- Brian Boydell
Capital city of Ireland.
Before the passing of the Act of Union in 1800, Dublin was the seat of government of a country that had for centuries been under foreign domination. Insulated by political and religious barriers from the native culture of the country as a whole, its musical activity was cultivated by the sophisticated ruling class and acted as a local focus for the mainstream of European art music, mainly as reflected by English taste. Except insofar as this activity was in turn imitated by the larger provincial centres of jurisdiction such as Cork, Limerick and Waterford, there was even less contact with the musical life of the majority of the population than in the case of the capital cities of comparable nations.
Owing to the frequent periods of strife and turmoil from which Ireland suffered before the more settled times of the 18th century, musical activity was limited; and much of the material upon which a more accurate and complete picture of musical life in Dublin might be reconstructed has been destroyed. Information for the period before the Cromwellian rebellion centres mostly on the cathedrals. A choir was established at St Patrick’s in ...