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The History of Irish Music

Irish music sounds very much the same today as it would have hundreds years ago. Irish music is a diverse genre of folk music with regional differences. The majority of traditional Irish music is music for dancing.  Instruments used in Irish music include fiddle, bodhran, flute, tin whistle, pipes, and the Irish harp. Also included in Irish music are the accordion, guitar, banjo, and bouzouki, which have become more popular in Irish music in the past 100 years.  The time signatures and styles of tunes commonly found in Irish music include single jig, double jig, reel , hornpipe, slip jig, and occasional versions of polkas and waltzes; these tune styles have corresponding traditional dances. Irish music has always been an important part of both rural and urban life for the Irish people. A strong revival occurred in the late 1800s after centuries of British rule. A second revival coincided with the American folk music revival of the 1960s, and has continued until present-day. That later influence went both ways - many American artists influenced Irish artists as well. In the late 20th century, it was commonplace for young musicians to merge their traditional folk genres with rock and punk.