In a message dated 3/28/2002 11:12:36 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> When you have a well-balanced band it can sound nice.
> Listen to any recordings by the Bridge, Tulla or Kilfanora Ceili bands. You
> must remember that ceili bands play for the dancer, as did much Irish solo
> music in the past. You can say therefore that ceili bands have helped to
> revive Irish music and have saved many tunes from disappearing. Ceili Bands
> have reflected the turbulent times of the 20th Century and are just another
> spoke in the field of Irish music.
As someone who has enjoyed and widely participated in the set dancing revival
of the past two decades, I applaud the emergence, professionalism and sheer
talent of more and more ceili bands these days than perhaps at any time in
Irish history. As others have noted their focus when playing is to please
the dancers but from my perspective the listening has gotten alot better as
well oweing to musicianship first and foremost but almost invariably to a
high regard for the bands and musicians who came before them. I think the
distinctions used to denigrate the old ceili bands for their rigidity and
conformity aren't really relevant anymore and I think that many of the
players in the bands of yore or at present would be as comfortable playing in
any session or country kitchen as any other musicians. Many of them would be
excellent teachers who helped keep the music alive in my experience and are
very much responsible as any other group in keeping the interest in
traditional music alive as any other group.