This thesis examines the revival and subsequent development of traditional music in the
Isle of Man from the 1970s until the present day. Together with dance and the Gaelic
language, the revival of Manx traditional music has contributed to the reevaluation of a
Manx identity based upon traditional values and symbolism. Drawing on individual
interviews, a comprehensive survey and primary source material, this thesis investigates
the motivations, influences and ideology behind the revival. Issues of nationalism,
individual and communal identities, Celticism, authenticity and the formation of cultural
boundaries are all addressed in an analysis of the revivalist ideology, which has
consequently dictated the standard repertoire and musical style of today.
The structure of the study is based upon a theoretical model of musical revivalism
designed by Tamara E. Livingston (1999:69):
1. an individual or small group of "core revivalists"
2. revival informants and/or original sources (e.g. historical sound recordings)
3. a revivalist ideology and discourse
4. a group of followers which form the basis of a revivalist community
6. non-profit and/or commercial enterprises catering to the revivalist market.
Livingston's model has been employed to ascertain whether the Manx music movement
corresponds with the modem conception of the term 'revival' and therefore with the
typical characteristics as documented in other cases. This thesis aims to render new
concepts that can be added to contemporary theory on musical revivalism.