An Easy Introduction To Irish Instruments

Prize Green tin whistle - key of DQuick!  Can you name 10 instruments used in traditional Irish music?

How about these?


Uilleann Pipes (similar to bagpipes)

Harp (Often used as the the symbol of Ireland)

Banjo (originally from the USA,  but traveled back to the British Isles to become part of that folk music).

Bodhran (hand-held drum, see our tutorial below)




Penny Whistle or Tin Whistle


Here’s a website that we recommend for it’s a short, sweet and accurate descriptions of the basic instruments heard in Celtic and Irish folk music.

playing on bodhran at a traditional sessionBodhran – Homemade and Otherwise!

Want to try a homemade, hands-on version of the bodhran; a drum that probably originated from a winnowing sieve for grain?  We’ve got a post below where you can make and play your own version,  complete with the special beater or tipper used it play it.


2 thoughts on “An Easy Introduction To Irish Instruments

  1. Pingback: The Irish Music Daily – All Things Irish From A Musical Point-Of-View | Making Multicultural Music

  2. Just a point, but traditional highland pipes might be used in Irish marching bands, but are rarely seen in Irish Music beyond that, only the Uilleann pipes. Certainly there are a number of more common instruments, including the Anglo Concertina (my usual instrument), the bouzuki, the mandolin, the piano, and if you care to make distinctions, the accordion can be broken up into piano, button accordion (several possible tunings on the button accordion) and melodion (single row button accordion, but a very distinctive instrument in Irish music).

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