The Chieftains, formed by Seán O’Riada’s Ceólteórí Chulann, have brought their brand of Irish music all around the world for many years, often mixing with the music of other countries, such as China and Nashville, Tennessee.
They merged with styles such as pop and American bluegrass. They have recorded many CDs and have collaborated with artists from world music, and pop and rock world, such as Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, and Van Morrisson.
The leader of the group is uilleann Piper and whistler, Paddy Moloney. Matt Molloy is their flute player. They usually have 2 fiddle players, Martin Fay and Seán Keane, and until his death several years ago Derek Bell played harp and piano.
They remained true to the innovative ensemble style of O' Riada’s Ceoltoiri Cualann.
An example of a piece of music by the chieftains is the jig ‘Lots of Drops of Brandy’, featuring uileann pipes, harp, piano, fiddle, bodhran and flute.
Song: I Know My Love by The Chieftains feat. The Corrs.
A Planxty was a tune composed in honour of a patron. It was called after the patron himself. e.g “Planxty Maguire”, “Planxty O’ Neill”.
Types of songs:
Characteristics of Irish Music
Edward Bunting and Patrick Lynch: Music Collectors.
Corkman Francis O’Neill who became chief of police in Chicago after he emigrated there collected tunes from other Irish immigrants. He published “The Music Of Ireland” in 1903 which has 1850 tunes including jigs, reels, hornpipes, marches, airs and O’Carolan tunes. He also published “The Dance Music Of Ireland” in 1907 which contains 1001 dance tunes and is refered to as“The Book”. These were the first collections that were aimed towards Irish musicians and were the first great collections of the 20th century. A flute player himself, he is said to have used his position to provide jobs for any needy Irish musicians that he encountered.
In the mid-twentieth century Breandán Breathnach, starting, like O'Neill, by collecting material for his personal use, went on to compile the largest ever collection of dance music. Five volumes of selections from this material have been published, as Ceol Rince na hÉireann I - V, Séamus Ennis under the auspices of the Irish Folklore Commission in the 1940s. Working in Gaeltacht areas and collecting only Irish-language material, he assembled a wonderful collection of some 2,000 songs.
In 1994, RTE released a CD cof field recordings by some of the great Sean Nós singers called Amhrán ar an Sean Nós. These include songs from Nioclás Tóibín from Ring, Co. Waterford, and the famous Seán Mac Donncha, Seosamh Ó hÉanaí from Connemara.
Solo Free rhythm
Unaccompanied No dynamics
In irish Glottal stop
Ornamentation Modal tonality
Melismas Nasal tone
Glissando/sliding Regional Differences
Examples: Úna Bhán
An Droimeann Donn Dílis
Caoine na dTír Mhuire
Donegal Connemara Munster
Scottish influence Narrow range Wider range
Regular rhythm Nasal tone Vibrato, pronounced nasal quality
Least Ornamentation Lots of ornamentation, Rhythmic variation very melismatic
Singers: Lillis Ó Laoire, Singers: Róisín Elsafty, Singers: Iarla O’Lionair,
Salí Gallagher Seosamh Ó hÉanaí Séamus Begley
Traditional Instruments Non traditional instruments
Tin whistle Piano/keyboard
Uilleann pipes Synthesiser
Melodeon/button accordion Drums
Piano accordion Orchestral instruments
Harmonica Ethnic instruments