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There was music in ancient Ireland, that is known. The instruments are named in the old tales... the cruit (harp) the timpán (a type of bowed psaltry) and the cuisle cheoil (mouth blown pipe made from reeds). The harp was considered the noblest of these, and the status of the harper was noted in the writings of visitor and conqueror alike. It was mainly used to accompany
poetry and song. As for the music itself, it is largely a matter of conjecture.No written music in Ireland exists prior to the 16th century, and there is precious little until the late 17th and early 18th century when dramatic changes took place. The 17th century saw the decline of the Irish Gaelic order , which forced the harp fromits lofty position. Harpers now had to take to the road, offering lessons and entertainment to those with enough means to support them. Continental music was popular in urban settings like Dublin and the aristocracy who once had musicians living in their households now wanted to play instruments for themselves. Violins, flutes, harpsichords and then fortepianos were all symbols of status and wealth in the manor houses and drawings rooms of those with money and position and by the end of the 18th century the harp was little more than a symbol as opposed to a living musical tradition. The great Festival held in the Bank Exchange building in Belfast recorded the last gasps of a dying age and when Edward Bunting was hired to record the event he essentially save what information we have about the harpers and their techniques. Gentlemen began to play the union pipes, flutes and fiddles to accompany a dance music that was more influenced by foreign styles while retaining elements of "Irishness". The popularity of dancing among all classes was noted by travellers throughout these times and from the early 18th century onward books of popular dance music was published throughout Ireland and the British Isles. Many of those tunes are still played by traditional musicians today, note for note, keeping alive a legacy that has lasted for more than three centuries.
1.) Calleno Casturame / Burns March 2.) McRedy's Hornpipe - The Island Of Love 3.) King Of The Blind 4.) Mabel Kelly 5.) Radaire Min-Chosach (The Surefooted Rambler) 6.) A Peep Behind The Curtain / The Wild Irishman 7.) Carolan's Ramble To Cashel 8.) Michael Connor 9.) Humours Of The Phoenix Park 10.) King Of The Fairies 11.) Eileen A Ruin / The Three Fiddlers 12.) Si Bheag Si Mhor 13.) Sean Bui 14.) Ban-Chnuic Eireann Oighe 15.) Piobaire na Greasnai / Sruth Na Gcait 16.) Trip To Gory / Light And Airy 17.) Slane 18.) Na Geandna Fiadaine (The Wild Geese) 19.) Slainte Ri Philib 20.) Hills Of Ireland / The Irish Pelt / Terry High O The Grinder