Bunting - The Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 66

Bunting - The Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 66
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periodical Publisher
Hodges & Smith, Dublin, 1840
periodical Editor
Edward Bunting
periodical Title
Bunting - The Ancient Music of Ireland
volume Number
issue Content
54 ANCIENT MUSIC OF IRELAND.clearly from the following passage in the life of St. Brigid, by Animchad or Animosus,Bishop of Kildare, who died A. D. 980.The blessed virgin on another occasion was requested to go to the king of that country,(Munster,) who was then at the plain of Cliach, for the purpose of procuring the liberationof a certain person whom the king had in chains. So the beloved of Christ came to thekings house, but did not find the king there; the fosterfather of the king, however, withcertain of his friends, were in the house. And the blessed virgin, seeing harps in thehouse, said, Play upon your harps to us; (C itharizate nobis.) They answered her, Lady,the harpers are not now in the house Then one of the companions of the holy Bridget,speaking jestingly, said to them, Let the holy virgin bless your hands, in order that you maybe enabled to perform what she desires of you, and obey her directions. Then the kingsfosterfather and his Sons said, Let, then, the holy one of God give us her blessing, so thatwe may play upon our ciarps for her; (Uitharixemus ei.) And the saint having b1es edthem, they took the harps, and, ignorant though they were, yet they played upon the hai pssweetly and in modulation, as if they had been skilful harpers. (Et modulanter rudes,quasi periti cithariske, et dulciter citharizabant.) Then the king came to the house, and,hearing the sound of the song, (carminis,) asked Who sings? (quisfacit hoc carmen?)and. one meeting him said, My lord, your fosterfather and his sons (are they who sing) atthe command of the holy Brigid. The king, astonished at the fact, entered the house, andstraightway craved a blessing of the saint, &c. He liberates his prisoner, in considerationof the blessing which he receives, and the adventure ends thus : But the kings foster-fimther and his sons were approved harpers, even unto the day of their death, and theirdescendants (nepotes) were the honored (venerabiles) harpers of kings. aIn like manner, the author of the very ancient life of St. Kiaran states of Angus, Kingof Munster, whose death is mentioned in the Ulster Annals, A. D. 489, that he had excel-lent harpers, who, playing upon their harps bcfore him, sung the acts of heroes sweetly iiiverse; (in carmine citharizantes canebant.)bSo also Dallan Forgall, in his poem on the death of his cotemporary, Columba, whodied A. D. 594:1 r abpcrn p cpuir an celr_j.lnte ocir alp n ap ctiiI ualr.The song with (i. e. accompanied by) the harp, is without joya sound following the bierto the grave. Whence it appears, that in the sixth century the harp was also used as anaccompaniment to the caionan.Doubtless, the poet mentioned by Adamnan in his life of Columba,c as one who sungcanticles in modulation according to the rules of his art, (modulabiliterea7 more artis suce,)was a harper as well as singer; and although it is probably no more than a chance coincidence,a Colgan Trias Thaum., pp. 557, 8; Ex vita iv. S. Brigid , c. 80. b Capgrave Acta, S. p. 460.C Colgan Trias Thaum., p. 247.
issue Number
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periodical Author
Edward Bunting
issue Publication Date

Bunting - The Ancient Music of Ireland

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