I'd like to start a page on Celtic music because it is a passion of mine. I have a BA in Ethnomusicology from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. My mentor was David Reck, Amherst College.
I first experienced Celtic music at the age of 10 when my Mother and Father took me to a New England Contra Dance near Ayer, MA. The skirling sound of fiddles and high lilting flutes combined with banjos and guitars driven by the beating of a bodhran was enough exciting and stimulating. I had been taking violin lessons by then for about six years. I was part of a pilot Suzuki Violin program at the Dana Hall School that was started by the New England Conservatory. Up until then, all my personal music experiences were of a classical nature. Of course my parents also listened to Folk music including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Huddy Ledbetter, and more; but I never made a connection between the music I listened to for fun and the music I learned in class. I always felt they were worlds apart. And they are.
Celtic music is commonly called that because its origins are in Western Europe, predominantly the area now known as Great Britain. Heavily influenced by Irish, Scottish, Welsh folk traditions, it was stimulated in part by drumming from Spain and Italy and dancing from Norway and Sweden.