What types of instruments are used in celtic music?

Elvera Howe asked a question: What types of instruments are used in celtic music?
Asked By: Elvera Howe
Date created: Wed, May 12, 2021 8:55 AM
Date updated: Tue, Nov 29, 2022 7:47 PM


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The most common instruments used in Irish traditional dance music, whose history goes back several hundred years, are the fiddle, tin whistle, flute and Uilleann pipes. Instruments such as button accordion and concertina made their appearances in Irish traditional music late in the 19th century.


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The Celtic Harp is also the symbol of Ireland. It’s an ancient musical instrument, used by musicians for thousands of years to entertain, enhance their stories, and enliven gatherings. The stringing used to be gut-strung, but is now wire strung (bell-like tones) or nylon strung (soft tones).

A guide to the instruments used in celtic music, with dozens of links to other resources The instruments of celtic music From the thump of the Bodhrán to the airy rasp of the wooden flute, celtic music is known by its instruments. Here's an introduction to the main players, with links to more information, for players and afficionados.

Probably the most well-known of Celtic instruments, the fiddle provides haunting, soulful sounds, or rollicking, danceable tunes. It’s a very familiar sound. A fiddle is strung with steel, while a violin is usually strung with gut or nylon. The musical instrument itself is the same.

The Irish bouzouki is, in fact, a Celtic adaptation of a Greek instrument of a similar build. This instrument, often featured in Irish music groups, was first seen in the 1960s. Dublin-based musician Johnny Moynihan of the folk group Sweeney’s Men is credited as having introduced the instrument onto the Irish music scene.

Celtic music is a broad grouping of music genres that evolved out of the folk music traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe. [1] [2] It refers to both orally-transmitted traditional music and recorded music and the styles vary considerably to include everything from "trad" (traditional) music to a wide range of hybrids .

This lesson answer the question of what is Celtic music, including what is a Celt, what cultural groups are considered Celtic, what makes the music special, and what instruments are used. A Sweet ...

Accordion: The two-row diatonic button accordion, usually tuned C#/D or B/C, is a very common melodic instrument in contemporary traditional Irish music, and has been since the 1940s (before that, the 10-key melodeon, similar to the squeezebox used in traditional Cajun music, reigned supreme for around 50 years, and before that, the accordion hadn't been invented yet).

The popularity of the fiddle in Celtic music remains to this day and has seen a resurgence in the mainstream. Other instruments that were used to play in Scottish traditions included the Clarsach. The Clarsach is a harp and one of the oldest musical instruments that one can find.

In his accounts of the battle of Telemon, Polybius clearly distinguishes between horn- and trumpet-like instruments played by the Gallic warriors. In general the Celtic peoples had a variety of instruments at their disposal. Aside from the carnyx, at least two other brass instrument types are known from Roman and Greek depictions.

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How are grace notes used in celtic music?
  • Fast hammer-ons and pull-offs can be used, much as fiddlers use them, to get the sharp mordants, grace notes and rolls that appear in Celtic music. For example, the guitar would play a grace note as shown in the first measure below, and a fiddler’s roll can be executed as shown in the second measure:
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