Opinion | Music Book Reviews | Articles

Music and the Arts Need Ideas and Debate Too
The writer Desmond Fennell, who died this week, had clear ideas about the role of new thinking and debate in society. They are relevant to Irish music today, writes Toner Quinn.
Why Isn’t Irish Traditional Music ‘Curated’ Too?
Now in its seventh edition, the latest 'Tradition Now' festival took place at the National Concert Hall on 19–20 June, but it is still not clear what this event is trying to achieve, writes Toner Quinn.
A Gripping Memoir Woven Through with Trauma
In her recently published memoir, 'Rememberings', Sinéad O'Connor takes ownership of the narrative around her life and music, writes Laura Watson.
We Need to Talk about Creativity in the Post-Pandemic Era
Right now, the world is talking about ‘creative solutions’ for the post-pandemic era, for the climate crisis, and for every other challenge that we face, but, asks Toner Quinn, how committed are we to supporting creativity and creative people?
 'Artists who are at their wits' end can’t afford another glitzy policy announcement': Basic Income for Artists Needs More Scrutiny
The basic income for artists was recommended in a government report last November, but since then progress has been sluggish and the ideas need much more scrutiny, writes Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.
How to Transform Ireland’s Music Business
With Covid-19 now reaching endgame, we're about to enter a new situation: a global music marketplace that's grown a whole lot younger and more technological. In order for Ireland to embrace this future, it needs an ambitious new music plan – with record labels at its heart. Gareth Murphy sets out five steps to help transform Ireland's music business.
How RTÉ Can Restore Its Leadership Role in Music
Music and broadcasting go hand in hand, but RTÉ's leadership role in music has been shrinking in recent years. Toner Quinn suggests four ways to turn the situation around.
2021: The Music Boom is Coming
What a year 2020 was. When it began, the outlook for the music industry hadn't looked so good in decades. Then came Covid-19, the industrial equivalent of a comet hurtling in from deep space. As we emerge into 2021, it's time for some damage assessment. What exactly has been destroyed? Who has benefitted from lockdowns? What has changed for good? And, asks Gareth Murphy, now that vaccines are arriving, can the music business bounce back even stronger than before, and what do those in the industry need to focus on?
Is It Time to Separate Irish Traditional Music from Irishness?
‘Trad Nation’, a new book by fiddle-player and scholar Tes Slominski, questions how ‘Irish’ Irish traditional music is in a postnational music scene, and makes the case for separating the genre from ethnic nationalism. Helen Lawlor reviews.
Rebuilding the Public Conversation Around Music
Why is the public conversation around music important, and how do we make it stronger? Toner Quinn reflects on twenty years of publishing the Journal of Music and the changes that have taken place.