Irish Musical Studies is an outstanding series of volumes devoted to publishing musical scholarship undertaken in Ireland. It was inaugurated in 1990 under the general editorship of Gerard Gillen and Harry White. From volume 8 onwards, Irish Musical Studies has been produced in association with the Society for Musicology in Ireland. The series was initially published by Irish Academic Press, by Four Courts Press from 1996, and since 2022 by Boydell and Brewer.
The most recent volume in the series was published in May 2023:
- David Michael O'Shea, The Choral Foundation of the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle. Constitution, Liturgy, Music, 1814-1922, IMS vol. 14 (Boydell Press, 2023). Examining previously unexplored primary material, this book discusses the Chapel Royal's founding, governance and traditions within the church-state relationship that followed the Acts of Union of 1800. The choral foundation is brought to life with accounts of the Chapel's clergy, organists, boy choristers and gentleman singers, providing insights into Dublin's social history during a period of significant change.
The other volumes to date are as follows (the links are to the publishers’ websites with purchase details):
- Musicology in Ireland, IMS vol. 1 (eds.) Gerard Gillen & Harry White (Irish Academic Press, 1990). This volume offers a conspectus of musicological research obtaining in Ireland at the time of publication: topics include musical practices in Ireland, England, France, Italy, Hungary, music theory, organology, and positivism.
- Music and the Church, IMS vol. 2 (eds.) Gerard Gillen & Harry White (Irish Academic Press, 1993). This volume examines sacred music in Ireland from a variety of perspectives: the Celtic Rite, the Cecilian Movement, classical repertory, Telford’s organs, traditional religious repertory, musical techniques.
- Music and Irish Cultural History, IMS vol. 3 (eds.) Gerard Gillen & Harry White (Irish Academic Press, 1995). This volume contains essays on medieval Irish society, nationalism, classical music, education, religion, traditional music, and the literary tradition.
- The Maynooth International Musicological Conference 1995: Selected Proceedings Part One, IMS vol. 4 (eds.) Patrick F. Devine & Harry White (Four Courts Press, 1996), and The Maynooth International Musicological Conference 1995: Selected Proceedings Part Two IMS vol. 5 (eds.) Patrick F. Devine & Harry White (Four Courts Press, 1996). The Maynooth International Musicological Conference, held at St Patrick's College Maynooth in September 1995, was the first event of its kind in the history of the state. More than one hundred contributions were delivered at the conference; the selected proceedings contain some sixty of them. Drawing from the rich fabric of Irish and international musicology, these two volumes reflect the unprecedented scope and maturity of an event which marked the coming of age of musicology in Ireland.
- A Historical Anthology of Irish Church Music, IMS vol. 6 (eds.) Gerard Gillen & Andrew Johnstone (Four Courts Press, 2001). This anthology, unashamedly positivist in focus, examines fourteen liturgically-based compositions from the medieval period to the 20th century, Roman Catholic and Protestant in provenance, each edited for performance and assessed and evaluated in the context of the wider compositional tradition from which it emanated.
- Irish Music in the Twentieth Century, IMS vol. 7 (eds.) Gareth Cox & Axel Klein (Four Courts Press, 2003). This volume examines the development of art music in Ireland from different perspectives. It includes historical assessments of genre in Irish music, analyses of individual composers and compositions, and essays in cultural history.
- Bach Studies from Dublin, IMS vol. 8 (eds.) Anne Leahy & Yo Tomita (Four Courts Press, 2004). This volume contains papers presented at the ninth biennial conference on Baroque music, which was held at Trinity College Dublin in July 2000. The conference had a special emphasis on Bach Studies, as it commemorated the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
- Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, IMS vol. 9 (eds.) Michael Murphy & Jan Smaczny (Four Courts Press, 2007). This volume examines the musical press, music education and educators, music and the temperance movement, collections and collectors of folk music, iconography of folk music, nationalism, Wagnerism, sacred music and musicians, musical societies, and opera in Ireland.
- Music, Ireland and the Seventeenth Century, IMS vol. 10 (eds.) Barra Boydell & Kerry Houston (Four Courts Press, 2009). The 17th century is a pivotal but unfamiliar period in Irish musical history: reflecting political and cultural changes, the ancient harp tradition declined as European musical styles became more widespread. In this volume, the 10th in the Irish Musical Studies series, musicologists begin to establish a picture of music in Ireland at that time.
- Irish Musical Analysis, IMS vol. 11 (eds.) Gareth Cox & Julian Horton (Four Courts Press, 2014). This book represents the first in the series to be devoted exclusively to the discipline of music theory and analysis, and in this respect it summons the pioneering nature of Musicology in Ireland (Volume 1 in the series), insofar as it reflects the current state of the discipline in Ireland. Part 1 engages with mainstream theoretical and analytical topics with Part 2 offering analytical perspectives on the music of twentieth-century Irish composers.
- Documents of Irish Music History in the Long Nineteenth Century, IMS vol. 12, edited by Kerry Houston, Maria McHale and Michael Murphy (Four Courts Press, 2019). Topics addressed in the volume include the social history of music, the patronage and composition of sacred music, the reception of opera, the emergence of the céilí, military band music, sources of traditional music, music and politics, music education, visiting and immigrant musicians, national identity, and the deployment of traditional melodies in art-music genres.
- Women and Music in Ireland, IMS vol. 13, edited by Laura Watson, Ita Beausang and Jennifer O’Connor-Madsen (Boydell Press, 2022). This collection highlights representative composers and performers in classical music, Irish traditional music, and contemporary art music whose contributions have been marginalized in music narratives. It brings attention to women who engaged with and taught music in a variety of domestic settings, and shines a spotlight on women who worked behind the scenes to build infrastructures such as festivals and educational institutions which remain at the heart of Ireland's musical life today.