I am a die hard anal compulsive Irish Traditional musician, which means jigs, reels, hornpipes, slip jigs. polkas, flings, barndances, ancient airs, O'Carolan, sean nos singing - which (among the traditional stuff from the other Gaelic speaking cultures) is what this term "Celtic" is based on. Dont' care for Enya, don't care or Loreena McKeenit as in my opinion (read - for my tastes, so it's not judgement call, just how I listen to music), Enya, more recent Clannad stuff is too predigested and sanitized. Which is not to say that Enya and Clannad aren't real traditional musicians, because they are - they have just chosen a different route. And Loreena is enormously talented and does some great stuff with poetry (like the Highwayman) but I can't listen to too much of it. Gotta go back to jigs, reels, etc.<BR><BR>By the way, I am watching the DVD of LOTR and there is a lovely barn dance the Hobbiton Ceili Band is playing as Bilbo tells his dragon story. Whether Howard Shore knew it or not, that piece is in the rythem of a barn dance.<BR><BR>Irish Traditional music at first listen sounds like cacaphony. Then after a while you start to hear the incredible nuances. Then you read the history of Ireland and you wonder who these people could have come up with this gorgeous stuff. As they say, the winners write the history, the losers write the songs. And when you hear a real ancient air - the old ones, not the synthesized stuff, you really begin to get a glimpse into another world that was never Romanized, Anglicied, Catholocized, etc.<BR><BR>I have a link to our band website where I am playing an ancient air on my harp. http://members.cox.net/eskin/lastnightsfun.html
Go to the harp solo. Much of this stuff was sung, so the rythem is very free form. Jigs, reels, etc, are only about 300 years old. I could go off on the history of the harp in Ireland etc, but I won't. Or maybe I will later.<BR><BR>All the Gaelic and Celtic countries have these old traditions which are just fascinating when you dig into them. And getting back to Enya etc: because she and Maire Brennan (her sister in Clannad) were traditional musicians, rather than people just flailing away at a synthesizer, their stuff has more substance to it than someone who didn't spend years as a traditional musician.