Connemara Music Tradition?

Connemara Music Tradition?

I have a question about distinct musical and cultural traditions in singing, storytelling and such things. Are there two distinct and different styles? One being the popular ballads recorded by folk revivalists like Luke Kelly, Liam Clancy, Ewan MacColl and many others where the singer conveys a story. The other is more intricately interwoven elements: the story told in the song, conveying emotions through the song and maybe hinting as to the ‘real’ backstory which the singer knows but does not completely reveal in words.

I am referring to Connemara because I think what I am asking for might be an essential part of the tradition there.

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Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

Any examples of what (I think) you’re calling the ‘Connemara tradition’?

Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

That’s what I’m asking for, meself. Typically posters here use the phrase sean-nós singing. It’s just the header I chose at the time. I don’t expect responders to limit themselves to the geographic parameters in my title.

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Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

Short answer is yes there is.

Long Answer

The Sean Nós or old style of singing and dancing is not confined to Connemara but is relatively strong there.
Normally would describe unaccompanied singing in a style quite distinct from the ballad movement. I do not have the musical background to describe it really but it can involve singing at the upper end of the singers range, ornamentation, sliding up to notes rather than hitting them directly
Originally in Irish but Singers will often take on songs they like in English as well. In some parts of the country they would sing macaronic or songs with a verse in English and the next in Irish. Some local traditions would see the singer closing their eyes and holding someones hand (a bit like an arm wrestling grip) and singing and swaying

The folk or ballad tradition was influenced more by the folk movements in England and USA, although to confuse matters some overlap is possible as singers like singing songs and working. Iarla O Lionaird is involved with The Gloaming now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxmjzts-LfE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPTe2GQwRDQ


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGelrimeD7c


They’re all storytellers but the medium is quite different. (I’m not claiming any special knowledge here but just from my own knowledge. I sing some of the same songs as Sean nós singers but wouldn’t be considered a sean nós singer as my style is more like the ballad singers.

Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

Thank you, Séamus. I was hoping to hear if anyone is familiar with the backstories (uder) in this singing tradition. This article describes what I’m hoping to find ~ any leads about these apparently elusive stories. http://www.restonherndonfolkclub.com/Newsletters/2004/Newsletter%202004-08.pdf

"The songs themselves do not tell stories, but instead often refer to a story which everyone already knows.
Which can be pretty puzzling if you don’t know it. I spend a lot of time tracking down stories.
Sometime(s) it turns out nobody remembers the one you want at all, but you can meet really
interesting people in the process and hear a lot of OTHER good stories… "

Cheers!

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Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

Not sure, but perhaps checking here may give some leads: http://www.goilin.com/

Re: Connemara Music Tradition?

The Joe Heaney archive online is a good source for information about many of the old songs popular in the area. I’m still not quite sure what you’re asking for though