(Use this section with
Listener Worksheet #1
Listener Worksheet #2
Irish Fiddle: Frankie Gavin "Farewell to Ireland"
The fiddle is one of the most popular instruments used in Irish folk music.
players play the same instrument as violinists, but the musical style is very different. Most often players stay in one part of the bow and fingerboard. Fiddle music is always fast and meant to inspire people to get up and dance!
Voice: Roisin El Safty "Eleanor a Run" (Irish sean nos folk singing)
Here a singer demonstrates a traditional Irish singing style called
. This style dates back hundreds of years and involves singing in the Gaelic languages (traditional languages of Ireland). Listen to how the singer "ornaments" or embellishes the melody by adding all sorts of extra notes as she sings.
Piano: Michael McHale plays "The Beardless Boy" by Philip Hammond
Classical Irish composers and performers are still inspired by the traditional music of their country. Here an Irish pianist (Michael McHale) performs a piece composed by an Irish composer (Philip Hammond). The piano is not a traditional Irish folk instrument, but you can hear the Irish inspiration in this piece.
Guitar: Lukasz Kapuscinski "The Green Island"
This guitar player is performing his interpretation of a traditional Irish tune. His playing is mostly
, which means he plucks the strings with his fingers instead of using a pick. Notice how he uses his hand to cover the sound hole when he wants a softer sound.
Folk Band: The Chieftains "O'Sullivan's March"
This video shows all sorts of traditional instruments used in Irish folk music. Notice the harp, wooden flutes, and special drums called bodhran. One instrument that is really interesting is the
, a type of Irish bagpipe.