Celtic music
Overview
 
This article is about the modern folkloristic genre and its history. For the music and instruments of the ancient Celts until late Antiquity, see Ancient Celtic music
Ancient Celtic music
Deductions about the music of the ancient Celts of the La Tène period rely primarily on Greek and Roman sources, as well as on archaeological finds and interpretations including the reconstruction of the Celts' ancient instruments.Most of the textual information centers on military conflicts and...

.


Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

al traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

.
Encyclopedia
This article is about the modern folkloristic genre and its history. For the music and instruments of the ancient Celts until late Antiquity, see Ancient Celtic music
Ancient Celtic music
Deductions about the music of the ancient Celts of the La Tène period rely primarily on Greek and Roman sources, as well as on archaeological finds and interpretations including the reconstruction of the Celts' ancient instruments.Most of the textual information centers on military conflicts and...

.


Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

al traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. As such there is no real body of music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 which can be accurately described as Celtic, but the term has stuck and may refer to both orally-transmitted traditional music and recorded popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

. Celtic music saw a revival in the 1980s
1980s
File:1980s decade montage.png|thumb|400px|From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off in 1981; American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War; The Fall of the Berlin Wall in...

 with the emergence of the Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 group Clannad
Clannad
Clannad are an Irish musical group, from Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal. Their music has been variously described as bordering on folk and folk rock, Irish, Celtic and New Age, often incorporating elements of an even broader spectrum of smooth jazz and Gregorian chant...

, who became innovators in the genre by blending their heritage of harmony and melody with the design science of the hi-tech studio.

Celtic music means two things mainly. First, it is the music of the peoples calling themselves Celts (a non-musical, primarily political definition), as opposed to, say, "German music" or "English music." Secondly, it refers to whatever qualities may be unique to the musics of the Celtic Nations (a musical definition). Many (most notably Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

 and Paddy Moloney
Paddy Moloney
Paddy Moloney is one of the founders of the Irish musical group The Chieftains and has played on every one of their albums.He was born in Donnycarney in Dublin. His mother bought him a tin whistle when he was six and at the age of eight he started to learn the Uilleann pipes. He also plays button...

) claim that the different Celtic musics have much in common while some claim they do not.

Often, the term Celtic music is applied to the music of Ireland
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

 and Scotland
Music of Scotland
Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music...

 because both lands have produced well-known distinctive styles which actually have genuine commonality and clear mutual influences; however, it is notable that Irish and Scottish traditional musicians themselves avoid the term "Celtic music," except when forced by the necessities of the market. The definition is further complicated by the fact that Irish independence has allowed Ireland to promote 'Celtic' music as a specifically Irish product. In reality, the terms 'Scots/Scottish' and 'Irish' are purely modern geographical references to a people who share a common Celtic ancestry and consequently, a common musical heritage.

These styles are known because of the importance of Irish and Scottish people in the English speaking world, especially in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where they had a profound impact on American music
American music
The music of the Americas is very diverse since, in addition to many types of Native American music, the music of Africa and the music of Europe have been found there for some five centuries, creating many hybrid forms that have influenced the popular music of the world.-See also:*Canadian...

, particularly bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 and country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

. The music of Wales
Music of Wales
Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

, Cornwall
Music of Cornwall
Cornwall has been historically Celtic, though Celtic-derived musical traditions had been moribund for some time before being revived during a late 20th century roots revival.-History:...

, the Isle of Man
Music of the Isle of Man
The music of the Isle of Man reflects Celtic, Norse and other influences, including from its neighbours, Scotland, Ireland England and Wales. The Isle of Man is a small island nation in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland .A wide range of music is performed on the island, such as rock,...

, Brittany
Music of Brittany
Since the early 1970s, Brittany has experienced a tremendous revival of its folk music. Along with flourishing traditional forms such as the bombard-binou pair and fest-noz ensembles incorporating other additional instruments, it has also branched out into numerous sub-genres...

, Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias
Music of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias
The traditional music of Galicia and Asturias, located along Spain's north-west Atlantic coast, are highly distinctive folk styles that have some similarities with the neighbouring area of Cantabria...

