Irish Folk Music: It's Not Just "Drinking" Songs!


Irish folk music is one of the most instantly recognizable music genres in the world. This style of music has gained immense popularity in the past few decades, but it has roots that actually date back to the 17th century. When the Celts arrived in Ireland, they brought with them music and instruments that dated back to ancient Europe. The Celts gained some influence from surrounding regions over time, and one of the most iconic musical sounds was born. While most people can identify Irish folk music, many people don't actually understand what makes it up. Here's a look at the components of traditional Irish folk music.


Irish folk music has historically been for one purpose, and it's not what most people think! It's not drinking, but dancing. Whether it was at a wedding, a saint's feast day, or another celebration, Irish folk songs are designed for easy dancing. Of course, many of these celebrations did involve drinking, so it's entirely understandable that many Irish folk tunes have become synonymous with drinking. These songs are usually broken down into two eight bar strains - one for the right foot, and one for the left foot. There are several different styles of dance, from jigs to barn dances to waltzes and even polkas, but they're all based on this same simple format.


The basic instruments that make up Irish folk music are the fiddle, the tin whistle, the Uilleann pipes, the harp, and the flute. Other instruments like banjos, accordions, guitars, and drums have been added through the years, but those four instruments are the ones that make up the core, and which make up "traditional" Irish folk music.

Melody and Tempo

Once the instruments are in place, it's the tempo and melody that really make Irish folk music what it is. Harmonies are fairly basic, and the chord progression simple. Instruments are almost always played in unison, following the lead player. Its simple style makes dancing to this music so easy.

Even if the names don't immediately strike a chord, there's a good chance you'd be familiar with some famous Irish folk songs like "Whiskey in the Jar," "Will You Go Lassie Go," "The Night Visiting Song" and "The Green Fields of France." Learning just what makes up Irish folk music is important to understanding its purpose, and understanding the purpose lets you enjoy this music even more!


14 January 2016

creating a music playlist that's non-offensive

Are you planning a party, gathering or celebration in which you will be inviting a mixed group of people? If so, one of the most difficult elements of the planning process is choosing the music that you will play during the event. Since people have such varying tastes in music, it can be hard to find a playlist for a mixed group without offending someone in the crowd. So, how do you do it? This blog will give you several ideas that can help you plan the music playlist using music that won't offend your guests but that will keep everyone entertained.