The island of Ireland is particularly noted for its great collection of ancient musical instruments. Spanning more than 3000 years from the Late Stone Age through to the Early Medieval Period (4200BC – 1000AD), they reflect the evolvement of many changes in Irish culture. Great feats of bronze casting and sheet metal work were achieved to produce fine practical instruments of musical and visual excellence.
The exceptionally large numbers of Irish metal horns which survive represent forty per cent of the World total. This clearly indicates the importance which was placed on music in ancient Ireland. Yet, similar finds in lesser numbers in Britain and Western Europe also place ancient Ireland in an important International context. The earliest Irish legends contain many references to instruments and music being played in a variety of situations.
Reproduction and exploration of surviving originals by Ancient Music Ireland reveals differences and similarities between ancient and modern musical concepts. Many horns and trumpets have been incorporated successfully into new and old musical traditions and disciplines. Thus, something thought to have been lost has merely been asleep and when awakened can play its part in the on- going human expression that is music, the language that is common to us all and in which we may all participate.