 (Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

) and Portugal
Music of Portugal
Portugal is internationally known in the music scene for its traditions of fado, but the country has seen a recent expansion in musical styles, with modern acts from rock to hip hop becoming popular...

 are also considered Celtic music, the tradition being particularly strong in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, where Celtic festivals large and small take place throughout the year, and in Wales, where the ancient eisteddfod tradition has been revived and flourishes. Additionally, the musics of ethnically Celtic peoples abroad are vibrant, especially in Canada
Celtic music in Canada
Celtic music is primarily associated with the folk traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales, as well as the popular styles derived from folk culture...

 and the United States
Celtic music in the United States
Irish, Scottish music and Welsh Music have long been a major part of American music, at least as far back as the 18th century. Beginning in the 1960s, performers like the Clancy Brothers became stars in the Irish music scene, which dates back to at least the colonial era, when many Irish...

.

Divisions

In Celtic Music: A Complete Guide, June Skinner Sawyers acknowledges six Celtic nationalities
Celtic nations
The Celtic nations are territories in North-West Europe in which that area's own Celtic languages and some cultural traits have survived.The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common traditional identity and culture and are identified with a traditional...

 divided into two groups according to their linguistic heritage. The Q-Celtic nationalities are the Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 and Manx people
Manx people
The Manx are an ethnic group coming from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea in northern Europe. They are often described as a Celtic people, though they have had a mixed background including Norse and English influences....

s, while the P-Celtic groups are the Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

, Bretons
Breton people
The Bretons are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brythonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain in waves from the 3rd to 6th century into the Armorican peninsula, subsequently named Brittany after them.The...

 and Welsh people
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

s. Musician Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

 uses a similar dichotomy, between the Gaelic
Goidelic languages
The Goidelic languages or Gaelic languages are one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic languages, the other consisting of the Brythonic languages. Goidelic languages historically formed a dialect continuum stretching from the south of Ireland through the Isle of Man to the north of Scotland...

 (Irish/Scottish/Manx) and the Brythonic
Brythonic languages
The Brythonic or Brittonic languages form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic. The name Brythonic was derived by Welsh Celticist John Rhys from the Welsh word Brython, meaning an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo-Saxon or Gael...

 (Breton/Welsh/Cornish) branches, which differentiate "mostly by the extended range (sometimes more than two octaves) of Irish and Scottish melodies and the closed range of Breton and Welsh melodies (often reduced to a half-octave), and by the frequent use of the pure pentatonic scale
Pentatonic scale
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the major scale and minor scale...

 in Gaelic music."

Definition debate

At issue is the lack of many common threads uniting the "Celtic" peoples listed above. While the ancient Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

s undoubtedly had their own musical styles, the actual sound of their music remains a complete mystery.

There is also tremendous variation between "Celtic" regions. Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany have living traditions of language and music, and there has been a recent major revival of interest in Wales. However, Cornwall and the Isle of Man have only small-scale revivalist movements that have yet to take hold. Galicia has no Celtic language today (Galician is a Romance language descending from Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese or Old Portuguese was a West Iberian Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages, in the northwest area of the Iberian Peninsula. It was first spoken in the area bounded in the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Douro River in the south but it was later extended south...

, although all the Western part of the Peninsula had Celtic languages in pre-Roman times, as did much of Europe, but Galician music is often claimed to be "Celtic." The same is true of the music of Asturias, Cantabria, and that of Northern Portugal
Music of Portugal
Portugal is internationally known in the music scene for its traditions of fado, but the country has seen a recent expansion in musical styles, with modern acts from rock to hip hop becoming popular...

 (some say even traditional music from Central Portugal can be labeled Celtic). Thus traditionalists and musicological
Musicology
Musicology is the scholarly study of music. The word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture...

 scholars dispute that the "Celtic" lands have any folk connections to each other.

Critics of the idea of modern Celtic music claim that the idea is the creation of modern marketing
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 designed to stimulate regional identity in the creation of a consumer
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 niche
Niche market
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing; therefore the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact...

