How Effective Are the Traditional Irish Flute and Variations of Irish Drums in Irish Music

Ireland is a very tradition intensive region, the rich tradition of the country reflects from the music they produce. Still to this day old school music is preferred by many people and more so at live performances including concerts, weddings or other occasions. Most music lovers still prefer the traditional music instruments like the Traditional Irish Flute or the Irish Bodhran Drums. These instruments play a huge role in the music the country produces, and even the more modern bands or singers have found a way to incorporate them more modernly into their music and performances. The music lovers from the country have even tailored versions of these instruments to fit their individual needs and requirements and they have mastered those new versions completely. The Irish Bodhran is a variation of the traditional one faced Irish Drum and has many added characteristics to it. Similarly the Flute has been manufactured from different materials contributing to the rich low pitch sounds that it produces.

Long History of the Instruments

The drum in modern knowledge is probably the primal music instrument, and it played a huge role in the development of music over the years. Irish Drum has seen many newer versions of it and although the origins of the Bodhran are uncertain but it has great similarity to the tambourine that is found in the history of south continental Europe. Some early portraits painted by Daniel Maclise around 1850, show frame drums matching the Bodhran. The player seems to touch the skin from the inside and to stroke the skin from the outside.


In the past half a century or so, the Irish Bodhran have seen probably the most modifications in any music instrument, however the general principal of the instrument has stayed the same, which is to be beaten by numerous versions of beaters both hard and soft. The Flute however across the world has seen many modern design changes that brought up various versions of it, however the Traditional Irish Flute has remained almost the same with the changes just being in the choice of materials. The different materials used in the manufacturing of flute make minute but noticeable differences to sound the produce. The Irish Flute dates back to about the same time as the bodhran and carries the same value in history.


Great for Learners

Both the Irish Bodhran and the Irish Flute have been around for centuries, and early players of the instruments preferred them because of the simplicity that was involved in mastering their techniques. The tradition of these instruments was easy to pass around and players found it really easy to train themselves and then train other people who were interested in learning how to play them as well. This helped the instruments gain popularity in the middle age times and historians have recorded them in a friendly positive manner. Even to this day the Irish Bodhran remains particularly easier to learn for starters and also relatively easier to master in the percussion instrument category, similarly the Irish Flute is easier than other blow wind instrument category and this also serves as an inspiration source for both the instruments in order to maintain their popularity and gain new potential players.

Tailored Nature of the Instruments

Over time both the instruments have seen various versions of them being invented and introduced. The Irish Bodhran has many customizable options depending on the music lover’s preferences. Their sound and the punch in it can be controlled by the number of wooden sticks at the back of it and also the shape the sticks form. The Irish Flute similarly has seen many minute changes in its design and length of the bore, resulting in variable sound effects. The material choice also plays a big role in the sound quality, more humid wooden made flutes will result in a much fuller and deep sound while dry wooden flutes will have a low pitch and cheesier sound effect.

Both these instruments have contributed greatly in the development of Irish music. The flute gave way to the more complicated wind pipes and both of these are used in many different music genres in the modern times. Traditionally they were linked with folk and Irish music but music lovers of the modern day have found a way to incorporate them in many other genres while keeping their traditional profile as well. Today they are more commonly used in:

  • Classic Music
  • Contradance Music
  • Folk Music
  • Many forms of Rock Music
  • World Music
  • Stand up Performance Music
  • Wedding Music
  • Traditional Irish Music
  • Wedding Occasions Music
  • Live Concerts

It is important that the contributions of the two famous instruments and the role they have played in the development of modern music get noted.

Addison is a journalist, social media experimentalist, and blogger at TheOneSpy Blog.  He is a passionate technology writer and contributes towards lifestyle matter, cell phone spy software and social Issues

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