Shanore News

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Celtic Musical Instruments

No other music is quite as enchanting of that of the Celtic musical styles. It’s tone is haunting, yet eerily poetic. Many movies have incorporated the musical styles of the Irish culture with some notable films being “Titanic” and “Far and Away” which were both set in Ireland at some juncture.

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The harp is used in traditional Celtic music and it is also one of  the symbols for Ireland. When one pictures harps we usually see the large harps played in orchestras at the symphony, however, in Irish culture, it is more common to utilize smaller to medium sized harps for their music. These harps are known as lever or folk harps. Many of these harps fit on the player’s lap and are easily transported. The levers are used to shorten the strings and to change the tones versus the other methods used which is commonly a pedal in larger harps. Today many harps are featured in events such as weddings, rehearsals, dinner parties and more formal occasions . The style of this musical instrument lends itself to a more refined taste. However, the beauty of the Irish harp is that because it is smaller and more portable it can be used in a more traditional sense and is more adaptable for any and all kinds of musical venues.

A fiddle is a classic seen in Celtic music. It is very similar to a violin and accompanies many popular songs .Fiddle players can play either solitary or in groups. It is not uncommon for a song to feature a very beautiful fiddle solo in a very downbeat tempo or in a vice versa scenario for a very upbeat song to feature several fiddles playing at the same time in a very fast beat. Fiddle players can be seen in almost any occasion. Their versatility suits them well. Musical festivals feature bands and solo artists who are fiddle players as well as even more upscale events could find the use of a fiddle player. Oftentimes today, many fiddle players find their music finds a need to accompany dance troupes in some way shape or form.

Finally, the banjo is a very distinctive instrument in Irish music. The Irish banjo features only four strings and is a bit heavier than other banjos. The banjo is one instrument that is less noticeable than that of the fiddle and the harp, but however none the less is still quite important. It is frequently used for backup music and for melody which makes the mastery of it’s instrumentation even more key by the musician.

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