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Cornish carols: Heritage in California and South Australia

Neale, Elizabeth Katherine Ruth 2018. Cornish carols: Heritage in California and South Australia. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University and University of Exeter.
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This thesis examines Christmas carols as heritage in the Cornish diaspora. Emerging from the same carolling tradition in Cornwall, labour migration during the 19th century resulted in the transfer and development of this musical practice in two key diasporic locations; namely, Grass Valley, California, and the Copper Triangle, in South Australia. Interest in the local performance of the repertoire is growing at a grass roots level in Cornwall, and the carols continue to be seen as part of Cornish (and other) heritage in these overseas communities. However, no academic study has yet attempted to trace or compare the diverging developments of the musical form, or the practices and cultural narratives associated with and emerging from its performance in these locations. I draw on heritage theory and ethnomusicological methodologies in order to provide a nuanced account of these diasporic Cornish carolling traditions, arguing that they offer a compelling case study of how heritage operates as a process that engenders cultural meanings and significances that shift in orientation and emphasis. The thesis comprises of three sections. The first examines the musical materials of Cornish carols, discussing the selection and development of repertoires particular to each location. The second explores the emergence of particular cultural narratives around the carols and their performers, as the traditions developed new performance practices, contexts and cultural significances. The final section explores contemporary perspectives of the carols as local and other heritages in their present day contexts of revival and re-enactment. Combining archival and ethnographic research, this thesis shows that the differing trajectories of the carol traditions in each location are ideal loci within which to examine how notions of heritage may emerge, shift, and develop over time within a musical context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 May 2019
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 02:03

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