Irish Country Music


Irish Country Music

Throughout history, music has been associated with Ireland. Its people have made a huge impact on the world of music over the decades and genres from Country, Traditional, Soul, Celtic Rock and Pop have been hugely influenced by Irish artists.

Ireland's musical history dates back over 2,000 years. Indeed St Columcille (521-597 AD) one of the twelve apostles of Ireland described the clerics of Ireland as having the ability to "sing like birds". Irish saints are well known by hymnologists for writing some of the earliest known hymns.

Unlike most other European countries who have lost their native country music, the country music of Ireland has become increasing popular.

English: Music
Gaelic: Ceol

Irish Music

Irish Country Music - Country and Irish
A new genre of music is known as 'Country and Irish' and was produced by fusing together American Country Music with Irish Traditional Music. Many Irish emigrated to America and England and brought with them a great love for music. Many of the emigrants were naturally talented and were influenced by the already popular and established American country music songs and artists. Artists such as Big Tom and the Mainliners were very successful 'Country and Irish' performers having previously been successful in showbands.

Irish Country Music - Accordion
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 Irish country music and is available in different forms. The two row button accordion as shown in the picture below is popular with traditional Irish country 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


Irish Traditional Music - Accordion

Traditional Irish Music - Image of a Traditional Irish Accordion


Sheet Music Downloads plus Audio Files at Virtual Sheet Music

Irish Country Music - Tin Whistle
The tin whistle or metal whistle as shown in the image below is very popular in Irish country music and the whistles are made from a variety of materials including brass, steel and aluminium. Most Irish school children are taught to play the tin whistle, for most it is their first experience of playing a musical instrument.

Irish Country Music - Picture of a Tin Whistle

Irish Country Music - Picture of an Irish Tin Whistle


Irish Cuntry Music - Fiddle
The fiddle is a vital component of Irish country 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.

Irish Country Music - Irish Fiddle

Irish Country Music - Picture of an Irish Fiddle (Gaelic: Fidil)

Irish Country Music History - Irish Diaspora
What is diaspora? Diaspora is defined as 'the movement or settlement of people away from their ancestral homeland'. The Irish Diaspora are descendants of the native Irish immigrants forced to move away from their native country for a variety of reasons including conflict and more recently in the 19th century due to the great Famine, known in Gaelic as 'An Gorta Mor'. The Irish diaspora spread all over the world and it is estimated that globally there are more than 80 million Irish Diaspora! Some are second or third generation Irish whilst others are fifth and sixth generation Irish! The Irish Diaspora have kept their culture, heritage and traditions alive through traditional music. St Patrick's day is a celebration of Irish culture and traditional Irish music forms a huge part of this now globally celebrated event.

List of Popular Irish Country Music Singers

Irish country music is famous all over the world and Irish country singers are like 'gods' in their native counties. Daniel O'Donnell from Kincasslagh in Country Donegal even has his own museum in the local town of Dungloe, County Donegal. Fans arrive everyday from England and America hoping to catch a glimpse of one of Donegal's most famous sons. The following list of country music singers is from this popular music genre:

  • Big Tom

  • Larry Cunningham

  • Mike Denver

  • Joe Dolan

  • Sean Dunphy

  • Mick Flavin

  • James Kilbane

  • Johnny Loughrey

  • Margo

  • Frankie McBride

  • Philomena Begley

  • Seamus Moore

  • Daniel O'Donnell

Irish Country Music - Facts

  • Country and Irish developed as sub-genre to Irish folk music and its most successful performer is Daniel O'Donnell who achieved success in England, America and Australia

  • Bridie Gallagher is commonly known as 'Ireland's 1st International Pop Star'. She made Irish Folk music popular in 1956

  • Clannad, Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison and Enya are responsible for making Irish folk songs popular in the late 20th century by creating a fusion between traditional Irish music and rock music

  • 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

  • Slip jigs (performed in 9/8 time) are sometimes referred to as the 'Ballet of Irish Dance' as it is danced in soft shoes and dancers are mainly on their toes like they are in ballet

  • Single jigs are the least commonly performed jig and are usually in 6/8 but occasionally in 12/8 time

  • 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

  • Margo was given the unofficial title of 'Queen of Country and Irish'

  • To date, Daniel O'Donnell has been the most successful artist in this genre

  • Daniel O'Donnell and Margo are both successful artists in the Irish Country Music genre, they are in fact brother and sister!

Irish Country Music

Irish Country Music

  • What is Irish Country Music?

  • List of Popular Irish Country Music

  • Irish Country Music - Instruments

  • Country & Irish Music Genre

  • Facts about Irish Country Music

Irish Country Music


Irish Country Music - Pictures and Videos
Discover the vast selection of pictures relating to Irish Country Music and illustrating how beautiful the instruments are. Irish Country Music is famous worldwide and the publicity received from the hit stage productions have brought this traditional past time completely up to date for the 21st century! Learn about the history of Irish Country Music and learn about the different types of instruments played. The pictures show the different musical instruments that are associated with this amazing country. A great resource for all ages. Useful as an Irish history resource for kids and children of all ages as well as those wanting to learn more about the amazing music that originated in the emerald Isle. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic within the Irish Country Music section. The videos enable fast access to the images and pictures together with information and many musical facts as well as the all important lyrics. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the about Ireland Index - a great free resource for everyone!


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