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    Making Music and Making Place: Mapping Musical Practice in Irish Small Towns

    Kavanagh, Aoife (2020) Making Music and Making Place: Mapping Musical Practice in Irish Small Towns. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis examines the co-constitutive relationship between music-making and place-making in Carlow, Wexford and Kilkenny City, in the south-east of Ireland. It argues that musical practice creates meaningful experiences, memories and emotional responses that gather and weave into places. It also finds that all music- and place-making are influenced by the rhythms of everyday life and the social, cultural and political realms at local and national levels. These rhythms interact with those of musical practice in complex ways, resulting in the creation of places as polyrhythmic ensembles. The thesis develops a specialised theoretical framework and methodology, ‘musicking geography’. The theoretical framework introduces four strands central to emplaced musicking: gathering and weaving of places, ‘musicking fields of care’, ‘the work of musicking’, and rhythms. The methodology centres on collaborative, equitable, empowering research practices, and develops three methods in Cultural Geography: musicking mapping, musicking ethnographies, and musicking composition. Musicking fields of care were created in otherwise banal locales in all three towns, including schools, churches, pubs, hotels, commercial venues, civic and community centres, and theatres. Through the work of musicking, musicians were nurtured, sustained and cared for in particular places, work which led to personal fulfilment, well-being, learning and social bonding. Musical practice was structured by the rhythms of the working day, week and year, seasonal events and festivals, local non-musicking events in sport, business and other sectors, and national policy. Musicians created opportunities for successful musicking events and experiences, but also encountered challenges or arrhythmias. By emplacing musical practice, the PhD enhances Geography, engaging with music as a lived and experienced spatial practice that contributes to creating healthy places to live. It offers a place-based theoretical framework, and participatory and empowering methods that may be adapted by other practitioner geographers. It also analyses recent artistic policy in the Irish context, and offers insights to how policymakers might adapt their work to support musicians in their vital place-making work.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Making Music; Making Place; Mapping Musical Practice; Irish Small Towns;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 13635
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2020 10:17
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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