Female Engagement in Transforming the Cornish Music and Dance Revival

Hagmann, Lea Salome (16 November 2018). Female Engagement in Transforming the Cornish Music and Dance Revival (Unpublished). In: 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Albuquerque, USA. 15-18/11/2018.

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When the Music and Dance Revival of Cornwall (UK) started in the late 1970s, it was primarily male-dominated. Musicians and researchers aimed to revive Cornish music as ‘Celtic Music’, thereby excluding traditions which were considered ‘English’ and therefore ‘foreign’. However, about two decades later, women started actively to engage in the Revival, giving it a completely new direction, which has been severely criticised by the former (male) revivalists. They aimed at transforming the Revival from being part of the Cornish nationalist movement, whose primary aim was to represent Cornwall at Interceltic festivals, towards an all-inclusive hybrid form of community music making and dancing. Three women in particular have played essential parts in founding the Cornish Nos Lowen-movement, which differs significantly from the former Revival. This paper explores in what ways these three women engaged in the Cornish Music and Dance Revival and follows their main projects: 1) Cumpas: the Cornish music project, which aimed at disseminating Cornish culture by means of school projects, teaching resources and community events; 2) Bagas Crowd: the cross-generational community fiddle group, where people engage in learning and developing Cornish instrumental music; 3) Second Wave Dance Arts, which not only serves at creating and bonding communities through the newly invented Cornish Nos Lowen dancing but also works therapeutically for families in trouble and disaffected teenagers, and 4)The Red River Singers, who engage in researching, reviving and creating Cornish singing traditions.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Musicology

UniBE Contributor:

Hagmann, Lea Salome


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
700 Arts > 780 Music


Lea Salome Hagmann

Date Deposited:

29 May 2019 12:57

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:27

Uncontrolled Keywords:

women, folk, music revival, Nos Lowen, community projects



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