Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 2nd Edition

Companion to Irish Traditional Music cover

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

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
  • The Companion is now represented in a concert – Companach – which is touring in Ireland, Europe and the US in 2015-16.

    See the specialised website for this event.

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.