What is Irish music?

By | April 3, 2021


There are three main types of Irish music: traditional (often called trad), classical and Irish pop / rock. Traditional music is still performed, but its most popular point was in the eighteenth century. Irish tradition includes jigs, reels and shapes that polka from other cultures. Classical music and classical music performance in Ireland usually include choral arrangements and flute music, sometimes with extra fiddle. Popular music and rock ‘n’ roll have a great American influence. Punk is also a genre that is popular in Irish culture and the diaspora due to the rough, folk-influenced vocal tone and the rebellious undertone of the genre.

Instruments and dance

Instruments used in Irish music often contain human elements such as voice and feet. Traditional music sometimes accompanies Irish dancers, who provide rhythm with coordinated dance steps. Other instruments include fiddle, harp, uilleann tubes (with a higher tone than Scottish bagpipes), guitar and typical rock ‘n’ roll instruments. Irish music uses a traditional drum called a bodhran, but more modern music can use a standard drum set.


Irish music thrives and is performed internationally. Traditional Irish music is often performed in pubs, sometimes on a designated night each week. In one session, musicians gather with traditional instruments in an open format. The Irish Pub is also a standard performance for local pop and rock musicians performing Irish music. Sessions take place all over Ireland and in cities with a large Irish diaspora such as London, Boston and Philadelphia.

Time frame

Irish music had a revival from the 1970s. The Irish music experience shows no sign of slowing down with the continued success of mega-artists such as U2 and breakthrough successes such as Snow Patrol. Rebellious musicians with a cultural and political message have also found a place in this revival, the prime example of this is Wolfe Tones.

Notable Irish musicians and composers

Notable Irish composers include famous harpist and composer Turlough O ‘Carolan. Sinead O ‘Connor, best known for his popular music string’ Nothing Compare 2 U, ‘performs and records traditional music, including music sung (Original Style). Enya (New Age / Celtic genre) and The Corrs have also seen great success internationally. Irish music describes a wide range of music from Ireland and uses instruments that are native to Ireland or commonly used there. The term includes several vocal and instrument styles. As the Irish diaspora is widespread, elements of Irish traditional music have blended with non-Irish genres around the world.

source: danspela.com