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Irish Music

On the Junior Cert Music paper, for both Ordinary and Higher levels, there are three Irish music listening questions and one written question. For the listening question, you should learn about:

  • Traditional Irish instruments
  • Other instruments commonly used in Irish music
  • Tarditional Irish dances
  • Features of traditional Irish music
  • Sean Nós singing

For the written question you should add to the list above:

  • Harping tradition
  • Collectors of Irish Music
  • Traditional and non-traditional (fusion) Irish Groups and Composers

For the written question you can be asked several short-answer questions under a particular heading, e.g. intruments. Or, instead, you can be asked long-answer questions - to write a note or discuss a particular topic.
E.g. 2010: (i) Name one well-known collector, (ii) Write a brief note on his or her work as a collector.
Higher level students:For long-answer questions you should make three points (or two very detailed points) about the topic in order to get full marks.
Ordinary level students: For long-answer questions you should make two points (or one very detailed point) about the topic in order to get full marks.

Remember to read the questions carefully, maybe underline or highlight key words, to make sure you understand what information you're being asked for. Make sure you don't go off-topic and give irrelevant information. Here is an example of one good point on a collector: Edward Bunting first collected Irish tunes at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792 when he was hired by the organisers. He became interested in preserving Irish music and toured the country several times during his life collecting Irish tunes - You would go on to list his publications and also mention why collectors were so important to get full marks. A lengthly discussion of harpers, the harpers present at the Harp Festival and their life stories would not get you marks because that information is not relevant.