Companion to Irish Traditional Music – Second Edition

Companion to Irish Traditional Music cover

Companion to Irish Traditional Music – Hardback, 245 x 175mm, 880pp – ISBN: 978 1 85918 4509

Available also as an ebook on Amazon’s Kindle, readable on all phones and computers

A search-function smartphone app for use with the book will be released in late 2013.

Available post free world-wide, including Australia.

Compánach – A live music concertBased on the Companion, and explaining its content in superb music, song, dance and images, this is being performed in Paris and Leuven, Belgium in December, 2013. It is can be arranged in Ireland and other countries world wide in 2014-15

The book: this is the ultimate reference for all players, devotees and students of Irish Traditional Music. It is an indispensable reference guide to Ireland’s universally-recognised Traditional music, song and dance. This comprehensive resource – now revised and greatly expanded – is the largest single collection of such diverse, essential data. It brings together the knowledge of two hundred contributors in an easy-to-use A-Z format with entries on:

  • Song in Irish and English
  • Dance – Step Dance, Céilí and Sets
  • Solo and Group Playing
  • Céilí Bands and Professionalism
  • Storytelling
  • Instruments and Technology
  • Tune Types and Composition
  • Styles and Ornamentation
  • Organisations and Promotion
  • Education and Transmission
  • Collectors and Archives
  • History and Revival
  • Performers, Stylists, Commentators
  • Broadcasting and Recording
  • English, Scottish, Welsh music and song
  • Music in all Irish Counties, Europe & USA
  • Timeline – 1100 BC – 2011 AD
  • Irish Music Books 1724 – 2011

These topics are addressed in the book by a total of c. 1800 individual articles, all of which are listed on this website:

For a full list of all A-Z entries and word-counts see Entries

For a list of major topics to which these articles relate see  Topics

For a full list of referenced people and bands see Index

Cover painting:

This 1833 work is ‘Snap Apple Night’ by by Daniel Maclise, the earliest painting of indigenous Irish music in context, the earliest of a traditional-music ensemble and also of a tambourine in Ireland. Aspects of the picture are acknowledged as intentionally playful, making it possible that the depiction of fiddle, flute and pipes together may be fanciful – as may be the inclusion of a perfect, hand-struck tambourine, an instrument which was common in 18th-19th century art as an evocative symbol. Reproduction is courtesy Bonhams, London, The Bridgeman Art Library. For a full, measured web account of Daniel Maclise see  ‘Ask About Ireland’.  Print information on Daniel Maclise can be found in nancy Weston’s 2000 Four Courts Press book ‘Daniel Maclise  - An Irish artist in Victorian London’

Press and academic data from the COMPANION launch:

For text of the addresses at the book’s launch on November 24, 2011, see Companion Launch information and images

Editor – Fintan Vallely

Book sections

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Using the Volume
  • Contributors
  • The Companion to Irish Traditional Music – A- Z articles
  • Chronology: A Timeline of Irish Music in History
  • Published Material Relating to Traditional Music
  • Index of names referenced in the text

Cataloguing and Publication Data

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN-13: 978-1859184509

Typeset by Dominic Carroll, Co. Cork

Printed by MPG, UK

Website design by Nick Lethert, Moonhouse Web & CD Design

*All material on this website is copyright Fintan Vallely and Nick Lethert, and, with regard to book extracts, Cork University Press.