Synopses & Reviews
Fintan Vallely, himself an accomplished musician and music writer, has harnessed the expertise of more than two hundred specialists from various aspects of traditional music, who present a remarkably comprehensive image of the field. Such a detailed picture is indeed flagged by the cover's use of Maclise's fabulous Snap Apple Night musicians - a mosaic that incorporates ancient history, past ideals and ideologies, scholarship, virtuosity, romance, satisfaction, pride and internationalism in this indigenous music form. The Companion presents A-Z descriptions of instruments and their playing styles, repertoires, the history of traditions, and analysis of the impact of the media and the modern history of traditional music making. Biographical entries cover significant musicians, commentators and composers. Central themes within traditional music are given extended entries such as the coverage of song and dance, the oral tradition, innovation and the social politics of Irish music. Among the specialists who have contributed to The Companion are many major performers such as Martin Hayes, Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Gerry O'Connor, Liz Doherty, Niall Keegan, June Ni Chormaic, Mick Moloney, Niall Vallely, Jesse Smith and Anne-Marie O'Farrell. Predominant too are the most eminent researchers and writers including Terry Moylan, Sean Donnelly, Maire O'Keefe, Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, Colette Moloney, Harry Bradshaw, Nicholas Carolan, Pat Mitchell, Anne Buckley and Rionach Ui Ogain. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music is not just the ideal reference for the interested enthusiast, session player and professional performer. It also provides a unique - and comprehensive - resource for every library, school and home with an interest in the distinctive rituals, qualities and history of Irish culture, traditional music, song and dance. Unique too is the provision of a parallel website - www.companion.ie - which guides structured exploration of the text and fully integrates it with the existing vast and magnificent range of traditional music internet resources.