Harp, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes and Whistle:

Download MP3 Eibhlí Gheal Ní Chearbhall
(Bright and Lively Evly O'Carroll, 2.4Mb)

Planxty Irwine
A 17th century Irish harp piece played here with low whistle, fiddle and harp.

Recorded at the the 2005 harp competitions which she won in the 12-15 age group.

Download MP3 The Longford Tinker
(1.6Mb) is a very lively Irish reel closely echoiing the familiar Scottish reel "Jenny Dang the Weaver".

Download MP3 The Mooncoin s (2.5Mb) a jig named after a village in Co. Kilkenny. Mooncoin is from the Irish "Con's bog".

Excerpts of Terence on uilleann pipes, from a recording with Blackthorn:

Download MP3 She Moves Through the Fair (1Mb mp3)

Download MP3 Dirty Old Town (2.6 Mb mp3)


Download MP3 file The Jolly Beggarman.
A lively tune on the pipes and a great choice for a recessional.
(1.4Mb jolly_beggarman.mp3)


• View QuickTime movie from Fox 2 News, Sept 2003 (820k)

The McKinneys, performing traditional Celtic music for special accasions on harp, pipes and fiddle.

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We perform on a variety of traditional instruments, Irish uilleann pipes, fiddle, Celtic harp, bouzouki and whistles.

The Celtc harp is the national symbol of Ireland and has been played all over the world from early times in one form or other. Síobhan plays a 28 string celtic harp that stands about 3.5' tall. It differes from the classical harp in many ways, but most obviously the size. In the 17th century the harp was played by roving bards who would stay with wealthy sponsors, so the harps were small enough to be carried around the countryside. Many of the most famous of the Irish harpers were blind. Given the extreme poverty in Ireland under English rule, blindness was not uncommon and with few employment opportunities many became pipers or harpers. The tunes were largely passed on through the oral tradition.

FiddleThe fiddle is supposed to have been introduced into Ireland sometime in the 11th century although there are other references to the arrival of the fiddle. The fiddle or fidula as it was known may have differed in size and description from the fiddles we know today.

The "fiddle" is essentially a violin that is held and played differently than a classical violin. The instrument has had a long tradition in both Ireland and Scotland. In the 1700's there was a large influx of immigrants to the New World encouraged by the English to just go anywhere else. The settlers fiddle music became the music you hear today especially in the Appilacian region with old time and bluegrass and in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where the original Scots fiddle tradition survives.

Uillaenn pipesFrom the Irish "elbow", the uilleann pipes are a bagpipe unique to Ireland, evolved from the older form of bagpipes in the early 18th century. The uilleann pipes provide a larger range of notes, softer tone and are pitched in concert "D". Differing from the big pipes in that they are powered by bellows. played seated and have an additional set of pipes to provide chords. Terence's pipes are of the Taylor style and vintage (early 1800's).

This is the familiar bagpipe seen at parades and funerals. A long martial history surrounds this instrument in Scotland and Ireland. The bagpipes or "piob mhor", meaning "big pipes" are played in Scotland and Ireland and it's the same instrument, just different melodies that make it Irish or Scottish.

BouzoukiThe bouzouki is a stringed instrument first introduced from Greece into Ireland in the Sixties, a time when Irish traditional music was undergoing great experimentation by popular Irish folk bands like Planxty. The instrument has taken centerstage among the tradition and never looked back. Variously called the bouzouki, mandola or octive mandolin, it provides a deeper sound than a mandolin and melds well with the harp, pipes and other traditional instruments. Mairéad plays an instrument made by Rick Westerman.

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