; June Skinner Sawyers, for example, notes that "Celtic music is a marketing term that I am using, for the purposes of this book, as a matter of convenience, knowing full well the cultural baggage
Cultural baggage
The term cultural baggage refers to the tendency for one's culture to pervade thinking, speech, and behavior without one being aware of this pervasion...

 that comes with it". The so-called "marketing" or "show-business" creation was popularized by the idealistic man who first (late 1960s) blended the music of all the Celtic countries with a modern touch in his recordings and concerts such as the 1971 album Renaissance of the Celtic Harp
Renaissance of the Celtic Harp
Renaissance de la Harpe Celtique or Renaissance of the Celtic Harp is a 1971 record album by the Breton master of the celtic harp Alan Stivell that revolutionised the connection between traditional folk music, modern rock music and world music....

: the Breton
Breton people
The Bretons are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brythonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain in waves from the 3rd to 6th century into the Armorican peninsula, subsequently named Brittany after them.The...

 Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

. Although this composer is one of the main modern promoters of this kind of music, he did not create the term.

Forms

Identifying "common characteristics" of Celtic music is problematic. Most of the popular musical forms now thought of as characteristically "Celtic" were once common in many places in Western Europe. There is debate over whether jigs were adapted from the Italian gigue, a common form of the baroque era, for example, while polka
Polka
The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

s have their origin in Czech and Polish tradition.

On the other hand, there are musical genres and styles specific to each Celtic country, due in part to the influence of individual song traditions and the characteristics of specific languages. Strathspeys
Strathspey (dance)
A strathspey is a type of dance tune in 4/4 time. It is similar to a hornpipe but slower and more stately, and contains many dot-cut 'snaps'. A so-called Scotch snap is a short note before a dotted note, which in traditional playing is generally exaggerated rhythmically for musical expression...

 are specific to Highland Scotland, for example, and it has been hypothesized that they mimic the rhythms of the Scottish Gaelic language.

The Celtic music scene involves a large number of music festival
Music festival
A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

s. Some of the most prominent include:
  • Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta de Ortigueira
    Ortigueira's Festival of Folk Music
    Ortigueira, a seaport and borough in County Ferrolterra in Galicia, celebrates its patron saint day -Saint Martha of Ortigueira's Day- on 29th July....

     (Ortigueira
    Ortigueira
    Ortigueira is a seaport and municipality in the Province of A Coruña, Galicia, Spain; it is located on the northern slope of the Serra da Faladoira, the river Mera and on the eastern shore of the Ria de Santa Marta—a winding, rock-bound and much indented inlet of the Bay of Biscay, between Capes...

    , Galicia) (Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    )
  • Festival Intercéltico de Avilés (Avilés
    Avilés
    Avilés is a city in Asturias, Spain. Avilés is with Oviedo and Gijón, one of the main towns in the Principality of Asturias.The town occupies the flattest land in the municipality, in a land that belonged to the sea, surrounded by small promontories, all of them having an altitude of less than...

    , Asturies
    Asturias
    The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

    , Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    )
  • Folixa na Primavera (Mieres, Asturies
    Asturias
    The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

    , Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    )
  • Yn Chruinnaght
    Yn Chruinnaght
    is a cultural festival in the Isle of Man which celebrates Manx music, Manx language and culture, and links with other Celtic cultures.-Origin and history:...

     (Isle of Man
    Isle of Man
    The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

    )
  • Celtic Colours
    Celtic Colours
    Since 1997, the ' has featured hundreds of musicians from all over the Celtic world and attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Cape Breton Island...

     (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia
    Cape Breton Regional Municipality often shortened to simply CBRM, is a regional municipality in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton County.According to the 2006 Census of Canada, the population within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is 102,250...

    )
  • Celtic Connections
    Celtic Connections
    The Celtic Connections festival started in 1994 in Glasgow, Scotland, and has since been held every January. Featuring over 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, the festival focuses on the roots of traditional Scottish music and also features international...

     (Glasgow
    Glasgow
    Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

    , Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    )
  • Festival Interceltique de Lorient
    Festival Interceltique de Lorient
    The Festival Interceltique de Lorient or Gouelioù Etrekeltiek An Oriant was founded in Lorient, Brittany in 1971 by Polig Montjarret...

     (Lorient
    Lorient
    Lorient, or L'Orient, is a commune and a seaport in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.-History:At the beginning of the 17th century, merchants who were trading with India had established warehouses in Port-Louis...

