Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 16

Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 16
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periodical Publisher
Clementi & Co., London, 1809
periodical Editor
Edward Bunting
periodical Title
Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland
volume Number
issue Content
customed to carry about their Harps, and to take apious delight in playing on them.This early notice of the proficiency of Scotland in themusical art is worth attention. It may be pronouncedwithout hesitation, that the reference is to the Highlands.Ireland, in this passage, is declared to be the parentcountry of music to Scotland, a fountain of time art; inwhich light the scholar was then herself beginning to heheld, as well as her mistress. Now time beautiful andstill existing Lowland airs of Scotland could never haveentered into Cambrensis contemplation; for these wantthe bewildered strain, the rapid movements and unex-pected cadences, the aniini impetus of minstrels, whoconsidered themselves almost prophetic and inspired.The southern melodies breathe the mild softness ofpastoral innocence, unmoved by boisterous affections.Every note in them speaks the language of comparativelymodern habits and manner; every air can at first hearingbe comprehended in foreign countries, and harmoniaedwithout violence by the rules of modern refinement. Notthe most remote similarity or analogy can be traced be-tween the ancient melodies bf these two districts; theycould never have flowed from the same fountain. Wetherefore conclude that the praise of Cambrensis appliedto the Erse Aborigines; the connection between themand the Irish is well known: their early intercourse, thecommunity of their poetry, the identity of their lan-guages, and the many proofs that th,ey were both deri-vatives from one stock. In confining the praise of ourWTelsh author within its proper channel, we by no meansdepreciate those admirable compositions of time Lowlandsof Scotland, which excite the purest feelings of the heart,and do honour to the country that produced them: weonly endeavour to develope the truth of history, and toascertain the historians meaning. In what page of theirannalist, Bucizannan, or of Boethius, still older, or Fordun,the father of their historians, do we discover allusions tothe high musical excellence of the Lowlands io earlyages? or what quarter shall we explore to find nationalinstruments of high perfection attributed to them I Eventhe HARP was not among them. On the other hand,few are the old British authors that do not present uswith eulogiums on Ireland for both, above other nations.Cambrensis, speaking of the effects of music, has, inthe following passage, recorded the extreme love of theIrish for their national instrument. The sweetness of music not only delights with its harmony, it has its ad vantages also. It not a little exhilarates dejected minds, it clears the clouded countenance, and removessnpercihonsness and austerit. harmony is a kind of food to the mind. Whatever be our pursuit, musicassists application and quickens genius; it gives courage to the brave, and assists the devotion of the pious. Hence it is that the bishops, abbots, and holymen in ireland are used to have the 1-Tarp about them,and piously amuse themselves with playing it; forwhelm reason the 1-Tarp of holy Kejeinus is held in such great e,tinmation by tIme original inhabitants.llesnle, the warlike trumpet sends forth a musicalconsonance when its clangonr gives the signal for at tack. Music hasa power to alter our very nature.Hence, the irish, the S panish, and some other nations, amid t their funeral raihings, bring forth musicallameistations, either to increase or diminish their grief.A century preceding Cambrensis, the Welsls bards,celebrated for their musical art, sought for and receivedinstructions from those of Ireland. To this a passage inlo weac f, the Welsh historian, and still more autho-ritative proofs bear testimony: There are three sorts of minstrels in Wales; the first sort named Beirdh, which are makers of songs and odes of sundrie measures,wherein not onlie great skill and cunning is required,but also a certeine natural inclination and gift, which,in Latin, is termedfuror poeticus. These do also keepe records of gentlemens arnies and pettegrces, and areI best esteemed and accounted of among them. The second sort of these are plaiers upon instruments, chielbive the 1-Tarp and the Cro wth, whose musike, for the most part, came to Wales with the said Gr?ft yth apconan., who being oss the one side an Irishman by his mother and grandmother, and also borne in Ireland,brought over with him out of that countrie diverscunning musicians into Wales, who derived in a manner all the instrumental musike that now is there used, as appeareth as well by the books written of the same, asalso by the names of the tunes and measures usedamongst them to this daie . The third sort, calledArcaneaid, are those which do sing to the instrumentplaied by another, and these be in use in the countrie to this daie.Caradoc of Llancarvan, another Welsh authority alsoof the twelfth century, assures us (according to Wynne)tiisdplina. Hibersia quidem, tan um duobus utitur & dolectatur instrumenti, fJgthara Scil: tympano, Scotia, tribes, CYTHARA, TYMPANO& clzoro, Owallia Vera Cytliara, tibus I? c/ oro . nis quoque magis utuntur chordis IIil,erni guam do Cons factis multorum autem opinisne hodjeScotia non tantum magistram quiparaVit Iliberniam, verum etians in musica penitia longs prcvvalet & prwcellit. Unde & jl,i quwsifontem antis,jam requleunt. Episcopi, & al,bates, & Sancti in Hilernia yin Cytharas circumfsrre, et loris modulando pie delectari consueverunt. Meaning, probably, St. Keiven, or Coemgen, of the sixth century, founder of the monastery of Glandallouch in the county of Wicklow.t David Powells History of Camnbria, translated by Lloyd, edit. 1584. The statute of Gruffyd op Conan is still extant in a parchment roll inthe Ashmolean library, Oxford. He succeeded to the principality of North Wales in 1079, and died in 1137 at Aberifraw, the royal seat of theprinces of North Wales. His Institutes of Music are minute and curious: the reader may find a sketch of them in Joness Reliques of the WelshBards, a book worthy of high commendation.Powells assertion requires no confirmation; if it did, it is amply supported in the passages which follow in the text. The learned SELDEN, insnore modern times, says, that the music of the 1 ,V ehsh, for the most part, came out of Ireland with Gruffydth ap Conan, prince of North Wales,about king Stephens time. tArud, Notes on Draytons Polyolbion.]The measures themselves are given in this treatise, and their translation.
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