Island FogIrish Music

This section is about traditional Irish music. Below are some tunes in MIDI and gif format. It's the dance music that has been handed down aurally for four hundred years or more.

Traditional Irish music has fared rather better than the Irish language in surviving the English. Not only is it still played as a matter of daily life, it is still evolving and being written. I suppose traditional, in this case, refers to style and not age. This music is meant to be sung and meant to be danced. It is the dance music that carries the bulk of the tradition.

Fiddle and Accordian at Leeds, NYThe music has several types based on time signature and rhythm. The major ones are Reels (4/4), Jigs (6/8), Hornpipes (2/4), Polkas (also called single reels, 2/4) and Slides (also called single jigs, 6/8). There are other types, not as common (though not necessarily less popular) such as Slip Jigs (9/8), Airs (songs), Waltzes (3/4), Set Dances (4/4), Planxtys and Mazurkas. So far as I've heard, the oldest forms tend to be the air and jig. The reel is a relative late comer, deriving from the French Quadrille.

Irish Music Midi

You may wish to see the picture only or the sound only list. For more about the technology used to web-enable music, try my list of ABC and MIDI resources. You may also download the abc files for the following music.