The island of Ireland has been creating its own unique blend of traditional music for centuries. It’s a treasured part of our culture that’s been handed down through generations and is known the world over. It’s also diverse, spanning both traditional Irish and Ulster-Scots cultures.
In traditional Irish music you can have exuberant toe-tapping tunes to get you dancing or ballads so emotive grown men have been moved to tears. Then there are the instruments. Traditional Irish music uses an assortment of borrowed and native musical instruments, including the fiddle, bodhrán and Celtic harp, amongst others, which all come together to make a sweet, unmistakable sound.
The best place to experience this music has to be in our traditional pubs. It’s here among pints of Guinness and wooden corner booths that sessions take place – casual and communal recitals where musicians trade melodies and ancient songs. Fiddles are plucked, the bodhrán drums beaten and accordions squeezed, as friends old and new watch on. It’s music to be shared, and in Ireland, we have it on tap.
Discovering the Ulster-Scots musical heritage is also a joy: think 400 years of music influenced by folk repertoire, jigs and reels, and hornpipes – all combining to create a sound that has something of a kick to it. And the instruments? That’ll be the vibrant sounds of the uilleann pipes, fiddles, flutes, accordions and the mighty Lambeg drum.