Irish traditional Music
The oldest music in Ireland is that of the gaelic harpists of the clans. The harpist accompanied a poet, who generally déclamait praises with his chief of clan. One knows nothing the nonprofessional musicians nor of the dances practiced at the time. The Toothing-stone figure like emblem of the country since at least the 12th century, but the musicians became little by little itinerant musicians, because of the decline of the company Gaelic between the 12th century and the 16th century.
At the 17th century, the dances became very popular, as in the remainder of the Europe. The Irish dance knew its apogee at the 19th century, and of many testimonys of travellers in Ireland prove his importance.
Because of a fear of the disappearance of the Irish music and its instruments, a great number of convinced nationalists gathered starting from the end of the 18th century to try to make it live again in various associations.
But in fact the voice, for certain specialists, forms the base of the Irish music, because of a dominating characteristic of this primarily melody music: the ornamentations. Sean-Nos (litt. “old style”), song in Gaelic has cappella, is a song resulting from the Moyen-âge, very ornamented and difficult of access to the first access.
One attends since the years 1970, and by successive waves, with an interest very shown for the Irish music in the whole world, particularly with the the United States, and thus a very strong development of his marketing (discs, concerts, etc). This is sometimes criticized because some judge that the origins of this music are not respected. If the current music, harmonized according to modern guns and worked in studio, in common has little thing with original interpretations, it acquired an exceptional international repute n the other hand. Today, the term “Celtic Musique” very often refers to this brought up to date Irish traditional music; but it should not be forgotten that the Celtic music also includes/understands the Scottish music, Breton and Galician (Spain), traditional or not. Certain houses of music publishing have even a catalog of World Celtic Music .
TypologyThe Irish music had, and still has, several functions. Most current are:
- music of dance, purely instrumental; for a few decades, she has been also played in the pubs (“ socializing ”);
- melody and récitative music, with the ballades, the slow fox trot airs (slow and calm instrumental melody) and the laments (monotonous chants often telling a sad history, close to the Breton Gwerz ioù );
- militant music, with the protest songs made up , songs for magnifier the spirit and the independence action vis-a-vis the English occupation.
Today, one meets especially interpretations of the music of dance and ballades in English language. Certain interpreters and/or groups (Altan, Lugh, Danu, Téada) sing nevertheless in Gaelic. The general topics are, like everywhere, the love, death, the war, work, heroism, plus two recurrent themes related to the Irish history: the exaltation of the national feeling and the massive emigration towards the United States. Humor is also a very widespread character. But the Irish music which caused compositions the most is the music intended to accompany the dance.
Origins of the dances
The first Irish source revealing the name of an Irish dance goes back to 1590. Ten years later, Fynes Moryson, secretary of Lord Mountjoy, writes that the Irishmen “dance very readily, not using of the art of slow measurements or the strapping women, but only of country dances”. a quatrain written in 1670 mentions four names of dances. Arthur Young, in his Turn off Ireland (1776-79), writes that “to dance is a common thing for poor people. The Masters to be danced travel in the campaigns, of hut in hut, with cornemuseux or a blind fiddler, and the price is of six D. and a quarter. It is a system of education.” Before, the Irish language it Gaelic did not propose any word meaning to dance. This absence a long time made circulate a noise according to which the dance did not exist in Ireland. But there were dances in religious or warlike matter among Celts, of which the Irishmen form part. Although a written testimony attests that the Norman invaders introduced dances in Ireland about 1410, it would be astonishing that the Irishmen did not know the dance before this time.
Forms of dancesThe Irish traditional music represents, with the Fado Portuguese, the most alive example of oral transmission of the musical tradition in Western Europe.
Mainly originating in XVIIIe and XIXe centuries in the form which we currently know, the Irish traditional music is composed of songs on the one hand and instrumental music on the other hand. The latter, to which this chapter is devoted exclusively, is subdivided in music to dance and instrumental airs intended to be simply listened ( Laments and slow fox trot airs ). The music of dance constitutes an enormous repertory (more than 6.000 melodies or “tunes”) resorting to several types of dances whose the three principal ones are the Jig (of French gigue, cf German geige, " violon"), the Real and the Hornpipe .
