Simon Chadwick - Early Harp

Music - Instruments - Repertory - Recordings - Youtube

I am searching for a sniff of the most ancient strands of the indigenous traditions, from Scotland, Ireland and neighbouring countries.

I have been rifling through old books and manuscripts, and listening to archive recordings of old tradition-bearers. Sometimes I find a tune that I think is really old; sometimes I find an exemplar of the ancient style and idiom. I try to put these pieces together to create vibrantly ancient interpretations of the old melodies.

The core of my repertory concentrates on the historical music of the Gaelic harp in Ireland and Scotland. I play pieces from the medieval period to the baroque, with excursions into related traditions and styles like Welsh harp music.

I enjoy tailoring my repertory for many different kinds of performance, selecting pieces that reference a particular location or theme.

A particular interest of mine is ceol mor, the old indigenous art music shared by the bagpipes, the fiddle and the Gaelic harp. I am also interested in the development of baroque style in Irish and Scottish music in the years around 1700.

Below is a list of repertory which I have performed. Sometimes the provenance of a piece is complicated: it may have been composed in medieval times and preserved in a seventeenth century manuscript; or it may have been composed by an Irish harper working in Scotland, and been taken back to Ireland in printed books, to be taken up by session musicians; or it may have been first recorded from traditional singers in the 1960s, with only the vague guess of it being “very old”.

Medieval secular music

Medieval sacred music

Rennaisance Gaelic instrumental music

Baroque Irish

Traditional and curious

Fenian lays and related music

Please contact me for more information or ideas.


Simon Chadwick, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Return to Index page.
Last updated September 2015