Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Irish Music

I absolutely love Irish music. There is just something about it that cuts straight to my soul. When we moved to Green Bay I discovered a Irish music jam session that meets once a month in a used book store, and I have been a faithful attendee at that session ever since. I even purchased a whistle so that I could participate, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Wouldn’t you like to know a little bit about music of Ireland?

Irish drum called a Bodrhan
Irish traditional music includes drinking songs, reels, hornpipes, jigs, walttzes, and many more types of tunes. The tunes are usually binary, i.e. in two parts, each part of which generally repeats. Instruments used to play these tunes included the harp, fiddle, whistle, button accordian, and uilleann pipes ( a type of bag pipe). The "rhythm section" is often the Bodhran, a drum like percussion instrument that is played with a wooden clapper.

Luckily for us, the Irish brought their music with them during the great migration of the Irish to this country, and their music was so powerful that it had a huge influence on our own folk music, particularly in the Appalachians.
There are thousands of examples of Irish music on You Tube. I picked out 3 that I like. If you are interested I suggest that you just poke around in You Tube and discover what you like for yourself. The first, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsEnm5whbT8, is Morrison’s Jig. This version is an electronic one, but I could hear it on acoustic instruments. The next, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eANj5UZRfYI, offers a good example of whistle playing, in this instance by Joe McKenna. Finally http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eANj5UZRfYI offers more than one tune all featuring the fiddle.


  1. Hi Vicki,
    Thanks for the interesting post on Irish music. I haven't been able to attend the session at The Attic recently, but have been partaking of the one in Appleton at McGuiness Pub on Tuesday nights. 1st and 3rd-hardcore fast, 2nd and 4th-more easy going. Judy VR drums excellently on the fast sessions.

  2. Irish music is wonderful. I didn't know it was related to music of the Appalachian somehow. Thanks.

    Visiting from A to Z,

  3. Hi, I love Irish music and also bluegrass Appalachian music. In fact, I am originally from East Tennessee and grew up on Country and Bluegrass. I was country when country wasn't cool. Ha. Best regards to you. Ruby

  4. yes, irish music is very fun, and lively. happiness abounds!