Paul Smith was a traditional Irish harper in the late 19th and early 20th century. I think he was the very last professional Irish harper in the inherited tradition. He died in poverty, ignored and marginalised. This post is to begin gathering information about him.Continue reading Paul Smith
I think that Joseph Craven was a traditional Irish harper, though actually I have no information about his background or musical lineage – it is possible he was a classical pedal harpist. But I think he is more likely to have been one of our traditional boys. In this post, we will go through what we do know about him and see what we think. If new material appears to prove me wrong, we can put it in the comments at the bottom.Continue reading Joseph Craven
It is a common trope in the world of historical Gaelic harp studies that the tradition was “broken” in the 19th century, that the revivers of the harp of Ireland and Scotland had no contact with the last of the old tradition-bearers. But yesterday, Sylvia asked me if I was sure that this was true, and so I started to wonder.