Dr Adrian Scahill


Assistant Professor

Logic House
(01) 708 4638


Adrian Scahill is an assistant professor in the Department of Music, Maynooth University. A graduate of Maynooth, he undertook doctoral research with Professor Harry White at University College Dublin, and after teaching in a number of Irish universities returned to Maynooth as a lecturer.

His research interests are focused on Irish traditional music, including the history of the tradition, stylistic analysis, and more theoretical and conceptual approaches to the music. Other areas of interest include popular music (and how it intersects with tradition), and the broader fields of music and musicology in Ireland. He was subject editor for traditional music for The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (2013), and was a major contributor to the volume, writing more than forty articles. Recent publications includes chapters and articles on the use of the piano during the Gaelic Revival, and on traditional music albums of the 1950s and 1960s. He has presented papers at conferences and given invited lectures both in Ireland and abroad. He is a regular contributor to the Journal of Music, writing in particular on new traditional music releases. He is currently secretary for ICTM Ireland, and has led the organisation of conferences for both SMI and ICTM at Maynooth. An active traditional musician, he established the Music Department’s Traditional Group in 2006, and has helped develop and currently oversees traditional music performance in the department. His teaching embraces a wide range of topics, including ethnomusicology, popular music studies, Irish traditional music, and musicology.

Research Interests

Music in Ireland, particularly Irish traditional music and popular music. Music and politics and protest music. Music and globalization.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2019 Adrian Scahill (2019) 'Transformations of performance and participation in the early céilí (1897–8)' In: Documents of Irish Music History in the Long Nineteenth Century (Irish Musical Studies vol. 12). Dublin : Four Courts Press.
2018 Adrian Scahill (2018) '‘That Vulgar Strummer’: The piano and traditional music in the Gaelic Revival' In: Music Preferred: Essays in Musicology, Cultural History and Analysis in Honour of Harry White. Vienna : Hollitzer Verlag.
2017 Adrian Scahill (2017) 'Towards a reconsideration of the place of traditional music in the Catholic church' In: A musical offering: essays in honour of Gerard Gillen. Dublin : Four Courts Press.
2016 Adrian Scahill (2016) 'The Harp in the Early Traditional Group' In: Harp Studies: Perspectives on the Irish Harp. Dublin : Four Courts Press.
2013 Scahill, Adrian (2013) 'Riverdance and Irish Traditional Music' In: Thierry Dubost and Alexandra Slaby(Eds.). Music and the Irish Imagination: Like a Language That We Could All Understand.
2010 Scahill, Adrian (2010) 'The flight of the earls in Irish traditional music' In: David Finnegan, Marie-Claire Harrigan and Éamonn Ó Ciardha(Eds.). The Flight of the Earls - Imeacht na nIarlaí. Derry : Guildhall Press.
2009 Scahill, Adrian (2009) 'Irish Traditional Music and the Seventeenth Century' In: Barra Boydell and Kerry Houston(Eds.). Music, Ireland, and the Seventeenth Century: Irish Musical Studies 10. Dublin : Four Courts Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2019 Scahill A. (2019) 'The album and the musical work in Irish folk and traditional music, ca. 1955-70'. Eire-Ireland; a journal of Irish studies, 54 (1-2):17-45. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2009 Scahill, Adrian (2009) 'Riverdance: Representing Irish Traditional Music'. New Hibernia Review, 13 :70-76. [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2017 Adrian Scahill (2017) 'In the Mix: Review of Flowing Tides: History & Memory in an Irish Soundscape, by Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin' Dublin Review of Books, November 2017 . [Link] http://www.drb.ie/essays/in-the-mix
2015 Adrian Scahill (2015) ''The piper's story over three centuries'' Journal of Music, . [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2019 Adrian Scahill (2019) Society for Musicology in Ireland Annual Plenary Conference ‘Supporting and Shaping Creativity in the Recording of Irish Traditional Music Albums’ Maynooth University, .
2018 Adrian Scahill (2018) Voicing Cultures, Cultural Voices: 13th Annual Conference of ICTM Ireland Remote Control: The uneasy relationship between traditional music and television University of Limerick, .
2018 Adrian Scahill (2018) Nótaí/Notes: Music and Ireland Research Symposium Reconsidering the album as artwork in Irish traditional music NUIG, .
2016 Adrian Scahill (2016) Society for Musicology in Ireland, Annual Plenary Conference Framing Trad: Irish Traditional Music, Television and (mis)Representation Dublin City University, .
2016 Adrian Scahill (2016) Music in Ireland: 1916 and Beyond Revival and Revolution: A transitional period in the ensemble playing of Irish traditional music DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, .
2013 Adrian Scahill (2013) 2013 Joint Annual Meeting of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology/ICTM-Ireland Around the House Again for Old-Time's Sake: The Reissuing of Irish Traditional Music in the Digital Age Queen's University Belfast, .
2013 Adrian Scahill (2013) Notes and Narratives Series Adrian Scahill: The 'Vulgar Strummer': The Gaelic League piano from the céilí to the céilí band Na Píobairí Uilleann, Dublin, .
2012 Adrian Scahill (2012) NAFCo 2012 Conference: Ón gCos go Cluas Droning on: the fiddle as accompaniment in Irish Traditional music University of Ulster, .
2012 Adrian Scahill (2012) Tenth Annual Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland Skiffle in 1950s Ireland Dundalk Institute of Technology, .
2009 (2009) Riverdance: Representing Irish Traditional Music Annual Conference, British Forum for Ethnomusicology Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, .
2006 Adrian Scahill (2006) Society for Musicology in Ireland Annual Conference Made at the spinning wheel: early recordings and contemporary Irish traditional music Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, .
2009 (2009) Roaring from the Margins: Tradition and Revolution in Musical Commentary on the Celtic Tiger Contester En Chansons: Expressions en Marge Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France, .
2009 (2009) The Reel Thing: Irish Traditional Music in The Boys from County Clare Joint Annual Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland and the Royal Musical Association Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, .
2008 (2008) Off the Record: American 78 rpm Recordings Department of Music, NUI Maynooth, .
2008 (2008) Riverdance: Representing Irish Traditional Music Réflexions autour de la musique en Irlande: esthétiques et enjeux L’Université de Caen, Caen, France, .

Book Review

Year Publication
2010 Dr Adrian Scahill (2010) John Flynn: The Irishness of Irish Music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009). [Book Review]
2010 Dr Adrian Scahill (2010) David Cooper, The musical traditions of Northern Ireland and its diaspora: community and conflict (Ashgate, 2009). [Book Review]

Encyclopedia Entry

Year Publication
2013 Adrian Scahill (2013) c40 entries including accompaniment, Bothy Band, Ceoltóirí Chualann, folk music, ornamentation, piano in traditional music, traditional groups. [Encyclopedia Entry]


Year Publication
2005 Scahill, A. (2005) The Knotted Chord: Harmonic accompaniment in printed and recorded sources of Irish traditional music. University College Dublin: [Thesis]


Year Publication
2013 Adrian Scahill (2013) Subject Editor for Traditional Music. [Other]
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