Ceoltóirí Chualann: The Band that Changed the Course of Irish Music


Discover how Seán Ó Riada’s innovative arrangements popularised traditional Irish tunes. With firsthand accounts, over 400 original scores by Seán Ó Riada and a rich history of the band this book is ideal for folk music fans.


A lively and engaging account of the legendary Irish folk music ensemble Ceoltóirí Chualann, and the first time that readers can see the groundbreaking concepts used by Seán Ó Riada and his band Ceoltóirí Chualann as they changed the course of Irish Music.

Written by Peadar Ó Riada, blending memoir and historical narrative, this book draws on the experiences and records of Éamon de BuitléarMichael Tubridy, and the Ó Riada archives, enriched by Seán Ó Sé's anecdotes. From the birth of the band to the complexities of their trailblazing musical arrangements, composed by the visionary Seán Ó Riada, this book showcases their ability to blend traditional Irish music with complex orchestration. The magic of their story unfolds against the backdrop of a changing Ireland, where traditional music, once marginalised, began to find new expression and appreciation as their popularity and influence grew. The book also explores the band’s creative process, featuring details of rehearsals, recordings, broadcasts and a detailed discography. It includes 400 musical arrangements and original scores in Seán Ó Riada’s hand. This is an invaluable resource for musicians and enthusiasts alike and a unique insight into the creative genius of the ensemble. Ceoltóirí Chualann: The Band that Changed the Course of Irish Music is not just a historical account but a heartfelt tribute to the musicians who redefined Irish traditional music. It’s essential reading for those interested in understanding the profound influence of Seán Ó Riada and Ceoltóirí Chualann on the revival and evolution of Irish music.