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
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
In Edward Bunting’s notebooks from the 1790s, there is what looks like a live harp transcription version of the Carolan tune, Madge Malone (DOSC 98).
The transcription is on Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 234/232/241/f115v. It shows what seems to be a dots transcription expanded out with note stems and beams. Then Bunting has made a neat copy based on and derived from the transcription, on the facing page 235/233/242/f116r.
This is a lovely tune, and this transcription has lots of interesting harp idiom in it. But, it is the only source for the tune of Madge Malone as far as I am aware. Because we have three consecutive versions (the transcription, the neat copy, and the published piano arrangement), we can use the changes from one to the next to understand Edward Bunting’s working method, starting from him listening to a live performance by an old Irish harp tradition-bearer, and finishing with a very pianistic classical arrangement intended for wealthy piano amateurs.Continue reading Madge Malone
Edward Bunting made what looks like a live transcription of a harp performance of Bob Jordan, apparently in 1792. You can see the transcription notation at Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 162/160/169/f79v.Continue reading Bob Jordan
Carolan’s song addressed to Eleanor Plunkett, which begins “A Nelly an chúil chraobhaigh”, is fairly well known nowadays.Continue reading Eleanor Plunkett
Edward Bunting made a live transcription of the tune of Madam Cole, from the playing of an old Irish harper, probably in the summer of 1796. The transcription is in Queen’s University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4.29 page 149/146/155/f72v. However, the transcription is too fragmentary to reconstruct a performance.Continue reading Madam Cole
I was going to make a video demonstration of Edward Bunting’s live transcription of the tune of Betty O’Brian, but I didn’t because it is too corrupt.Continue reading Betty O’Brian