There exist three forms of jig :
- the double jig , in 6/8, of which the rhythmic unit consists of two groups of three eighth notes. Its other characteristic lies in last measurement including/understanding three eighth notes and black, this one reproducing the same note as 2nd and 3rd eighth notes;
- the individual jig , in 6/8 or 12/8, presents a rhythmic unit of two groups of black-eighth note. This jig is characterized by its last pointed measurement including/understanding black and an eighth note;
- the slipway jig or hop jig adopts measure 9/8 by groups of 3 eighth notes (3/8 3/8 3/8). This type of jig is characterized moreover by its structure of twice four measurements, the others jigs always cash twice eight measurements.
The rhythmic unit of the real consists of two groups of four eighth notes (measurement 2/2 or C barred). Rapid - even very fast in the majority of the cases, this dance can sometimes be interpreted on a slow tempo, then taking the obvious name of real slow fox trot .
The hornpipe adopts measure 4/4 and is exploited a moderate tempo. In addition, one accentuates in theory an eighth note on two, not like the “unequal eighth notes” of the French baroque, but more or less as if the first were worth the two last eighth notes of the triplet.
Lastly, the slide is a kind of jig in 12/8, which is characterized by its slipped steps, from where its name.
In general, whatever the dance, the usual structure adopts the form HAS B B; the first (A) part is called tune , the second turn . Comprising four or eight measurements each one, they form what one would call in traditional analysis “antecedent-consequent” or, to make less erudite: a kind of “question and answer”. Each part is repeated, but the end of the recovery is sometimes slightly modified (Has' B B') to make it possible to the dancers to know when they must prepare with a different step.
One meets sometimes a third (C) and more rarely still a fourth part (D) concluding the dance; in the majority of the cases, composed by an interpreter, they are variations which were introduced into the repertory with the wire of time.
From the harmonic point of view, the Irish traditional music is diatonic, but comprises sometimes deteriorations, and is played mainly in the tonalities of ground, D and the major one. The major mode largely dominates; rare the tunes as a minor is played into semi, it or if. It should be noted that there exists also musical a “literature” more adapted for the violin (and derived, mandoline, banjo…) in C, F, sib and relative (the min, D min and ground min). The flutists controlling the keys can nevertheless take part…
With share the hammers - particularly appraisals in the area of Kerry-, waltz and some other rare dances ( fling , barn-dance in the North of the country), there exists still an Irish dance (more exactly a succession of dances) particular: the “set-dance” (of French " continuation of danse"). Invented by the Masters to dance at the XVIIIe century, this dance accepted a particular name because of its different structure which required specific steps to each melody. Most known of the set-dances is probably The Blackbird of which the two parts respectively count 8 and 15 measurements. One can also quote The Knights off Holy Patrick and well of others.
The term oïrfideach (that which blows, synonymous with “bell ringer”) appoints in a generic way a musician as former Irish; this generalization suggests that the first musics appeared in Ireland were played by a bagpipe or a flute. The word piopai (of “ pipe ” in English, which indicates an instrument with blowtorch) is announced for the first time in a poem contained in the Book off Leinster , manuscript going back to approximately 1160; in these same towards, are mentioned the fidli (fiddle, violin), probable ancestor of the violin in Ireland, and the timpán , string instrument which one would play with a bow - without no other precision is known on this subject (perhaps an adaptation of the word " Tympanon ", kind of cythare).
The Irish Harpe was born in the current one from the 9th century; its existence is attested in the Psautier de Folchard emanating of the Irish monastery of Gall Saint. The instrument - provided with cords out of brass and copper, with the case of resonance dug of only one block in willow -, the beauty of its stamp and the skill of the harpists are quoted as of XIIe century by Giraldus Cambrensis. Until XVIe century, the harpists enjoyed an high consideration and an enviable social situation; thereafter, the English persecuted them as representatives of Irish resistance. The decline of the nobility which maintained them and protected them made them travelling ménestrels whose most famous example is Turlough O' Carolan (1670-1738).
