Mayo Musicians and Music
One of the most tangible expressions of the culture of any people is through the medium of music. Musical expression can have many forms, traditional, classical, jazz, popular etc.
In an Irish context the most unique form of musical expression is traditional music. Ireland has one of the richest musical traditions as is evidenced by its huge rise in popularity in recent years, not just in Ireland but worldwide. Within Ireland itself various regional styles and traditions can be identified. One hears much of the Donegal, Sligo, Clare and Kerry (particularly Sliabh Luachra) traditions.
This does not mean that there is a dearth of traditional music in other counties, rather that they receive somewhat less publicity. The musical tradition has survived in Mayo since the harpists in the 18th century and is now in a very healthy state with a large number of talented young musicians. This happy situation would not have been possible however without the dedication of those musicians who kept the tradition alive in more difficult times when Irish traditional did not enjoy the widespread popularity it does today.
The samples of music from Mayo musicians presented here include excerpts from a series of recordings made by Joe Byrne, Aghamore, of singers and musicians from East Mayo and also three excerpts from commercial recordings from some of the most renowned performers in the traditional music field today.
To listen to any of the audio samples you may choose either the mp3 or Real Media version. If you have "Real Player" or "Real One Player" installed on your computer you may play either version. Windows Media Player, which comes as part of the Windows operating system will play mp3 but not Real Media. To download a free version of "Real One Player" click here.
Click on each musician below for more information about their life and music.
If you're interested in or you remember the Big Band and Ballroom era of the Mayo music scene take a look at this full length film on the Ballrooms of Mayo.