Patrick Murney was a blind traditional Irish harper living in Belfast in the 19th century. We have portraits of him and we have traditionary information from him. This post gathers together what I have found so far about him.
(Header image courtesy of National Museums NI)
Continue reading Patrick Murney
Hugh O’Hagan has been known as a harper from the Oriel region for a long time, but there has been very little information about him. I have done some digging over the past few months and this post draws together what I know now.
Continue reading Hugh O’Hagan
When I first strung my first harp with brass wire, I ordered only four reels of brass from Malcolm Rose, in just four gauges of wire. I was inventing my own stringing regime, and I was inspired by the late 19th century scheme on the harp in the Kingussie museum, which was measured and published by Keith Sanger and Alison Kinnaird in Tree of Strings (appendix A, p.213)
I thought it was not sensible to follow a late Victorian revival scheme, and the jumps in tension and touch between the gauges seemed crude, and so I purchased more reels to fill in the intermediate gauges, and ever since I have (like others working in this field) aimed to have gentle transitions in tension and touch from one gauge to the next.
Continue reading Tactile cues in string feel
I first got hold of one of the HHSI Student Otway harps back in 2007, as part of the very first batch of two, made by David Kortier for the Historical Harp Society of Ireland. I believe there may only have been three made in total – one is in the north of Ireland, one was sold to a private buyer, and I currently have at my house one that was made in 2009.
Continue reading Restringing the Otway harp