The instrument disappears at the beginning of the XIXe century with Arthur O' Neill, last harpist. Towards the end of the 20th century, the rebirth begins slowly from an instrument, with the cords as well in bowel as out of metal, known today under the name of Celtic Harpe.
The Irish Bagpipe or Uilleann pipes (" uillean " = the elbow) consists of three bumblebees, of regulators with twelve keys (for the accompaniment), of bellows actuated by the elbow, of a bag (wedged against the hip) and of a blowtorch with two octaves. The percussion instrument more used bears the name of Bodhrán ; being approximately 60 cm in diameter and 12 cm high, its framework is in ash and its goatskin, sometimes out of deer or greyhound, is struck by a small stick of ash or houx of about 20 cm length. Formed of a central part similar to a large pencil with each end of which a ovaloïde part is found, this tipper is held between the fingers, the essence of work being carried out by the wrist.
The other instruments used are the violin, always called Fiddle , several types of Flûte (mainly Irish concert flute wood, relatively near to the traverso baroque and the Tin whistle S , recorders out of metal or wooden generally with 6 holes, the Diatonic accordion and his/her little brother, the Concertina (kind of small hexagonal accordion, especially of use in the county of Clare).
The violin is similar to the traditional violin used in the world, except that generally, it is assembled with metal cords and a rather flat rest.
The Flute is out of wood (or nowadays out of polymer), with or without keys. The flute without keys is diatonic (D or D) and the flute with keys gives access more easily deteriorations, which makes the instrument chromatic. It is the type of instrument which was of use in the traditional orchestras at the 19th century.
The Accordion, of German origin, and Italian and French tradition, is divided into Chromatic accordion (mainly with keys piano, rather of tradition Northern Irish and Scottish) and Diatonic accordion.
The first models diatonic bisonores were mélodéons in D (D) or C (C) to only one line with 1 to 4 ways. The system with a line was then declined in a system with two diatonic lines bisonores separated by a semitone (to the manner of the harmonica says chromatic). This system of simple manufacture offers the whole of the possible notes on approximately 2 octaves and half with an instrument much more compact and light that the accordion with keys piano, but at the price of a very elaborate instrumental technique which requires a great practice, often as of more the young age… (Joe Cooley, Jacky Daly)
Following an error of delivery, a stock of accordions in B/C (instead of C#/D) was found in Ireland. These instruments were tested and finally adopted, because one discovered that they allowed, certainly at the price of an intense training, to obtain a more dependant play and consequently a better range of possible expression to interpret the Irish music. It is the system more nowadays practiced in Ireland. (Joe Burke, Aiden Coffey, Dereck Hickey etc)
The concertina is of English (systems english, chromatics and anglo, diatonic origin bisonore into G/C). He experienced a particular development in Ireland (system anglo-irish in G/C + chromatisms).
It is probabement one of the most compact instruments which are, knowing that it covers 2 octaves and half and that its power does not have anything to envy certain accordions, in spite of a system of free sheers to a voice (Mary Mc Namara, Micheal O' Reilly etc).
Nowadays, the Banjo tenor (4 cords), the Mandoline (flat-bottomed), the Guitar (often granted DADGAD i.e. D D ground D - agreement of known D 4 popularized by Davey Graham in the years 1960 - instead of the usual tuning semi D ground so semi ), the Cistre, near to the mandole and the bouzouki, to 4 or 5 choruses (or double cords) as well as the Bouzouki are also employed.
