Simon Chadwick's
Early Gaelic Harp Emporium

Books by Kathleen Loughnane


Kathleen Louhgnane
The Harpers Connellan
Self-published, 2009
Kathleen Loughnane is a well respected player of the neo-Irish harp. This book combines historical research, with arrangements in a modern style for neo-Irish harp. In the introduction, Kathleen lays out what is known of the lives of the brothers Thomas and William Connellan, and discusses the music attributed to them. Thomas went to Scotland and is credited with some popular Scottish tunes, which makes this book very interesting for the connections between Scotland and Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries. There are some interesting photos and some useful background information about 17th century Ireland and Scotland. For each tune, there is a brief historical note, and a facsimile of a source manuscript or print, and a lush modern lever-harp arrangement. The modern arrangements are of no use to early Gaelic harp students, being very chordal and often of a modern version of the tune, with no connection to the source reproduced. However the facsimiles are very useful, being drawn from Neale's Irish and Scotch books, Bunting's manuscripts, and also from the recently-surfaced Pádraig Ó Néill manuscripts.
£20 +


A CD is available, with all of the arrangements printed in the book performed on modern neo-Irish harp by Kathleen Loughnane. Includes sung versions of Éirí an Lae and Molly St George.
£20 +

Gaelic harp connoiseurs will want to track down recordings of the Connellans’ music played on the Connellans’ instrument - the early Irish harp with strings of brass wire. Perhaps the best Connellan song is Síle Bheag Ní Chonnalláin which can be heard sung on Róisín Elsafty's CD Má Bhionn Tú Liom Bí Liom accompanied on early Irish harp by Siobhán Armstrong. Lady Iveagh is played on early Irish harp by Ann Heymann on The Harpers Land; Ann also plays two Connellan tracks (Celia Connellan & Molly MacAlpine) on her LP Anns Harp.

Limericks Lamentation, The Wild Geese, and Molly MacAlpine are played on early Irish harp by Gráinne Yeats on The Belfast Harp Festival. Jimmy O'Brein-Moran performs an uillean pipe version of Molly MacAlpine on Seán Reid's Favourite. And finally, Ann's stunning performance of Limerick's Lamentation and The Wild Geese is on the CD Heman Dubh.

Much of the research on the lives of Thomas and William Connellan was done by Colm Ó Baoill, and his article on them is included in James Porter's book Defining Strains: The Musical Life of Scots in the Seventeenth Century.