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Abstract

This paper examines the culture and technologies around the sound systems used by the Irish dance and show bands of the 1950s and 1960s. With limited financial and technical resources available to the average musician of the period, many performers were forced to adopt a DIY approach, adapting or building their own instruments and sound equipment to meet changing tastes and needs. Literary sources are augmented by material drawn from interviews with two musicians who played with the showbands. The evolution of the technologies from the post-war period is documented and a self-sufficient, DIY approach is evidenced, prior to the adoption of mass-produced commercial sound equipment.

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