Release of Companion as an eBook


The Companion to Irish Traditional Music is now available in digital formats. On February 1st 2013 it was released as an ebook on Kindle and on iBooks. It is also available to libraries on-line through the Project Muse UPCC collection, as part of a greater collection, or, later in 2013 as an individual title; libraries can also get access from CHOICE website by subscription.

This is a landmark for a reference publication dedicated to Irish music, and opens up a huge new potential for the encyclopedia’s use in education in particular. The online formats make it possible for schools and colleges to economically manage productive access to the book’s huge volume of data: searches for places, names, music or instrument references, quoting information or gathering together linked but diffuse information on such as dance or song – as part of project and music programme research.

Each of these digital versions also has the terrific ability to not only find a term or name within the book itself, but will also do a search on the web for the same term. A wonderful way to save time and to broaden knowledge, this ties the data from the book into the huge resources on the internet.This revolutionises the Companion’s potential, making it a highly convenient, valuable, everyday resource for any musician, music lover, music student or researcher.

In its Kindle and iBooks editions the many musicians and music lovers whose interest is the community and history of Irish music will be able to have it not only as a portable resource, but one which they can conveniently page-mark, search and peruse at their leisure on any digital device. With c. 600,000 words of highly specialised content this is good value, particularly on the Kindle version which permits reading on all kinds of mobile devices AND laptops. [SEE BELOW FOR ADVICE ON CHOOSING WHICH SYSTEM]

View sample pages on Kindle
The kindle format is the most versatile, for it can be read not only on light, hand-held Kindle devices, but also on most mobile phones, all tablets and PC and Mac laptops and on all systems and makes of desktop computer.
The iBooks version can be read only on Apple iPhone and iPads.

The software needed to read ibooks or kindle is available for free download.

The digital Companion is hugely superior to browsing websites – the entire book is downloaded to your device and once installed requires no internet or wireless connection – it is always there. That is, unlike the very valuable sites such as, or the amazing facility of Tunepal, you can have the Companion wherever you go, no matter how remote – uninterrupted. The ebook version will cost €29.99 – half the full, hard-copy retail price. A kindle reader weighs 170 grams, the hardback Companion weighs 1.7 kilograms: for a regular reader that’s half the price, one tenth the weight.

To purchase

For all Apple devices only – ibooks
For all devices – including Apple – kindle

Software needed

To download kindle – for all kinds of devices, including Apple computers, phones and pads

To download iBooks – for all Apple devices only



Kindle (on PC, Android and also Mac)
iBooks (Mac, iPad, iPhone only)

Kindle version

Downloads rapidly
Use highlights on text
Multiple-word and name search
Search results not identified by chapter and page number
No separate sections for A-Z units
Page marking
Multiple-word and name search
Can be used on laptop AND phone, tablet etc.

iBooks version

Downloads rapidly
Use highlights on text
Multiple-word and name search
Search results organized by page & chapter
A-Z in separate chapters
Page marking
Read on iPhone, iPad only, NOT laptop


Both versions can search for a term or name within the book itself and also on the web, and both display the found items in sequence. But there are differences which may be important:

If you want to or need to read the book on any system of phone or pad AND ALSO on  laptop or computer, get the Kindle

If you will be using only an iPhone or iPad to read it get the iBooks version

If you need to have details of where ‘found’ items are located, and  you have an iPhone or iPad, get iBooks version

Need versatility?

A stronger reason to purchase the Kindle version is that you can read both on mobile devices (all systems) AND on your laptop or desktop computer. Perhaps more useful for students, travellers or for musicians on the road. It does not have the overall text broken down into separate A-Z chapters however, and though it gives search results in chronological order, it does not identify what chapter they are located in; this may make the interpretation of search results more cumbersome.

Need to quote?

A stronger reason to purchase iBooks version is if you will be reading only on an iPhone or iPad, for it is easier to negotiate. It has the overall text broken into A-Z chapters, and gives chapter and page numbers to identify where searched-for items are located. This makes searching clearer and ultimately faster, and also makes it easier to go to a particular section for sustained reading; it is also very useful for research, detailed quotation, referencing or planning by such as teachers.

Hard-copy book available by post from Cork University Press