    , Brittany
    Brittany
    Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

    )
  • Fleadh ceol na hEireann
    Fleadh Cheoil
    The Fleadh Cheoil is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann or more commonly known as "Comhaltas" ....

     (Tullamore
    Tullamore
    Tullamore is a town in County Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland. It is Offaly's county town and the centre of the district.Tullamore is an important commercial and industrial centre in the region. Major international employers in the town include 'Tyco Healthcare' and 'Boston Scientific'. In...

    , Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    )
  • Festival Intercéltico de Sendim (Sendim, Portugal)
  • Hebridean Celtic Festival
    Hebridean Celtic Festival
    The Hebridean Celtic Festival is an international Celtic music festival, which takes place annually in Stornoway on Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The biggest headliners to date have been Runrig, The Waterboys, Proclaimers and Van Morrison...

     (Stornoway
    Stornoway
    Stornoway is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.The town's population is around 9,000, making it the largest settlement in the Western Isles and the third largest town in the Scottish Highlands after Inverness and Fort William...

    , Scotland)
  • Montelago Celtic Night (Colfiorito
    Colfiorito
    Colfiorito is a village in Umbria, central Italy, a frazione of the comune of Foligno.-Geography:It is located on a plateau at 760 m over the sea level, on the road from Foligno to Macerata, which houses a total of c...

    , Macerata
    Macerata
    Macerata is a city and comune in central Italy, the capital of the province of Macerata in the Marche region.The historical city center is located on a hill between the Chienti and Potenza rivers. It consisted of the Picenes city named Ricina, then, after the romanization, Recina and Helvia Recina...

    , Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    )
  • Triskell International Celtic Festival (Trieste
    Trieste
    Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

    , Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    )

Celtic fusion

The oldest musical tradition which fits under the label of Celtic fusion originated in the rural American south in the early colonial period and incorporated Scottish, Scots-Irish, Irish, English, and African influences. Variously referred to as roots music, American folk music, or old-time music, this tradition has exerted a strong influence on all forms of American music, including country, blues, and rock and roll. In addition to its lasting effects on other genres, it marked the first modern large-scale mixing of musical traditions from multiple ethnic and religious communities within the Celtic diaspora.

In the 1960s several bands put forward modern adaptations of Celtic music pulling influences from several of the Celtic nations at once to create a modern pan-celtic sound. A few of those include bagad
Bagad
A bagad is a Breton band, composed of bagpipes , bombards and drums . The pipe band tradition in Brittany was inspired by the Scottish example and has developed since the mid-20th century...

où (Breton pipe bands), Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

, Pentangle
Pentangle (band)
Pentangle are a British folk rock band with some folk jazz influences. The original band were active in the late 1960s and early 1970s and a later version has been active since the early 1980s...

, Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat"....

 and Horslips
Horslips
Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs based on traditional Irish jigs and reels. The group are regarded as 'founding fathers of Celtic rock' for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts....

.

In the 1970s Clannad
Clannad
Clannad are an Irish musical group, from Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal. Their music has been variously described as bordering on folk and folk rock, Irish, Celtic and New Age, often incorporating elements of an even broader spectrum of smooth jazz and Gregorian chant...

 made their mark initially in the folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 and traditional scene, and then subsequently went on to bridge the gap between traditional Celtic and pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 in the 1980s and 1990s, incorporating elements from New Age
New Age music
New Age music is music of various styles intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, and reading as a method of stress management or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is often...

, smooth jazz
Smooth jazz
Smooth jazz is a genre of music that grew out of jazz fusion and is influenced by R&B, funk, rock, and pop music styles ....

, and folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

. Traces of Clannad's legacy can be heard in the music of many artists, including Enya
Enya
Enya is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and songwriter. Enya is an approximate transliteration of how Eithne is pronounced in the Donegal dialect of the Irish language, her native tongue.She began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to...

, Altan, Capercaillie
Capercaillie (band)
Capercaillie is a Scottish folk band, founded in the 1980s by Donald Shaw and fronted by Karen Matheson. They have seen four of their albums placed in the UK Albums Chart, and continue to perform and record to the present day.-History:...

