Monash University

Graeme Smith Collection

Posted on 2020-10-27 - 00:06 authored by Music Archive of Monash University
Graeme Smith, an adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, has research interests which span popular music studies, sociology of music and ethnomusicology. He has written and researched issues of music and identity, folk revival musics, country music, neo-traditional musics and free reed instruments, and has a special interest in the genre of Irish traditional music. His Singing Australian: A History of Folk and Country Music (Pluto, 2005) studies the place of these popular music genres in the construction of national identity in Australia. His formal study in these areas followed a period of performing in the English and Australian folk music scenes in the 1970s and 1980s.

The interviews archived here were part of his research into Irish button accordion playing styles which formed his PhD studies at Monash University undertaken in the 1980s. The major participants in this research were a cohort of post-war emigrant Irish players in Australia whose musical development and active playing stretched from the 1940s to the 1960s and onwards, and the interviews were conducted from 1984-1986. The musical and social analysis of the research explored the relationship of accordion playing to modernity and emigration, with the emergence of the so-called “modern style” in the 1950s and 1960s. Alongside of the PhD thesis deposited in Monash University, the articles listed below draw on material from these interviews.

'The social meaning of Irish button accordion playing styles from 1900-1975'. PhD thesis, Monash University, 1991.
'Modern-style Irish Accordion Playing: History, Biography and Class'. 1997. Ethnomusicology 41 (3): 433-463.
'My Love is in America: Migration and Irish Music'. 2004. In Popular music: Critical concepts in media and cultural studies, Vol IV, edited by Simon Frith, 164-181. London: Routledge.
'Irish Button Accordion: From Press and Draw and Back Again'. 2008. World of Music 50 (3): 15-36.
'Accordion style and class' (with Helen O'Shea). 2011. In The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 2nd ed., edited by Fintan Valley, 28-32. Cork: Cork University Press.


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