If you ask people to summarise the sound of Irish music, you’ll likely get back a “fiddle-diddle-iddle-diddle-aye” sound.

This isn’t just a casual summary of what the music sounds like; it’s also the basis for a whole musical form, often improvised or made in the absence of physical musical instruments. It’s called lilting, and it has a rich tradition and history in Ireland.

The sounds in lilting are, as explained by Oscopo in the video above, “non-lexical vocables”, like the ones used in scat singing.