Celtic Music - Accordion Instrument
The Accordion was invented by Friedrich Buschmann in 1822 in Berlin, Germany and was called the Handäoline. Cyrill Demian (1772–1847) of Vienna created another version of the accordion with buttons in 1829. His patent of the name 'Accordion' was officially granted in May 1829 and many credit Cyril Demian with the invention of the accordion while others give credit to Friedrich Buschmann's invention. Today there are many variations of the accordion, some with buttons and others with keyboards, essentially they are all constructed in a similar manner, two boxes separated by a bellows.
It is a very popular instrument in modern Celtic folk and traditional music and is available in different forms. The two row button accordion is popular with traditional Celtic accordion players. There are several types of accordions available, for example the Melodeon and Concertina versions are also popular in Irish traditional music as well as the piano accordion which is often played by marching bands popular all across Ireland. Traditionally the accordion was popular with the lower classes as opposed to the harp which was played more by the upper classes. The accordion comprises three components, these are:
The Bellows. These are squeezed which in turn pushes air through to the reeds
The Keys or Buttons. These are pressed producing the notes
The Reeds. The reeds vibrate inside the body of the accordion and make the sound
Celtic Music - Bodhrán
The Bodhrán is a traditional Celtic musical instrument and consists of a frame drum covered in either synthetic material or goatskin. The inside of the drum is open and the player holds the drum by grasping the cross bars on the inside of the drum as shown as shown in the picture below. The drum is hit with a small wooden bone which is also known as a tipper, beater or cipín. Occasionally the Bodhrán is played by hand.
Celtic Music - Fiddle
The fiddle is a vital component of Celtic traditional music and it is played in a variety of styles depending on the region of Ireland where the fiddle is played. The regions of Ireland with particular fiddling traditions are Sligo, Donegal, Clare and Sliabh Luachra which is a small area between the counties of Kerry and Cork.
Celtic Music - Facts
Enya is the most successful Celtic Music female singer in Ireland. Her full name is Enya Brennan (Gaelic: Eithne Ní Bhraonái) and she was born in County Donegal in 1961. She is best know for the iconic song called 'Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)'
U2 released their iconic 'The Unforgettable Fire' album in 1984
Henry VIII of England was believed to be a great lover of Celtic harp music and when he took control of Ireland he had a harp embossed on the currency
The word 'Jig' comes from the French word 'giguer' which means to jump
A light jig is the fastest of all the jigs, danced in ghillies (soft shoes). It is performed in 6/8 time
The Piano Accordion became popular in Ireland in the 1950's and is commonly played in marching bands which are still very popular today
The reel is the most popular Irish dance followed in second place by the jig
The jig was developed in Ireland in the 17th Century
Treble Jigs are performed in hard or heavy shoes and are famous for the stomps and clicks made by the hard shoes
Celtic Rock is a genre created through a fusion between Irish traditional music and rock