This last was imported with the beginning of the year 1960 following an error! Alec Finn required of a friend who was going to Greece to bring back a lute to him, but the friend brought back a bouzouki to him, cousin of the lute. End was satisfied with the bouzouki, instrument with pyriforme case at bottom curvature comprising a length handle provided with 3 choruses. Thereafter, the violin maker Peter Abnett manufactured, in collaboration with Finn, a somewhat different instrument: form tear and melts flat, 4 choruses, different cords and agreement. Thus was born the Irish bouzouki. Three other musicians used the bouzouki as of the years 1970: famous Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, like Johnny Moynihan. Still let us mention that for a few years, various hybrid instruments have been born, as the bouzouki with the body of guitar which Andy Irvine uses. One of the principal Irish violin makers (mandolines, cistres, bouzoukis,…) names Joe Foley.
Titles and sources
Transmitted orally like almost all the popular traditions, the Irish traditional music depended during centuries on the memory on the fiddlers, pipers and other interpreters who transmitted the tunes (airs) to their sons, nephews and friends. If the purely musical memory only were seldom taken at fault - on the one hand, the number of tunes arrived to us testifies some, and other, the differences between various versions are almost unimportant: one can almost always very easily recognize the melody -, the situation is quite different as for the titles of the aforesaid tunes … Indeed, good number of melodies carry several extremely different titles. It is in particular the case of reality “ Ah, Surely ” also entitled “ The Bonfire ”, “ The Boys off Twenty-Five ”, “ The Killaghbeg House ”, “ The Pink in the Garden ”, “ The Windy Gap ”; of “ (Old) Apples in Winter ”, gigue so indicated under the names “ Joe Kennedy' S ”, “ General White' S ”, “ The Misfortunate or Unfortunate Rake ”, “ (Next) Sunday is my Wedding Day ”, “ Rattle the Quilt ”, “ The Shamrock ” or “ The Squint-Eyed Piper ”. A last example is reality “ The Boyne Hunt ” known under more than 70 different titles… Let us not confuse the hornpipe “ The Fisherman' S lilt ” with the gigue “ The lilting fisherman ”, or the double jig “ The Humors off Whiskey ” with the slipway jig of the same name!
Sources: the collectors
- Edward Bunting (1773-1843), the first main sewer of Irish traditional music, made knowledge with this music in 1792 when it was engaged as transcriber with the Festival of toothing-stone of Belfast. After this festival, it started to collect the Irish music, returning visit with some harpists and traversing the campaigns in the search of melodies. Its first volume appeared in 1796; it contained 66 airs, of which much had not been published yet. Its last volume (1840) consists mainly of material already collected in 1809, but includes also a description of the methods used by the harpists with notes concerning their life and their practices, as well as a list of technical terms relating to the toothing-stone and the music in general.
George Kneaded (1790-1866), antique dealer and artist, was the second most important collector. He is recognized like one of the principal founders of the “ Society for the safeguarding and publication off the Melodies off Ireland ”, first company of the kind, which planned five publications per annum, containing each one 200 arranged airs and copiously annotated. But there was only one publication of Kneaded: “ The Ancient music off Ireland ” (1853-1855). The second volume was published in a posthumous way in 1882. Alas, the tunes contained in these two works were arranged “with the last style”. The handwritten collections of Kneaded, containing 2.148 parts, were finally entrusted to the type-setter, to pedagog and to leader Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (Dublin, 1852 - London, 1924) to be published. Its edition “ The Petrie Collection off Irish Music ” (1902-05) contains 1.582 melodies - 500 were removed unfortunately not classified in a systematic way. One still owes in Stanford several publications of Irish songs arranged for a voice and piano, of which “ Moore' S Irish Melodies Restored ”, COp 60.
- William Forde (C 1795-1850), first collector to be worked systematically;
- John Edward Pigot (1822-1871);
- Patrick Weston Joyce (1827-1914) which published 824 airs of which a hundred with accompaniment of piano;
- James Goodman (1828-1896).
The works of these last three were not published.
