- Celtic music in Canada
Celtic musicis primarily associated with the folk traditions of Ireland, Scotlandand Wales, as well as the popular styles derived from folk culture. In addition, a number of other areas of the world are known for the use of Celtic musical styles and techniques, including Newfoundland, and much of the folk music of Canada's Maritimes, especially on Cape Breton Island.
There are very strong connections between Newfoundland folk music and Irish music, however elements of English folk music and
French-Canadianand Acadianmusic can be heard within the style.
It should be noted that a very traditional strain of Irish music exists in Newfoundland, especially in the primarily
Irish-Catholiccommunities along the southern shore.
The instrumentation in Newfoundland music includes the button
accordion, guitar, violin, tin whistleand more recently the bodhrán. Many Newfoundland traditional bands also include bass guitarand drum kit. Other folk instruments such as the mandolinand bouzoukiare common especially among Newfoundland bands with an Irish leaning.
Because Newfoundland is an island in the North Atlantic, many of the songs focus on the
fisheryand seafaring. Many songs chronicle the history of this unique people. Instrumental tune styles include jigs, reels, two steps, and polkas.
Newfoundland musicians and musical groups
Rufus Guinchard, Kelly Russell, Emile Benoitand Patrick Moran
*Button accordion players:
Minnie Whiteand Harry Hibbs
Fergus O'Byrneand Paddy Mackey
*Popular Newfoundland traditional music group:
Irish Descendants, Great Big Sea, The Punters, Shanneyganock, Connemara, The Masterless Men, Kevin Collins, and Greeley's Reel.
*Irish music band in Newfoundland:
Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton is internationally known for unusual styles of
Cape Breton fiddling, which is derived from Scottish techniques. The island has produced traditional music-based popular performers like John Allan Cameron, The Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster, Buddy MacMaster, The Barra MacNeils, Rita MacNeil, Ashley MacIsaacand others. Irish traditional music is also very popular on the island, particularly Irish folk songs.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Islandhas long been associated with traditional Celtic music.
There are strong ties between traditional
Québécoismusic and the music of Brittany, Ireland, Scotlandand the Maritimes. The songs generally draw more from the French tradition, whereas the dance tunes are more closely related to Celtic traditions. Fiddleand accordionare the most common lead instruments, while pianoand guitaroften provide accompaniment. More recently, swing has significantly influenced accompaniment styles and techniques. La Bottine Sourianteis one of the most well-recognized groups which exemplifies this tradition. Rosheenis a good example of Québécois and Irish roots perfectly blended together creating a unique celtic sound. The only band that has a female singer.
A number of popular Canadian rock bands are also influenced by Celtic folk traditions. The most important and influential such band was
Spirit of the West, whose musical marriage of traditional Irish and Scottish jigs and reels with hard rockand Britpopinfluences paved the way for later acts such as Great Big Sea, Captain Tractor, Mackeel, The Mahones, Ashley MacIsaac, Jimmy George, Mudmen, Uisce Beatha and The Clumsy Lovers. Figgy Duffand The Rankin Familyserved much the same role in pop music, influencing later artists such as Leahy, Mary Jane Lamond, The Barra MacNeilsand Natalie MacMaster.
External Reference:Celtic Music Base, http://www.celticmusicbase.com
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