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Cinnard Cruit

from Edward Bunting, The Ancient Music of Ireland (Dublin 1840), page 20: The different kinds of Irish harps.


Irish cruit an chinn aird spoken by Gráinne Yeats
Scottish Gaelic ceann-àrd chruit spoken by Tony Dilworth

Click the play button to hear it spoken. help


Two examples of ‘high-headed harps’ from the 18th century. The ‘head’ is the part at the top right on each of these two illustrations.
O'Neill harp Rose Mooney's harp

The O'Neill harp
Kept at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.
36 strings, longest 118cm

Click here for more information

Rose Mooney's harp
Kept at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins barracks, Dublin.
c.32 strings, longest 104cm
Click here for more information


Cinnard Cruit (p.31: Cinnard chruit) - The high-headed harp

This is not a genuine Gaelic term, but has been crudely formed to match the English term. It doubtless represents a genuine form like cruit an chinn aird, 'the harp of the high head'. Cruit (a feminine noun) appears to be the oldest term for a harp (occurring as crott in the Old Irish period, c.600-c.900), and is apparently applied also to other stringed instruments.

Colm Ó Baoill 2002