A Short History of Irish Classical Music

Since W.H.G. Flood's A History of Irish Music (1905!, with a fourth edition in 1927) no more recent monograph on the general history of art music in Ireland has appeared. A possible reason is that today we know so much more about this history that it seems like an insurmountable piece of work.


While such a piece of work is undoubtedly necessary at some point in time, I think there is even more urgent need for a short, concise, comprehensive work covering the field. Something with popular appeal, written in a non-academic style, and with numerous illustrations (of people, of locations, music, etc.), something with not more than 250 to 280 pages. It has been a long-cherished project of mine for which I originally drafted a table of contents and an editorial layout in 2011. I am now in the process of writing it.


Writing in October 2022, I've completed the introduction and the first of eight chapters, currently drafting the second. My plan is to organise an informal peer review by showing drafts of my chronological chapters to experts in the field. I want to be absolutely sure that I don't make any factual mistakes and that my text represents the current state of research.


I have also been in touch with a publisher in Ireland. Naturally they won't decide before they read the introduction and two chapters, with an outline of the rest, and I am not there yet (but in the first quarter of 2023). Watch this space ...