State, Nation and Music in Independent Ireland, 1922-51


Mullaney-Dignan, Karol Anne (2008) State, Nation and Music in Independent Ireland, 1922-51. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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Abstract

This dissertation will examine the relationship between state, nation and music in independent Ireland in the years between 1922 and 1951. It seeks to draw together these three elements, to establish the nature of their tripartite relationship in that period and to register the level of compromise and reciprocity within that relationship where appropriate. This study does not purport to be a historical survey of music or musical activity in independent Ireland from 1922 to 1951, although many of the major musical events and developments are chronicled. It does not purport to be a study of the nature of music in independent Ireland either, in terms of developments in harmonic and rhythmic structure and arrangement, composition, recorded sound, printed musical scores, or lyrical content, although references to these will be made where suitable or necessary. The term ‘music’, as it is used here, generally refers to the practical art o f producing sound, both instrumental and vocal, and the sound so produced, as well as any academic engagement with or general activity related to that art. Incidentally, the term ‘state’ as used in this dissertation refers mainly to the civil government of independent Ireland after 1922, although it should be clear when it is used to denote the territory o f the island. The term ‘nation’, altogether more difficult to define, largely refers, in this context, to the people of independent Ireland united somehow by ideas of common descent or language, or simply by virtue of inhabitancy within the state. Indeed the various attempts by the civil government of the newly independent state to project a definition of the Irish nation and Irish nationality after 1922, and the role that music played therein, forms a central tenet of this thesis. The primary objectives of this study, then, are to investigate to what extent music was used by the Irish state after 1922 for the purposes of defining, inculcating, expressing or projecting Irish nationality, to establish thereby a political framework for certain developments in musical activity and to determine to what extent and end such developments were affected, intentionally or otherwise, by the state. Issues central to the development of a new independent polity attempting to express a sense of identity, in an era of international advances in the purpose and methods of education and in relevant technologies such as the radio, will provide a wider perspective for examining music and musical activity in the first three decades of independence in Ireland. In that regard, the time frame chosen for this study is significant in itself. It spans three different government administrations, from the Cumann na nGaedheal party, which worked between 1922 and 1932 to consolidate and legitimise the new independent state, to the Fianna Fail party, which consistently pointed to the inadequacy of the efforts of their predecessors and undid the extant constitutional ties of the state with the former United Kingdom in the period from 1932, to the first coalition, or inter-party, government of independent Ireland, which comprised five parties, Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan and National Labour, and lasted until June 1951, the point at which this study ends.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: State; Nation; Music in Independent Ireland; 1922-51;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
Item ID: 5382
Depositing User: IR eTheses
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 15:02
URI:

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