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the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I

The Sandman 26 Mar 10 - 10:14 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 26 Mar 10 - 10:24 AM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 10 - 11:25 AM
Stower 26 Mar 10 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Mar 10 - 01:11 PM
The Sandman 26 Mar 10 - 01:17 PM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 10 - 01:38 PM
JeffB 26 Mar 10 - 02:34 PM
The Sandman 26 Mar 10 - 03:23 PM
mikesamwild 26 Mar 10 - 03:29 PM
JeffB 26 Mar 10 - 04:55 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 10 - 08:05 AM
G-Force 27 Mar 10 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 27 Mar 10 - 12:36 PM
JeffB 27 Mar 10 - 01:09 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 10 - 01:41 PM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,julia L 27 Mar 10 - 03:57 PM
JeffB 27 Mar 10 - 09:15 PM
BobKnight 27 Mar 10 - 10:51 PM
Effsee 28 Mar 10 - 12:56 AM
JeffB 28 Mar 10 - 11:38 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 10 - 11:52 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 10 - 11:53 AM
Jack Campin 29 Mar 10 - 10:10 AM
mikesamwild 29 Mar 10 - 03:28 PM
Jack Campin 29 Mar 10 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 30 Mar 10 - 04:33 AM
Jack Campin 30 Mar 10 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Chris Newman 30 Mar 10 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Danno 30 Mar 10 - 05:20 AM
IanC 30 Mar 10 - 06:26 AM
David Ingerson 02 Apr 10 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Steve Howlett 02 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM
MartinRyan 02 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM
The Sandman 02 Apr 10 - 12:38 PM
Paul Burke 02 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM
The Sandman 02 Apr 10 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,WireHarp 02 Apr 10 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Chris Newman 02 Apr 10 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 10 - 02:09 PM
The Sandman 03 Apr 10 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Stephen Howlett 03 Apr 10 - 05:56 PM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 10 - 06:34 PM
Jack Campin 05 Apr 10 - 07:35 PM
Tootler 05 Apr 10 - 08:05 PM
Jack Campin 05 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,WireHarp 06 Apr 10 - 02:44 PM
Tootler 06 Apr 10 - 02:49 PM
The Sandman 06 Apr 10 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Apr 10 - 09:34 AM
The Sandman 07 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM
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Subject: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 10:14 AM

After the Battle of Kinsale she ordered her military to hang the harpers and burn their instrument.
How instrumental was this in the decline of the Irish Harp.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 10:24 AM

All part and parcel of the ongoing suppression of a culture; the loss of power of the Gaelic chieftains, with consequent lack of patronage, must also have played a part throughout the seventeenth century. Who was it told of playing music, or singing songs, to empty pockets?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:25 AM

It didn't decline.

In Joan Rimmer's "The Irish Harp", she describes the years just after 1600 as the period of greatest development of the Irish harp, but significantly, in a non-traditional direction that made it more suitable for playing early Baroque music. That being what the Irish aristocracy now wanted to listen to, they wouldn't have been very interested in continuing to employ performers on an instrument that could only play an outdated repertoire.

As far as repression goes, she simply alludes to harp song being forbidden within the Pale, and from what she says about how the Irish harp continued to be made and developed both within Ireland and beyond it, there can't have been any serious attempt at systematic suppression. (Compare it with what happened in Chile in 1973 - the generals killed Victor Jara and would have killed a lot more leftist singers if they could have got hold of them, but the CIA didn't attempt to ban the guitar).


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: Stower
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:00 PM

That's interesting, GSS, I didn't know E1 had ordered such a brutal putdown. From what Jack says, it was a one-off rather than part of a wholesale anti-harp action? I'd be interested to know more from either of you.

Jack, "... after 1600 as the period of greatest development of the Irish harp, but significantly, in a non-traditional direction that made it more suitable for playing early Baroque music." Could this be why, a little later, Turlough O'Carolan was so influenced by the Italian baroque, and why we have only a tiny handful of traditional tunes arranged by him?

