The Most Unique Instruments Used in Music from Ireland

Ireland’s traditional music is older than most of its cities. It’s an art form and pastime that dates back to the ancient times of Ireland. The Irish identity has music integrated into it deeply. The people of Ireland respect and love their country’s traditional music. Traditional Irish music has been passed down from their ancestors. Centuries past is where the music first started, but most of the old music has now been lost to time. The majority of the music we have from our ancestors date back from the eighteenth century and onwards. The traditional music of Ireland has many iconic instruments, and this article will tell you about some of them. So if you ever visit a pub in Ireland, you may spot or hear one of these instruments.


One of the most prominent instruments that are played during Ireland’s traditional music is the accordion. The instrument is shaped like a box. It is an instrument used often in traditional performances in Ireland. The people of Ireland like to refer to the accordion as the squeezebox. This nickname for the instrument is because playing it requires you to squeeze it and to release it so that it can produce sound.

Tin whistle

Another one of the most frequently played instruments in Ireland’s traditional music is the tin flute. It is the whistle that is the most used compared to other whistles in traditional Irish music. If you think of Irish music, then you’ll most likely think about the tin whistle. School children in Ireland will be taught how to use the tin whistle early on in their education. Playing the tin whistle isn’t tricky at all. What you do is blow into its mouthpiece while covering the holes on the whistle. Doing that will allow the whistle to produce different sounds. People will usually refer to the tin whistle with nicknames like the Irish whistle, flageolet, or penny whistle.

Irish flute

If you’ve heard Irish music, then you’ve probably listened to the Irish flute at least once. The Irish flute is also taught to children since the mechanism to play the instrument isn’t difficult to learn at all. It’s similar to the tin whistle since you blow into the mouthpiece of the instrument while covering the holes. It will produce different sounds when you do that. However, it’s made of wood, so it isn’t a replica of the tin whistle.


In Ireland, there is an instrument that has its origin there. It is called the bodhran. The bodhran is a framed drum instrument that you hold in your hands. It’s practical and lightweight, so you’ll often see it being played by music groups that focus on traditional Irish music. The drum’s body is made out of wood, and the covering or head of it is made out of a goat’s skin. To play the bodhran, you need a beater, which is a small stick with two heads. You hit it against the goat’s skin on the bodhran to create the sound.