The Banks of Claudy

Edward Bunting‘s first field notebook, which he used to take down live transcriptions from the old harpers in 1792 and later, is kept at Queens University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4/29.

Usually known as ms29, it is a small oblong notebook stuffed full of sketchy drafts and scribbled transcriptions from the playing of the last tradition bearers.

On page 1 of the book is a two-staff arrangement of “The Banks of Claudy”.

Continue reading The Banks of Claudy

Repairing, restringing and playing the Dolmetsch harp

When Iris Nevins gave me the Arnold Dolmetsch harp no.10, it had a bad soundboard crack. Closer inspection showed that the entire area where the neck attached to the soundbox was also loose.

I had promised Iris that I would get the harp up and running and do a video of it being played, so first I had to repair it.

Continue reading Repairing, restringing and playing the Dolmetsch harp

Karelian jouhikko tunes

I have been practicing my jouhikko tunes in preparation for Northern Streams in Edinburgh, (24-25 April 2015). These are the very first jouhikko tunes I learned, as they were on the ‘Reel’ demo tape with Alexander Leonov’s jouhikko playing, which I was given as a gift many years ago, brought back from Petrozavodsk Folk Festival by a friend. Continue reading Karelian jouhikko tunes