17th century

notes and references

1. Colm O Baoill, ‘Some Irish Harpers in Scotland’ Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 47, 1970-72, p.143-171, revised as Colm Ó Baoill, ‘Highland Harpers and their Patrons’ in James Porter (ed.) Defining Strains: The Musical Life of Scots in the Seventeenth Century. Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland 2, Peter Lang, Berne, 2007.

2. www.earlygaelicharp.info/sources

3. The earliest setting of this tune is on my CD Clàrsach na Bànrighe; you can read more about Da Mihi Manum and listen online here

4. R.B. Armstrong, The Irish and Highland Harps, Edinburgh, David Douglas, 1904, p. 65. See also www.earlygaelicharp.info/harps/cloyne.htm

5. Other evidence for chromatic Irish harps is discussed in Michael Billinge and Bonnie Shaljean, ‘The Dalway or Fitzgerald harp (1621)’ Early Music, Vol XV no. 2, May 1987

6. Seán Donnelly, ‘The Famousest Man in the World for the Irish Harp’ Dublin Historical Record vol LVII No. 1 Spring 2004

7. Painting by Reinhold Timm in the Danish National Museum; reproduced in Early Music May 1987 and also (mirror image) in Early Music May 2000; colour reproduction at nationalmuseet.dk.

8. Frances Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 1627, items nos. 146, 223 & 278 (James Spedding et al (eds), The works of Frances Bacon, (Longman & co., London, 1859), vol. 2, pp. 399-400, 420, 433

9. John Evelyn's diary, 20 Jan 1654 & 14 Nov 1668 (W Bray (ed), The diary of John Evelyn... (London, no date), p. 273 & 418)

10. There is a chart comparing the different shapes of surviving instruments at www.earlygaelicharp.info/harps/thumbs.htm. See also Joan Rimmer ‘The morphology of the Irish harp’ Galpin Society Journal no. 17, 1964; also Simon Chadwick, ‘The early Irish harp’ Early Music vol 36 no.4, November 2008, pp.521-532

11. R.B. Armstrong, The Irish and Highland Harps, Edinburgh, David Douglas, 1904. See also www.earlygaelicharp.info/harps/kildare.htm. There is a small recent b&w photograph in Early Music November 2008.

12. See my Nails page for details.

13. William Matheson, The Blind Harper - the songs of Roderick Morison and his music, Scottish Gaelic Texts Society, 1970



© Simon Chadwick 2007 - part of the history of the Gaelic harp, at earlygaelicharp.info