Beautiful Celtic Music for St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is Just Around the Corner
Many people are already preparing their St. Patrick's Day parties. Whether you're planning on having some green beer or dressing up as a leprechaun this St. Patrick's Day, you'll want to add some Irish or Celtic music to your party to add ambiance and flare to the occasion.
Celtic Woman is one of the most amazing choirs you'll have an opportunity to hear, and this page highlights their music so that you can choose to purchase their CDs (or mp3s) as background music for your party or as a highlight.
You will also find information about traditional Irish instruments (and where to purchase them) throughout this hub in order to allow you to play your own music for St. Patrick's Day (or any occasion when you desire to have Irish or Celtic music being played).
This hub is also filled with beautiful photographs of Ireland for those who are visually inclined. Enjoy the videos, the photos, and the music!
Choosing Music for Your St. Patrick's Day Party
As it is celebrated in the American Tradition, St. Patrick's Day is an upbeat celebration of the Irish in America. Most people dress in green to honor the saint and some even choose to dress up as leprechauns or as St. Patrick himself!
This is a day for parades and spending time in the pub with your Irish friends and family. Even non-Irish folks get to celebrate Ireland on this day!
The music is an important part of establishing an atmosphere for your St. Patrick's Day party, and you want to choose music that represents the emotions you're attempting to evoke at your party.
From downbeat flute or harp music to upbeat fiddle music, you have choices that will affect the mood of your party.
Have you seen a Celtic Woman concert in person or on television?
Celtic Woman: An Irish Choir
If you've never heard Celtic Woman perform, you're missing out on something special. The next time that one of their concerts comes available on the television, spend some time watching, if you enjoy Irish music and the beautiful Celtic backdrop they commonly use. Nothing compares to Celtic Woman, and even if you don't enjoy their music, there's sure to be a woman in your life who does!
Much of the music performed by Celtic woman is performed in the original Gaelic, making it all that much more special. Even if you can't understand the Irish language, these songs are beautiful, and one must confess that the language itself is enchanting.
Hit play on the video below to listen to music by Celtic Woman. This is a full album, and plenty of music to keep you occupied while you read the rest of this page. Of course you'll have to stop it to listen to any of the other sample music on this page, but it's worth it.
You can purchase the same album on Amazon from the link below the video.
This is the live version of the Songs from the Heart concert by Celtic Woman. If you've heard and enjoyed their music but have never heard them sing, you should seriously consider purchasing this DVD so that you can watch them perform. They are beautiful and so vivacious!
Celtic Instrument: Fiddle
If you've listened to the music above (or if you're currently listening to it), at some point you're going to hear fiddle music in the background. Fiddle, Harp, Banjo and Flute are probably the most recognizable musical instruments in Irish music. For those looking to play (or learn to play) one of these instruments, the fiddle is perhaps one of the most difficult to learn, but also one of the most impressive.
The fiddle produces an up-beat music that is excellent for spirited parties but is also very traditionally Irish. It makes a great instrument for Irish performances and for your party. You can listen to a sound sample below (including a banjo as well) and decide if fiddle music is right for your party.
(I still recommend Celtic Woman.)
This student violin (fiddle) is the most highly-rated violin on Amazon, and is hand-made and allowed to air dry for four years. An excellent instrument for advanced students!
80 traditional tunes for those wishing to play Irish fiddle for St. Patrick's Day. Lots to learn, but a very extensive collection. Includes a book and CD.
Fiddle and Banjo Music
You can hear a sample of banjo music being played in the sample above with the fiddle.
Celtic Instrument: Banjo
The banjo is another highly upbeat instrument that produces traditional Celtic music. It is a relatively easy instrument to learn to play and produces amazing results in the experienced hands of someone who has training on the strings.
If you're looking for a good, up-beat instrument to play at your St. Patrick's Day party, the Banjo is an excellent choice of instruments, and it does pair beautifully with the fiddle (as evidenced in the video above).
A sample banjo has been illustrated below on Amazon, and you can purchase your banjo there, or by looking at Guitar Center or another stringed instruments store.
The reviews on this banjo are fantastic -- out of this world! I'm tempted to purchase one for myself, as my hands struggle with guitar due to the width of the neck. This is a four-stringed instrument, and very Irish. If you're looking or a banjo and want to purchase on Amazon (perhaps for their return policies, as one reviewer states), then this is the banjo to buy!
Celtic Instrument: Harp
Harps come in a number of sizes and are almost invariably beautiful instruments both to view and to listen to. Their sound most closely resembles that of the piano (another stringed instrument, though many think of it as percussion).
Large floor harps are the tradition, and you can listen to a sample from one of these instruments to the right. If you're looking to learn the harp, you'll probably learn on one of these larger models, though types of harp that fit on the table or in your lap are also available for those who prefer something smaller.
This is a large harp, standing roughly 38" high. You can find smaller harps on Amazon, but this harp is highly rated and in a traditional size. It comes with a Celtic design on its body and with a storage case.
Accordion Music Sample
Celtic Instrument: Accordion
The Accordion, and also the Concertina, are Celtic instruments. The music sample above is a great illustration of how the accordion sounds with Irish-style music. It's not an easy instrument to learn to play, however, and it's particularly expensive. If you're looking to learn to play the accordion, you're strongly recommended to check out your local music store.
Accordion (and Concertina) music is different from most of what you'll hear on this page, so get to know the sound before deciding that you want to have accordion music at your party. Its sound is unique, but doesn't necessarily mesh well with the other traditional Irish sounds.
Celtic Instruments: Flute, Fife, Penny Whistle, Pan Pipes and Ocarina
While each of these four instruments makes a different sound, they are all, in essence, flutes. They are played similarly to one another, though each takes different skills to learn. If you've been listening to the Irish Woman soundtrack for this page, you'll have heard the flutes in the background.
My personal favorite of these instruments is the Ocarina, but I also play the traditional flute and can play a penny whistle. Their sound is sharp, clear, and high-pitched (even the tenor and bass instruments are generally higher than other instruments), and they make an excellent background to your Irish St. Patrick's Day music.
The instrument (which should be) shown to the right is a traditional Irish wood flute, or fife (fyfe). It produces a very clear note which is very different from the traditional flute many people are used to hearing and playing. If you already play flute, you should pick this instrument up quickly, but it will take some practice as it operates differently.
Alternatively, you may prefer the traditional flute. This is not an easy instrument to learn to play at first, and you must have the physical stamina to hold the flute at a particular angle with good posture, but it is a highly rewarding instrument (and one which I personally play). The Yamaha and Gemeinhardt brands are recommended.
The instrument displayed to the right should be a Yamaha flute, as this is my preference in instrument brands. Be sure to shop around a bit, and consider attending a music store for help from a professional when choosing your instrument. There's no shame in purchasing pre-played either!
Final Words for Playing Your Own Music on St. Patrick's Day
If you choose to play your own music for your St. Patrick's Day, make sure that you're in good practice before you stand up on stage. All of these instruments require a lot of work to learn to play well and the last thing you want to do is to embarrass yourself while standing in front of an audience.
My recommendation is to hire a professional or to play music available on CD or mp3. This way you can enjoy mingling and drinking at your party without risking embarrassing yourself. If, on the other hand, you really want to learn to play one of these instruments, I highly recommend any of the listed flutes: Fife, Flute, Penny Whistle, Ocarina or Pan Pipes. They are my favorites!
Guitar is also a classically Celtic instrument, and one you're probably already familiar with, so if you can play, consider choosing guitar!
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti