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Music ranks as most important cultural facet for Irish people – NCH Survey

Media Release 1st October 2019

Ireland’s Relationship with Music survey finds that music is more important to Irish people than sport, television, cinema, theatre and reading

The National Concert Hall has today, Tuesday 1st October 2019, published research which shows that music is more important to Irish people (86%) when compared with other cultural facets such as books and reading (80%), television (69%), films and cinema (58%), sport (53%) and theatre (29%).  

Ireland’s Relationship with Music survey, commissioned by the National Concert Hall and conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes with 1,010 adults in Ireland in June 2019, examines people’s interactions and experiences with music. The study found that there is a clear personal importance of music for Irish people with 86% routinely listening to music and 91% of Irish people saying music makes them happy and lifts their mood.

The findings show that there is strong acceptance of music as being central to our national identity (76%) and an important element of Irish culture (79%). Equally, there is considerable pride in the quality of Irish music (72%). The survey also shows that a vast majority of people (74%) back the idea of a dedicated centre for music in Ireland, that is a place that aims to showcase the best in music promote musical education and cater to a broad range of musical tastes and styles.  

Simon Taylor of the National Concert Hall said:
“The survey shows us the central importance of music in the lives of Irish people. What is heartening to see is the variety of music choices amongst people and the frequency at which they interact with music either privately or through live experiences. We are delighted to unveil the findings of Ireland’s Relationship with Music survey as the National Concert Hall embarks on its most ambitious season of concerts over the next 12 months comprising of the best in international and home-grown classical, modern, and innovative music as well as learning and participation programmes around the country.”

When it comes to listening to music, radio is almost ubiquitous with 84% surveyed tuning in weekly, but there is a sharp up-lift in streaming services with 56% of people choosing this mode of listening compared to just 44% in 2016. Older adults are much more likely to be avid listeners to music on the radio, whereas younger groups prefer streaming and some downloading. Overall, just 3% now indicate that they buy CDs or records. The survey found that just 12% of people play a musical instrument on a weekly basis with just 3% attending music lessons.

Ireland’s Relationship with Music survey was conducted ahead of the National Concert Hall’s new music programme for 2019/2020 which began this September and sees its most ambitious and diverse programme of concerts and events to date, comprising of exciting offerings across its flagship international and home-grown classical music series, its contemporary and innovative Perspectives series, its progressive traditional music programme Tradition Now, its extensive Chamber Music Series and its expanded learning and participation programme.

Ireland’s Relationship to Music Survey Highlights:

-    Music is more important to Irish people (86%) when compared with other cultural facets such as books and reading (80%), television (69%), films and cinema (58%), sport (53%) and theatre (29%).  
-    Irish people say music makes them happy and lifts their mood – 91%
-    Majority of people surveyed back the idea of a dedicated centre for music in Ireland – 74%
-    Irish people play a musical instrument weekly – 12%
-    Irish people listen to radio weekly – 84%
-    Irish people stream music online weekly – 56%

Media Queries; Sinéad Doyle, Marketing and PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 0057 / 087 1775334.
Rob Hanly, Director, Drury Porter Novelli, Tel: +353 1 260 5000 / +353 87 932 6887

About the National Concert Hall

The National Concert Hall sits proudly on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin’s city centre and is home to the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir Ireland, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Music Network, Crash Ensemble and Music Generation. Next door to the picturesque Iveagh Gardens and in the heart of a commercial district known as the National Concert Hall Quarter, the NCH hosts over 1,000 events per annum. Its mission, to foster and celebrate the appreciation, knowledge, enjoyment and pure love of music as an integral part of Irish life and is Ireland’s national cultural institution for music, proudly serving the Irish public since 1981 through live music performances and significant educational and cultural programmes.

The 2019/2020 new programme of music at the National Concert Hall is the latest milestone in the evolution of Ireland’s cultural institution for music. The Government has committed to major investment in the redevelopment of the NCH with work expected to commence on site in 2021/2022. The redevelopment will provide Ireland with a state-of-the-art building and space to inspire a new generation of musicians and music lovers and become Ireland’s must visit music venue.

NCH Programme 2019/2020

The NCH programme for 2019/2020 can be accessed HERE.