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For many people traditional Irish music brings to mind a particular series of sounds, for some this might be the wistfully sounds of Uilleann Pipes as used in the sound track for the fantastically successful Titanic movie, or the very different dance music from the 3rd class party scene in the same movie. For others it might be rowdy and sometimes bawdy drinking songs or a bunch of amateur musicians sitting around in a pub session playing jigs, reels and hornpipes on fiddles whistles banjos and a few other instrument types. Probably the best advise is to listen to a few bands and decide what type of Irish music you prefer. My favourites are the Dubliners, they do a wide range of material from drinking songs and ballard's to jigs, reels and other dance music, most of their material tends to be of a lively nature. If you want a more "high brow, classical Irish" try the Chieftains, they do a lot of instrumental numbers plus non-english language vocals. They have also done a lot of collaborative work with bands and artists from other areas of music. The music business marketing departments have been at work positioning all sorts of "new age music" under the general Celtic heading most of it having little connection to any traceable music traditions music. For more information check out http://www.ceolas.org/ which has a lot of information on Celtic music and you can also find useful information and definitions at http://www.itma.ie/English/Introduction.html
You may also be interested in other Irish related Music on this site:The Dubliners Song Collection 450+ lyrics and chord with PDF versions.