The musical life of Belfast encompasses a wide variety of ensembles and musical styles, ranging from traditional Irish music and pipe bands, classical music-making, church choirs and youth rock bands to the varied musical activities of ethnic minority groups and much more. The ‘Music Making in Belfast Project’ aims to document this rich heritage, drawing on research conducted by staff and students within the School of History and Anthropology. Students enrolled in the module ‘Hypermedia and Ethnographic Representation, for instance, may choose to document a local musical group, and their findings can then be made into a website profiling that musical universe. The first profiles were made in 2001, encompassing the Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band, a behind-the-scenes view of the Ulster Orchestra, the Andersonstown Traditional and Contemporary Music School, and 'Um Pouquinho de Brasil', an amateur group made up primarily of Brazilians living in Belfast. Further projects include a profile of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra, an ethnographic representation of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Belfast, and a view of the Belfast Circus School.
The 'Music-making in Belfast' Project was made possible by a grant from the Queen's University Vice-Chancellor's Fund, which allowed the School to obtain the necessary hardware, software and research equipment for the construction of web sites based on ethnographic field data. Thanks to this grant, the Ethnomusicology Programme at Queen's now houses what is perhaps the most advanced hypermedia studio specifically tailored to the requirements of the discipline in the whole of Europe.
Full details of the project can be found at: