Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 38

Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 38
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periodical Publisher
Browne and Nolan Ltd, Dublin 1913
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periodical Title
Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music
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60 MISTORY OF IRISH MTjSIRISH MUSIC BEFORE THE ANGLO-NORMAN INVASION. 61tibus conficitur duin viritim separatimque sentiunturvoces longe a se discrepantjbus intensionjs et remis-sionis proportionibus segregatac durn vero sihi invicemcoaptantur secundum certcjs rationabilesque artis musicaeregulas er singuios tro os Ilaturalem quanZlam dulcedi.nem reddentjbus,From Coussemaker it appears that a monk who wrotesoon after the death of Charlemagne alludes to the artof organising, and he concludes that the practice ofharmony was certainly known in the early part of theninth century.*Brompton, writing in the reign of Henry Jr., waxesenthusiastic over the very advanced skill of Irishmusiciahs in the twelfth century on the cpuic, timpan,and bagpipe; and he extols the animated execulio , tilesweet anti pleasing harmony, the quivering notes andintricate modulations of the Irish cris /Jatis moduliset intricaijs notulis, effIcijint harmolhiam (Hist. Anglic.Script., p. 1075).In justice to Porn Moore it must be acknowledged thathe pointed out the ridiculous error into which Walkerand Bunting had been led, quoting from Beaufort,owing to a mistranslation of Brompton. Walker makesthe foregoing extract as signifying that the Irish hadtwo sorts of harps, the one bold and quick, the other so/Iand fleasing I I!This brings us to the epoch of the Anglo .Norminvasion; and, as contemporary evidence is always ofthe first importance, I cannot conclude this chapterbetter than by quoting the followingeulogy on the Irishschool of harpers from the pen of Gerald Barry, betterknown as Giraldus Cambrensis, Archdeacon of St.Davids, who caine to Ireland in 1183They are incomparably more skilful than any othernation I have ever seen. For their manner of playingon these instruments [ cruits, clairseachs, and timpans],unlike that of the Britons to which I am accustomed, isnot slow and harsh, but lively and rapid, while themelody is both sweet and pleasing. It is astonishingthat in such a complex and rapid movement of thefingers the musical proportions [ as to rhythm] can bepreserved, and that throughout the difficult modulationson their various instruments the harmony, notwithstand-ing shakes and slurs, and variously intertwinedorganising, is completely observed.The Latinity of Giraldus is not easy to give in anEnglish dress, but he wishes to display his knowledgeof musical technicalities as then in vogue. He describesthe striking together of the chords of the diatesseron{thefourth degree of the scale], and diapente [ the fifth] intro-ducing B flat, and of the tinkling of the small stringscoalescing charmingly with the deep notes of the bassclearly pointing to the Irish free organum of the fourth,and that of diapente, including the discord of the Imper-fect Fifth interval. He concludes as follows : Theydelight with so much delicacy, and soothe so softly, thatthe excellence of their art seems to lie in concealing it.** Topographia Hiber., Disp. iii., cap. xi. In the original Latin,the terms / ro borlio, crispatos, mode los, organa, dispari *ritatediscord,, concordia, consona, etc., can oniy mean, as Renehan writes,the rhythmical measure of time, the slur and grac , the organizingor counterpoint, the harmony of discords, and all the then latestinventions of modern music. (Renehans History of Music, p. 163.)* There is a manuscript translation into English of Erigenasvaluable tract, made by the late William Larminje (whose death,In T900, was a great loss to Irish studies), which is no in theNational Library of Ireland, Kildarestreet, Dublin. It is said to bethe only English version of Erigenas work. The translation is intwo qnarto vol ames, and was presented to the library by the authorsbrother.
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Grattan Flood, Wm. H.
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Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music

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