  • Traditional Music of the Celtic Tiger
  • Doolin’s Celtic Music Industry
  • Bands and Sessions, Performing and Playing
  • Paying to Play
  • Conclusions

Chapter 7. Adoption and Approriation

  • Appropriation
  • Adoption
  • Complementary Discourses
  • Phenomenology of the Session
  • Premeditated Spontaneity
  • Music as a Conversation
  • Perfect Embodiment and Good Craic
  • Conclusions

Chapter 8. Conclusions

  • History, Globalization, and Tourism
  • Appropriation, Tradition, and Cosmopolitanism
  • The Trope of Authenticity
  • Credibility
  • One’s Relationship to the Locale
  • One’s Epistemological Relationship to the Music
  • Immediate Context
  • Seasonality
  • The Interaction of Personalities
  • Good Man, Yourself

Bibliography
Index

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