O'Keeffe, Pádraig, 1887-1963

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

O'Keeffe, Pádraig, 1887-1963

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

Description area

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).


Glountane, near Castleisland, Co Kerry

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

IE ITMA P00079

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places