, The Corrs
The Corrs
The Corrs are an Irish band which combine pop rock with traditional Celtic folk music. The brother and sisters are from Dundalk, Ireland. The group consists of the Corr siblings: Andrea ; Sharon ; Caroline ; and Jim .The Corrs came to international prominence with their performance at the...

, Loreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, clear soprano vocals...

, Anúna
Anúna
Anúna is an Irish choral group. In 1987 Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded An Uaithne, a name which describes the three ancient types of Celtic music, Suantraí , Geantraí and Goltraí . One of the group's stated aims is to explore and redefine this music...

, Riverdance
Riverdance
Riverdance is a theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish stepdancing, notable for its rapid leg movements while body and arms are kept largely stationary. It originated as an interval performance during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, a moment that is still considered a significant...

 and U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

.

Later, beginning in 1982 with The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

' invention of Celtic folk-punk and Stockton's Wing
Stockton's Wing
Stockton's Wing is an Irish band formed in 1977 by four All-Ireland champion musicians - Paul Roche flute/whistle, Maurice Lennon fiddle, Tommy Hayes bodhran, and Kieran Hanrahan banjo/mandolin, along with Tony Callinan on guitar and vocals.-Name:...

 blend of Irish traditional and Pop, Rock and Reggie, there has been a movement to incorporate Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic influences into other genres of music. Bands like Flogging Molly
Flogging Molly
Flogging Molly is a seven-piece Irish-descendant band from Los Angeles, California, that is currently signed to their own record label, Borstal Beat Records.-Early years:...

, Black 47
Black 47
Black 47 are a New York City based celtic rock band with Irish Republican sympathies, whose music also shows influence from reggae, hip hop, folk and jazz...

, Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys are an Irish-American punk rock band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996. The band was initially signed to independent punk record label Hellcat Records, releasing five albums for the label, and making a name for themselves locally through constant playing and yearly St....

, The Young Dubliners, The Tossers
The Tossers
The Tossers are a six-piece Celtic punk band from Chicago, Illinois. They formed in July 1993. They have toured with Murphy's Law, Streetlight Manifesto, Catch 22, Dropkick Murphys, The Reverend Horton Heat, Flogging Molly, Street Dogs, Clutch, Sick of it All & Mastodon. They opened for The Pogues...

 introduced a hybrid of Celtic rock
Celtic rock
Celtic rock is a genre of folk rock and a form of Celtic fusion which incorporates Celtic music, instrumentation and themes into a rock music context...

, punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, hardcore
Hardcore punk
Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

 and other elements in the 1990s that has become popular with Irish-American youth.

Today there are Celtic-influenced sub genres of virtually every type of popular music including electronica
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

, rock
Celtic rock
Celtic rock is a genre of folk rock and a form of Celtic fusion which incorporates Celtic music, instrumentation and themes into a rock music context...

, metal
Celtic metal
Celtic metal is a subgenre of folk metal that developed in the 1990s in Ireland. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal music and Celtic music. The early pioneers of the genre were the three Irish bands Cruachan, Primordial and Waylander...

, punk
Celtic punk
Celtic punk is punk rock mixed with traditional Celtic music. The genre was founded in the 1980s by The Pogues, a band of punk musicians in London who celebrated their Irish heritage. Celtic punk bands often play covers of traditional Irish folk and political songs, as well as original compositions...

, hip hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

, reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, new age
New Age music
New Age music is music of various styles intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, and reading as a method of stress management or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is often...

, Latin, Andean
Andean music
Andean music comes from the general area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other peoples that lived roughly in the area of the Inca Empire prior to European contact. It includes folklore music of parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela...

 and pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

. Collectively these modern interpretations of Celtic music are sometimes referred to as Celtic fusion
Celtic Fusion
Celtic fusion is an umbrella term for modern music which incorporates influences considered "Celtic," or Celtic music which incorporates modern music. It is a syncretic musical tradition which borrows freely from the perceived "Celtic" musical traditions of all the Celtic nations, as well as from...

.

