Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 13

Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 13
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Na Píobairí Uilleann
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Chairman, NPU
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An Píobaire
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Píobaire, An 9 5 13 20131126 13 of all the music in Ireland. Why is there an entry on ‘Music and loyalism’ but not on ‘Music and republicanism’? In fact there are also articles on ‘Orange Order’ and on ‘Ulster Scots Music’ but nothing on ‘Anglo-Irish music’ or on ‘Hiberno- European music’, nor on ‘The Ancient Order of Hibernians’. They are mentioned, if at all, within the article on ‘nationalism’. It is, thus, made to appear that the music associated with unionism in the north, by being included but not being overtly matched, is in some way, ‘other’, or not capable of inclusion within the whole fab- ric of music in Ireland. This we know is patently not so. The songs of the Orange Order are, prosodically, musically, and in performance style, Irish through and through; it is only in function that they are extreme; but no more than recently made republican songs. The most per- nicious form of prejudice is the one which is en- tirely unconscious. Those are my main problems – there are others. Despite some reference in the article on Sociol- ogy of music, there is little said about the asso- ciation of musical genres with socio-economic groupings. Nor is there any real attempt made to open the vexed subject of reciprocal influ- ence of one genre upon another, whether it be the substitution of classical aesthetics and mu- sical jargon for traditional ideas, or the appro- priation of traditional airs by composers of ‘classical’ music or jazz. Nevertheless, in the articles about abstractions or theories, or in its exploration of how Ireland’s institutions, such as RTÉ, have related to music, the Encyclopaedia shines, and in discussions of the origins and nature of instruments. The arti- cles by John O’Flynn on ‘Identity in Music’, by Harry White on ‘Nationalism’, and that on ‘Tra- ditional Music Aesthetics’, again by Martin Dowling, are very well worth reading. Indeed, were it not for the points I have mentioned, this would be a really welcome addition to writing on traditional music; as it is, I look forward to the second edition. Reviewed by John Moulden B ILL OCHS, who arranged for us to receive the photograph on the cover of this issue of An Píobaire, also provided the following in- formation about Edward O’Donnell and his brother: Late last spring I was contacted by a woman whose great uncles Cornelius O’Donnell (b. 1876) and Edward O’Donnell (b. 1878) were vaudevillians. They were from Brooklyn and per- formed in the northeast U.S. as “The O’Donnell Brothers” ca. 1902–1920. Cornelius was a fid- dler and Edward was a piper. I helped connect the woman with pipemaker and researcher Nick Whitmer, who bought Edward’s massive Taylor set from her and is restoring it. The woman and her family also have an interest- ing collection of vaudeville press clippings, vaudeville orchestra parts, and related vaudeville memorabilia, most of which they are donating to the New York’s Library and Museum of The Per- forming Arts at Lincoln Center. The family also has a handwritten music collection that is very violin/fiddle-oriented. The manuscripts contain Scottish, Irish, light classical, and popular pieces. John O’Donnell, the father of Cornelius and Ed- ward, who emigrated to the US in 1860 was listed as a “musician” in that year’s US census. According to information in a genealogy forum online, two of John’s other sons, James and Myles, were violin teachers in the US. Some of the O’Donnell manu- script tunes work on the pipes, but the vast major- ity of the pieces are clearly for the fiddle or violin. The manuscripts include an étude or bowing exer- cise attributed to, or possibly signed by, August Wil- helmj, a contemporary German classical violinist and violin teacher. Still a very interesting collection, even if not especially strong in piping content. ~ Edward O’Donnell – Vaudevillian Piper ~
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An Píobaire, Volume 9, Issue 5

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