"That being what the Irish aristocracy now wanted to listen to, they wouldn't have been very interested in continuing to employ performers on an instrument that could only play an outdated repertoire." And those were the people who gave Carolan his living, so it would make sense for him to compose in a baroque style for them. I know little of Irish harpers contemporary with Carolan: were there others, whose music has survived, composing in a similar recognisably baroque style?

Thanks, GSS, for opening this up. I'll watch this thread with great interest.

Stower


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:11 PM

What killed the harp?

poverty

I read a book about the landscape once which said that a peasant living in medieval England was better provided for than one living in 18th C. England. Things were probably even worse in the 19th C.

the commericialization of music ("Don't YOU make make music! Your music is not cool! Buy recordings of glamorous people instead. Then we won't ridicule you.")

alcohol and tobacco, which soaked up whatever spare money was available


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:17 PM

Jack Campin
blind patrick byrne,was known as the last of the grT IRISH HARPERS hewas born 1794,IF he was known as the last of,this suggests the harp went into decline,byrne had no pupil to bequeath his harp to asking instead that the shirleysdisplay it for future generations.
Jack can you show that the harp was not in decline?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:38 PM

The harp was never an instrument of the people - poverty wasn't an issue. Ireland had an aristocracy that got steadily wealthier with time, like everywhere else in Europe, and they were the people who employed harpers.

The best-known contemporary of Carolan was David Murphy, composer of the song/march tune "Lord Mayo". If that tune is typical, his style was more like what we now think of as the mainstream of Irish traditional music than Carolan's was. According to one anecdote, he didn't have much time for Carolan's stuff, and said so ("bones without flesh"), whereupon Carolan gave him a beating.

But Irish mediaeval and Renaissance music was even *less* like modern folkdance-centred idiom. We have a few pieces from the Renaissance, mainly survivals in Scottish sources, and they have weirdly rhapsodic forms with irregular phrase lengths, like Arabic classical music or (perhaps significantly) the unclassifiable fringes of the piobaireachd repertoire. We don't know beans about Irish mediaeval music, but we do know what Gerald of Wales thought of it, and as Rimmer points out, the main thing we can conclude from what he says is that it can't have been very different from the art music he'd encountered in Britain or he'd have said so (he did point out some fairly minor stylistic differences). And that music was in turn all of a piece with what you could hear in elite circles in France, Spain or Germany.

The period most people think of as the decline of the Irish harp was the mid-to-late 18th century, between Carolan and the Belfast Harp Festival. We have a pretty good idea how the music-patronizing elite socialized then - much the same in Ireland as they did as far away as Sweden or Hungary - and a genre of quiet listening music that required in-depth knowledge of local or clan/family traditions to appreciate just didn't fit.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: JeffB
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:34 PM

Donal O'Sullivan's "Irish Folk Music and Song" is fairly brief but informative, and agrees with Jack Campin's post. If I read O'Sullivan correctly, it seems that up to about 1550 harpers and bardic poets supported each other. He says that the "predominantly literary influence from a cultural standpoint was excercised by the court poets ... The poems were composed for the heads of the noble houses ... and they were intended to be accompanied by music played on the harp." None of this music, incidentally, has survived.

The invasions of Elizabeth, and later Cromwell, eventually destroyed the bardic schools, which had more or less disappeared by the mid-17th C. But the harpers survived for another hundred years or so, "adapting themselves to the changed circumstances; and those who composed metres for for their own melodies used the popular song metres as their vehicle".

O'Sullivan goes on to name some of the more notable harpers (apologies to Gaelic speakers, I don't know how to type the accents) :- Rory Dall O Cathlain, about 1550-1650, from County Derry but mainly resident in Scotland; Carrol O'Daly of County Wexford, who was a contemporary of O Cathlain and is thought to have written "Eileen Aroon"; Thomas Connellan of Sligo who died in Edinburgh about 1700; and of course Turlough Carolan (1670-1738).

