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The world of traditional dance music in Brittany : an exploration of the political, cultural and socio-economic reality of traditional dance music in Brittany 1992-1999

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dc.contributor.advisor Ó Súilleabháin, Mícheál
dc.contributor.advisor Morgan O'Connell, John
dc.contributor.author Wilkinson, Desmond John
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-11T14:56:44Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-11T14:56:44Z
dc.date.issued 1999
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/1212
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The concerns expressed in this work have a subtle interrelationship. They emerge from the authors background and are subsequently influenced by his experience as a performing musician and teacher in Brittany. The introduction contextualises this. This thesis offers an analysis of two important issues, the role of popular traditional dance music in shaping identity and the influence of that music on social and economic life. In the first instance it scrutinises the question of identity in Brittany and relates it to the popular dance music tradition. It then examines music professionalism and the more apparently esoteric area of Celtic music. This study is a multi-faceted look at the role of traditional music in a complex western European society. Chapter 1 deals with the reflexive unselfconscious aspects of bretonnitude (Breton identity). Chapter 2 deals with the pro-active aspects of bretonnitude, that is Brittany's relationship with France and the role of political and cultural activism. Depending on the situation, people mirror what is termed 'compound ethnicity,' this means that in different contexts they could be Tregorois, Breton, French or Celtique, (Celtic) or in some cases all at once. The theme of compound ethnicity is therefore shown to have local and global or 'glocal' implications. Breton traditional dance is the most accessible way in which both local identity ('pays') and Pan-Breton identity can be expressed. Festou noz ('night dances') are the keystone of contemporary cultural identity and their importance to musical and socio-economic life cannot be over stressed. Chapters 3 and 4 are concerned with the socio-musical dynamic of Breton dance music. Chapter 3 looks at teaching structures in the contemporary environment and at the instruments most emblematic of the tradition. Chapter 4 looks at the musical dynamic involved in the performance of the vocal genres kan ha diskan and chant a repondre and of instrumental music. It also provides a look at the structure of three of the most popular traditional dance music genres played and sung at Festou noz, situating them in an overview of Breton traditional music outside the context of the dance. Chapter 5 provides the symbolic link between the themes of the local and the global. It begins by dealing with the Fest noz as event. Together with French social legislation (the systeme d'intermittent du spectacle), the popularity of the Fest noz has allowed a large body of professional traditional musicians to develop. The workings of this system are examined and the discourse provoked by the socioeconomic impact of professionalism is outlined. It is within the world of professional traditional music that Breton music becomes Celtic music, moving from the dance environment to the concert stage both within Brittany and abroad. Chapter 6 uses the concept of celtitude ('ways of expressing or feeling Celtic') to examine various popular understandings of the term Celtic. It documents the process by which combinations of mythic, historic, aesthetic and economic factors invest the constantly changing physical environment with reinvigorated cultural meaning. In Brittany the promotion of 'Celtic' music is the principal way in which this Pan-Celtic agenda is expressed. Perceptions of celtitude from both the anglophone andJrancophone perspectives are also looked at here. As in other parts of the European continent, Irish music has become the international currency of folk music. In Brittany, however, because of its Celtic status, the Irish musical Diaspora significantly interfaces with the indigenous sociomusical world in a way that does not have any contemporary parallel in western Europe. Chapter 7 looks at the specific relationship between Brittany and Ireland. It considers the implications of the symbolic interfacing of Diasporic perspectives between the Irish Diaspora and the Celtico- Breton Diaspora. The musical globalisation of bretonnitude has valorised a social process and perceived reality which eclipses local and global in the term 'glocal'. The Fest noz (night dance) and French social legislation have played complementary roles over the last twenty years in the development of both music professionalism and the construction of popular celtitude. While popular celtitude must be understood in the context of Brittany and the western Jrancophone diaspora, a sense of Ireland and Irish music has had a significant practical and symbolic role in its construction. In the Breton circumstance, the concept of place, genre and event is shown to encapsulate the parallel ideas of local and global identity as expressed through music. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject music en_US
dc.subject Brittany en_US
dc.title The world of traditional dance music in Brittany : an exploration of the political, cultural and socio-economic reality of traditional dance music in Brittany 1992-1999 en_US
dc.type Doctoral thesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.type.restriction none en


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