Francis O' Neill (1849-1936), born with West Cork, emigrated with Chicago at the sixteen years age. Its animated life successively saw it exerting the trades of sailor, teacher and finally “General Superintendant” of the police force of Chicago. It is known like collector and editor of the two principal collections of Irish traditional music of before the middle of the XXe century: “ The Music off Ireland ” (1903) which contains 1.850 melodies, and “ The Dance Music off Ireland ” (1907), collection in which appear 1001 melodies. A good part of these last comes from its first work, but it also carried out additions. Enthusiastic amateur, O' Neill seems to have begun by noting great number of melodies of which he remembered his youth in Ireland, but he began his collection without intention to publish it. He however met such an enthusiasm on behalf of many music lovers Irish that he put of more beautiful at work and was finally able to publish more than 2.000 melodies. O' Neill could not have carried out this work without the assistance of the Irish community of Chicago, to which belonged good number of singers and instrumentalists. Moreover, O' Neill wrote two books: “ Irish Folk Music ” (1910) and “ Irish Minstrels and Musicians ” (1913) in which is enormously information in connection with the music and of the Irish musicians. The works of O' Neill, which present each tune under its titles Gaelic and English, were the most important sources and most reliable with three volumes of F. Rock (“ Collection off Irish Airs, Marches and Dance Tunes ”, Dublin, 1911-1927) until in the years 1960.
regretted the Breandán Breathnach (1910-1985) took then the changing. Its remarkable work “ Ceol Rince Na hÉireann ” consists of a collection of five volumes published between 1963 and 1999, of which the only defect - for those which do not read Gaelic is to present the title of each tune as well as annotations only in Gaelic. The index of the melodies is organized by dance, and comprises the titles gaelic and English classified alphabetically. The amateur will have to thus carry out a tiresome research task, only average to obtain the English title.
To the 19th century, the massive Irishman emigration towards the North America contributed to the diffusion of the Irish music which was included little by little in other styles. Many a real and jigs Irish were taken again, inter alia by the Bluegrass and the Canadian traditional music, including with the Quebec. In addition, certain publications, for example the “ Ryan' S Mammoth Collection: 1050 real, jigs, hornpipes,… ” (1883) containing undoubtedly Irish tunes , claims to present popular music “American”.
All the sources mentioned above were transcribed according to the “traditional” system of musical Notation.
At present, it is impossible to overlook several tens of “collectors” which work since years and propose free, on the Net, nearly 20.000 tunes transcribed in notation “ ABC ”. It is about a simple system, being based on the system of the Tablature of organ allemande going back to the 14th century (the music is written like a text: the basic note is the the , translated (or transcribed) by the letter has; B means if , C = C , etc One writes the notes the ones following the others, with conventions for the rate/rhythm, measurement, the recoveries). This notation allows those which do not know the music to reach easily the Irish music and other traditional musics.
The Irish traditional music differs with many regards from the “erudite” music. The latter arises - with the exception Basse continues baroque in the form of partition ready to be studied, which is far from being the case of the traditional music. Another difference in size is the aspect diatonic (not of Chromatisme S) of the Irish music. Let us evoke the important work which carry out the current groups of Irish traditional music to play this music.
Considering each dance is very short - approximately 45 seconds for a hornpipe played only once, begun again included/understood, the musicians in general play two or three times the same dance, and always juxtapose a dance to him even more, thus forming a continuation, especially in the case of an execution in concert at the time which the listeners listen inevitably more attentively than the dancers who wish on the contrary less played different dances a greater number of times. It is consequently necessary to select, within the enormous repertory, which dance will succeed which other dance.
Traditionally, the partitions comprise only the melody, this one being the gasoline of the Irish music. Thus the music of O' Carolan at the end of the 17th century was transcribed, depriving to us of invaluable information on the modes of accompaniment and harmonization of the music at the time. This explains why the accompaniment and the harmony made their appearance only in the years 1960. Currently, any group must thus harmonize and arrange its melodies, i.e. to choose the agreements of accompaniment, if required to compose a second voice, to imagine an introduction, etc N the other hand, the examination of the Irish airs allows that they are used by various musical sensitivities, for example with harmonizations of traditional style, jazz or country, which is not shocking as long as the melody remains leader .