Except for Carolan, very little is known about these harpers or their work. Less than 30 of their tunes have survived, which might contribute to the impression that the Irish harp was not played after Elizabeth's invasion.

I believe there has been some debate about whether Carolan should be regarded as being of an Irish school at all, perhaps being better described simply as a Baroque composer (i.e of an international school). I think O'Sullivan is worth quoting at length here :-

"During the first half of the 18th century the taste for Italian music was predominant in Dublin, the composers most in favour being Corelli, Vivaldi and Gemininiani. Carolan fell under their spell, being indeed enraptured with Corelli; and the form and melodic idiom of many of his later pieces give a clear indication of his deliberate imitation of his style. But the best of these (and they are numerous)are not imitations only. By the mysterious alchemy of genius he has given tham a character part Irish, part Italian, and wholly beautiful and sedate; and in one or two cases he has created melodies which perhaps not even Corelli himself could have attempted to rival."

O'Sullivan mentions the Harp Festival held over three days in July 1792 in Belfast, which employed ten harpers, three of whom were blind. Most of them were over 70, one being 97 years old. The age of these men might well indicate that the harp was in decline by this time, although of course that is arguable. Presumably the best musicains available were invited, but whether they were local or came from a wide area, or whether or not they had pupils, O'Sullivan does not say.

I think Dick has answered his own question of whether Elizabeth I was a factor in the demise of the Irish harp by pointing out that the last great harper was born in 1794, over 200 years after Kinsale.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:23 PM

OK, so as well as Elizabeths edict,what else contributed to the Harps decline,it was 50 odd [might still be]years ago, one of the Comhaltas objectives,to particularly enciurage people to learn the Harp and the uilll ean pipes,so they must have regarde them as endangered.
Jack ,you havent answered my question.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: mikesamwild
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:29 PM

wasn't it Raftery the blind poet who told poem to empty pockets?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: JeffB
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 04:55 PM

Well, my impression is that neither Elizabeth nor Cromwell caused the decline of the harp. Elizabeth's decree was enforcable only over a comparatively small area, and even after Cromwell invaded there were harpers for another 150 years or so. Some posts have suggested economic reasons, which in the case of the harp would mean that the traditional sources of support (the wealthy families who would take in a harper for a while and be his patrons) had gone, or at least, didn't have any money. But who knows if that's true? Certainly the MacDermott Roes supported Carolan all his life, in fact the family sponsored him in his study when he became blind as a teenager, and it was in their house that he died. Did they also sponsor other harpers, and if not why not? I think the answer will need a specialist in Irish culture and society of the time. But from what O'Sullivan says, my impression is that fewer and fewer people took up the harp from the early 18th C on.


Let me ask another related question. Why did the Northumbrian smallpipe decline towards the end of the 19th century, when it had reached its peak of technical development? The answer (as I understand it) is that people began to prefer the concertina. Why prefer the concertina? Because it was cheaper, easier to learn, less liable to damage when being transported, could be heard better outdoors, and didn't go out of tune. (I know there will be heaps of objections to that, but I believe those are the usual resasons given). Could not the same reasons be given for the gradual decline of the Irish harp? Rather boring reasons, but no less valid. There is no doubt that for a travelling minstrel, a harp is an awkward thing to lug around. Carolan travelled by horse, so had to employ a servant to ride with him to lead his horse and carry the harp. Every blind harper (and playing the harp seems to have been a traditional occupation for a blind man) must have had the same problems.

And were harps played anywhere other than the halls of the rich? If most people heard their music from a fiddler in their local shebeen and hardly ever heard a harp, there would be little incentive to go to the expense and trouble of taking it up.

