Celtic music is a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved
out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic peoples of Western Europe. The
term Celtic music may refer to both orally-transmitted traditional music and
recorded popular music with only a superficial resemblance to folk styles of the
Most typically, the term Celtic music is applied to the
music of Ireland and Scotland, because both places have produced well-known
distinctive styles which actually have genuine commonality and clear mutual
influences. The music of Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany, Northumbria and
Galicia are also frequently considered a part of Celtic music, the Celtic
tradition being particularly strong in Brittany, where Celtic festivals large
and small take place throughout the year. Finally, the music of ethnically
Celtic peoples abroad are also considered, especially in Canada and the United
The most significant impact of Celtic Music on American styles,
however, is undoubtedly that on the evolution of country music, a style which
blends Anglo-Celtic traditions with "sacred hymns and African American
spirituals". Country music's roots come from "Americanized interpretations of
English, Scottish, Scots and Scots-Irish traditional music, shaped by African
American rhythms, and containing vestiges of (19th century) popular song,
especially (minstrel songs)". This fusion of Anglo-Celtic and African elements
"usually consisted of unaccompanied solo vocals sung in a high-pitched nasal
voice, the lyrics set to simple melodies (and using) ornamentation to embellish
the melody"; this style bears some similarities to the traditional song form of
sean-nós, which is similarly highly-ornamented and
Celtic-Americans have also been influential in the
creation of Celtic Fusion, a set of genres which combine traditional Celtic
music with contemporary influences.
A Renaissance fair, Renaissance faire, or Renaissance festival is an outdoor weekend gathering, usually held in the United States, open to the public and typically commercial in nature, which emulates a historic period for the amusement of its guests. Some are permanent theme parks, others are short-term events in fairgrounds or other large public or private spaces. Renaissance fairs generally include an abundance of costumed entertainers, musical and theatrical acts, art and handicrafts for sale, and festival food. Some even offer camping, for those who wish to stay more than one day. Most Renaissance fairs are set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Some are set earlier, during the reign of Henry VIII, or in other countries, such as France, and some include broader definitions of the Renaissance which include earlier periods, such as the Vikings, or later, such as 18th Century pirates, and some engage in deliberate "time travel" by encouraging participants to wear costumes representing several eras in a broad time period. Renaissance fairs encourage visitors to enter into the spirit of things with costumes and audience participation. Most tolerate, and many welcome, fantasy elements such as wizards and elves.
Chicago journalist Neil Steinberg said (of the Bristol Renaissance Faire), "If theme parks, with their pasteboard main streets, reek of a bland, safe, homogenized, whitebread America, the Renaissance Faire is at the other end of the social spectrum, a whiff of the occult, a flash of danger and a hint of the erotic. Here, they let you throw axes. Here are more beer and bosoms than you'll find in all of Disney World."
Most Renaissance fairs are arranged to represent an imagined village in England during the reign of Elizabeth I, as this period has been generally considered to correspond to the flowering of the English Renaissance.
In a modern Renaissance festival there are stages or performance areas set up for scheduled shows, such as plays in Shakespearean or commedia dell'arte tradition, as well as anachronistic audience participation comedy routines. Other performances include dancers, magicians, musicians, jugglers, and singers. Between the stages the streets ('lanes') are lined with stores ('shoppes') and stalls where independent vendors sell medieval and Renaissance themed handcrafts, clothing, books, and artworks. There are food and beverage vendors, as well as game and ride areas. Games include basic skills events such as archery or axe-throwing as well as Drench-a-Wench and Soak-a-Bloke, which allow a player with a good aim to hit a target and get a fair employee wet. Rides are typically unpowered—various animal rides and human-powered swings are common. Live animal displays and falconry exhibitions are also commonplace. Larger Renaissance fairs will often include a joust as a main attraction.
In addition to the staged performances, a major attraction of Renaissance fairs is the crowds of actors - both professional and amateur - who play all sorts of historical figures and roam the fair, interacting with visitors. Visitors are encouraged to wear costumes, once any weapons are suitably peace-bonded, contributing to the illusion of an actual Renaissance environment. Many of the fair vendors sell or rent costumes for all ages and types. The Renaissance fair subculture's word for these costumed guests is "playtrons", a portmanteau of the words "patron" and "player", and they add a second level of enjoyment to their experience by "getting into the act" as Renaissance Lords and ladies, peasants, pirates, belly dancers, or fantasy characters. However, many renaissance fairs discourage interaction between the official cast and so-called "playtrons."
Most fairs have an end-of-the-day ritual, a parade or concert where all employees gather and bid farewell to the patrons.
Renaissance fairs are staged around the United States at different times of the year. Fair vendors, participants and crew often work the "faire circuit", going from event to event as one fair ends and another begins.
Although historical reenactments are by no means exclusive to the United States (for example, the Earl of Eglinton in Scotland sponsored a large tournament in 1839), the Renaissance fair is, arguably, a uniquely American variation on the theme, having as much the flavor of an amusement park combined with a shopping mall as of a historical reenactment. European historical fairs, on the other hand, operate more on the living history museum model, in which an actual historic site is peopled by reenactors whose job it is to explain historical life to modern visitors. American Renaissance fair patrons may be as interested in drinking, eating, shopping, and watching farce as they are in an educational experience.
In recent years, American-style Renaissance fairs have made inroads in other countries. Germany has seen a very similar phenomenon since the 1980s (see de:Mittelaltermarkt), and beginning in the mid-1990s, Renaissance fairs have spread into Canada.
Spinoffs of Renaissance fairs also include fairs set in other time periods, such as Christmas fairs set in Charles Dickens' London. The American approach has apparently been exported back to England; a warehouse-based theme park, "Dickens World", opened in Kent, England, in May 2007.