Other modern adaptations

Outside of America, the first deliberate attempts to create a "Pan-Celtic music" were made by the Breton Taldir Jaffrennou
François Jaffrennou
François-Joseph-Claude Jaffrennou was a Breton language writer and editor. He was a Breton nationalist and a neo-druid bard. He is also known as François Taldir-Jaffrennou, since he also used the Druidic name Taldir...

, having translated songs from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales into Breton between the two world wars. One of his major works was to bring "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is the national anthem of Wales. The title – taken from the first words of the song – means "Old Land of My Fathers", usually rendered in English as simply "Land of My Fathers". The words were written by Evan James and the tune composed by his son, James James, both residents...

" (the Welsh national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

) back in Brittany and create lyrics in Breton. Eventually this song became "Bro goz va zadoù" ("Old land of my fathers") and is the most widely accepted Breton anthem. In the 70s, the Breton Alan Cochevelou (future Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a Breton musician and singer, recording artist and master of the celtic harp who from the early 1970s revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of world music.- Background: learning Breton music and culture :Alan was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom...

) began playing a mixed repertoire from the main Celtic countries on the Celtic harp his father created.

Probably the most successful all inclusive Celtic music composition in recent years is Shaun Davey
Shaun Davey
- Early years :Shaun Davey was born in Belfast in 1948. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in the history of Art in 1971. He then took a master's degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. In the late 1970s, he made his first recording, "Davey and Morris," with Donal Lunny and others...

s composition 'The Pilgrim'
The Pilgrim (1983 album)
In 1983, following the hugely successful performance of Shaun Davey's work The Brendan Voyage the previous year, The Festival Interceltique de Lorient commissioned Shaun to compose The Lorient Festival Suite for orchestra and Celtic soloists representing the seven Celtic countries or regions and...

. This suite depicts the journey of St. Colum Cille through the Celtic nations of Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 and Galicia. The suite which includes a Scottish pipe band, Irish and Welsh harpists, Galician gaita
Galician gaita
The gaita or gaita de foles is a traditional bagpipe of Galicia, Asturias and northern Portugal.The name gaita is used in Galician and Spanishlanguages as a generic term for "bagpipe"...

s, Irish uilleann pipes
Uilleann pipes
The uilleann pipes or //; ) are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland, their current name, earlier known in English as "union pipes", is a part translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann , from their method of inflation.The bag of the uilleann pipes is inflated by means of a...

, the bombardes of Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, two vocal soloists and a narrator is set against a background of a classical orchestra and a large choir.

Modern music may also be termed "Celtic" because it is written and recorded in a Celtic language, regardless of musical style. Many of the Celtic languages have experienced resurgences in modern years, spurred on partly by the action of artists and musicians who have embraced them as hallmarks of identity and distinctness. In 1971, the Irish band Skara Brae
Skara Brae (band)
Skara Brae were an Irish traditional music group from Kells, County Meath with origins in Ranafast , County Donegal. The group consisted of three siblings, Micheal O Domhnaill, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, and Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, with Dáithí Sproule from Derry...

recorded its first and only LP
LP album
The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

 (simply called Skara Brae), all songs in Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 (formerly called Gaelic
Gaelic
Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels", including language and culture. As a noun, it may refer to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually.-Gaelic languages:...

). In 1978 Runrig
Runrig
Runrig are a Scottish Celtic rock group formed in Skye, in 1973 under the name 'The Run Rig Dance Band'. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included songwriters Rory Macdonald and Calum Macdonald. The current line-up also includes longtime members Malcolm Jones, Iain Bayne, and more...

 recorded an album in Scottish Gaelic, i.e. the dialects of Irish still spoken in parts of Scotland. In 1992 Capercaillie
Capercaillie (band)
Capercaillie is a Scottish folk band, founded in the 1980s by Donald Shaw and fronted by Karen Matheson. They have seen four of their albums placed in the UK Albums Chart, and continue to perform and record to the present day.-History:...

 recorded "A Prince Among Islands", the first Scottish Gaelic language record to reach the UK top 40. In 1996, a song in Breton represented France in the 41st Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1996
The Eurovision Song Contest 1996 was the 41st Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 18 May 1996 in Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway. The presenters were Ingvild Bryn and Morten Harket. Harket, lead singer of a-ha, opened the show with a performance of his single "Heaven's Not For Saints". Eimear...

