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Updated 01/11/2017



The Irish musicians had three styles, the effects of which the old Irish romance-writers describe with much exaggeration, as the Greeks describe the effects produced by the harp of Orpheus. Of all three we have numerous well-marked examples, descending to the present day. The Gen-traige [gan-tree], which incited to merriment and laughter, is represented by the lively dance-tunes and other such spirited pieces. The Gol-traige [gol-tree] expressed sorrow: represented by the keens or death-tunes, many of which are still preserved. The San-traige [suan-tree] produced sleep. This style is seen in our lullabies or nurse-tunes, of which we have numerous beautiful specimens.