Panel at SEM (November 2019) ‘Celtic Music and the New Dynamics of Commerce and Authenticity in the 21st Century’

Delighted to be part of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s ‘Celtic Music’ SIG which is sponsoring our panel at the November conference at Indiana University in Bloomington, United States in November!

Our panel title will be, “Celtic Music and the New Dynamics of Commerce and Authenticity in the 21st Century”

The panel consists:

Dr Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University, UK) “Mobilizing Argyll’s traditional music for sustainable economic and cultural growth in the rural creative economy”

Dr Mark A. Stevenson (Weber State University) “The Piper’s Chair: Performance, Tradition and the New Trad Economy”

Dr Colin F. Harte (CUNY Irish Studies) “Lambegs Rattle in Northern Ireland: Tradition, Sociopolitical Unrest, and Brexit”

Dr Aileen Dillane (University of Limerick, Ireland) is the discussant

Here is the panel abstract:

The recent global popularity of the traditional musics of Scotland and Ireland have generated new forms of musical professionalization and commodification. Developments in the independent music industry, new forms of credentialing, cultural policies, and a proliferation of performance venues have expanded career opportunities for traditional musicians, shaping new traditional music economies. This panel addresses the nexus between the commercial and the traditional, exploring the shifting contours of national music traditions in the face of economic change, political conflict and upheavals such as Brexit. Presenter 1 explores the role of traditional music in fostering sustainable economic growth in Scotland, arguing that the musical micro-enterprises of the creative rural economies of Argyll and Bute present both opportunity and challenge for cultural policymakers and ethnomusicologists alike. Presenter 2 argues that the intersection of creative economies in the independent music, heritage and tourism sectors has expanded opportunities for professionalization among uilleann pipers, while simultaneously challenging the materialities and moral-aesthetic conventions of uilleann piping. Presenter 3 explores the complex, intertwined nature of political dissidence and music in Northern Ireland during the time of Brexit in relation to the lambeg drum tradition in Portadown, arguing that despite rising political tensions, the tradition is being maintained in the face of shifting identities. Together the panelists call for ethnographically-engaged approaches to new traditional music economies as they explore the impacts of this emerging political and moral economy on local creative economies and the altered dynamics of authenticity in 21st century Celtic musics.

Should be great–and very much looking forward to hearing the papers at the rest of the SEM conference.

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