The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93538   Message #1805141
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
09-Aug-06 - 07:37 AM
Thread Name: Carolan or O'Carolan??
Subject: RE: Carolan or O'Carolan??
Bunting's dates and attributions are not always reliable. "O'Caghan" more commonly known as O'Cathain (in a variety of spellings including English-language variants) is a different character altogether, a harper-composer born before Carolan's time.

Bunting's three volumes ARE a great source of music but - particularly in the later two - you will have to pare away the Victorian-pianoforte-style accompaniments and extract the gem and re-arrange it for your instrument. They contain chromatic changes that Irish harpers would not have been able to cope with. It's well worth the effort, but don't take all his history as gospel text. It's still an impressive achievement, and he continued collecting tunes for decades after the Belfast Gathering (1792), thereby enriching us immeasurably. His books and field notebooks remain some of the most important works in this field.