Counterpoint in music – as much a concept as a technique – has been with us for centuries, from the twelfth-century vocal music of Léonin to the playlists on our iPods. But what is really at the heart of the idea?
A double CD entitled Music from Ireland 2011 will be given to the visiting parties of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama during their state visits to Ireland in May. What does this collection say about contemporary Irish musical life?
A new generation of musicians and singers is pulling the English folk scene alongside its Irish and Scottish neighbours, pointing to a new era of collaboration – and perhaps even the healing of old wounds, writes Toner Quinn
Ciaran Carson is a poet, prose writer, translator and flute-player, and the author of Last Night’s Fun, a book about Irish traditional music. He is is Professor of Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast.