A superb audiovisual concert of Traditional Irish music, song and dance.

Based on The Companion book, it vividly demonstrates the full spectrum of dance tunes, playing formats and singing in Irish and English. A thousand large-screen images tell the visual story of the music. Linked to live music solos, duets and ensemble they exploring the island of Ireland county by county, its émigré areas abroad in Britain and the USA.

The performance  and photography merge to show that this is a vital, contemporary music which has a strong historical continuity, and widespread practice among all age-groups.

Double CD of the Compánach concert

Just released - a double CD of the full Compánach concert. Two discs that cover the entire island of Ireland in music and song. Disc 1 takes you from Antrim to Fermanagh, via America, the Ballad, Cavan, Cork and Dublin. Dis 2 travels from Galway to Wicklow via Tyrone Tipperary, Kerry and Leitrim ... FULL CD INFORMATION

Cover of the Companion to Irish Traditional Music
Companion to Irish Traditional Music - Hardback, 245 x 175mm, 880pp - ISBN: 978 1 85918 4509

Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 2nd Edition

Editor - Fintan Vallely

The ultimate reference for all players, devotees and students of Irish Traditional Music. It is an indispensable reference guide to Ireland’s universally-recognised Traditional music, song and dance.

This comprehensive resource - now revised and greatly expanded - is the largest single collection of such diverse, essential data. It brings together the knowledge of two hundred contributors in an easy-to-use A-Z format. The topics are addressed in the book by a total of c. 1800 individual articles, all of which are listed on this website:

  • For a full list of all A-Z entries and word-counts see Entries
  • For a list of major topics to which these articles relate see  Topics
  • For a full list of referenced people and bands see Index
  • The Companion is now represented in a concert – Companach – which is touring in Ireland, Europe and the US.
  • Song in Irish and English
  • Dance – Step Dance, Céilí and Sets
  • Solo and Group Playing
  • Céilí Bands and Professionalism
  • Storytelling
  • Instruments and Technology
  • Tune Types and Composition
  • Styles and Ornamentation
  • Organisations and Promotion
  • Education and Transmission
  • Collectors and Archives
  • History and Revival
  • Performers, Stylists, Commentators
  • Broadcasting and Recording
  • English, Scottish, Welsh music and song
  • Music in all Irish Counties, Europe & USA
  • Timeline - 1100 BC – 2011 AD
  • Irish Music Books 1724 – 2011

Book sections

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Using the Volume
  • Contributors
  • The Companion to Irish Traditional Music – A- Z articles
  • Chronology: A Timeline of Irish Music in History
  • Published Material Relating to Traditional Music
  • Index of names referenced in the text

Cataloguing and Publication Data

  • A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859184509
  • Typeset by Dominic Carroll, Co. Cork
  • Printed by MPG, UK

Press and academic data from the COMPANION launch:

For text of the addresses at the book's launch on November 24, 2011, see Companion Launch information and images

Cover painting:

This 1833 work is 'Snap Apple Night' by by Daniel Maclise, the earliest painting of indigenous Irish music in context, the earliest of a traditional-music ensemble and also of a tambourine in Ireland. Aspects of the picture are acknowledged as intentionally playful, making it possible that the depiction of fiddle, flute and pipes together may be fanciful - as may be the inclusion of a perfect, hand-struck tambourine, an instrument which was common in 18th-19th century art as an evocative symbol.

Reproduction is courtesy Bonhams, London, The Bridgeman Art Library. For a full, measured web account of Daniel Maclise see  ‘Ask About Ireland’.  Print information on Daniel Maclise can be found in nancy Weston’s 2000 Four Courts Press book ‘Daniel Maclise  - An Irish artist in Victorian London’