Frank Corcoran

irish composer

ON THE HISTORY OF “IRISH ” MUSIC . BE WARY.

Re the history of Irish music :

there is certainly a lot of nonsense around , including often in our usual suspects ( Henry Grattan Flood, for

example, is hardly usable. P. Henebry also. ) .

From Breand’an Breathnach I was lucky to inherit healthy scepticism ; but also to approach much as an archaeologist

would – his

FOLKMUSIC AND DANCES OF IRELAND has good stuff ( eg. on how recent the dances are or on the genealogy of certain Slow Airs )

A must , too, is Donal O’Sullivan FOLKSONGS OF THE IRISH ( title ? ) , certainly out of print now. More recent

collectors are also sounder – Tom Munnelly, Fintan Vallely, that U.C.D. Swedish Professor of Folklore their Dept. is good.
The odd introductions from the BBC collectors of the thirties to fifties, Seamus Ennis etc. can be pearls.

A must is Breandan ‘O Madagain’s pioneering work on the Old Irish Caoine and its genealogy going back to the Fenian “laoi”.-
I myself published two important essays in The Journal of Music , was it 2000 and 2002 .

A gob-smacking must is , I find, that beautiful reference in ” Agallamh na Seanorach ” ( “Tales Of The Ancients Of Ireland ” ? – that Harvard author,
Jeffrey Ganz, was it ? where Oisin, quizzed by our St. Patrick, told of Finn McCumhal’s beloved little harpet, Ceann Corach ( ? ) who
could play
” the music of all that is…. ”

Let me muse and mull some more ….

Posted under: Humble Hamburg Musings

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