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
Roger Begley was a blind traditional Irish harper from Belfast. He married a Dublin girl and they went to live in England.
I had not heard of Roger Begley until a few years ago. His name doesn’t appear in any of the books or articles about the Irish harp tradition. This post summarises what I have found from digging in the archives, to try and give us a picture of his life.
Continue reading Roger Begley
Patrick McCloskey (or McClusky) was a blind Irish harper who died very young.
Continue reading Patrick McCloskey
Hugh Fraser (or Frazer) is an Irish harper whose name appears quite often, because he taught the harp in Drogheda in the 1840s. This post is to draw together other references to him, to try and build more of a picture of him and his life.
Continue reading Hugh Frazer
I don’t know very much about Bridget O’Reilly, but I thought it might be useful to start gathering references to her. There are also a few references to un-named female harpers which might possibly be her. Hopefully in time we will find more detailed references which will allow us to tell more of her story.
Continue reading Bridget O’Reilly
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 was doing my newspaper research a month or two back, I found quite a lot of mentions of tunes played by individual named harpers. I realised that I could usefully try to collate all these different references, to get some kind of overview of what were the most commonly mentioned tunes in the inherited Irish harp tradition through the 19th century.
Continue reading 19th century Irish harp tune lists
In 1839, the elderly Edward Bunting was living in Dublin and was preparing the piano arrangements and text for his final publication.
Two Belfast gentlemen wrote two different letters to him, about the then-still-living Irish harp tradition.
Continue reading Two letters to Edward Bunting
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.
Continue reading “…George Jackson when he was stringing my Harp…”