Caitlín Ní Uallacháin was one of the personifications of Ireland in poetry and song. There is a whole nest of variant and different tunes titled Caitlín Ní Uallacháin (Anglicised as Cathleen or Kitty Nowlan), but we don’t have enough time or space to go into them all here. All we can do is look at four versions of the tune in Bunting’s manuscripts.Continue reading Caitlín Ní Uallacháin
Bunting wrote the tune of Hugh O’Donnell into his little collecting pamphlet, perhaps in 1792. You can see the tune written neatly and clearly on Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 12/12/021/f5v.Continue reading Hugh O’Donnell
Some time in the 1790s, Edward Bunting made what looks like a live transcription notation of the tune of Miss Kelly.Continue reading Miss Kelly
The Yellow Horse is a curious little song air. We have three independent transcription notations of variants or versions of this tune, under two different titles, in Edward Bunting’s transcription notebooks from the 1790s. They are all three a bit tricky to understand.Continue reading An gearrán buidhe
The Blackbird and the Thrush is a very beautiful old tune. We have what may be a live transcription of a traditional harp performance, noted down by Edward Bunting in the 1790s. However, as usual with Bunting’s work, all is not straightforward, and he has messed us around a lot.Continue reading An londubh agus an chéirseach
On the same manuscript page as The Beggar, Bunting also wrote what looks like a live transcription notation of the tune of Planxty Irwin (DOSC 59). You can see both of these tunes on Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 7.Continue reading Planxty Irwin
In Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 20, there is a line of dots which I have always marked as “unidentified tune”. I just could not work out what is going on here.
However Sylvia Crawford has analysed the mode of the dots and suggests that they represent Bunting’s first attempt to transcribe a harp version of the tune of DOSC 60 Colonel Irwin.Continue reading Colonel Irwin
Edward Bunting wrote a notation into one of his little transcription pamphlets in the 1790s, showing two tunes (Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 7). I think these may be live harp transcription notations.
Just glancing at the notations you can’t see them as two different tunes; there are three sections of notation with two sets of double-bar-lines dividing them up. But we can recognise them as two different tunes; the first two sections of notation are the tune of “The Beggar”, and the third section of notation is the tune of “Plangsty Irwin”.Continue reading Bacach buí na leimne
Edward Bunting made what looks to me like a live transcription notation of the tune of Casadh an tSúgáin, probably in Summer 1792. He writes 50 years later that he took this down from the harper Rose Mooney, but I don’t know if we can rely on his memory. Anyway, the transcription notation is very interesting and presents a very lovely version of the tune with a lot of what I assume is old Irish harp idiom and style in it.Continue reading Casadh an tSúgáin