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Towards an ethnography of a culturally eclectic music scene. Preserving and transforming folk music in twenty-first century England

GAYRAUD, ELISE,GAELLE,MARIE (2016) Towards an ethnography of a culturally eclectic music scene. Preserving and transforming folk music in twenty-first century England. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis presents an analysis of the recent transformations in the folk music scene in England.
Through interviews of professional and amateur folk artists, it elicits musicians’ points of view about the music they perform and their own compositions. Adopting an ethnomusicological approach, it compares and contrasts theories of cultural globalisation with the musicians' perceptions of their position within the music scene and in relation to musical traditions in the twenty-first century.
Exploring changes in music-making, collecting, and modes and contexts of transmission, this study considers how musical repertoire is exchanged, adapted and preserved within and beyond local communities through means such as archiving, pub sessions, workshops, festivals and formal tuition.
From the perspectives of both artists and audiences, contemporary modes and contexts of transmission and the development of new technologies for recording, sharing and teaching music have been encouraging diverse transformations of perception, repertoire, composition and
interpretation, as well as the dynamics of interaction between folk musicians.
This thesis sheds light on how folk musicians’ horizons have expanded far beyond the local sphere; processes of globalisation have engendered global perspectives, new conceptualisations of what “traditional” and “folk” music are, complex identities reflected in musical hybridisation, new opportunities to access traditional and folk music, new forms of communication technology, demographical changes and cross-borders musical initiatives. The thesis demonstrates that, although the folk music scene in England might often be perceived as somewhat conservative in
outlook and overshadowed by a profusion of widely disseminated contemporary popular musical products, many folk musicians have been open to transformation, adapting to new contexts and modes of transmission, embracing new communication technologies, and drawing influences from beyond the immediate local surrounding. At the same time as preserving musical heritage they have been enriching it in diverse ways to ensure its continued relevance.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Folk Music, England
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 May 2016 14:03

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