Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Pádraig Ó Caoimh
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The famous Sliabh Luachra fiddle player and travelling fiddle-master Pádraig O’Keeffe (1887–1963) from Glountane, near Castleisland, Co Kerry, at first followed in his father’s footsteps as the principal teacher in the local national school, but in 1920 abandoned conventional school-teaching for a more bohemian lifestyle.
He had inherited music from his O’Callaghan mother’s side of the family, and over the next four decades he taught hundreds of pupils, fiddle especially but also accordion and other instruments, moving in a wide circuit within striking distance of his home. An eccentric and notably witty character with a gift for musical variation, he left an indelible stamp on the music and folklore of the region, and is an example of how an individual musician may almost create a local music style.
In his teacher-training, O’Keeffe would have learned the rudiments of staff notation and tonic solfa, but for his own teaching purposes he devised more intuitive tablature systems. For the fiddle he employed the four spaces of the music staff to correspond with the strings of the instrument, and with numerals indicating which fingers were to be pressed down. For the accordion he used numerals for the keys to be pressed and in- and out-symbols to indicate the direction of the bellows. Hundreds of the notations he left with pupils have been preserved in private hands, and two volumes of facsimiles have been published (Dan Herlihy, Sliabh Luachra Music Masters vols 1 & 2, Herlihy, Killarney, 2003 & 2007).