Dick, perhaps your question should be - why was the harp able to hang on as long as it did?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 08:05 AM

perhaps a more a accurate description might be Elizabeth speded up the decline.
The patrons of the last great irish harper[ Byrne] appeared to be the aristocracy,irish and english hgh society ,was opened up to him,including Queen Victoria.
Apparently there was a revival of irish harping[sometime about 1820 1840]this was led by northern prebyterians including the united irishmen.
Byrne played few public concerts BUT preferred pivate paid concerts from the gentry
in 1856 he performed publicly in Scotland and he was robbed by pick pockets of about 15 pounds[a considerable sum in those days]perhaps that influenced his decision to perform for the gentry


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: G-Force
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 09:02 AM

I believe the harps of those days were very different from the modern user-friendly Celtic harps we're familiar with. They had heavy gauge metal strings for a start. Can't have been easy to play compared to other instruments which were being developed at the time.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 12:36 PM

The accents on vowels (fada) in Irish can be typed by holding down the 'Alt Gr' key and striking the required vowel - á, é, í, ó, ú.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: JeffB
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:09 PM

Thanks John. But at the risk of appearing dense, I can't see an Alt Gr key on my keyboard. When I press Alt I get my Favourites list. I do know this computer dislikes me, which doesn't help.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:41 PM

Wéll Í névér knéw thát!

DéG


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM

For portability, don't use those Windows-specific key sequences.

The HTML codes are:
      á á
    é é
    í í
    ó ó
    ú ú
and those will work on any browser.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 03:57 PM

Interesting discussion
Something that has not been mentioned is the advent of the keyboard. The keyboard gives instant access to all keys and modulations are easy. The traditional harp originally had no way to change key except by retuning. The harper could play in various modes, but not change key. Sharping blades were added to facilitate the modulations and accidentals, but it could not be done as quickly as the keyboard. The pedal harp, which has a mechanism for accomplishing this with foot pedals, was developed in the mid 18th century. It became more popular as it could accomodate the "new" music and arrangements.

Two other changes occurred in harp playing at this time which also were, I believe, a result of the popularity of the keyboard. Harper(ist)s started playing with the harp on the right shoulder, the right hand playing treble,left hand playing bass, as one would on a keyboard. Previously, the harp was held on the left shoulder with the left had playing treble. Welsh harpers still play this way.Incidentally, the Welsh have the only unbroken harp tradition in the "Celtic" lands.

The other change was that Harper(ist)s began playing with the pads of the fingers instead of with the nails. Nails were previously used to play both wire and gut strung harps.I have not heard a good explanation for the change except that apparently when musicians started switch hitting on instruments, the nails were trimmed to make the change from keyboard to harp and back more easily.The pedal harp is played exclusively with the pads of the fingers.

Carolan's music, which has a baroque flavor to it, reflects his status as an itinerate harper who would want to stay with current trends in order to get gigs. remember that Handel premiered the Messiah in Dublin and Geminiani is buried in Ireland. Their music was fashionable and Carolan was influenced by them. Also, remember that he was blind and his music was written down 60 years after his death by Edward Bunting, a highly trained organist (keyboard player!)

The demise of the harp (except in Wales) was a combination of politics,technology and fashion.

best- Julia Lane


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth 1
From: JeffB
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 09:15 PM

Dick's remarks about a temporary resurgence of the harp after 1820 led by Protestant United Irishmen based in Ulster is interesting as I had assumed that they were no longer an influence after the abortive rebellion of 1798. But obviously it wasn't enough to re-establish the harp in its traditional role, which seems to have been more or less confined to private performances for wealthy 18th-19th C gentry.

I find myself wondering what the harpists of the late 18th C played. Some of their repertoire was definitely airs for songs, but perhaps the Baroque had a lingering influence. Bunting collected many of the airs played at the 1792 festival and published 66 of them four years later, "practically very one of them distinguished for beauty and elegance" says O'Sullivan, so these at least should be somewhere in the public record. They were mainly melodies for songs, because later he was able to find the texts in Munster. Did the old men come to Belfast to play their music from the south of Ireland, I wonder? Or were they common currency throughout Ireland?

