Opinion & Book Reviews

What If We Had More Music Hubs?
The new Beatles documentary 'Get Back' gives an incredible insight into the band's creative process, and provides an important lesson for our society today, writes Toner Quinn.
Persist to the Other Side
The fiddle-player Martin Hayes has recently published a memoir of his life in music, 'Shared Notes: A Musical Journey'. Toner Quinn reviews.
A Critical Moment for Choral Singing
Many choirs have not been able to function meaningfully since the pandemic began, but as they start to meet again now is the time to refresh and reflect on their aims, writes Geoffrey Spratt.
David Keenan's Sense of Place
Over the last decade, a number of remarkable artists have emerged from the music scene in Dundalk, David Keenan key among them. This month, he released his poetic second album, "What Then?". But what is it about this border town that generated a different type of music scene, and why now? Shannon McNamee writes about her home county and Keenan's unique voice.
We Have Celebrated Ó Riada Enough
On 25 September, the National Concert Hall, the Arts Council and RTÉ presented two tribute concerts to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Seán Ó Riada's death. Toner Quinn reviews.
No One is Talking About What Musicians Get Paid
The new report on the night-time economy has 36 recommendations, but it has an unfortunate blindspot, writes Toner Quinn.
Music in Ireland has a Glass Ceiling and it’s Called Nationalism
Unless music is coated in nationalistic terms it will struggle, writes Toner Quinn.
Does Irish Music Need One Voice?
The restrictions on live music are frustrating and perplexing for musicians and they point to larger issues, writes Toner Quinn.
Ways of Talking and Thinking About Irish Traditional Music
A recent book by Jessica Cawley, 'Becoming an Irish Traditional Musician: Learning and Embodying Musical Culture', interviews 22 Irish traditional musicians and explores how they learnt their craft. Martin Dowling reviews.
Irish Fatalism and the Lack of Planning for Live Music
When it comes to reopening the live music sector, we have fallen for the classic Irish mistake: dreaming, but not taking practical steps, writes Toner Quinn.