Angela Horgan Goff, Cultural Constructs of National Identity in Irish Saga-Inspired Musical Composition (PhD, Waterford Institute of Technology, 2014)

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 Author:  Horgan Goff, Angela 
 Title:  Cultural Constructs of National Identity in Irish Saga-Inspired Musical Composition 
 Degree, institution:  PhD, Waterford Institute of Technology 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2014 (October 2014) 
 Volumes, pp., etc.:  2 (Vol.1 249pp., Vol. 2 audio files), 59000 words 
 Supervisor(s):  Dr. Hazel Farrell 
 Repository: (main body); (audio files). 
 General specialism:  Musicology 
 Content, timeframe:  1970-2001 
 Content, key terms:  Persons:
Genres, instruments: 
Thomas Kinsella, James Wilson, Aloys Fleischmann, Seamus Heaney, Frank Corcoran
Ireland (Dublin and Cork)
Saga-inspired musical composition dating from the 1970s

The performance of saga-inspired works, composed within the last fifty years, has given life to a number of the best-known tales from the ancient manuscripts. This thesis undertakes an examination of selected compositions derived from two specific sagas from early Irish literature — the Táin and Buile Suibhne. One way for composers to forge an Irish identity is through the fusion of an aggregate of components from the European canon with ancient Irish sagas, thus affirming the universality of Irish culture. The timelessness and social impact of the local and universal themes of early Irish sagas, centuries after they were documented, resonate in our daily lives. How the composers chose to embrace the Irish past is reflected in their attitudinal responses to the sagas. The linking of traditions provides a path for the composer to either succumb to global homogeneity or particularisation, or to embrace pluralism, which serves to enrich Irish culture. Through an hermeneutic lens, the interdisciplinary approach enabled the exploration of whether the attitudinal responses of three composers, to early Irish saga-literature, reflect the nature and creativity of several ideologies that prevailed in Irish society at the turn of the twenty-first century. The research aim is to determine composer motivation, contemporary audience resonance & to investigate whether cultural influences affected selected Irish saga-inspired compositions.