Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 42

Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 42
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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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68 BISTORY OF IRISH MUSIC.IRISH MUSIC IN THE MIDDLE A( the whole kingdom of Ireland, namely, in heraldiclanguage, on a field vert, a harp or, stringed argent.Under date of 1269, in the Annals of Clonrntzcnoise,is recorded the death of Aedh OFlynn, a good musi-cian, A similar entry occurs in the Annals of Ulsterbut the surname is given as OFinn, and he isdescribed as a master of minstrelsy. ft i oip-T io1 .]The European fame of the Irish harp was at thisepoch well sustained, as is best attested by the follow-ing quotation from Dante I265 -I32I)This most ancient instrument was brought to usfrom Ireland, where they are excellently made, and ingreat numbers, the inhabitants of that island havingpractised on it for many ages. Nay, they even place itin the arms of the kingdom, and paint it on their publicbuildings, and stamp t on their coins, giving as a reasontheir being descended from the Royal Prophet David.*Ralph Higden, a distinguished historiographer, at thebeginning of the fourteenth century, describes the musicof the Irish harp as musica peritissima. John deFordun, a Scottish priest, who wrote in the same cen-ury, expressly says that Ireland was the fountain ofmusic in his time, whence it then began to flow intoScotland and Wales.tIn 1329, the annalist, Clyn, has the following entryconcerning the massacre of Sir John Bermingham, Earlof Louth, at Bragganstown, near Ardee, on June zothof that year:Dia .ogo di Vjnc,n Galild, A.D. 5559 (not I 8Z as stated byBunting).t Walkers History af thc Irish Bards (5786).Maelrooney Mac Cerbhaill COCarroll], chief musi-cian of the kingdom, and his brother Gillakeigha famous timpanist and harper, so pre-eminent that hewas a Ph nix in his artwere killed in that company.and with him fell twenty timpanists who were hisscholars.The Annals of Ulster particularly praise the musicalpowers of Mac Cerbhaill, whom they describe as theblind Cerbhail, namely, Maelruanaigh, the most eminenttimpanist in Ireland and of Scotland, and of the wholeworld. The cognomen caoch was given to him be-cause his eyes were not straight, but squinted; and,Clyn adds, if he was not the inventor of chord music,yet, of all his predecessors and contemporaries, he wasthe corrector, teacher, and director. The author of theAnnals of Clonmacnoise further informs us that noman in any age ever heard or shall hereafter hear abetter timpanist.According to Hardiman, thIs harper, QCarroll, com-posed the lovely song: Eleanor Kirwan, but everyeffort, he adds, to recover the music has proved fruit-less, although it was well known in Galway in the last[ eighteenth century The air is supposed to havedied out with an old musical amateur of the name ofFrench, who resided in Galway a few years ago; andthus perished, perhaps, the last known relic of the geniusof OICarrolL *It must, however, be borne in mind that the battle ofBragganstown was in reality an Anglo-Irish feud; andan ancient chronicler relates that an old nurse distinctlygave warning to the Earl of Louth and his attendants Hardlmans Irish Minstrelsy, vol. 1, p. 361.
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Grattan Flood, Wm. H.
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Grattan Flood - A History of Irish Music

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