The Traditional Music of Ireland

By Rachel Swanson

Originally, Irish music had an oral tradition, learned by hearing and passed from one artist to another. What today is referred to as Irish music came to Ireland with the Celts 2,000 years ago. The Celts were influenced by music from the East and, it is believed that the traditional Irish harp originated in Egypt.

The popularity of Irish culture began to grow again in the late 1800s, around the same time that people started calling for independence. This was partly due to the founding of the Gaelic League in 1893. The aim of this was to help the rediscovery and affirmation of Irish traditional arts by concentrating on the Irish language, but it also created an annual competition, the Feis Cheoil in 1903 as a central focus for its events. The renowned event is still held today...

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