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An exhibit of material from the collection of Lewis Becker, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law. March 13, 2006 – April 28, 2006 Falvey Memorial Library Villanova University
Traditional Music and Musical Instruments (Exhibit Case 10)
The musical instrument most closely associated with Irish traditional music is the harp. A great deal of information on traditional Irish harp music can be found in the work of Edward Bunting (1773-1843). Bunting, as a nineteen-year-old musician, was hired to transcribe the music at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792, the last gathering of traditional harpers. Thereafter, he continued collecting harp music during his travels across Ireland. Bunting eventually published three collections of Irish music in 1796, 1809, and 1840.
The most famous of all of the Irish harpers was Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), whose songs are still widely played today. Donal O’Sullivan was a noted expert on traditional Irish music and his study of O’Carolan is very extensive.
The first edition was published in 1904
Another traditional Irish musical instrument is the Irish bagpipes, which differ considerably from the perhaps more familiar Scottish bagpipes.
Collections of traditional music were not limited to Irish music. For example, see the displayed books by Bronson and by Fraser.
The first edition was published in 1816