Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts
The introduction of traditional Irish music to this classical violinist set me on a path of discovery that challenged my listening, my conception, and consequently my performance of classical music. Convinced that this progress in my playing could perhaps be useful to other violinists and musicians in general, I proposed a program for American universities where traditional Irish music is taught alongside Western classical music. I investigate techniques unique to the violin such as bow triplets and articulation, as well as explore areas that apply to all musicians such as tonality/intonation, and improvisation. The second chapter examines in detail the programs offered by three Irish Universities; Acadamh Fódhla, University College Cork, and The World Academy of Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Drawing from what these programs have to offer, I propose a program in the United States with specific courses that would allow space for exploration and experimentation for the purpose of the development of music. The next two chapters are a detailed analysis of two major elements of Irish music that I believe can have a positive impact on classical music. The third chapter is a detailed study of Irish dance rhythms and the effect they could have on rhythm in classical music. For example, it is my opinion that at times rhythm in classical music can take on an artificial, metronomic quality that can have a stifling affect on music. Therefore, it may be beneficial for the classical musician to understand and absorb the organic rhythms fundamental to Irish music. Chapter four discusses the orality of Irish music and what it could offer the literate world of the classical musician. By conducting interviews in Ireland with musicians who have played critical roles in the promotion and education of traditional Irish music and by discussing compositions that utilize the language of Irish music and classical music, I offer my contribution of a new approach to practicing, to listening, to teaching, to performing, and to thinking about classical music drawn from elements of traditional Irish music.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Bixler, Heather Ann Martin, "Meeting at a Crossroad: Traditional Irish Music and Classical Music Taught in the Same Space" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1302.