Irish Traditional Musical Instruments
Fiddle - Fidil
Fiddle may be referred to as a violin. With a long history in both traditional and classical western music. A fiddle is what most people think about when talking about Irish traditional music.
Tin Whistle - Feadóg
Although the name may suggest the whistles are made of Tin, they are more commonly made of Nickel or Brass with a plastic top.
Piano Accordion - Cairdín Pianó
There are two types of accordion, one being with a keyboard (Cairdín Pianó). The melody is played on the righthand side of the accordion. The buttons on the left hand side are used to play the bass notes. The accordion can also be called a box or a squeeze box.
Button Accordion - Bosch Ceoil
The other type of accordion is called a button accordion. There is usually two rows if there is only one row it is called Melodeon.
The bodhran is a percussion instrument which does not play any melody. A dried animal skin (usually goat) is stretched
over a wooden frame and held in place either with tape or pins.
The voice being the most accessible instrument with you being able to sing anywhere. Traditions like lilting came along to replace instruments when they weren't available.
Flute - Feadóg Mhór
The Flute is traditionally made from wood (Blackwood, caucus or ebony wood). There
are 56 finger holes on the flute - similar to the Tin-Whistle.
Irish Harp - Cruit
The Irish harp is seen on many Irish organisations with it being the national musical instrument of Ireland.
Concertina - Consairtín
The concertina is a similar instrument to the button accordion. It is very small and usally hexangonal shaped. Concertinas were first made in England and were patented in London in 1829 by Sir Charles Wheatstone.
Mouth Organ - Orgán Béil
The mouth organ can be found all around the world and is known by many different names and seen in many different traditions. The most notable variations include the harmonica,
Banjo - Bainseó
The banjo is a four stringed instrument and it was brought over to Ireland by returning emigrants from the United States.
Mandolin - Maindilín
The mandolin is a stringed instrument from the lute family that is generally plucked with a pick. The flat bake mandolin is traditionally used in Irish folk music.
Piano - Pianó
With it being used in so many genres of music, piano has been adopted into Irish music and mainly seen as accompaniment to other instruments.
Uilleann Pipes - Píb Uilleann
With highland bagpipes requiring the musician to blow into the bellows. The uilleann pipes are specififc to the celtic culture. Uillean (ill-in) is the Irish word for elbow. The bellows are pumped with the elbow to inflate the bag.