The Companion topics can be reduced to the following major topics. Each of these has many sub-sections, within which are further ‘boxes-inside-boxes’ sub sections, into which all of the book’s articles can be categorised. They are numbered to facilitate searching and note-taking:
01 – Vocal: Song in English, song in Irish, structure, styles, types, function, practices, singers, ballads, storytelling
02 – Instrumental music: tune types, instruments, transcription, style, ornamentation, composition, arrangement, classification, playing formats, regional styles
03 – Dance: Dance metres, artistic (display) dance, social dance, history, styles, ideology, competition, organisation
04 – Organisation: Fleadh, session, festival, events, organisation, promotion, education, performance, funding, buildings, policies, institutions, spaces, web, international, awards
05 – Transmission: Oral, broadcasting, recording, digital, teaching and learning, schools, collection, notation, tune books, song collections, audiovisual, Diaspora, migration
06 – People: Singers, dancers, musicians, storytellers, instrument makers, organisers, promoters, broadcasters, teachers, collectors, analysts, journalists, bands
07 – Analysis: Bibliography, information, archiving, academic, research, literature, history
Each of these topics will be developed with appropriate extra material – music, images and web links – in time. Many of the individual articles have connections with a number of the major sections outlined. For instance, an individual like the uilleann piper Willie Clancy comes under the category of ‘People’ (as a performer, stylist, authority, singer and personality). But he also comes in under ‘Social Customs’ (which includes ‘regional styles’), under ‘Transmission’ (as he was an influential teacher), under ‘Song’ (he was a recorded singer), and under ‘Instrumental’ (his music has been notated and his style analysed). So too Seamus Ennis will cross categories as an authority, stylist, singer, storyteller, collector, performer, teacher, professional, researcher and broadcaster; Josephine Keegan can be seen as having cross links as performer, fiddler, composer, personality and publisher, as well as being associated with recording, broadcasting, collecting, Co. Armagh and with England. While the A-Z Articles page will eventually carry references to such cross-links, these can never be complete, for it is the reader will best make connections in the reading of the whole text.
Web Links: These will be added gradually in order to expand the knowledge potential of The Companion out beyond what is in the printed articles to the broader world of the music. Contributions and links are welcomed and should be sent to the editor by email (see CONTACT above) using ‘companion links’ in the subject line.