Bunting went on to publish another 77 tunes in 1809, and in 1840 143 tunes collected from singers and harpers in his youth, but O'Sullivan is not clear as to whether this last book had new material. Between 1927 and 1939 the Irish Folk Song society of London published Bunting's first two volumes as six books of songs in Irish with English translations and notes. Perhaps Comhaltas has copies.

The good news is that while the Irish harp is not played as much as it was 200 years ago, we still have the Bonny Shaljean and Maire ni Chathasigh (damn! Still can't do those accents) to carry on the tradition, and I'm sure there are many others.

Julia's comments on the keyboard are I think very pertinent, and perhaps after looking at the various reasons offered we can now say that neither Elizabeth I nor Cromwell killed off the Irish harp. But I have to say too ... where the hell is that Alt Gr button every else has?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: BobKnight
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 10:51 PM

Alt Gr button on my keyboard is at the right hand side of the space bar.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Effsee
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 12:56 AM

Mine too!


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: JeffB
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 11:38 AM

Ó Í séé! Thanks guys, on my keyboard it's just another Alt key without the Grrrr. So what does Gr mean anyway? If anything. And why have two Alts which I suppose do different things? And why is the world of computers the only place where opaque and arcane jargon is permitted? Computers, Grrrrr.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 11:52 AM

I spent ages wondering how I could write " Cajón " ---Thanks !!
Great thread ,by the way,and very interesting and informative ; thus is one able to learn more & more about,for example,Carolan,as time goes by.
   Roger ...Cajón- player ( Cajónista ?)


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 11:53 AM

Sorry ! Not logged in !!
          Bubblyrat,on Wild Flying Dove's computer(see above)


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 10:10 AM

What you wrote came out on this computer looking like CajÛn. Not every setup understands Windows keycodes.

If you'd typed "Cajón" you'd have got "Cajón" on everybody's system.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: mikesamwild
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 03:28 PM

Thánks fór thát!

Now how do we really spell Maire ni Cathasaigh or Micheal o' Raghallaig   et al. Is there an Irish spellcheck?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 04:44 PM

Th?s fÛr th?

That was what your first line was rendered as on my browser. What did you mean?

Máire Ní Chathasaigh - Máire Ní Chathasaigh (she gets the HTML horribly wrong on her own website, resulting in something I wouldn't have had a prayer of understanding if I didn't know of her already - maybe she's only interested in selling CDs to Windows users)

Mícheál O' Raghallaigh - Mícheál O' Raghallaigh (I'd just say Mike O'Riley)


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:33 AM

I bet a harp is a bugger to tune!


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:50 AM

The old Irish harp also pushed the limits of what wire of the time could do, and strings broke a LOT. Good luck finding a spare gold string when travelling round rural Ireland.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Chris Newman
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:59 AM

Jack...what browser are you using? Please reply to chris@oldbridgemusic.com - don't wish to clutter up the forum!


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Danno
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:20 AM

The Bunting collection can be viewed on the Na Píobairí Uilleann site(the Pipers club in Dublin) - http://www.pipers.ie/NPUPublic/Archive.aspx


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: IanC
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:26 AM

I'm trying to find an earlier thread on this subject but the search doesn't appear to be working.

As far as I understand, the harp thing is essentially an "urban myth" because:

(i) the declaration was never actually enacted (it was simply a declaration, even according to Grattan Flood).
(ii) it's unlikely that Elizabeth knew anything about it anyway (it was made in 1603, and she died 24-03-1603, and it was made in her name, not by her).
(iii)Elizabeth retained and paid an Irish harper until her death.
(iv) there is no evidence of a single harper having been hanged because of it.

