Music is an integral part of art and culture in Ireland. Irish folk music has created its identity with the help of centuries of old traditional Irish instruments. In fact, Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as its national symbol, which is the “Harp.”
The harp is one of the oldest Irish instrument and there are several stories revolving around this tool in Irish mythology. The harp is an ancient instrument associated with Celtic music and there are two kinds of harps: Pedal Harps & Non-Pedal Harp. However, the traditional Celtic harp was wire-strung and had no pedals.
Bodhran is another common traditional Irish wooden percussion instrument. It is a large framed drum ranging from 25-65 cm in diameter and is usually covered with stretched goat skin.
Percussion instruments have a distinct role to play in the composition of Irish folk music. Irish folks also use bones and spoons as percussion instruments to produce a distinct sound. Another main element of Irish traditional music is the instrument known as the Fiddle. It looks like a violin but its playing style and sound is completely different to that of the violin. It is the soul of the Irish folk music and has been a part of folk music since the 17th century. The flute as well has been part of the Irish music for thousands of years. Made of wood, it produces sweet and mellow sound, which make the folk music sound rich and melodious. The internationally famous song called “Danny Boy” is often played using the Irish flute.
Tin whistle and Uilleann pipes are golden ornaments to Irish music. While the Tin whistle is a prestigious instrument for the Irish musical landscape, the Uilleann Pipes are the most charming looking ones. They are also quite difficult to play and master.