A provocative call to dislodge ethnic nationalism from Irish traditional music
Just how "Irish" is traditional Irish music? Trad Nation combines ethnography, oral history, and archival research to challenge the longstanding practice of using ethnic nationalism as a framework for understanding vernacular music traditions. Tes Slominski argues that ethnic nationalism hinders this music's development today in an increasingly multiethnic Ireland and in the transnational Irish traditional music scene. She discusses early 21st century women whose musical lives were shaped by Ireland's struggles to become a nation; follows the career of Julia Clifford, a fiddler who lived much of her life in England, and explores the experiences of women, LGBTQ+ musicians, and musicians of color in the early 21st century.
Acknowledgments • Introduction • Chapter 1: Mother Ireland and the Queen of Irish Fiddlers: Women Musicians and the Nation in Early Twentieth-Century Ireland • Chapter 2: The Not-So-Strange Disappearance of Teresa Halpin/Treasa Ní Alipín: Class, Gender and Musical Style in Early Twentieth Century Ireland • Chapter 3: Biography, Musical Life, and Gender: Julia Clifford as a Woman Traditional Musician • Chapter 4: Subjectivity, Flow, and "The Music Itself" • Chapter 5: Playing Right and the Right to Play: (Dis)identification Tactics Among Queer Musicians and Musicians of Color • Bibliography • Index
"This is a timely and exciting new work; its original approach and activist underpinning draws fluently from multiple contexts and disciplines. Scholars in musics, gender and sexuality, and Irish Studies will all find surprising revelations and meaningful points of discussion."~Sean Williams, author of Focus: Irish Traditional Music and Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man
"Trad Nation makes a significant and much needed intervention in Irish studies, expanding our understanding of Irish traditional music and those who play it. Eloquent in argument, drawing on neglected resources, Tes Slominski articulates theoretical complexities with a clarity that makes the text broadly accessible."~Dr. Helen O'Shea, author of The Making of Irish
"Thoughtful, provocative, rigorous, and timely: Slominski brings a critical, embodied ethnomusicological lens to this study of Irish music, asking vital questions about the past, present, and future of the 'Tradition' while expanding conceptions of identity and belonging."~Aileen Dillane, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Ireland