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Launch of The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland in New York City

Monday, 02 March, 2015 

Colm Tóibín.

Colm Tóibín.

Renowned author Colm Tóibín was the guest speaker at the American Irish Historical Society, which hosted the US launch of UCD Press’s The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (EMIR) on February 24th, 2015. The distinguished Irish novelist gave a witty and warm welcome to the book on American soil to an audience, which included the Irish Consul General in New York, Barbara Jones, as well as representatives from the media, academe and the Irish studies community in the city.

Also present were the general editors of EMIR, Professor Harry White and Professor Barra Boydell, and Noelle Moran, Publishing Editor of UCD Press. Tóibín praised the breadth and depth of EMIR’s engagement with the history and material culture of music in Ireland, and hailed the two volumes as an indispensable resource for the study of Irish music.

The Irish Consul General in New York, Barbara Jones with Chris Cahill, Director of the American Irish Historical Society and others.

EMIR represents the largest single research project on music to have been undertaken in Ireland to date, and comprises some 2,000 entries on music in Ireland and Irish music from 239 contributors under the guidance of an editorial board of subject editors and the general editors. Irish President Michael D. Higgins has praised the book as “a great coming together of knowledge and musical scholarship that will allow us to reach a true understanding of the musical journey of a nation.” He also thanked the editors and the contributors who have “devoted themselves so generously to this project; a project that will add so much to the cultural dimension of our society.”

Noelle Moran, UCD Press, Professor Barra Boydell, Professor Harry White (General Editors of EMIR) and Chris Cahill.

EMIR’s two volumes cumulatively map Irish musical experience from pre-historic times to the present day, and countenance a host of different musical topics including art music, traditional music, popular music, the relationship between music, literature and politics, the sociology of music, the Irish music trade, the history of Irish music in Britain and North America, the history of instrument making in Ireland, church music,  musical infrastructures and societies, music in Irish cities and towns, sources for music in Ireland and extensive catalogues and bibliographies for over 100 Irish composers. It has been named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2014.