Lets Get To The Basics – What Is Irish Music?
Irish music is quite similar to the one that existed 200 years back.
Traditional Irish Music History
Be it, rural people or urban people, Irish music has always played a significant role in the lives of Irish people. Nevertheless, much later after the centuries of British rule, Irish music interests considerably improved as well as dance in the late years of 1800. The next major revitalization in music concurred with the renewal of the 1960’s American traditional music.
Irish Rock and Irish Punk Music
During the late part of the 20th century, it became a common thing for the young musicians to blend the traditional folk music forms with punk and rock style of music. The Irish musicians pioneered the phase of this merge of folk and rock. The famous Irish punk groups, that is, the Pogues and Flogging Molly created a special place into Irish music and a whole new group of fans got attracted towards this folk-punk form of music.
The main traditional musical instruments of Irsh traditional music include the bodhran, tin whistle, wooden flute, Uillean pipes and also the traditional Irsh harp. In addition to these, the accordion (concertina), banjo, bouzouki ( a big mandolin) and guitar are also common. All these traditional musical instruments have gained popularity during the past hundred years.
Irish Rock and Punk Music
During the late part of the 20th century, it became a common thing for young musicians to blend traditional folk music forms with punk and rock style of music. Irish musicians pioneered the phase of this merge of folk and rock. The famous Irish punk groups, that is, the Pogues and Flogging Molly created a special place in the Irish music scene and a whole new group of fans got attracted towards this folk-punk form of music.
Vocal Music – Sean Nos
Sean nos which is pronounced as ‘sean’ like in shawn and of course, the nos rhyming perfectly with ‘gross’ has the literal meaning as the ‘old style’ according to the Irish language. The Sean nos style is actually a type of solo a cappella ballad singing. This is surely an inseparable and significant part of Irish traditional music. Conventionally, sean nos songs are in Irish language only, however, the more modern forms of ballads may be found in the English language also.
Generally, the time signatures and tune styles present in Irish folk music comprise of a single jig or the 12/8 time, double jig or the 6/8 time, reel or the 4/4 time, hornpipe or swing 4/4 time and slip jig or 9/8 time. Sometimes the polkas version or the 2/4 time as well as the mazurkas (waltzes) or 3/4 time are also found.
Traditional Irish Music Starter CDs
The Chieftains – ‘Water From the Well’ (released in 2000)
Solas – ‘The Hour Before Dawn’ (released in 2000)
Altan – ‘Harvest Storm’ (released in 1992