Piano, Harpsichord & Keyboard


Since the early 20th century the piano has been used in traditional music mainly as a vamping instrument (perhaps an adaptation from vaudeville), though Chicago-born Eleanor Kane was playing melodies on the piano from the 1930s.

In the early 1960s, however, Seán Ó Riada took keyboard use in traditional music to another level. He used the harpsichord to replace the long-forgotten harp and to breathe life into Bunting’s manuscripts, and he also forged a role for the piano.

Similarily, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin has done much to advance the piano in terms of its suitability to dance tunes and airs, and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill developed an individual approach through her work with various groups for more than thirty years. Since the 1970s, synthesisers have been a very common feature in many groups.


Seán Ó Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Caomhín Vallely


  • Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill

    Foireann an Bhaid

  • Caomhín Vallely

    The Strayaway Child

  • Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

    By Golly!

  • Seán Ó Riada

    Aisling Gheal

  • Eleanor Kane

    The Morning Dew / The Travellers / Shark's Favourite