I know this information is "common knowledge" on the internet. If you find the original thread, I believe there's a little more information.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: David Ingerson
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 08:33 AM

Not only is this a fascinating thread but it is also an example of how unconfirmed myths about history can be so easily spread. Before reading this I would have repeated the myth that Elizabeth I caused the decline of the Irish harp. Thanks everyone for all the good thinking, the referenced facts and theories, and constructive responses.

Cheers,

David


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Steve Howlett
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM

Máire Ní Chathasaigh. Now I can spell it, but how the AltGr do you pronounce it?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM

Steve

Try Maur-uh nee Koh-huss-ee with the o short (as in short) and stresses on the maur and koh syllables.

The purists will quite rightly object and complicate things with dialect - but the above will not be bad enough to have you thrown out of pubs.

Regards
p.s the last syllable is also often pronounced ig as in big.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 11:59 AM

You didn't spell it. On my setup that came across looking like

M&emdash;e Nì Chathasaigh (same as on her website)

whereas what you wanted was

Máire Ní Chathasaigh

which you encode in ASCII like this:

Máire Ní Chathasaigh

HTML was designed to be written in 7-bit ASCII, and anything you write that way (using the & ... ; codes) will ALWAYS work. You can use other character sets, but only in contexts where the browser setup has a way of finding out what you mean. Otherwise those 8-bit characters could mean anything to somebody using a different OS, browser or language setting to you. Some sites specify a particular interpretation in headers that you can't see, but Chathasaigh's doesn't as yet, and Mudcat has NO WAY of indicating the correct interpretation.

If you want to avoid writing gibberish to most of the world, use those ASCII codes, or just avoid non-ASCII characters entirely. Use the HTML practice thread to try it out.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 12:38 PM

how about Maura ne Cosse


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Paul Burke
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM

Mary Casey. Seán Ó Chathasaigh is what John Casey called himself in his Nationalist days. He's better known nowadays as the playwright Sean O'Casey.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 02:08 PM

yes, mary casey is pretty close,providing youadd a west cork; bandon; lilt.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,WireHarp
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 02:17 PM

I think the decline of the harp was a coming together of a number of factors at once. Did the Treaties of Kinsale and Limerick hasten the process? To some degree, as was mentioned ( the undercutting of patronage). Someone touched on the keyboard - problem with this notion is that keyboards were existing side by side (at least in the sense of time) with the cláirseach for a long period but the rise of chromaticism in Baroque music really made the harp extinct. Ann Heymann likes to say that the Irish harp drowned in a sea of pianos. Not only did the taste in music change among the wealthy, but couple this with the passion for dancing and the poor harpers were so old fashioned that by the Belfast Festival they were seen as relics. Even then, only one of the harpers at that gathering played in the old style, with fingernails (Donnchadh Ó Hámsaigh or Denis O'Hempsey). The pastoral pipes are gaining sway, they become the union pipes and are seen as a much better accompaniment to the dance. Gentlemen pipers, ladies learning the more affordable pianoforte... the harp was relegated to a symbol of days gone by. Even Wolfe Tone, whose United Irishmen were the real force behind the festival absolutely HATED the music, as he fell asleep and was later heard to mutter 'strum, strum and be hanged'.

Come to think of it, I STILL hear that phrase now and then... oh my...

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Chris Newman
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 03:44 PM

Good Soldier Schweik wrote:

>yes, mary casey is pretty close,providing youadd a west cork; bandon; lilt.

100% correct, but don't even think of addressing her that way unless you want your knees re-arranged!

Funnily enough, within her family (in English) she's called Miriam. Go figure...


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 02:09 PM

Wireharp, I listened to your songs, but I didn't hear any wire harp.
Do you actually play?

I hang out with harpers. To have a healthy harp tradition, a society needs:

harp makers
harp teachers
harp players

The harp players need to buy the harp, pay the teacher, and buy the strings. They also need a way to move it, which may involve a good dolley. It certainly involved a vehicle, whether a horse & cart or the right-size automobile.

The money for all these things was far from abundant in Ireland in recent centuries.

