The bodhrán, though not particularly well-known to people unfamiliar with Celtic music, I imagine, is a beautiful Irish frame drum. I have one, actually, and can kind of play it. Kind of. Anyway, the way it works is that goat skin (or some other kind of animal skin or a synthetic material) is stretched across one side of the drum’s frame (which is made of wood ... maybe you could get a tree removal service to give you some if you want to make your own), and the other side is left open to allow the musician to place his or her hand on the inside of the drum against the skin to control the timbre and pitch. The drums can range from 25 to 65 centimetres across, with sides somewhere from 9 to 2o centimetres deep.
One of the reasons I decided to do this post is because, frankly, I want to learn what the difference is. I’ve always kind of known there is a difference between the Irish and Scottish bagpipes, but I’d never have been able to actually tell you what the difference was. I knew about as much about the difference as I know about residential roofing contractors. I didn't even know that there are sub-categories of bagpipes. Fun fact! There are. We won’t get into all of them here, but if you want to learn some bagpipe basics, all you have to do it keep reading!
Also called Irish folk music, or Irish trad, this is the genre of folk music that developed in Ireland. As we’ve already seen, Ireland is a country rich with musical culture, and what kind of blog would this be, indeed, if I didn’t explore the traditional music. It all started in Gaelic Ireland, that is, Ireland from the prehistoric era to the 17th century. According to W. H. Grattan Flood, there were at the very least ten instruments being used in Gaelic Ireland. To make things a little easier for everyone (like when you just pitch in for a limousine service to get you to prom so you don't all have to take separate vehicles), I’ll give you the modern English descriptions, and put the Irish names in brackets. So! First of all, there were two types of harp, one smaller (cruit) and another larger one that usually had around 30 strings (clairsearch).
This is really fun music. It’s upbeat, it’s danceable (that’s a real word, it’s fine), and its lyrics often focus on stuff like politics, religion, culture, and drinking. Things that obviously go super well together in real life. Like a fender bender and a towing company. The genre also tends to focus on the pride of the working class, which I guess is common throughout a lot of non-Celtic punk music, so it makes sense that the Celtic version would hang on to a few features. As you’ve probably guesses by the name, Celtic punk is a fusion of punk with traditional Irish or Scottish music. The more general term folk punk does include Celtic punk under its umbrella, but typically when people talk about folk punk, they are referring to music that uses English or American or some other type of folk music as its base.