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Dawn of Day

In the 1790s, Edward Bunting made a notation of a tune titled “Dawn of Day”, apparently as a live transcription from the playing of the old Irish harp tradition-bearer Denis O’Hampsey.

In this post we will have a look at the live transcription notation and try to say something useful about it.

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John Jones

In one of Edward Bunting’s little collecting pamphlets from the 1790s, there is a two-page opening containing a live transcription notation and expanded neater version, or the tune of John Jones. You can see the two pages online. They are Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 164/162/171/f80v and page 165/163/172/f81r

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True love is a tormenting pain

Some time in the 1790s, Edward Bunting made what looks like a live transcription of the tune of True love is a tormenting pain, from the playing of the elderly Irish harper and tradition-bearer, Denis O’Hampsey.

The page with the live transcription notation on is now Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 p.160/158/167/f78v.

In this post we will look briefly at the live transcription notation, to see what it can tell us about traditional Irish harp performance style and idiom.

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Cad é sin do’n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

In the 1790s, Edward Bunting made a transcription of the tune of Cad é sin, live from the playing of the traditional Irish harper Denis O’Hampsey.

In this blog post we will briefly go through what we know about this live transcription notation and what it might tell us about traditional Irish harp performance style.

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“…George Jackson when he was stringing my Harp…”

In the early 1900s, the Belfast carpenter William Savage and his younger brother Robert made a very decorative copy of the medieval Brian Boru (Trinity College) harp. When the harp was finished, brass wire strings were fitted by George Jackson.

George Jackson had learned harp from Patrick Murney, in a lineage going back to the 18th century Irish harpers. I recently started to wonder if some of Jackson’s strings might still be on the harp.

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Codladh an Óigfhir

In Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 49/45/054/f22r, Edward Bunting has written what looks like a live transcription notation from a traditional harper informant, of the tune of Codladh an Óigfhir.

This tune has had tons written about it, connecting it to Danny Boy, but in this blog post we are going to pretty much ignore that and concentrate on Bunting’s live transcription notation, because for this Old Irish harp Transcriptions Project what we are really interested in is not so much the tunes themselves, but what the initial live transcription notations can tell us about old Irish harp performance style and idiom.

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Lady Letty Burke

Edward Bunting made what looks like a live field transcription of the tune of Lady Letty Burke, from the harper Denis O’Hampsey in the 1790s. In this blog post we will have a look at Edward Bunting’s notations, and think about what they can tell us about the old Irish harp tradition.

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Uilleacán Dubh O

In the 1790s, Edward Bunting wrote what looks to me like a live transcription notation of the tune of Uilleacán Dubh O into one of his wee collecting pamphlets. In this post we are going to look at the manuscript page, and try to work out what it is and what we can find out about it by collating against other information.

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