Written for both general reader and enthusiast, A Short History of Irish Traditional Music follows a chronological journey of Irish traditional music, popular performers, colourful characters, and major events across the centuries. Based on the author’s previous A Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music (Dublin, O’Brien Press, 1998, 2003, 2008), this updated version features transcriptions, photos, index, discography and notes on session etiquette.
The women of Ireland have a significant, yet under-represented legacy. Irish women made critical contributions as musicians, soldiers, journalists, educators, union activists and medics in the early formation of our nation.
However, most were airbrushed out of public and political life during the first fifty years of Irish independence. It was a priority to me that their stories be reflected into our written history.
Its important to salute the unprecedented modern scholarship in Irish traditional music by women scholars and the equally crucial contributions of broadcasters lifting our cultural heritage to distant shores.
Exploring an abundant spectrum of historical sources, music and folklore, this guide uncovers the contribution of the Normans to Irish dancing, the role of the music maker in Penal Ireland, as well as the popularity of dance tunes and set dancing from the end of the 18th century. It also follows the music of the Irish diaspora from as far apart as Newfoundland and the music halls of vaudeville to the musical tapestry of Irish America today.
“From music in early and medieval Ireland to the response to successive waves of invasion, through the music of pre-Famine Ireland to its development far beyond its original shores, there is no better guide to its beauty, spirit and reach.
Ó hAllmhuráin’s book is accessible to the general reader -animated at all times by a comprehensive knowledge of his subject.” –Cahir O’Doherty, Arts Editor, IrishCentral.com, The Irish Voice & Irish America magazine (6 Sept 2017)
‘Fascinating account of the origins and development of Irish music and dance … Does a masterful job of placing the story of Irish music, song and dance in the context of Irish society as a whole.’ Irish Music Magazine
‘Packed with information about tunes, music organisations and publishers. A single page devoted to “session etiquette” is a triumph.’ Ireland of the Welcomes
‘An excellent overview of Irish music covering early and medieval Ireland up to the Riverdance phenomenon … Numerous profiles of influential musical personalities through the centuries.’ The Herald
‘A fascinating journey to the heart of traditional music.’ Ulster Herald
‘Accessible, comprehensive, entertaining.’ The Irish Post