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Irish traditional music session

Irish traditional music sessions are informal gatherings at which people play or sing traditional Irish music. Sometimes there are more-or-less recognized session leaders; sometimes there are no leaders. The general approach is that someone starts a tune, and those who know it join in. Typically, the first tune is followed by another two or three tunes in a set, or medley of tunes. After a while, the set comes to an end, and after a brief interval, someone else starts another set of tunes. Sessions are often held in pubs (with the hope that listeners will buy drinks for the musicians). Sometimes they are held in homes or at various public places.

Socially, sessions (Seisiún in Gaelic) have often been compared to an evening of playing card games, where the conversation and cameraderie are an essential component. The objective is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners, but in pub sessions, the punters (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening.

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