- Irish traditional music session
Irish traditional music sessions are mostly-informal gatherings at which people play Irish traditional music. The
Irish languageword for "session" is "seisiún". This article discusses tune-playing, although "session" can also refer to a singing session or a mixed session (tunes and songs).
In his "Field Guide to the Irish Music Session,"
Barry Foydefines a session as:
"...a gathering of Irish traditional musicians for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music by playing it together in a relaxed, informal setting, while in the process generally beefing up the mystical cultural mantra that hums along uninterruptedly beneath all manifestations of Irishness worldwide."
ocial and cultural aspects
The general session scheme is that someone starts a tune, and those who know it join in. Good session etiquette requires not playing if one does not know the tune, and waiting until a tune one knows comes along. In an "open" session, anyone who is able to play Irish music is welcome.
Most often there are more-or-less recognized session leaders; sometimes there are no leaders. At times a song will be sung or a slow air played by a single musician between sets.
The objective in a session is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners; although the "punters" (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the music is most of all for the musicians themselves. "Audience" requests for a particular song or tune of the players can be considered rude. The session is an experience that's shared, not a performance that's bought and sold.
The sessions are a key aspect of traditional music; some say it is the main sphere in which the music is formulated and innovated. Further, the sessions enable less advanced musicians to practice in a group.
Socially, sessions have often been compared to an evening of playing card games, where the conversation and cameraderie are an essential component. In many rural communities in Ireland, sessions are an integral part of community life.
Typically, the first tune is followed by another two or three tunes in a "set". The art of putting together a set is hard to put into words, but the tunes must flow from one to another in terms of key and melodic structure, without being so similar as to all sound the same. The tunes of a set will usually all be of the same sort, i.e. all
jigs or all reels, although on rare occasions and amongst a more skilled group of players a complementary tune of a different sort will be included, such as a slip jigamongst the jigs. Although bands sometimes arrange sets of reels and jigs together, this is uncommon in an Irish session context.
Some sets are specific to a locale, or even to a single session, whilst others, like the "Coleman set" of reels ("The Tarbolton"/"The Longford Collector"/The Sailor's Bonnet"), represent longstanding combinations that have been played together for decades. Sets are sometimes thrown together "ad hoc", which sometimes works brilliantly and sometimes fails on the spot.
After the set ends, someone will usually start another.
Locations and Times
Sessions are usually held in
pubs (often with the hope that listeners will buy drink for the musicians). A pub owner might have one or two musicians paid to come regularly in order for the session to have a base. Sunday afternoons and weekday nights (especially Tuesday and Wednesday) are common times for sessions to be scheduled, on the theory that these are the least likely times for dances and concerts to be held, and therefore the times that professional musicians will be most able to show.
Sessions can be held in homes or at various public places in addition to pubs; often at a festival sessions will be got together in the beer tent or in the vendor's booth of a music-loving craftsman or dealer. When a particularly large musical event "takes over" an entire village, spontaneous sessions may erupt on the street corners.
List of All-Ireland Champions
* Irish traditional music
* [http://www.tripfilms.com/Travel_Video-v122-Dublin-Seisiun-Video.html Video of Irish traditional music session]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Music session — Not to be confused with Session musician. A Music session, traditional music session or simply session is a term often used to describe a social gathering of musicians. Sometimes a music session is referred to as a jam session. Much of the music… … Wikipedia
Music of Ireland — Life in Ireland Culture Christianity Cuisine Culture Customs Holidays Music … Wikipedia
Irish Folk — ist eine Bezeichnung für die weltweit populäre irische Folkmusik. Im englischsprachigen Raum und insbesondere in Irland wird eher von Irish Traditional Music (deutsch: irische traditionelle Musik) gesprochen. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Entwicklung 2… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Irish — Musique irlandaise La musique irlandaise s est développée sur toute l île d Irlande depuis l Antiquité, parfois influencée par le contexte politique ou religieux de l époque. Suite à l émigration massive des Irlandais au XIXe siècle, elle s… … Wikipédia en Français
Music of Scotland — A Pipe Major playing the Great Highland Bagpipe Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music. In spite of… … Wikipedia
Music of Wales — Part of a series on the Culture of Wales Cuisine … Wikipedia
Music industry — The music industry or music business sells compositions, recordings and performances of music. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate within the industry are the musicians who compose and perform the music; the companies and… … Wikipedia
music — musicless, adj. /myooh zik/, n. 1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. 2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or… … Universalium
Music of New York City — Carnegie Hall, a major music venue in New York The music of New York City is a diverse and important field in the world of music. It has long been a thriving home for jazz, rock and the blues. It is the birthplace of hip hop, Latin freestyle,… … Wikipedia
MUSIC — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence the material relics and iconography notated sources oral tradition archives and important collections of jewish music… … Encyclopedia of Judaism