Clementi & Co., London, 1809
Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland
ANHISTORIC 1L SJVD CRITIC 4L DISSJERT4TIOSWON THEJ 13 3 3+Give me some music :now, good morrow, friends :Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,That old and antique song we heard last night;Methought, it did relieve my passion much;More thanlight airs, and recollected terms,Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times.Mark it, Cesario; it is old and plain:The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,And the free maids, that weave their thread with bones,Do use to chaunt it; it is silly sooth,And dailies with the innocence of love,Like the old age.IN the following disquisition, instead of pronouncingwith certainty on the rara in which Ireland received themusic of her Harp, or the country whence she imme-diately derived it, the principal documents and au-thorities extant shall be laid before the reader, that hemay draw his own conclusions. Most of the testimoniesadduced are borrowed from other nations, and, of course,carry additional weight in favour of the claims of thiscountry. It is certain that the farther we explore, whileyet any light remains, the more highly is Irish bardicminstrelsy extolled.Diodorus Siculus, who wrote forty_five years A. C.says, that the bards stept in between hostile armies,standing with their swords drawn and their spears ex-tended ready to engage, and by their eloquence, as byirresistible enchantment, prevented the effusion of blood,and prevailed upon them to sheath their swords . Wemay at least infer, that their influence over the minds ofthe people was great beyond example f. We learnthrough him , that they sung their poems to the music ofan instrument like a lyre; and by Ammianus Marcellinus ,A. D. 390, that they celebrated the brave actions of il-lustrious men in heroic poems, which they sung to thesweet sounds of the Lyre Q. Strabo, Diodorus, andAnimianus Marcellinus, unite in declaring that they ex-isted among the ruder branches of the Celtic tribes before* Diod. Sic. Lib. V. chap. 8.+ Lucan I. calls the bard a poet or prophet.One of the most certain criteria of the antiquity of a nation, is its being possessed of a native or original music. Dr. Brown remarks that,Moat countries peopled by colonies, which after a certain period of civilization have iaaued from their native soil, possess no characteristic musicof their own; that the Irish, Welsh, and Scotch ace strictly natives, and accordingly have a music of their own. That the English, on thecontrary, are a foreign mixture of lately established colonies, and, in consequence of this, have no native music. He who would find the originalmusic of England must seek it in Wales. [ Dr. B. on Poetry and Music.)Carthage was a colony from Tyre; and music, which was of weight in the native city, was of no consideration in the descendant state; thesame principle applies to all times.Died. Sic. v. 31. There are also among them makers of verses whom they call barda: these, playing on instruments like Lyre:, celebratesome and revile others. Amos. Marc. xv. c. 9.SHAK. TWELFTH NXGRT.* Aanm. Marc. B. xiv. c. 9.
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