Traditional Irish Music
Ireland’s traditional music, also known as trad music, has existed for centuries and dates back as far as the stone age.
Below we have listed the most popular & top 5 traditional instruments from Ireland.
The Bodhrán is known as the core & heartbeat of trad music. It’s a large drum which is covered in stretched animal skin, it provides a pulsating beat and produces a lovely sound.
Some people think that years ago the drum had a multipurpose and was used as a husk sifter and grain tray.
Below is a video of John Joe Kelly playing the Bodhrán at an Irish Trad session.
2. Uilleann Pipes
The Uilleann pipes are ancient pipes and have been around since the 5th Century. The Pipes are a very popular instrument, however can take years to master. The meaning of Uilleann Pipes is “pipes of the elbow”. Two brothers from Louth developed the most modern versions of the pipes after they emigrated with the instrument from post-famine Ireland to the USA.
Watch Seamus Ennis demonstrating his genius ability to play the most difficult Uilleann pipes.
3. Celtic Harp
The Celtic Harp has an iconic status and is present on the national flag & Euro currency. The Celtic Harp has had many variations over the past few centuries and has existed since the 10th Century.
Watch Carolan’s Dream – played on a Celtic harp.
The fiddle is identical to the violin, however they are differentiated by their playing style and sound. The fiddle is high-pitched and when playing in trad sessions is often heard above other instruments.
Watch the Fiddle & Flute being played during a traditional Irish music session.
The Bouzouki was brought to Ireland from Greece in the 1960’s. The Irish Bouzouki was adapted from a Greek Instrument and is the most recent addition to the Irish music collection. The Bouzouki is similar looking to the giant mandolin and produces such a rich and bright sound that it’s not surprising that the Irish stole the idea and made it their own. This instrument is now very popular and is present in most trad music sessions.
Watch the Irish Bouzouki being played.