Content from the Irish Traditional Music Archive

New content on Europeana includes these items from the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) provided through the Irish Manuscripts Commission. The ITMA is a ‘national reference archive and resource centre for the traditional song, instrumental music and dance of Ireland’

The archive holds an impressive collection of sound recordings, books, sheet music, photograps, videos and DVDS. Items from areas of Irish settlement such as in Britain, North America and Australia also feature.

Some of the items link you to a whole medley of music, such as sound recordings of American and Irish-based musicians and singers.

The collection includes several barn dance pieces from the 1920s to 1940s. The ITMA describe barndance on its website as follows:

The barndance is in origin both a musical form and an accompanying social ballroom dance which became popular in England and north America in the late nineteenth century. Its ancestors were the European polka and schottische social dances and their distinctive music of the mid-century.

A more detailed introduction to barndances is given by J. J. Sheehan in “A guide to Irish dancing” from 1902…

A guide to Irish dancing

…or if playing very traditional Irish folk music is your cup of tea, a good source for sheet music is the Irish country dance collections from late 18th century. While it represents music over a century older than the “Golden Era” of Irish barn dances, the enchanting tunes – a trademark of Irish folk music – are still there

Irish country dance collections

View the collection.

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