Sean-nós (Irish for “the old way”) is a traditional style of unaccompanied singing native to Ireland. The Philadelphia Ceili Group audio collection in the Villanova University Digital Library contains a wealth of information and beautifully performed examples of this interesting and unique element of Irish culture.
Here is an introductory explanation of the craft by Irish musician and musicologist Mick Moloney, from an Irish Songs Workshop at the 3rd Annual Irish Traditional Music, Song and Dance Festival, held in Philadelphia in September 1977:
Mick Moloney, Johnny Moynihan, and Andy O’Brien are just a few of the prominent Irish artists who can be heard on recordings in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection singing songs in the Sean-nós style. Try searching the Digital Library by subject on the term Sean-nós, and you will find a wealth of significant tracks available for streaming.
For a real treat, check out this incredible concert-length performance by traditional Irish singer Paddy Phelan, recorded at an event sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group on March 6, 1992: