Celtic music is a beautiful medley of different traditional folk music in Europe, and has been loved, composed and performed by numerous artists all over the world. This Melodyful write-up features the top ten Celtic music artists of all time.
The term Celtic music is actually pronounced as ‘Keltic music’, with a hard ‘c’, like cat, and not ‘Seltic music’.
The term, ‘Celtic Music’, is too broad to have a single definition. However, we can say that the folk music of the Celts, who, traditionally, are people living in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and some regions of France and Spain, is called Celtic music. Though its origin dates back to the seventeenth century, Celtic music is widely appreciated all over the world, even today. The growing popularity of Celtic music has ensured that its artists are not restricted to the Celtic regions.
Celtic music artists use traditional instruments such as bagpipes, fiddles, flutes, tin-whistles, and harps, in their songs. These songs range from soft, romantic compositions to upbeat dance tunes. Read on for a list of the top ten Celtic music artists of all time.
Alan Stivell has time and again been accredited for the introduction and popularization of Celtic music in the modern world. Even when he was a child, Celtic music, culture, language, and mythology fascinated him, and he went on to learn the Celtic harp at a young age. His performances presented the beauty of the instrument to enthralled listeners, and his albums have inspired several people to take up Celtic music worldwide. A lot of the new-age Celtic music has been influenced by his earlier works. One of Alan’s biggest ambitions is to repopularize all the songs that were once renowned in the Celtic regions.
Born as Richard Peter Gaughan, Dick Gaughan is a Scottish musician, composer, and singer whose musical works are mainly Celtic or folk. His albums have been widely appreciated all over the world, and have even been included in the ‘Albums of the Year’ and ‘Albums of the Decade’ lists. Old Scottish ballads, which describe the old culture and history of Scotland, are what he loves popularizing, and he has sung many of the ancient Scottish songs during his illustrious career.
A former member of the Irish folk group De Dannan, Dolores Keane has enjoyed a very successful career as a Celtic and folk music artist, and actress. Her deep, beautiful voice is a favorite among fans of all ages, and she is proudly referred to as the ‘Soul of Ireland’. More than often, her albums have topped the music charts worldwide and have earned her prestigious awards for her contribution to the music industry.
Though Van Morrison, or ‘Van-The-Man’, as he is referred to by his fans, has not restricted himself to any one music genre, he still cannot be excluded from our list. Van Morrison’s work has inspired countless musicians all over the world, and has regularly topped music charts in Europe and America. Fans say his songs are magical, which simply spellbound the listener.
Passionate about music and singing since she was three years old, Diane Arkenstone has explored different genres in her career, including trance, Native American, punk, and rock. However, Celtic music has always been among her most prominent works. Diane has produced and recorded over 45 albums which have all been well-received. Previously, she was a part of Enaid & Einalem, the celebrated Celtic new-age duo.
Having been introduced to traditional music since childhood, Paddy Moloney is a founder member of the Irish music group The Chieftains, and for over forty years, has composed music for the same. He is also a celebrated performer and has been a part of every album by ‘The Chieftains‘. Paddy’s music pieces are famous for being a fusion of different instruments, and his unique sounds have become the trademark of the group.
Dougie MacLean is a well-respected, and much-loved Celtic music artist from Scotland. Passionate about music from his childhood, Dougie initially teamed up with Scottish band The Silly Wizard followed by The Tannahill Weavers before performing solo. His first album, Caledonia was a big success, and a song from the album with the same name, quickly became a favorite of the Scottish people. His following albums too, earned him appreciation from critics and fans alike.
Born and raised in Canada, Loreena McKennitt is a very popular female Celtic music artist. She is famous for her delicate voice, beautiful lyrics and the use of traditional instruments in her compositions. Her first album, Elemental, released in the 1980s, and since then, Loreena’s music is well-appreciated by Celtic music lovers all over the world.
Born as Eithne Ní Bhraonáin in Donegal, Ireland, Enya is a celebrated Celtic music artist and one of Ireland’s best-selling female artists. Growing up in a family of musicians, Enya joined her family band, Clannad for a brief period of time before deciding to perform solo. Her first solo album, Enya, went rather unnoticed, but her second, Watermark, earned her worldwide recognition and topped the music charts in Europe. Post Watermark, Enya’s music career took off, and she won four Grammy awards for her work.
Born to Irish parents in the USA, Séamus moved back to Ireland when he was around three years old. He then learned how to play traditional Irish musical instruments and won several competitions in his childhood. He is the founder of the Irish music group Solas, and is considered by many as one of the best traditional Irish musicians in the world.
Here are some much-loved songs by the top ten Celtic music artists of all time.
|Ancient Pines||Loreena McKennitt|
|Children of the Sun||Diane Arkenstone|
|Celtic Ray||Van Morrison|
|The Gael||Dougie MacLean|
|We Got The Rock ‘n’ Roll||Dick Gaughan|
Since Celtic music is so eclectic in nature, there will always be a composition that will suit your mood at any given time. Whether you’re driving to work or dancing, having dinner with your friends or enjoying a cup of coffee by yourself, Celtic music is sure to be an ideal companion. The above-mentioned songs are only some of the many, many popular songs by the artists we included in our list, and we hope you like them!