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Music, Emotion and Identity in Ulster Marching Bands

Flutes, Drums and Loyal Sons

Gordon Ramsey

Ulster’s marching bands form perhaps the most vibrant participatory folk music tradition in contemporary Europe, and are one of the most significant and visible elements of working-class loyalist culture in the divided society of Northern Ireland. Their significance springs largely from the central place they have assumed in the lives of their members.
This book presents an ethnography of three County Antrim flute bands from the very different genres of ‘part-music’, ‘melody’ and ‘blood and thunder’. The author explores the emotional rewards of communal music-making and the way that identities are formed through the acquisition of tastes, competences and skills within specific communal contexts, paying particular attention to the impact of class position. These issues are examined in the context of the competitions, concerts and street parades that are central to the social lives of thousands of band members and supporters in Northern Ireland.


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Appendix A - Questionnaire Survey of SGWM and BLSOU - 253


Appendix A Questionnaire Survey of SGWM and BLSOU These questionnaires were completed anonymously by band members during bus journeys on the way to performances. The BLSOU survey was conducted in October 2008, the SGWM survey in February 2009. For SGWM, the survey was completed by eleven adults and one child. For BLSOU, the survey was completed by twelve adults and seven children. All respondents were male – although SGWM has had a small number of female members, none were present on this occasion. The survey includes questions on social and economic situation, perceived self-image, and beliefs concerning the way bands are perceived by others. This appendix includes three sections, Section 1 sets out the questions asked, Section 2 sets out the results in percentages, and Section 3 comments on the results. Section 1: Questionnaire Questions 1. Age: 2. How long have you been in the band? 3. Are you: male: female: 4. Are you currently: school student college student university student unemployed employed part-time employed full-time own your own business 254 Appendix A 5. Are you a member of any political party? Yes No 6. Are you a member of any Loyal Order? Yes No 7. Are you a member of any church congregation? Yes No 8. Do you consider yourself to be any of the following (tick as many as you like): Scottish Ulster Scots Northern Irish Irish Bands-man or woman Rangers supporter Orange British Loyalist Ulster-woman or man Protestant 9. Which of the above is most important to you...

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