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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16808

Title: Fiddle Grooves: Identity, Representation, and the Sound of Cape Breton Fiddle Music in Popular Culture
Authors: Hennessy, Jeffrey
Advisor: Kippen, James R.
Department: Music
Keywords: 0326
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2009
Abstract: This dissertation investigates Cape Breton fiddle music from a popular culture perspective. It introduces a conception of musical groove comprising two interrelated components: a social component wherein individual musical actors retain their own identities and relationships with the music while also uniting collectively in their response to the music, and a sonic component consisting of an acoustical repeating of a rhythmic idea that forms the metrical underpinning for a piece of groove music. Each of these two components is informed and mediated by the other. Cape Breton fiddle music is considered here as a form of groove-based popular music, similar to other groove musics. The two dimensions of the groove are analyzed in turn, revealing aspects of social identity, political and commercial representation, and processes of intercultural syncretism that have resulted in the evolution of the music within the pop culture mainstream. The dissertation is divided into two large sections. The first section concerns the social component of the Cape Breton fiddle groove, considering aspects of cultural representation, social identity, globalization and perceived external threats, and intersections with popular culture. The second section examines the sound of Cape Breton fiddle music as a form of groove-based music by first proposing a general model for the analysis of groove-based musics, and then applying the model to the Cape Breton fiddle context. The social and sonic components of Cape Breton fiddle grooves are treated as mutually reinforcing components of the same cultural product. Explorations of social identity and cultural representation of Cape Breton fiddle music determine those aspects of the sonic dimension of the music with the most social salience. In turn, analyses of the sound of Cape Breton fiddle grooves influence the understanding of the contemporary and historical socio-cultural community. Cape Breton fiddle music is therefore used here as a case study for combining the powerful modes of inquiry from the disciplines of music theory and ethnomusicology, leading to a richer and more nuanced understanding of musical traditions and cultures in general.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16808
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Faculty of Music - Doctoral theses

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