need good music for play set in ireland 1936
January 4, 2005 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Any music historians out there? A friend is producing a play at a community theatre, and needs help with the music. It's set in northern Ireland in 1936, so I need help identifying what the radio would likely have played at that time. Anybody know of any resources for this sort of thing?

I've heard that US music was more popular in the north, and UK music in the south of Ireland at the time, but I don't know how much faith to place in that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by GhostintheMachine to Society & Culture (6 answers total)
Seems to be a lot of prevalent links on this radio station page, which I found from this site listing several radio stations which stream Irish music. Perhaps e-mailing a DJ would help?
posted by icontemplate at 7:17 AM on January 4, 2005

Northern Ireland in 1936... those would have been BBC radio broadcasts. I'm sure that the Beeb has an internal historian who could help with such inquiries... a good first point of contact might be their Press Office.
posted by enrevanche at 8:08 AM on January 4, 2005

BBC Songs of the Century
posted by mr.marx at 8:23 AM on January 4, 2005

Best answer: IANAMH, but Leo Rowsome would be a very good bet. There's a cd of his music at Amazon. These two links might help, too.
posted by iconomy at 8:40 AM on January 4, 2005

Best answer: I notice you say 'northern Ireland', as opposed to 'Northern Ireland'. Did you mean Belfast/Derry, or Donegal/Monaghan?

Either way, broadcasting would have been in its infancy in the area at that time. This link will tell you what radio stations were broadcasting then.

Two institutions in Belfast which I imagine could help you figure this out are the Linenhall Library and the Ulster Museum. For what it's worth, I suspect the answer will be a mixture of classical and traditional irish music.

Don't forget that the music will probably need to vary depending on what side of the religious divide the characters are from. Even back then, the people of Northern Ireland appear to have had the choice of Irish and British state radio.
posted by ascullion at 8:41 AM on January 4, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses, everyone. There are a lot of good ideas here to get me started. Much, much appreciated.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:45 AM on January 6, 2005

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