You won't learn Irish Dance moves unless you know what music to move your feet to. The Gaelic-speaking peasantry of the 18th century gave birth to most of what we now call Traditional Irish music. At weddings and other social gatherings, dancing was quite popular.
It was standard practice until the early twentieth century for dancing masters to go from town to town with a fiddler or piper, teaching dance instruction. Dancing at the crossroads was still popular in rural Ireland in 1950.
Irish dance music is now frequently performed in concert settings, where it is listened to rather than danced to. This affects how the music is performed. A hornpipe, for example, will no longer be performed at dancing tempo.
Modern musicians, especially those in bands or ensembles, like playing at a high tempo. Modern bands also prefer to transition from a slower dance, such as the slip jig, to a quicker dance, such as the reel. The Reel's speed shift gives the song a boost. It's also common to play many tracks from the same dance genre at the same time.
History of Irish Dance Music
Taking part in a 'trad sesh,' or a session of traditional Irish music at a local bar, is a must-do experience for every tourist, particularly in rural Ireland or anyplace along the west coast.
This comprises a small group of musicians that perform classic folk songs on traditional instruments, ranging from slow, sorrowful singing to the frenetic and fast-paced music that most people associate with the term "Irish."
It's essentially a modernised version of the peasants huddled around the hearth, listening to the local performers. However, there's still just as much fun and frolic as before; in fact, it could be even rowdier now than before.
2,000 years ago, the Celts brought traditional Irish music to the country. The Celts were inspired by Eastern music and the traditional Irish harp is thought to have originated in Egypt.
They hired harpists to perform for chieftains and compose music for aristocrats in ancient times, and the harp was the most popular instrument. Until the Flight of the Earls in 1607, when invaders forced native Irish chieftains to flee the country. They left the harpists to tour the country once their clients left for mainland Europe.
The island's earliest residents employed relatively rudimentary musical instruments, notably pipes and horns. Instead of being employed to create melodies or as art, they were most likely utilised as signallers, warning others of danger or summoning people from a certain place for whatever reason. As these people's skills improved, the instruments got more sophisticated and durable, albeit whether or not they were more tuneful is a matter of debate.
Wicklow has a collection of six hand-carved cylindrical wooden pipes dating from circa 2000 BC, among other instruments. They are supposed to mirror similar devices found in Scandinavia during the same time period and are made of yew wood and resemble a bigger pair of pan pipes.
Traditional Musical Instruments
The bodhrán is a famous Irish drum that is said to predate Christianity. It is one of a tiny family of Celtic instruments that predates Christianity.
We are all aware of Ireland's deep-rooted and rich musical legacy. But how much do we actually know about this unique Irish instrument?
Although it has been there for thousands of years, the bodhran drum appeared firstly in art in the early nineteenth century, and the first recordings appeared on the music scene in the 1960s.
In most traditional Irish music, the fiddle is currently the principal instrument. The only difference between a fiddle and a violin, despite their names, is the style of music that each instrument plays. A classically educated violinist will almost certainly not perform folk music, and a folk musician will almost certainly not play classical music!
The fiddle is the most widely played instrument in traditional Irish music, although the harp is Ireland's national emblem. Its decorative melodies are more relaxed than those of the classical violin, and it encourages improvisation. From its beginnings as a low-class instrument beloved among the impoverished, the fiddle has endured generational changes.
The concertina, albeit not exactly Irish (they invented it in both England and Germany, not Ireland), is now a common feature of traditional Irish music. The accordion is a little hexagonal accordion with a keyboard on both ends, but no bass.
Because of its rich, multi-tonal tone, it became popular in Irish music at the turn of the twentieth century, and it was especially popular in County Clare, where female musicians were reported to be proficient at playing it.
The Irish harp, which has been known in its current form since the 11th century, was part of a world of brightly coloured mediaeval instruments that persisted practically intact in Ireland until the end of the 17th century. There are many various varieties of harps, each with its own size, form, sound, and other characteristics. They all feature many strings, a neck, and a resonator, however. A harp can be played while being held in one's hand or while standing on top of a table or on the floor, depending on its size. It's always vertically played and has a lovely, fairytale-like tone.
Structure of Irish Dance Music
Irish music has a straightforward framework. Most melodies used to comprise two x 8-bar sections called Parts, which were repeated. These 8-bar sections can be subdivided further into two x 4-bar sub phrases, which are extremely identical. As a result, a common form is AABB which is commonly repeated. It is now usual for songs to include three or even four parts. Though not always, repetition is still employed.
The same melodic line runs across all Irish dancing melodies. The melody is the same whether one artist or a group plays a tune. Most songs have an eight-measure A portion and an eight-measure B section. The B section's melodic range is around the same as the A's section's.
Tune inner symmetry is, besides the regularity of form. They may also separate most strains into two or four equal phrases, with themes frequently repeated between them. They build the dance song history on this inherent predictability of structure, which musicians enrich and develop their own variants on.
The earliest Céil bands were most likely formed in reaction to the development of the céil dance by the Gaelic League in the early twentieth century. A piano, snare drum, and accordion made up a Céil band. Fiddles, flutes, banjos, and even saxophones can now be found in Céil Bands, as venues have become larger.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Céil Band was frequently the only sort of traditional music broadcast on radio. Some bands are notable for the high quality of their music. The Kilfenora Céil band is an example of a vibrant band today, with all of its members being top-notch traditional musicians. There is also a trend for 'listening' Céili Bands, with an emphasis on improvisation.
Types of Irish Dance Songs
Sean Nós is a type of Irish song that is particularly well known. In the Irish language, a single person usually sings Sean Nós songs solo. Both the words and the music have been passed down orally from generation to generation.
They sang songs in a free rhythm, varying in pace and pitch depending on the lyrics and their emotion. Songs about death, starvation, and persecution are written in this manner, which has a nasal tone and a slow, melodic style. They aren't exactly the life of the party!
The reel is the most popular type of Irish dancing melody, and it is thought to have originated in Scotland in the 18th century. With 4/4 or 2/2 time, they are at a fairly rapid pace. Jigs have a quicker tempo, with 6/8 or 12/8 time, and ladies dance some variants.
Hornpipes are slower than jigs and reels, and they've played to give players a break from the more strenuous tunes! They start with an energetic rhythm and then progress to a dotted triplet rhythm. The dance that goes along with hornpipe melodies is rather complicated. Because we initially developed this style of music, solely as a showpiece, dancers use hard shoes.
Join Irish Dance classes to groove to Irish Music
In Dublin, you may look for cost-effective Irish dancing instruction. You can enrol in a school such as the World Irish Dance Association to study Irish Dance.
In Irish dancing, the legs and feet move swiftly while the body and arms are static to the beautiful music. This upper-body stillness is difficult to understand at first, but it is critical to the technique of this dancing style. You may learn Irish dancing in both online and offline programmes, and you can narrow down your search by typing "Irish Dance lessons near me" to find local Irish Dance classes in Dublin.
Go and Wear Irish Dance dresses and learn some facts.
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