Early Irish Music: An overview of the linguistic and documentary evidence

Professor Fergus Kelly will present the 2013 Statutory Public Lecture of the School of Celtic Studies on Friday 15th November at 8pm, Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin.

What do the early Irish texts tell us about the history of music in this country? The main emphasis in this lecture will be on the period between the coming of Christianity in the 5th century and the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late 12th century. Topics to be discussed include the identification of the stringed instruments crot and timpán, the use of wind-instruments in military contexts, the development of bag-pipes, the functions of percussion instruments, and the various styles of singing mentioned in the texts. There will also be an account of the evidence for dancing in early Christian Ireland.

The lecture will conclude with a summary of the role of music in early Irish society, and a discussion of the Church’s attitude towards different types of music, as well as an account of the frequent association between music and the supernatural in early Irish literature.

Admission is free and open to the public; there is no need to register.

Part of Tionól 2013. Thanks to Maura Uí Croínín for passing this on.

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