Most Irish of All ?
Think you know Irish music and song ?
Sean Nós, 'old style', Irish singers and
song have long been hidden. If you don't
know it - maybe you should at least know
a little bit about it. At first glance, here is
what I have picked up about it. Best you
research it for yourself .....
It is the oldest form of Irish singing I know
What Sean Nós is
The best way to find out is to listen to some
real Sean Nós singers. The term was first
used in the 20th century to describe the old
Irish way of singing. That was a song generally
sung solo and in the Irish language, with a
particular style, which varied according to locale
and individual in Ireland.
The Irish Culture
It is a link to the lost culture of the Irish going
back for centuries. Queen Elizabeth must have
been impressed, for she had several of the songs
written down. Of course, that would have been
difficult, as this Irish form of song did not follow
the rules of other forms of musical notation.
17th century loss
As the bards began to disappear in Ireland, and
the Irish language and way of life fell under
increasing attacks, singers of Irish song were
under attack as well. This was the beginning
of the end of the old ways. The art form of
Sean Nós singing still survives, but most do
not know it really. ( myself included ).
What it is not
Here is what I hear said :
It is not English 'ballad' singing in style or form.
It is not like the 'Tin Pan Alley' songs in America.
It often tells a story.
Some describe it as 'saying a song'. (Joe Heaney )
It generally does not use standard increases and
decreases in singers volume level for emphasis.
It is not simply 'solo' singing.
Sean Nós Nua
Today most accept songs sung in the English