To occur in concert, each group proceeds to the instrumentation, namely to decide which (S) instrument (S) begins (NT) the continuation, which other instrument is added or takes over, without forgetting the final installation which takes into account the Ornementation, in theory clean with each instrument. It will have been included/understood, to play the traditional music implies an important personal work which could be partially assimilated - except the melody, sometimes though a certain number of groups or musicians likes themselves to improve it somewhat - to a task of type-setter-interprets.
On this subject, let us raise that many groups or current interpreters compose of the tunes in the traditional style; it is the case of De Danann, Shantalla, of the fiddler Frankie Gavin, the flutist Mat Molloy, the bouzoukist Donál Lunny, etc Several musicians traditional cut a great reputation of type-setters, for example the fiddler and pianist Charlie Lennon. Also let us quote Paddy Fahey of East Galway which composed of the real and the splendid jigs , often in the tonalities of minor D or minor ground, with the difficult tact on a violin. In addition, various groups adapted works of other styles: it is the case of the Irish March - extracted from “ The Battle ” of William Byrd (1543-1623), English virginalist - arranged by Planxty, of the “ Arrivée of the Queen of Sheba ” of Haendel, work transformed by Danann, or of “ Music for found harmonium ” Simon Jeffes (1949-1997) taken again by the group Patrick Street has. One can also quote the adventure of O' Stravaganza, where the classical music and the Irish traditional music are answered through resumptions of airs composed by Vivaldi and Turlough O' Carolan. Thus the traditional music evolves/moves little by little and continues its marvellous alive adventure.
Certain musicians the pop one, of rock'n'roll or jazz do not hesitate besides to take part in the recording of old gaelic songs; thus Sting, Mark Knopfler, Tom Jones or the Rolling Stones answers the call of Paddy Moloney, leader of the group Chieftains, for the disc The Long Black Veil , Kate Bush collaborates with Alan Stivell in its disc Again .
Musicians and famous groups of music
Groups (Bands)Some do not exist any more but kept an interesting notoriety and/or left recordings of quality, such The Bothy Band
- The Pogues
- The Bothy Band
- The Bumblebees
- Cherish the Ladies
- The Chieftains
- The Clancy Brothers
- The Corrs
- The Cranberries
- De Dannan
- The dropkick murphy
- The Dubliners
- Special Duke
- Flogging Molly
- Gillie Mc Pherson
- Moving Cloud
- Na fili 3
- Patrick Street
- Sinéad O' Connor
- Skara Brae
Whistle rs :
Uillean pipers :
The fame of the Irish music largely exceeded the borders of “green Erin”. It inspires today by the musicians of other nationalities, often having historical links and/or emotional with Ireland (nonexhaustive list):
- Philip Hovel, guitar
- The Brussels' Folk Band
The United States
- Liz Carroll, fiddle
- John Williams, concertina, accordion
Groups of Irish traditional music
- Trotwood composes its repertory of Irish traditional music while borrowing from the English and American folklores to remake to live at the same time popular and traditional great outdoors.
- Mauve Taxi, rested by Jean-Claude Philippe and Michel Sikiotakis, exists since 1985.
- Garlic Bread
- Broken Strings
- Time to time
- Owen' S
- Irish coffee
- Beltaine (céilí band)
Groups and artists inspired by the Irish traditional musicMany artists of Breton Musique take as a starting point Irish traditional airs. one can note, among most known:
- Alan Stivell, Celtic Toothing-stone, flute, Bagpipe
- Jean-Michel Veillon, flutes
- Jean-pol. Huellou, chock-whistle
- Myrdhin, Celtic toothing-stone
- Ronan the Bars
- Soïg Sibéril, guitar
- Sylvain Barou
- Tri Yann
- Vincent Leutreau, Violin
- Loreena McKennitt
- Glen off Guinness
- traditional Music
- Celtic Music
- Breton Music
- Galician Music
- Festival interceltic of Lorient
- Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
|Random links:||Vault-of-Wood | -765 | National Inventors Hall off Famed | Rossese di Dolceacqua superiore | Felix Rodríguez | Abbaye_de_Kirkstall|