In addition, there was not the interest. I was in Ireland a few years ago, and I asked a barmaid about harp music. She said, "We have harps on our ub signs, but nobody actually plays one."

As folkies, we know she was wrong, but from her perspective, nobody plays.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 04:35 PM

oh well, Bandon is a protestant town apparently even the pigs are protestant,
She might try kicking me, i am pretty handy with my plates of meat too,she might end up with no hampsteads in her north and south,and minus her barnet fair,plus she might find her mutton pies get a bunch of fives.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,Stephen Howlett
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 05:56 PM

Jack. Fancy me not knowing about html. Forget me own name next.
Get a better browser.
I like Google Chrome, but I also like Firefox. Which is better? There's only one way to decide.
Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 06:34 PM

Most days I use three different browsers on three different platforms and it can be as many as six. Get a clue about portability and elementary considerateness. For starters, not everybody has the same native language you do, and that's the factor that makes the largest difference.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:35 PM

I have just noticed that Dick asked the IDENTICAL question on TheSession and started a discussion that ran for a few dozen postings. And didn't once have the courtesy to tell anybody on either forum that he'd done it.

http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/24190

How many OTHER places did you do that, Dick?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:05 PM

So he asked the same question on two forums. So what?


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM

So HE got to see ideas from both, but he wasn't offering anybody else the chance to. Neither forum had a monopoly on interesting ideas, and most people who took the time to post on either would have liked to see the full range of opinions prompted by the question.

It's self-centred, exploitative behaviour, treating people as if they are nothing more than pages from an encyclopaedia.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,WireHarp
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:44 PM

Hi Leeneia

Sorry for the delay in responding, I lost the thread for a bit.
Yes I do play, the sound samples are on the third page in the recordings
section on my website. Look for links in the upper left hand corner.

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Tootler
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:49 PM

Jack Campin,

You have a point, but surely a polite pm suggesting that Dick put a link to the other forum would have been a better way of dealing with the issue rather than the somewhat blunderbuss approach you took.

Once you pointed out the discussion on thesession dot org, I read it with interest, but I can't say I got over worked up about Dick not mentioning the other forum.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:44 PM

Jack,in answer to your question,None


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:34 AM

Found it, Wireharp. Recordings 3...

Good playing. Everybody here who's interested in harp should check out Wireharp's site, especially Recordings 3.

It's nice to hear from somebody who likes early music. Recently I played recorders in a concert by six harps. Their leader likes me to add interest without seeming to take over.

It's dangerously easy to make it seem as if this is a recorder playing with a harp back-up band.
=========
In Western culture there is a thriving tradition which I call 'stick in a woman and make it her fault.' We see it in literature and movies, where the cast is all men save for one bad woman, who makes everything go wrong. From Eve to Pandora to Nurse Ratched, it's a long, sad list.

Apparently the idea that Elizabeth I killed the harp in Ireland is just another example of this. Elizabeth didn't kill the harp. Poverty killed the harp.
=========
PS 'ub' was supposed to be 'pub'.


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Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM

Subject: RE: the demise of the harp and Elizabeth I
From: Jack Campin - PM
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM

So HE got to see ideas from both, but he wasn't offering anybody else the chance to. Neither forum had a monopoly on interesting ideas, and most people who took the time to post on either would have liked to see the full range of opinions prompted by the question.

It's self-centred, exploitative behaviour, treating people as if they are nothing more than pages from an encyclopaedia.
1. it is not anyones responsibilty to provide links,The provision of links is an added extra,and should not be taken for granted
2.what happens on another forum is not relevant to this forum.
3.you might take a less negative perspective,Ihave given everyone here an oppotrtunity to contribute by starting the thread.Likewise those people that dont visit this forum have had an oppotrubity to discuss it elsewhere.
4.If I hadnt started this thread no one would have had a chance to discuss it here likewise on the session,Jack you should be thanking me, not railing at me,this is a classic half empty or half full situation


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