The creation of this website forms part of a PhD study which assesses and examines the history and contribution of the Music Association of Ireland (MAI) to music and music-making in Ireland from 1948 to the present day. Employing the extensive archives of the MAI stored at the National Library of Ireland, the thesis will address the changing cultural climate over the period and delineate the debate on musical identity, national policy and music education. Many of the initiatives set up by the MAI, as a voluntary body, now function as separate, professional organisations, for example the National Youth Orchestra, Music Network and the Contemporary Music Centre.
The extensive scholarship on musical activity in Dublin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has highlighted the neglect and dearth of on-line information relating to music performances in Ireland in the twentieth century. By digitising a selection of concerts organised by the MAI it is my aim to provide the academic and enthusiast alike with a user-friendly database of information focusing on the area of professional music-making in Ireland from 1950 to 1984.
Information for each concert has been derived from MAI concert programmes housed at the National Library of Ireland. The Archives consist of fifty three uncatalogued boxes and material relating to concerts was randomly spread across these. However, further information was also extracted from other records, such as Concert reviews from the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and MAI's Counterpoint and Soundpost magazines. This research will make a valuable contribution to the field of Irish musicology and dispel the myth that Ireland had a poor classical music infrastructure during the mid twentieth century.