, the first time in history that France had a song without a word in French. Since about 2005, Oi Polloi
Oi Polloi
Oi Polloi are an anarcho-punk band from Scotland that formed around 1981. Starting as an Oi! band, they are generally associated more with the anarcho-punk genre. More recently the band have become notable for their contributions to the Scottish Gaelic punk subgenre...

 (from Scotland) have recorded in Scottish Gaelic. Mill a h-Uile Rud
Mill a h-Uile Rud
Mill a h-Uile Rud is a Seattle-based band who sing in Scots Gaelic.-The band:The name translates as 'Destroy Everything' though the band only uses the Gaelic original...

 (a Scottish Gaelic punk
Scottish Gaelic punk
Scottish Gaelic Punk is a subgenre of punk rock in which bands sing some or all of their music in Scottish Gaelic. The Gaelic punk scene is, in part, an affirmation of the value of minority languages and cultures...

 band from Seattle) recorded in the language in 2004.

Several contemporary bands have Welsh language songs, such as Ceredwen
Ceredwen
Ceredwen is a celtic band comprising Andrew Fryer and Renee Gray. Their debut album, "Ô'r Mabinogi, " , featured in the Billboard charts for 3 months and won 3 NAV awards...

, which fuses traditional instruments with trip-hop beats, the Super Furry Animals
Super Furry Animals
Super Furry Animals are a Welsh rock band that lean towards psychedelic rock and electronic experimentation. Since their formation in Cardiff, Wales in 1993, the band has consisted of Gruff Rhys , Huw Bunford , Guto Pryce , Cian Ciaran and Dafydd Ieuan Super Furry Animals are a Welsh rock band...

, Fernhill
Fernhill (band)
Fernhill is a Welsh folk band, formed in 1996. They have been described by music critic and journalist Colin Irwin, as "highly regarded, innovative cultural ambassadors for Wales and its folk music, having toured in over 20 countries in four continents"...

, and so on (see the Music of Wales
Music of Wales
Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

 article for more Welsh and Welsh-language bands). The same phenomenon occurs in Brittany, where many singers record songs in Breton, traditional or modern (hip hop, rap, and so on.).

See also

  • Folk music of Ireland
    Folk music of Ireland
    The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

  • Music of Brittany
    Music of Brittany
    Since the early 1970s, Brittany has experienced a tremendous revival of its folk music. Along with flourishing traditional forms such as the bombard-binou pair and fest-noz ensembles incorporating other additional instruments, it has also branched out into numerous sub-genres...

  • Music of Cornwall
    Music of Cornwall
    Cornwall has been historically Celtic, though Celtic-derived musical traditions had been moribund for some time before being revived during a late 20th century roots revival.-History:...

  • Music of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias
    Music of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias
    The traditional music of Galicia and Asturias, located along Spain's north-west Atlantic coast, are highly distinctive folk styles that have some similarities with the neighbouring area of Cantabria...

  • Music of the Isle of Man
    Music of the Isle of Man
    The music of the Isle of Man reflects Celtic, Norse and other influences, including from its neighbours, Scotland, Ireland England and Wales. The Isle of Man is a small island nation in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland .A wide range of music is performed on the island, such as rock,...

  • Music of Scotland
    Music of Scotland
    Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music...

  • Music of Wales
    Music of Wales
    Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

  • Traditional Gaelic music
    Traditional Gaelic music
    The traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, with the reel and jig synonymous with these traditions. The emigration of Gaels to Cape Breton has also resulted in a unique strain of Gaelic music evolving there....


External links

  • Ancient Celtic music - article at Citizendium
    Citizendium
    Citizendium is an English-language wiki-based free encyclopedia project launched by Larry Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001....

  • 89.7 WGBH's A Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan - Listen to Celtic Music on-demand from Brian O'Donovan in Boston WGBH
    WGBH (FM)
    WGBH is a public radio station located in Boston, Massachusetts. WGBH is a member station of NPR and PRI. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation, which also owns WGBH-TV and WGBX-TV....

  • www.folklyrics.net/celtic.html Celtic songs lyrics
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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