We are pleased to announce today that VideoCelt is now accepting video clips directly from our members. Rather than linking directly to the video, members can choose to upload a video file up to 75 megabytes in size. For videos large than the 75 meg limit, please contact us directly to coordinate the transfer of your video file.
With this new feature of VideoCelt, we come closer to fulfilling our purpose in promoting through content, Celtic Music and Videos to the fastest growing community of members and listeners interested in all things Celtic. Through music, history, movies, and songs we are providing a great free place that both members and musicians can share their favorite clips.
Thanks to all of the members, moderators and listeners of Celtic Radio that have made VideoCelt.com a unique and compelling alternative to some of the major video sites on the internet. And be sure to check us out everyday for a new featured video on our main page.
So you've written a sweet song, and like a true rock star you want to record your work. Luckily for you, even you don't have much cash, you can still make a decent recording using your computer. One of the most important things needed for good recording is a good microphone. There are many great microphones out there for recording, including some specialized for computer recording. Even on a budget, there is a plethora of options to get musicians on the path to making a great recording. However, there are some basic questions you need to consider before making your mic purchase.
What will you be recording?
Recordings could be as simple as a solo keyboard or electric guitar or as complicated as a full band. If you are planning on recording an instrument like acoustic guitar or vocals, you will likely need to invest in a decent microphone. There are different types of microphone, mainly categorized as either dynamic or condenser. For things like voice or acoustic guitar, condenser mics are much preferred because they capture more of the complete sound of a room. However, dynamic microphones may be more versatile and don't require phantom power to operate. Phantom power is a voltage that needs to be supplied by a pre-amp for some microphones to work.
However, for those who want to invest for far superior quality, there are several options. Firstly, there are microphones specialized for computer recording that plug right into your computer's usb port. Before buying these, it's important to check their compatibility with whatever recording program you're using. A list of available usb microphones is available through a great online music store called Musician's Friend. From experience, I will vouch for the MXL 990 usb microphone as a great relatively inexpensive usb condenser microphone, at $99.95. The great thing about this mic is that it come with a little stand and a sturdy case. The sound quality is great, and from my experience it's pretty reliable. The MXL 990 can be purchased from Musician's Friend. If you're on a tight budget, Nady makes a usb mic that only costs $31.95. It too can be purchased from Musician's Friend.
If you need your microphone to be very versatile, you may want to invest in a dynamic microphone. These can be great for micing things like guitar amps or drums. A great, fairly cheap dynamic mic is the Shure SM57. It is considered to be "the industry standard" and is a great general-use workhorse microphone. They cost about $99 new, but they are so popular that it is fairly easy to find a used one for cheaper. Another great feature of the Shure SM57 is it's solid build. It's a very sturdy mic that can survive a few drops or kicks. If you want a cheaper option, Behringer makes some incredibly inexpensive microphones that only cost about $25 each. These might be good if you are on a tight budget but your project requires lots of microphones. Quality wise, they are not up to par with Shure, and are built with more questionable quality.
Condenser mics as previously mentioned are great for recording things like vocals and acoustic guitar, and can really capture the richness of sound you experience when you're playing live. Condenser mics can run up over $8000, but there are several affordable options as well. For an affordable option, MXL makes a version of the 990 (as previously mentioned) without usb capability. This mic only costs $70, making it a great coice for someone on a budget. For a step up in quality, Studio Projects makes a fantastic condenser mic called the B3. It retails for under $150 and sounds very good. More info on tis quality mic can be found at Studio Project's website.
Built-in Computer Mics
Some computers come with basic microphones, but generally the quality of these is very poor and they are apt to clip or distort easily when you are recording. If you're really desperate and just want to use the little mic that came with your computer, you can cover it with a sock. As strange as this sounds, it prevents some of the clipping problems that are commonly found when recording with these mics. With this method you can get some rough recordings down.
Lastly, it's important to make sure the mic you buy will work with your recording set-up. Condenser mics will likely also require a pre-amp with phantom power, so it's important to consider these costs as well when purchasing a mic. Good luck and enjoy your next recording project!
The video-sharing phenomenon, youtube, has made its mark on computer screens around the world. Now everyday people are getting in on the filmmaking action posting videos of varying quality. A random look at a recent day’s most-viewed videos on youtube includes topics ranging from “A Sloppy Drunk” and “A Guy Goes Shopping with a Stocking on His Head” to “Healthy, Quick, and Easy Recipes” and “An Interview with Bruce Willis”.
Whether users are after their fifteen minutes of fame or are using the site to share videos with family and friends, youtube does have a variety of uses that go beyond mere entertainment. For example, one often overlooked use of youtube is in conjunction with eBay or other online marketplaces.
For example, if you are selling an item online such as a car, RV, or boat, consider posting a video of it on youtube and providing a link in your online description. This gives buyers the opportunity to fall in love with your item by seeing it in much greater detail than mere photos can provide.
Another youtube use is for sharing videos of the family with grandparents. This offers immediate gratification of seeing the little ones in action without the need for shipping off tapes or DVDs. You can even make your videos private by going into the My Videos section and choosing the Edit Video Info button. Simply find the broadcast section and click the option that says Private.
Use youtube when planning a family reunion. Ask family members from around the globe to post short videos showing a little bit about their lifestyle before the reunion. This allows everyone to get reacquainted beforehand and makes a terrific icebreaker. It also allows family members to show off their homes and hobbies as well as reveal a little about themselves that otherwise might not get shared.
Get creative and dream up new uses for video-sharing on youtube. You too can youtube.