This book looks at the attitudes of Protestant performers to Traditional music in Northern Ireland. It reflects on broader Protestant community views of the music through their eyes, and considers too the impact of historical literature, political statements and other interventions which have affected and shaped Traditional music today.
Traditional music is taken to mean the dance music, forms of dance and style of songs which were the onetime entertainment of rural people prior to urbanisation and the development of mass forms of entertainment.
This is a thought provoking, considered and original contribution to a wide range of academic fields including Irish music studies, ethnomusicology, anthropology, history, political science, popular culture studies, conflict studies and folklore studies.
Tuned Out explores its territory largely through musicians. Most of these are conversant with the traditional and continued practice of Traditional music by people of Protestant-religion backgrounds and by Protestant people in predominantly Protestant areas. The observations which are made contradict some popularly held beliefs about Traditional music, proffering instead that the common ownership and identification myths are, in addition to political pragmatism, underpinned also by absence of information. The selected comments show that while the ascription 'Traditional music is Catholic music' may be popular political pragmatism, the notion is substantially superficial and uninformed.
Fintan Vallely lectures and writes on Irish traditional music and is the editor of Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999, 2011)