Opinion & Book Reviews

What Ever Happened to Britten in Ireland?
Benjamin Britten is one of the most unique composers of the twentieth century, but in Ireland the programming of his work is inconsistent, writes Thomas Neill.
10 Impossible Ideas for Irish Traditional Music
A lot has been achieved in Irish traditional music over the past several decades, but what happens next? What are the challenges for this music, and how can the traditional music community work together to create an even better future? Below is the edited text of a talk given by Toner Quinn, Editor of The Journal of Music, on 24 November 2022 as part of Na Píobairí Uilleann’s 'Notes & Narratives' lecture series.
Between What Was and What Might Be
Singer and songwriter Paul Brady has recently published a memoir of his life in music, 'Crazy Dreams', which explores growing up in Strabane, the folk scene of the 60s and 70s, his seminal albums and songs, and recent projects. Adrian Scahill reviews.
Music in a Land of Contradictions
Arts Council England's recent funding decisions have set opera companies, orchestras and even musical genres against one another. The controversy demonstrates why musicians have to stand together, writes composer Christopher Fox.
A Rare Road in Irish Music
Composer Bill Whelan's new memoir, 'The Road to Riverdance', explores growing up in Limerick, working in the Irish music industry, and the famous performance of his work during the Eurovision interval in 1994. Brendan Finan reviews.
Cultural Treasures Bound up with Barbarism
The Irish Traditional Music Archive has recently published 'The Forde Collection: Irish Traditional Music from the William Forde Manuscripts' edited by Nicholas Carolan and Caitlín Uí Éigeartaigh, a hugely important collection of over 900 transcriptions of Irish tunes and song-airs from the 1840s. Martin Dowling reviews.
‘Confusing the Discourse’ – Why Fossil Fuel Companies Should Not Be Sponsoring the Arts
The sponsorship by Flogas of the Galway International Arts Festival raises a number of questions about what is appropriate sponsorship for the arts, writes Toner Quinn.
Unofficial Music History
A new book by Kate Molleson, 'Sound Within Sound: Opening Our Ears to the Twentieth Century', explores the work of ten composers who have been left out of standard musical histories. Mark Fitzgerald reviews.
A Generation Without Hope
In the music of today, you can hear the hopelessness of today's youth as they face a catalogue of dark, gloomy issues, writes Shannon McNamee.
Intense Innovation: Jazz Clubs and the Evolution of Jazz
On 26–28 May in the Bello Bar in Dublin, Dave Liebman and the Guilfoyle/Nielsen trio will try to emulate the atmosphere of the New York jazz clubs of the 1960s, with their long playing time and intimate atmosphere in which jazz originally developed. Here, Ronan Guilfoyle discusses what made the jazz club so essential to the music.