Scott Spencer

Andrew W. Mellon Regional Fellow in the Humanities

20122013 Forum on Peripheries

Scott Spencer

Adjunct Professor, Irish Studies (Ethnomusicology)
Villanova University 

Traditional Music in Our Media Age: How the Irish Diaspora Engages with Local Oral Culture Through Technology, Networks and Community

Digital music technology has become essential to traditional musicians. Global musical communities have been establishing virtual oral traditions and collective digital memory banks for common use - often through Internet-based repositories. Such networks and archives serve to integrate diasporic musicians into the heart of a tradition as globalized musicians engage with ideas of traditionality and authenticity. The proposed project will proceed from my recent PhD thesis on Irish traditional musicians integrating forms of digital music and networking technology into their greater oral traditions and adapted to an increasingly globalized cultural environment - all while negotiating personal and cultural identity. The resulting monograph will treat this particular trend in Irish music as a vanguard for the future of many oral cultures in our increasingly Digital Age.