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Take a B Out: Creative Practice in Contemporary Manx Traditional Music

Wed, 29 Apr 2020

Take a ‘B’ Out:  Creative Practice in Contemporary  Manx Traditional Music

A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the  requirements for the degree Master of Arts in thnomusicology/Transcultural Music Studies

by Scott Kinsey Reagan

Institute for Music Research University of Würzburg 2018


This thesis is an ethnographic study of musical creativity and creative practice in contemporary, post-revival Manx traditional music, as played and created by bands and individuals who are members of a minority subcultural community in the Isle of Man. Through analysis of CD recordings, supplemented by secondary literature by Manx musicians themselves and information gained from ethnomusicological fieldwork conducting qualitative interviews with some of the most creative contemporary Manx traditional musicians, this study addresses the many factors, including formal Western classical training, that enhance creative potential and influence and encourage traditional musicians in the post-revival community to be creative. I argue that contemporary Manx traditional music is defined by a core ideology of eclecticism and freedom of creative agency, authority, and authenticity; this ideology, and with it the flexible boundaries of the contemporary tradition, is continually shaped and reshaped through creative practice and maintained and valorized by the community.

Read thesis here