Essay on Family and Community Ties to Irish Music

Essay on Family and Community Ties to Irish Music

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It Takes a Village: Family and Community Ties To Irish Music
“There was music before me and after me.” These powerful words open the book The Living Note: The Heartbeat of Irish Music, and encompass the “living” nature of musical traditions in Ireland. As I come to a close on my semester in this module I have latched on to the important and reoccurring role of “Family” in the Irish culture, and specifically the arts. Each week I found myself engaging with the word family whether it be from films such as Se Mo Laoch-Joe Derrane or Dara Bán Mac Donnchada, in class with our teachers like Pádraic Keane and Colm Gannon, or during the arts in action concerts of the Ó hIarnáin brothers and others. The common thread was always this notion of family. The more I engaged with these different sources of information, the more I began to understand the vital role this simple six letter word has played throughout a history of music. It is not only unique to the individual, it is always transforming. I challenged myself to explore the connection between music, the Irish culture, and familial ties. Alongside these connections I want examine the impact it can have on the individual and the community through an alternative definition of family.
Pádraic Keane, one of the professionals brought in to teach the tin whistle section of our module was one of the first musicians I heard speak on the notion of family. Coming from a linage of musicians he grew up surrounded by music. Specifically his father, Tommy Keane, was is also a renowned musician. He spoke to us about his natural tendencies and this sense of being drawn to the music. Many artists are connected to their work through their passion; however with Pádraic you could see a deeper connectio...

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... importantly Ireland. I am humbled to have had this experience that I will forever hold close to my heart from my semester abroad, and cannot wait to see where this new knowledge can be helpful in my future.


SéMo Laoch’ (‘You are my hero’) : Joe Derrane
Oileán Thoraí’-
Dara Bán Mac Donnchada-
Flanagan, William. Ireland now : tales of change from the global island / Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2007.
Woods, Peter. The living note : the heartbeat of Irish music /Dublin : O'Brien Press, 1996
Henigan, Julie. Sean-nos in Donegal: In search of a definition. 19996.
An Chead Mhairt de Fhomhair:

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