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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. This chapter digests and reviews the published writings of a folklorist who has been involved with musical revivals as a musician, scholar, and teacher for over fifty years, mainly in Newfoundland, Canada. Reflecting on this individual’s scholarly journey in order to explore the usefulness of “revival” as a metaphor for the description and analysis of musical life, the chapter traces the intellectual discourses that shaped his study of revival in vernacular music, particularly those of American folklore scholarship and bluegrass music research. It discusses models and metaphors, including alternatives to “revival,” that may be useful for understanding research and interpreting it to students and other scholars. It concludes by examining some recent studies of musical revivals, noting the ways they are inevitably affected by political forces.

Keywords: Canadian identity, bluegrass, folklorist, folklore, intellectual history, models, metaphor, Newfoundland, vernacular music, revival, political forces

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