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Traditional Music in County Clare by Niall Keegan


1. A session is the most popular musical event for traditional musicians who gather in a public house, for recreational and / or financial reasons, and play mostly dance music but maybe not for an audience who specifically come not to listen or dance to the music!

2. Micheál Ó Suilleabháin and Therése Smith, Selected proceedings from BLAS the local accent conference (Dublin and Limerick, 1996) p. 67.

3. Francis O’Neill, Dance music of Ireland (1000 gems), (Chicago, 1907); Francis Roche, The Roche collection of Irish traditional music (Cork, 1927).

4. Francis O’Neill, Irish minstrels and musicians (Chicago, 1913).

5. Seán Ó Riada, Our musical heritage, RTE.

6. Charles Seeger, Studies in musicology 1935-75 (California 1977).

7. Tom Munnelly, The Mount Callan garland – songs from the repertoire of Tom Lenihan of Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, County Clare (Dublin 1994).

8. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, The concertina in the traditional music of County Clare, unpublished PhD thesis, Queen’s University Belfast (1990), p. 11.

9. Brendan Taaffe, Aeroplanes out of scrapheaps: Patrick Kelly from Cree, unpublished MA thesis, University of Limerick (2005), p. 11.

10. Paddy Canny, P.J. Hayes, Bridie Lafferty & Peadar O’Loughlin: An historic recording of Irish traditional music from County Clare and east Galway (Shanachie, 2001).

11. Usually annual celebrations of local saints, separated from institutional religious practice since the reformation and sometimes incorporating some older religious practices, often focused on sites such as holy wells.

12. Muiris Ó Rocháin and Harry Hughes, ‘Junior Crehan remembers’ in Dal gCais, 3 (1977), p. 78.

13. Garry Shannon, ‘You can’t bate breeding’: the origins of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, unpublished MA thesis, University of Limerick (2000) p. 30.

14. The showbands were popular music bands who performed covers of pop, country and jazz music popular in 50s and 60s, mainly for dancers.

15. Set dancing, perceived in a modern context to be more traditional, are round dances descended from late eighteenth / early nineteenth century courtly quadrilles. The céilí dances are from the revivalist tradition promoted by the Gaelic league at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, partly and paradoxically in reaction to the perceived foreign nature of the set dances.

16. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, The concertina in the traditional music of County Clare, unpublished PhD thesis, Queen’s University Belfast (1990).

17. Kevin Crehan, Bobby Casey: virtuoso of west Clare (2000), [accessed Sept. 2007].

18. Micheál Ó Suilleabháin, ‘The creative process in traditional dance music’, in Irish Music Studies 1: Musicology (1990).

19. Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Live in Seattle, Green Linnet (1999).

20. There have historically been ties between the musicians of the two regions and also North Tipperary, particularly through mixed personnel in ensembles such as the Tulla and Aughrim Slopes Céilí Bands and the influence of individual musicians such as Joe Cooley, Paddy O’Brien and Jack Mulkere.

21. A shout used by musicians in a session to indicate that a change in tune is about to happen.