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Ireland and the Irish in America: A Living Musical Tradition: Irish Traditional Music

Companion to a display in the Rohrbach Library featuring library resources related to Ireland, Irish immigration to the United States, and Irish traditional music

The Present Irish Traditional Music Scene

     The Irish traditional music scene today is vibrant and varied. Musicians keep old tunes and songs alive and compose new traditional-style works. They contribute to the preservation of the Irish language, a form of Gaelic, by performing songs in Irish. They borrow freely from other musical styles such as pop, rock, new age, jazz, and bluegrass as well as from other cultures. They play traditional instruments such as the fiddle, flute, tin whistle, accordian, uilleann pipes, harp, and bodhran (a hand-held drum) and instruments borrowed from other cultures. Banjoes, bouzoukis, keyboards, saxophones, and even didgeridoos are used to good effect. Irish song commemorates the past and comments on the present. The contemporary songs Kilkelly and There Were Roses, featured on this site, are just two examples of a living, growing traditional culture that is relevent as well as entertaining for today's listener.

      Listed below are a number of the finest Irish traditional artists performing today with links to samples of their music. They represent a variety of styles within the traditional music scene. Listen and enjoy!

Irish Music Artists and Their Music

Irish Traditional Music Links

For additional information on Irish traditional music check these links: