The subject of this study is the exploration of the musical heritage of the Déise region of the south-east of Ireland from c.1800-1950. A number of music manuscripts, published music collections and audio music collections made in the Déise region, in the above time period, were analysed in this study to determine the nature of the music, its role in Déise society and the role of the collectors in the music’s representation. This thesis discusses the nature of the music in the Déise region: song, instrumental music and dance. Song in the Déise region was sung principally in the Irish language and consisted of songs composed by Gaelic poets from the 18th century and locally composed songs from within the Déise community. Instrumental music consisted largely of dance music but also contained popular Scottish songs and stage music. Various dance types, from the allemande to the hornpipe, existed in the Déise region throughout the time period of this study. Information regarding this wide array of dances is extrapolated from the catalogues of the handwritten manuscripts included in the accompanying appendices, while the contents of the audio and published collections are included in the text. While the repertoire contained within the extant music collections from the Déise region is considerable, this repertoire was not significantly different from the music collected elsewhere in Ireland during the same period. The music played in the Déise region at the beginning of the 19th century, however, differed somewhat from that played in the 20th century. Due to the similarity of repertoire between the Déise and general Irish music repertoires in the stated time period, this study’s examination of the developing or changing Déise repertoire is indicative of the corresponding developments or changes in the greater Irish repertoire. It has been shown in this study that music fulfilled two roles in Déise society. Music was a projection of an immediate Déise communal identity and it also projected a broader Gaelic cultural identity. These ‘identity markers’ of the Déise people are gleaned from the Déise music collections which, therefore, place the collectors themselves primarily in the role of custodians of the music and, indirectly, custodians of the cultural identity of the Déise people themselves. While there have been other studies of Déise music undertaken, they were often of a limited nature which addressed only a particular aspect of the region’s musical heritage. This thesis, however, provides a comprehensive study of the musical heritage of the entire Déise region from c. 1800 to 1950.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2017|
- Musical heritage in Waterford