Dance, Music & Theatre Performance

Courses in Traditional Irish Music: Learn About Irish Music

Considering a Course in Traditional Irish Music? 

If you want to learn more about traditional Irish music, the best way to do so is by doing a course in traditional Irish music. The course will teach you all there is to know about traditional Irish music. It can be an incredibly fun course to do, particularly if you are a music fanatic. It could even be your first steps to a career in music. The good news is there are tons of courses in traditional Irish music currently available offering full-time, part-time and evening class options. 

What is Traditional Irish Music? 

Traditional Irish music involves many different kinds of singing and instrumental music that are played by Irish people in Ireland or outside it and occasionally, by people of other nationalities. Irish music does have its characteristics. It is a music of a popular tradition and the music generally remains the same with little changes. It is also considered to be oral music with a greater state of fluidity than notation-based music. This kind of music is also commonly carried down from generation to generation.  

A Brief History of Irish Traditional Music 

Irish traditional music started out as an oral tradition, passed down from generation to generation by listening, learning by ear and without actually writing the tunes. It is a practice that is still encouraged today and students learning about traditional music are encouraged to pick up tunes that they hear from others and learn as they listen. The traditional music that is played by the Irish came to the country with the Celts, 2,000 years ago. The Celts were influenced by the music of the East.  

It was not until 1762 that tunes were actually written down for the first time and collectors began to travel the country compiling traditional Irish music that can be seen today. The tradition of collecting music continues today in the Irish Traditional Music archive in Dublin which is the largest collection of folk and traditional music in the world. However, traditional Irish music has travelled further than Ireland’s 32 counties with the emergence of events such as the Fleadh Cheoil 

What Will I Learn? 

You can expect to be provided with an introduction to traditional Irish music. In other words, you will be introduced to the instruments, form and repertoire and the major historical developments in traditional Irish music. You will also learn about Irish harp traditions, the harp’s symbolic importance and the ongoing changes in the tradition. You will be introduced to aspects of the Irish song traditions too with a focus on the Irish language song traditions of the Oriel region. In addition, you will explore Irish dance traditions such as sean nós, set dancing, step dancing and céilí dancing with a focus on the impact Riverdance has had on local traditions. You will also receive an introduction to the development of ensemble playing in traditional Irish music from contemporary fusion groups to céilí bands.  

If you’re serious about doing a course in traditional Irish music, check out courses near you in the national course finder.  

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