Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 18

Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 18
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music
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Ceol na hEireann Irish Music2726composition of Carolans - given that Sterling was at least thirty-six years hisjunior. But even if the subject belonged to an earlier generation of the family,she would have been closely related to Edward Sterling. The musicalinterchange between the Sterling family and professional harpers was not,therefore, all one way.IvIRISH HARPERS IN DUBLIN NEWSPAPERS (1757-8)(i) Arthur LoweFaulkners Dublin Journal 19-22 February 1757 carried a notice of a benefitconcert for an Irish harper named Arthur Lowe, who is otherwise unknown.By particular Desire of several Ladies of QualityFor the benefit of Mr. ARTHUR LOW, Performer of [ sic] the Irish Harp.AT the Great Musick-hall in crow-street, on Friday the 25th Day ofFebruary Inst. will be a SUBSCRIPTION BALL, conducted in thegenteelest Manner. Each Subscriber, on paying Half a Guinea, to havetwo Tickets, which may be transferred to Gentlemen or Ladies. SingleTickets at three English shillings each. Tickets to be had at LucassCoffee-house, at Norriss Coffee-house, and at the Eagle Tavern on Cork-hill.His death was noticed in the same newspaper on 19-23 July 1757:DEATHS: . . . Friday, in Cook-street, Mr. Arthur Lowe, a celebratedPerformer on the Irish Harp.(ii) Edward MacCormackLater that year Faulkners Dublin Journal 5-8 November 1757 noticed the deathof another harper:DEATHS: . . .Mr. Edward MCormick, a celebrated Performer of CarolansMusick on the Harp.This celebrated performer was probably the harper of that name, NedMacCormack, whose name heads a list of fourteen harpers that Arthur ONeillsays he met in the course of a peregrination through co. Cavan. ONeill said ofhim: MacCormick was the best harper of them by far. He also wrongly placestheir meeting some years subsequent to 1760 (II p. 1 50-1).(iii) Mr MahonyAnother benefit for an Irish harper was announced in the same newspaper inthe issue for 14-18 February 1758. Again, it was by desire of several ladies ofquality, and was to be conducted in the genteelest manner. (Was there acommittee of fashionable ladies who specialised in rescuing financially-embarrassed Irish harpers?)By particular Desire of several Ladies of QualityFor the benefit of Mr. MAHONYOn Tuesday the 21st of February, 1758, at the Great Music-hall in Fishamble-street, will be a Grand Concert of MUSIC, in which Mr.Mahony will perform several Irish and Scotch Tunes on the IRISH HARP.After which will be a GRAND BALL, conducted in the genteelest Manner.The whole House will be illuminated with Wax. Tickets to be had at Mr.Mahonys Lodgings at Mrs. Millers, grocer, in Big Cuff-street near theGreen, and at the Music-hall.N.B. Tickets given out for the 11th. will be taken the above Night.The subject of this notice might be the harper of that name mentioned in amemoir dictated in 1779, by the famous Echlin OKane, who was born inColeraine, co. Derry, in 1729. Of the Second rate Players on the Harp alive in1779, two were, according to OKane, ...Mahony in the County of Cork a mostexcellent performer and Also one of the name of Dunfalvie in the County ofLimerick - a Celebrated performer & a Gentleman. 23 Dunfalvi was the harperDonn O Filbhe. A poem praising his skill is to be found in several Irishmanuscripts - the earliest dating from 1755. This poem, consisting of twoverses, is attributed to a Donnchadh O Mathghamhna in two manuscripts, andto Donchadh caech ua mhathgamhna in a third. The editor of the poem, CoimO Baoill, suggested that the poet could have been identical with the harperMahony. He did point out, though, that there was no evidence that the poetwas in fact a harper. 24VTHE GRANARD HARP BALLS (1784-6)Three Harp Balls, competitions for the Irish harp, were held during the 1 780sin Granard. co. Longford. They were financed by a merchant named JamesDungan (but see below), who had an extensive business at Copenhagen, andthe last of them broke up in acrimony. Arthur ONeill stated that the balls were
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Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1

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