What Whistle Would You Play at Your Mother's Funeral? - L.E. McCullough Vol 1
L.E. McCullough's Writings on Irish Traditional Music, 1974-2016
gathers in two volumes the more than 300,000 words on Irish music and
culture the prolific musician/scholar has published in 43 years of teaching
Volume I contains Dr. McCullough's three major academic works
- his landmark Ph.D. dissertation (Irish Music in Chicago: An
Ethnomusicological Study) and earlier M.A. and B.A. theses (The Rose in the
Heather: Irish Music in Its American Cultural Milieu and Farewell to Erin:
An Ethnomusicological Study of Irish Music in the U.S.).
Though Dr. McCullough's works have been widely cited by Irish music
historians over the years, his 1970s dissertation and theses were never
published outside of academia. The bulk of his copious newspaper and journal
articles have also been long out-of-print. "Having everything in a single
collection lets readers see how Irish Traditional Music has become a greater
part of American culture over the years," he says.
and a review from Lesl Harker: "
What Whistle Would You Play at Your Mother’s Funeral?
L.E. McCullough’s Writings on Irish Traditional Music, 1974-2016
Silver Spear Publications, P.O. Box 352, Woodbridge NJ 07095 USA
In the preface of the first volume is the answer to "why buy these books?"
"To share in the adventure".
And that's just what it feels like. In the middle of the first university paper in Book One, I jumped ahead and started reading the second volume - then back to the first again - it's that fascinating. Larry's a captivating writer and the academics are not hard to read.
I wish I'd had these books when I was new to the music. Before 1900, there's Chief O'Neill's writings, but there was nothing from then forward. The first book covers the basics, but also the fully documented research into the great Irish music and musicians in America since Chief O'Neill left off. A gold mine.
Then there's Book 2 - full of humour, insights and tips for players. Some of that material is online, but never at your fingertips when you'd want to refer to it again - and you will. The essay about choosing a whistle for the funeral is in the middle of book 2. An article I've wanted to re-read for years is there too: "Six ways to break out of being a beginner".
This is a grand testimony to Irish Traditional Music. Not only are the books for everyone, but hopefully they will become required reading in the Irish Music departments of universities across the world. They're that interesting, and that valuable."
- Lesl Harker, March 2017