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Ceol Phádraig

Music at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, 1875-2016

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Edited By John Buckley and John O'Flynn

Since its foundation in 1875, the activities of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and its graduates have been closely woven into the educational and cultural fabric of Irish society. This volume charts how music and music education have fulfilled a major role throughout the history of the Dublin-based establishment that began as a teacher training college and later evolved into a college of education and liberal arts. Graduates of St Patrick’s College have taught hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pupils across the country, have made significant contributions to various facets of professional and amateur music activity, and have had an invaluable influence on the wellbeing of individuals, the development of communities and the advancement of the nation as a whole.

The book records and interprets key musical developments, appraises the work of major contributors, and captures the activities of students, staff and visiting musicians at St Patrick’s College up to its incorporation into Dublin City University in 2016. It represents a major scholarly work that details the progress of music at a university college in Ireland, and it is envisaged that its varied chapters and themes will evoke further memories and discussions among graduates of the College and others.

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Chapter Five: ‘All are welcome’: Irish traditional music at St Patrick’s College (Teresa O’Donnell)

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Chapter Five: ‘All are welcome’: Irish traditional music at St Patrick’s College

Teresa O’Donnell

Irish traditional music has been interwoven into the cultural, social and academic fabric of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra from its establishment in 1875. Students, alumni and lecturers (from various academic departments) have celebrated Irish traditional music through formal and informal methods of transmission in campus life, the classroom environment and on national and international platforms. In this chapter, the term Irish traditional music is employed, in broad terms, to describe instrumental music and song of Ireland, but not solely based on the oral-tradition. This chapter focuses on three main areas: the first section discusses the collections of English and Irish language songs by Peter Goodman, lecturer in music and An tAthair Pádraig Breathnach housed in the Cregan library and which contributed to a national musical canon and highlighted the role of music in forging an Irish identity prior to independence. Music, together with the Irish language and Gaelic sports, served to cement an Irish identity in the pre and post-independence period. The second section considers graduates such as Seán Ó Siocháin, Liam Devally and Seán Ó Sé, who reflect this triduum of interest in Irish music, language and sport and have enriched contemporary Irish culture and society. In the final section, I explore various aspects of the Irish traditional music course for BEd and later BA students, including leading traditional music practitioners, such as Fintan Vallely...

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